The 2016 wide receiver class will be ridiculed for the perceived lack of athleticism at the combine. However, on the field this class was very good. The name recognition may not be there, but in time the 2016 wide receiver draft class will go down as a very good one.
Tyler Boyd, Pittsburgh: First Round Grade – Tremendous talent and a polished receiver. Will likely fall into the second round but is the best receiver in the draft. He has outstanding hands, catches the ball in traffic, gets open, is an excellent route runner and can make plays in space. Will be a high volume catch receiver, a third down converter. and a quarterback’s dream.
Josh Doctson, TCU: First Round Grade – Tremendous athlete, can go up and get the ball with outstanding body control. Very good burst with the ball in the air and has good hands. Needs to get bigger but will in time. He could be a difference maker.
Laquon Treadwell, Ole Miss: First Round Grade – Big receiver, makes catches in traffic, a throw it up and get it type of receiver. Not a super athlete nor a great route runner. Hard to pass up his size and ability to make catches down the field. However, will he have a hard time creating separation in the NFL? I would not take him in the early part of the first round. There are receivers later who can be just as good. Possibly deserving of a first round grade but I wouldn’t take him in the first round.
Will Fuller, Notre Dame: Second Round Grade – Exceptional speed, can certainly take the top off of a defense. A game breaker but route running and the ability to consistently get open are concerning. Also struggled with drops but his speed will likely result in him being overdrafted. Likely gone in the first but not the caliber of receiver of a Boyd or possibly even Michael Thomas.
Michael Thomas, Ohio State: Second Round Grade – Silky smooth polished route runner. Didn’t play in a sophisticated offense but when given the opportunity made plays. Excelled in big games and shines bright under the big lights. Not an explosive athlete but can get open and has very good hands.
Corey Coleman, Baylor: Second Round Grade – Super quick, not tall but thick, strong build. Explosive off the line, terror in the open field. Not a great route runner coming from Baylor’s system, but will be in time. His athleticism will allow him to be a factor from the get go. Similar to Antonio Brown.
Jordan Payton, UCLA: Third Round Grade – Highly productive receiver with the Bruins. Strong body and willing to go over the middle and block. Very good out of the gate on third down and tremendous at using his body to shield defenders. Underrated,will be a good pro receiver. An excellent fourth round pick up if he falls.
Keyarris Garrett, Tulsa: Third Round Grade – This kid can flat out play. Great size, tracks the ball and catches contested balls. Lacks polish but with some seasoning could be a steal in the fourth round. If he’s there, take him.
Aaron Burbridge, Michigan State: Third Round Grade – Big, physical, strong receiver. Knows how to use his body. Surprising speed, very good body control. If he falls, could be a steal.
Pharoh Cooper, South Carolina: Third Round Grade – Odd gait but can pick ’em up and put ’em down. Extremely fast, hits top speed in a hiccup, very athletic. Powerfully built but can get in and out of breaks. If he is even he is leavin’. A chance Cooper slides into the third round and would be a great selection there
Braxton Miller, Ohio State: Third Round Grade – Dynamic athlete, extremely quick in space. Converted from quarterback. Had explosive plays at Ohio State during his senior season but a long way to go on the intricacies of the position. Will likely be over drafted. A project, third round is where Miller should go
Sterling Shepherd, Oklahoma: Fourth Round Grade – Very quick and athletic. Not a burner straight ahead but a jitterbug in traffic. Tremendous vertical and can go up and get the ball despite being only 5’10”. A few similar players in stature in this draft class who are more explosive. A nice pick in the third round.
Roger Lewis, Bowling Green: Fourth Round Grade – Another underrated player that will make plays at the NFL level. A steal in the fourth round, a great consolation prize to Garrett. Can get up and down the field, shifty player. Personally, I would get this kid on my team, would be an excellent asset for a young quarterback.
Leonte Carroo, Rutgers: Fifth Round Grade – Talented receiver, lacks speed. Played on a very bad team in 2015. His off the field issues will dramatically hurt his stock. Tough evaluation but a solid pick in the fifth round.
Demarcus Ayres, Houston: Fifth Round Grade – Shifty, quick highly productive receiver. Had a tremendous junior season for the Cougars including a bowl victory over Florida State. Good punt returner, will be a solid NFL contributor
Malcom Mitchell, Georgia: Fifth Round Grade – Good solid receiver, tested faster at the combine than on film. Big gritty kid who overcame an ACL tear. Not overly productive but in part due to Georgia’s offense. Would be a nice pick in the fifth round as a third receiver.
Kolby Listenbee, TCU: Fifth Round Grade – Speedster, diminutive but can go up and get the ball. Very similar to Travis Benjamin in style. Could be a nice pickup as a receiver to take the top off of the defense.
Rashard Higgins, Colorado State: Fifth Round Grade – Lacks speed and mass but a highly productive receiver. Could develop into a good third receiver.
Kenny Lawler, California: Fifth Round Grade – Slender receiver who lacks top end speed but has very quick feet and good hands. Could develop into a nice slot receiver/third down target.
Tajae Sharpe, UMass: Fifth Round Grade – Productive player,slender size, good hands. Should make a squad and potentially develop down the road.
Cayleb Jones, Arizona: Fifth Round Grade – Big receiver with a strong pedigree, father a longtime NFL vet, uncle is former NFL quarterback Jeff Blake. Transferred to Arizona after off field issues at Texas. Not a speedster but excellent size. Productive but struggles to get separation.
Daniel Braverman, Western Michigan: Sixth-Seventh Round Grade – Too small, too slow and all that, but tremendous hands, tremendous route runner. He may in fact be too small to make it but is a tremendous football player. I would take a shot at him in the sixth and certainly the seventh round. He would not hit the UDFA market if I’m conducting the draft.
Jalin Marshall, Ohio State: Sixth Round Grade – More quick than fast and a very good punt returner. Will make a squad.
Charone Peake, Clemson: Sixth Round Grade – Big kid who passes the eye test. Ballyhooed coming out of high school but never reached potential. Injury history is a major concern. Almost a certainty he will be drafted far too high. Worth a shot in the fifth-sixth round but no higher.
De’Runnya Wilson, Mississippi State: Sixth Round Grade – Huge body, makes catches in traffic but is very slow, not a great route runner. Will be over drafted.
Bralon Addison, Oregon: Sixth Round Grade – Smallish, not a good route runner. Could be a good punt returner and should be a late round pick.
Jordan Williams, Ball State: Sixth Round – A chance to make a roster. Good late round look.
Dom Williams, Washington State: Sixth Round
Paul McRoberts, Southeast Missouri State: Sixth Round
Cody Core, Ole Miss: Sixth Round –
Jaydon Mickens, Washington: Sixth Round –
Geronimo Allison, Illinois: Seventh Round – UDFA
D’haquille Williams, Auburn: Seventh Round -UDFA
Mekale McKay, Cincinnati: Seventh Round – UDFA