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My Receiver Rankings

The good news for the Lions’ receiving corps is they had two extremely productive receivers in 2010, the bad news is they had two extremely productive receivers in 2010.  The Lions have gotten nothing from their 3rd, 4th and 5th receivers the last two seasons and it continues to hamper the offense.  Even with the most productive tight end duo in the league and one of the most dangerous receiving backs out of the backfield, defenses are still able to focus a lot of attention on Calvin Johnson.

There are two types of receivers the Lions could use to free up CJ.  The first is a speed receiver that has the explosion to get down field at threaten to outrun the lid of the defense.  This draft has several of those types of receivers available in the second through fourth rounds.  The other type of receiver is a tall physical receiver that may not be a burner, but can work his way downfield and his size makes him too difficult to cover one on one.  There aren’t as many of those types of players, but there are a few that should be available late in day two or early on day three.

Defenses have bracketed Calvin Johnson with double coverage and then they sit down in the middle of the field to take away the tight ends or Burleson on the intermediate routes.  Burleson is capable of running deep routes, but that’s not his forte, so the Lions want to free him up to be able to work the middle along with the tight ends.

One player that I really struggled with was Jonathan Baldwin, the talented but troubled receiver from Pitt.  The guy has size, decent speed and solid production and with proper coaching could be a Vincent Jackson type player.  On the other hand his football IQ is a question mark, he has a few character concerns and he’s not a team player.  The Lions have two very strong leaders in the receiving corps, but Mayhew has seen his fair share of character concerns in young receivers.  Ultimately, I think he’s off the Lions’ bo

Receivers are really hard to evaluate for amateur scouts such as myself, because of several factors.  The first is you rarely get to see their routes develop on TV, the camera pans to them as the ball is en route to the receiver.  Second, receivers rarely see press coverage or complex zones in college and if they do, you can’t see them work against it because of the first issue.  Lastly, many receivers don’t run the same style routes in college as they will in the pros.  This makes it difficult to project their ability to separate from coverage at the next level.  For these reasons, my receiver rankings are more heavily based on physical measurables which is far more inaccurate than my normal means of ranking players.

These rankings will vary from some other rankings you’ll see because these are team specific and scheme specific.  Some players are left off my rankings because they are not a good fit for the Lions. 

Since I have limited resources to work with, my evaluations don’t extend past 3rd or 4th round prospects.  These rankings are based on a combination of various scouting reports, game footage, Senior Bowl practices, Combine coverage, draft related articles and opinions from sources.  The players’ names link to the scouting reports on

My Rank Player, Pos, Team Height Weight
1 A.J. Green WR, Georgia 6-4 212
2 Julio Jones WR, Alabama 6-4 211
3 Torrey Smith WR, Maryland 6-1 200
4 Titus Young WR, Boise State 5-11 170
5 Leonard Hankerson WR, Miami-Florida 6-3 205
6 Greg Little WR, North Carolina 6-3 220
7 Edmund Gates WR, Abilene Christian 6-0 190
8 Lester Jean WR, Florida Atlantic 6-3 195
9 Denarius Moore WR, Tennessee 6-1 194
10 Niles Paul WR, Nebraska 6-1 220
11 Ronald Johnson WR, USC 6-0 185
12 Chris Matthews WR, Kentucky 6-5 219
13 Darvin Adams WR, Auburn 6-3 185
14 Ricardo Lockette WR, Fort Valley State 6-3 199
15 Stephen Burton WR, West Texas A&M 6-2 215

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