2014 NFL Draft by Position: Wide ReceiverPosted on April 02, 2014 by Phil Gentile
When the draft rolls around people immediately want to see their team draft a skill player. Baltimore is no different. Since the Ravens season ended they have signed Steve Smith and brought back Jacoby Jones. Add those two weapons to Torrey Smith and Marlon Brown and the receiving corp is hardly the biggest area of need anymore. Still, this is one of the deepest draft classes at the position in recent memory so if Baltimore wants to land a legit #1 receiver that could have several chances to do so. Here is some players that could be available in all seven rounds:
1st Round: Allen Robinson, Penn State
There is little to no chance Sammy Watkins or Mike Evans is available when the Ravens are on the clock. What do they do in that situation? You draft a guy with the best size and speed combo at the position. Enter Allen Robinson. He had 97 catches in his final season at Penn State and seems to have all the tools to be a legit #1 receiver in the NFL.
2nd Round: Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt
We interviewed Jordan last month on the show (you can listen to the interview here) and he is an extremely humble and intelligent kid. Being the cousin of the legendary Jerry Rice doesn't hurt either. He compared himself to the Packers' Jordy Nelson which I think it a perfect comparison. Neither will ever be mistaken for a speedster but their reliable hands and ability after the catch is what sets them apart. Landing the SEC all-time receiving leader in the 2nd round would give the Ravens a prospect to mold into a star opposite Torrey Smith for the next decade.
3rd Round: Davante Adams, Fresno State
When my favorite draft experts on twitter rave about a player I take notice. That's exactly what happened with Davante Adams around the combine back in February. After recording 24 receiving touchdowns during his sophmore season, he went on to dazzle scouts with his playmaking ability and consistent hands. His size is almost identical to former Ravens WR Anquan Boldin and, just like Boldin, is a physical blocker when he doesn't have the ball in his hands.
4th Round: Jared Abbrederis, Wisconsin
One of the best pure route runners in this draft class, Abbrederis was also a guest on the podcast and spoke confidently about his skills. Often labeled as just a possession receiver, the Wisconsin product is determined to prove he has the skills to be a threat on the outside as well.
5th Round: Bruce Ellington, South Carolina
It's hard to find a role for Ellington in the NFL. He's similar to a Percy Harvin with in size without the level of skill. With many of the roles of the receiving corp filled by capable veterans, however, Ellington could be the perfect "swiss army knife" for a team looking to add versatile playmakers. In addition to receiver he can line up in the backfield and play a role on special teams. Similar to another former Gamecock, Jaguars WR Ace Sanders.
6th Round: Jeff Janis, Saginaw Valley State
Wow! One of the moments of February's NFL combine that stuck out for me was watching Jeff Janis run a 4.4 40-yard dash. Playing for small Saginaw Valley State, Janis finished second all-time in the GLIA with 4,305 career receiving yards. When most teams are grasping for straws, the Ravens could take a flier on this speedster with potential.
7th Round: Jalen Saunders, Oklahoma
Mike Mayock couldn't stop raving about this kid during the combine. I know what you're thinking.....why is he being projected to go so late in the draft then? Well at 5'9" and 160 lbs. he's a bit undersized and was arrested for marijuana possession in 2012 but he showed some serious skills at Oklahoma that he could develop into a strong slot receiver in the NFL. If the Ravens want to take another receiver late this could be a perfect low-risk pick toward the end of the draft.