Many NFL Draft observers believe that there is only one wide receiver that is a clear cut first round selection – Oklahoma State’s Dez Bryant. That leaves the WR needy Ravens in a precarious situation at No. 25.
Are the receivers most often predicted to be available for the Ravens at No. 25 worthy of the pick or are they more deserving of the dangerous label of “reach?”
To drill down on this topic we turned to Draft Breakdown’s Will Spencer. ~ Tony Lombardi
The only WR in my opinion possibly worthy of the Ravens’ pick is Arrelious Benn. Demaryius Thomas and Golden Tate, two others often pegged for the Ravens are in my opinion second round picks. Here’s how I see each of these three draft eligible wideouts.
Arrelious Benn – WR – lllinois
Benn is a big, physical receiver that isn’t afraid to work the middle of the field. He uses his large frame to shield defenders from the ball and won’t get alligator arms when the hit is coming. Benn does a nice job using his hands to catch the ball away from his body and will fight for the ball in traffic. He’s an effective runner after the catch.
The biggest knock on Benn is his lack of production as a junior. However, the argument can be made that Benn was a victim of a terrible offensive team with poor quarterback play. Benn also lacks elite speed and will have trouble separating against faster defensive backs.
Demaryius Thomas – WR – Georgia Tech
Thomas is another big and physical wide receiver that goes up and grabs the ball at the highest point in the air. His hands are reliable and his speed allows him to stretch the field. A physical downfield blocker, Thomas isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty. Thomas does a great job after the catch and is hard for smaller defensive backs to bring down without help.
Thomas suffered a broken foot during combine training, but word is he’ll be ready for NFL training camp. Thomas also didn’t put up mind boggling numbers in college as the Georgia Tech offense is primarily a running team. He needs to further develop as a route runner and will sometimes let the ball into his body when making the catch.
Golden Tate – WR- Notre Dame
Tate is a converted running back that is an effective route runner and knows how to find the holes in coverage. For a small guy, Tate has nice leaping ability and will go up and snatch the ball away from the defender. He catches the ball with his hands and rarely lets it into his body. Tate is a fierce competitor that always seems to be fired up on the field.
Will Spencer, the founder and lead content writer for Draft Breakdown has been scouting draft prospects since 2002. From Baltimore, he’s had draft related articles published on the Baltimore Ravens official website, Scout.com’s Orange and Brown Report as well as Ravens Insider. Will is also a member of the Football Writers Association of America. Will graduated from the Sports Management Worldwide Scouting and General Manager class in 2009. Click here to see links to articles written by Will and hear audio of Will on various radio programs and podcasts.