2018 NFL Draft Preview: Top WR Prospects In Each Conference

Each week, NFL Draft Bible Founder Ric Serritella previews the top prospects at each position for the 2018 NFL Draft. The wide receiver class appears to be strong this year and there are a number of underclassmen, along with some seniors vying to be chosen in the first round. Lets take a look at some of the names you need to know in the Power Five, Mid-Majors, FCS and more…

ACC

Deon Cain, Clemson, Jr. – A true playmaker, his upside and jet fuel speed are as good as any receiver in the draft. However, concerns about his maturity could be raised due to past disciplinary actions.

Auden Tate, Florida State, Jr. – While he has flown under the radar of the national media, Tate has won over evaluators with his ability to get open and run after the catch elusiveness in the open field. He understands how to use his size and shield defenders, similarly to Brandon Marshall.

Ahmmon Richards, Miami, So. – While he has been hampered by nagging injuries this year, Richards possesses elite athleticism and should test through the roof in Indianapolis, having been timed in the low 4.3-range, to go along with a 40-plus inch vertical.

B1G

Simmie Cobbs, Indiana, Jr. – His combination of size, bulk and agility will have NFL personnel salivating but there are some medical concerns and an off-field incident that will need to be examined in weighing his draft stock.

DJ Moore, Maryland, Jr. – A shifty runner after the catch, Moore can beat opposing corners with his deep speed but they must also game plan for his role on sweeps and reverses, along with his ability to turn a bubble screen into big chunks of positive yardage.

Parris Campbell, Ohio State, Jr. – The decision to switch Campbell from running back to wide receiver/h-back has proved to pay dividends for Urban Meyer, as Campbell has shown drastic improvement in catching the ball this year, while doubling as an explosive return man.

BIG 12

Collin Johnson, Texas, So. – A tall, athletic freak, who possesses a rare combination of size and speed. His length in the red zone is a mismatch for opponents and he continues to draw comparisons to Megatron and T.O.

James Washington, Oklahoma State, Sr. – Considered the top deep threat in college football, Washington returned to Stillwater to hone his overall game and has cemented his status as a first-round pick in the draft community with his speed and hands, to go along with a NFL-ready frame.

Allen Lazard, Iowa State, Jr. – A tall, big-bodied, physical receiver who has lined up all over the field for the Cyclones and knows how to use his size to fend off receivers when making the catch. His past injuries and lack of speed could have an impact on his draft stock.

PAC-12

Dante Pettis, Washington, Sr. – His play has warranted him a more valuable draft commodity than former teammate John Ross, who went No.9 overall. Pettis, also a deep threat, runs more polished routes and is tied for the most career punt returns in NCAA history with eight. 

Deontay Burnett, USC, Jr. – Praised by his teammates and coaching staff for his special awareness and instincts, Burnett is hard to cover and makes the tough catch look easy but weighs just 170 pounds. However, his heart by far, outweighs his size.

Darren Carrington, Utah, Sr. – A graduate transfer who was dismissed from Oregon following a DUI charge, Carrington has warranted NFL attention this year with his overall play. He blends great body control, to go along with crisp route running and possesses NFL size and bloodlines.

SEC

Calvin Ridley, Alabama, Jr. – He has ran through SEC defenses since his arrival in Tuscaloosa, utilizing his natural instincts and ball skills. He consistently wins with technique, quickness and separation; think Marvin Harrison.

Christian Kirk, Texas A&M, Jr. – A threat to take it the distance any time he touches the ball, Kirk possesses breakaway speed and commands respect from opponents on the deep ball. He’s also a return ace but will need to polish up his route running in order to be a true number one.

DJ Chark, LSU, Sr. – Nicknamed ‘The Flash’ and for very good reason; his game-breaker speed makes him a dangerous weapon on offense but Chark is also turning heads with his burst and acceleration on special teams, as he seems to improve each week.

INDEPENDENT & MID-MAJORS

Equanimeous St. Brown, Notre Dame, Jr. – An offensive ball-hawk who has made numerous spectacular catches, ‘EQ,’ has demonstrated great leaping ability and excellent body control. He can beat the press and win outside all day, making him a real value in the opinion of NFL GMs.

Courtland Sutton, SMU, Jr. – His size, strength and jump ball prowess has made him into an effective pass-catcher in traffic. Sutton has all the tools to be a next level possession wide out but NFL scouts will be curious to see what his timed speed is.

Michael Gallup, Colorado State, Sr. – The mister do-it-all weapon for the Rams has drawn comparisons to Anquan Boldin for his fearless play and ability to go over the middle, in addition to constantly running past defenders.

Jaleel Scott, New Mexico State, Sr. – He leaps, he twists and turns, Scott has been a side show for the Aggies with seven touchdowns through his first seven games in ’17, while proving his skill-set against some tough competition. Remember the name, he could be a fast draft riser!

FCS 

Jake Wieneke, South Dakota State, Sr. – An absolute tree trunk of a target for quarterbacks to throw to, Wieneke has proven to be a dangerous red zone threat. His length, balance and leaping skills has placed him on the NFL radar.

Troy Pelletier, Lehigh, Sr. – Not only does he lead the nation in receiving with a physical brand of football but Pelletier is a relentless competitor and keep your head on the swivel, he’s an active blocker in the run game! He should generate some NFL interest as an UDFA.

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NFL DRAFT PREVIEW SERIES

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Rick Serritella

Established in 2002, NFL Draft Bible Founder Ric Serritella began his independent scouting service as a publication used by all 32 NFL teams. Eventually, it would evolve into an online scouting resource that reaches millions of people each month. An early adaptor to technology, the NFL Draft Bible produced the first ever livestream video show and live podcast on location from the NFL Draft. The NFL Draft Bible network extends to professional football leagues all over the world and includes general managers, executives, scouts, coaches, agents, trainers, advisors, along with other media outlets and draftniks. In addition to owning the NFL Draft Bible, Serritella has also served as executive producer of the T.Ocho Show (2010) on NBC Sports, producer for The Mike & The Mad Dog Show (2002) on YES Network, producer for NFL Now with Mike Francesa, one of the only nationally syndicated NFL shows at that time (2003), producer on ESPN Hollywoood (2005) and helped start up the Wall Street Journal YouTube channel (2007). He has interviewed the likes of Donald Trump, Roger Goodell, Archie Manning, Shaquille O'Neal, Allen Iverson, Danica Patrick, Venus Williams, Howard Stern, Don King, Jay-Z, Madonna, Bon Jovi and hundreds of other celebrities/athletes. Other involvements include helping build the fiber-optic system for MLB Network during his time as manager at HTN Communications, writing for USA TODAY, working for CBS and AEG Live. Since 2015, he has served as the Director of Media for the Parabolic Performance NFL Draft Prep program. In 2017, Serritella served as the Director of Player Personnel for the College Gridiron Showcase & Symposium. A graduate of Johnson & Wales University (JWU) in Providence, RI, Serritella earned a B.A. in Sports Entertainment & Event Management and was honored with the Inaugural Sports Entertainment & Event Management Success Board Achievement Award by the school in 2009. While attending JWU, he interned for the New England Patriots and ESPN X-Games. A proud member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America, Serritella currently resides in his home state of New Jersey.

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