Receiver or Power Forward? The Best 2014 Possession Receiver Prospects

Mike Evans, a 6’5 former basketball standout, uses his power forward skill set to his advantage on the gridiron (Photo: US Presswire)

By Marc Sluis, Staff Writer

With the NFL tight end continuing to evolve into a more receiving oriented position and the spread attack gaining traction, the classic possession receiver has lost a bit of its luster. Sure guys like Calvin Johnson, AJ Green and Julio Jones have the build and strength of such a receiver but now guys like that run sub 4.4 40′s. Here are some true possession receiver who might offer some speed and athletic ability but are best suited to line up out wide and move the chains. It might not be surprising that a lot of these guys were standout basketball players as well.

Mike Evans, Texas A&M
6’5 218

Johnny Football gets most of the hype in College Station but people are starting to appreciate the 6’5 jump ball monster. Evan’s former basketball prowess is evident and the term “boxing out” aptly describes how he is able to position his body and abuse defenders with his size.

He does lack the speed to be an all around weapon, but he has enough quickness and athleticism to be dynamic not only in the red zone, where he will be a beast, but also over the middle and split out wide.

 

Kasen Williams, Washington
6’2 216

The Parade Magazine’s High School Player of the Year in 2011 was also a state champion at the long, high and triple jump! Is it really necessary to call him an explosive leaper?

On top of the having that lethal red zone trait he adds to it a strong 6’2 216 frame and large hands sure to make him a jump ball and fade monster. Those big mitts are strong and he uses them to pluck the ball away from his body. That being said, he also drops a lot of easy passes. His season ending knee injury put a damper on his NFL stock and he could very well return for another year at UW.

 

Kelvin Benjamin, FSU
6’5 234

Benjamin has elite size for an NFL wide receiver prospect. Not only is he 6’5 but he packs a strong 237 pounds into that frame making him a unique size and athleticism threat. The Seminole has the size to bully corners and the athleticism and body control to compete at a high level as a receiver.

He shows an innate ability to track the ball in the air and then, while using that frame, extend and snatch the ball over the helpless defender. When he does and high points the football there isn’t much corners can do to stop him. His speed isn’t top level so he projects mostly as a pure possession receiver.

 

Brandon Coleman, Rutgers
6’6 220

At 6’6 Coleman has rare size for the receiver position, yet is a very fluid athlete with good long speed. Coleman isn’t a burner, but does have to be. With his size, soft hands and athleticism he is an instant match up nightmare even in the NFL.

If he can refine his route running enough to create even the slightest of space, that towering frame and ability to high point the ball will prove to be truly potent weapon. 6’6 fluid athletes don’t grow on trees, and Coleman’s skill set is highly valued.

 

Cody Hoffman, BYU
6’4 215

Hoffman is a physical receiver with good movement skills and overall athleticism. He isn’t overly fast and doesn’t have the quickest feet but uses tremendous body control and strength to shield defenders from the ball drag them after the catch. He works well in tight spaces and isn’t very tough to re-route at the line and bring down after the catch.

His lack of speed and quickness limits his pro potential to a possession style receiver. If he can clean up some drops, which are mainly due to lack of focus, he should be a solid X receiver on the outside who can help you move the chains and exploit smaller defenders inside the twenty.

 

Marcus Lucas, Missouri
6’5 220

You might not know it, but Mizzou has some unbelievable talents at wide receiver. Dorial Green-Beckham and L’Damian Washington are the real freaks but as a third option Lucas is no joke. Essentially a tight end with some wide receiver skills the 6’5 220 lb Tiger offers some hybrid skills out wide and the frame to be seal the edge as a blocker.

 

Jordan Taylor, Rice
6’5 210

While not quite the level of athlete of 49ers rookie and former Rice Owl Vance McDonald, Taylor is a similar oversized receiving threat and solid blocker. He overcomes below average speed and explosiveness with that strong frame and strong hands to snatch the ball over defenders.

 

Brandon Wimberly, Nevada
6’3 225

He played with Colin Kaepernick earlier in his career but Wimberly is having his best season as a senior. A better than expected athlete for his size he has the ability to run a variety of routes but his best asset is his size and hands. He doesn’t bring anything overly dynamic to the table but has enough skill to make an NFL roster.

