The Perils Of Picking A Wide ReceiverMay 7th, 2014
The two positions where the Bucs are hurting worse than a herniated disk as the draft approaches are guard and wide receiver. The talent pool is deep and rich for a wide receiver, and shallow for guard, but it wouldn’t be a shock if the Bucs drafted a flashy receiver in the first round.
But drafting wide receivers is a perilous road to travel. Recently, the Charlotte Observer did a study of the top 40 wide receivers in the NFL and compiled a list of how they were acquired. The results were eye-opening.
Here are a few findings:
• More than half (24) of the league’s top 40 receivers were drafted in the first or second round.
• Only five of the 14 receivers drafted in the top 10 over the past decade made the Observer’s list, so taking a receiver early does not guarantee a player will be a star.
• About one in five receivers (8-of-41) drafted in the second round since 2004 were among the top 40 receivers in 2013.
• Teams are nearly as likely to find a franchise receiver picking late in the first round as those drafting one early.
• Among the league’s top 10 receivers, nine are 6-foot-3 or taller (the 10th – Dallas wideout Dez Bryant – is 6-2 and 225 pounds).
So what does this tell Joe? The Bucs may want to trade down (if they are not targeting Johnny Football) and make sure the receiver they draft is over 6-2 (and under 240 pounds).
If the Bucs want to draft more than one receiver, and that would be smart, then they may want to draft two no later than the third round in this deep, deep wide receiver draft.
Remember, Bucs general manager Jason Licht told Joe on the record at the NFL Scouting Combine that the draft is so lousy with receivers, starters will be had in the third round.