Tags: 2014 NFL Draft, 2014 WR Prospects, Brandon Coleman, Cody Hoffman, kasen williams, Marcus Lucas, Mike Evans

8 Responses to “Receiver or Power Forward? The Best 2014 Possession Receiver Prospects”

  1. J H TARBORO says:

    Some of the best hands in college football is LSU’s WR/KR Odell Beckham jr. and i’m suprised he’s not on your list. A great possession reciever with extremely large hands who’s very explosive and elusive. Odell could stetch the field and could kill you at slot position. If you watch college football like i do LSU’s WRs are some the best in the game. I will beat the drum for this guy and all the other recievers you have on your list i have watched tape on, and they’re good but Beckham jr is better, just watch his tape and compare.

    • MarcSluis says:

      I’m actually a huge fan, but this list is of guys I think are limited to Split end type possession duties. If they have the speed or slot receiver skills as well I would consider them “Feature or Complete” wide outs. These guys in my opinion would also never be deployed anywhere but out wide as a possession type target.

      So you make a great point, but guys like Bechkham can handle multiple roles and have more versatility. They are not just possession guys

  2. Russell Easterbrooks says:

    Interseting article, Marc ! I wonder if the Patriots may look at Mark Harrison (injured reserve) 6’4″ 235 with good speed as a guy they already have in the system for this type of roll. I wonder however if any of these guys in your article, can be a great blocker, on no-target plays.
    I feel sure Bill takes a TE type guy some where in the draft, but not 1st or 2nd. I like TE Jacob Paterson 6’4″ 240 , runs a 4.7 40 out of Wisconsin, who is a full back type blocker, who runs good routes, and has great hands.
    I agree with acm, about Hoffman, who could be a steal in the latter rounds, and that Evans (likely an early pick), could offer TE possiblities.
    I’m not sure, Hoomanawanui, (1yr. deal) or Mulligan will be on the roster at the TE spot next year, so drafting a TE is a very high possibility.

    • MarcSluis says:

      True, I don’t know if the Pats are really going to target a receiver. It’s more likely they add a TE. Can you imagine Gronk and either Seferian-Jenkins, Ebron or Amaro?!

      • Russell Easterbrooks says:

        Thanks, with Thompkins, Dobson, Boyce, Amendola, Edleman, (IR) T.J.Moe, (IR) Harrison, all part of the team, I don’t see roster room or another WR.
        TE however, with Gronk, Hooman, Mulligan(most likely cut after the season), and now Williams ( May not be long term) I’d say its a 95% chance Bill Drafts a TE Arthur Lynch? Jacob Pederson? Amaro ?
        I think Ebron will be gone before Bill picks, and I don’t care for Jenkins.

        • Adam Stevens says:

          You act as if the Pats recievers aee elite. Gronk is a red zone and 3Rd down stud. Amendola is solid slot, but will not suit up fpr half the games. Neither Dobson nor Thompkins have taken off and Brady tosses the ball for you guys. Edelman is so limited. Benjamin would be a huge player for you in comparison to what you have now.

  3. acm says:

    Good list. Imo, Evans would make a better TE than WR at the next level (courtesy of an extra 25 or so lbs on top).

    Since before the 2013 mock (before all that Hernandez crap took place), I have been toying with the idea of drafting an ultra-athletic TE or a big WR to give the team flexibility on O and minimize the team’s dependence on whether Gronk finishes a season for a change or not. Last year, I liked Eifert for this role, this year I am a fan of Coleman or Benjamin for that role. I think at least one of them would be there in the 3rd/4th round, so no need to spend too early a pick on them. I personally like Coleman better than Evans as the former is a more fluid and natural athlete and would be a menace in the NFL if he puts on an extra 15 or so pounds.

    Hoffman may well turn out to be the best value here, though, as I can see him fall to 5-6 round the draft. Plus one could expect the Pats putting higher priority on filling other needs early in the draft.

    • MarcSluis says:

      If Evans can add some weight, and he needs it especially for TE but even to max out as a WR, he could be super scary. He’s not beating anyone with his speed anyway so I don’t think the weight will hurt his game.

      If the Pats do take a WR, Hoffman seems like a guy they could go after in the later rounds.



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