There are a few positions of strength in the 2018 NFL Draft – running back, quarterback and cornerback, to name a few. Unfortunately, wide receiver isn't believed to be one of them according to most draft experts.
NFL Network's Mike Mayock characterized the wide receiver position "cloudy" on his conference call on Monday. It's a mixed bag of prospects whose value could vary on a team-by-team basis.
"In all honesty, I might have a guy as a second rounder and another evaluator might have him as a fourth rounder," Mayock said.
Mayock provided quick analysis on a number of this year's top pass catchers. He grouped Alabama's Calvin Ridley and Texas A&M's Christian Kirk together as two players who are similar in playing style and value. SMU's Courtland Sutton is probably the prospect that most fits the "prototype wide receiver" bill. After those three, it's a toss up as to where everyone will be taken in April's draft.
Here are Mayock's notes.Calvin Ridley (Alabama) and Christian Kirk (Texas A&M)
Ridley – 63 receptions for 967 yards and five touchdowns.
Kirk – 66 receptions for 859 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Mayock: "I think Ridley can play outside, but he will become predominantly a slot receiver in the NFL. Same with Kirk. They both run tremendous routes. They both have really good hands, and they're very tough catching the football with good run after catch. Christian Kirk adds some value in the return game."**
Courtland Sutton (SMU)**
2017 Season: 68 receptions for 1,085 and 12 touchdowns.
Mayock: "Courtland Sutton is a completely different animal. He's 6-foor-4, 215-220 pounds, high-level production, a lot of it is outside the numbers. Keep in mind there are a lot of ways to separate in today's NFL. We used to talk about quickness and speed and route running. There is another way to separate now, and that is with size. Back shoulder fades, the outside-the-number throws. He's mostly a fade, fade stop, pitch and slant player right now. I'm anxious to see how fast he is."James Washington (Oklahoma State)
2017 Season: 74 receptions for 1,549 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns
Mayock: "Washington is a vertical guy. He's a late first round, to late second round."Dante Pettis (Washington)
2017 Season: 63 receptions for 761 yards and seven touchdowns; 21 punt returns for 428 yards and four touchdowns.
Mayock: "Pettis is a great return specialist, slot receiver. Second- or third-round guy."D.J. Moore (Maryland)
2017 Season: 80 receptions for 1,033 yards and eight touchdowns.
Mayock: "Moore has some juice. I like him. Probably a slot receiver."**
Anthony Miller (Memphis)**
2017 Season: 96 receptions for 1,462 yards and 18 touchdowns.
Mayock: "Miller is fast and quick. Really good hands."D.J. Chark (LSU)
2017 Season: 40 receptions for 874 yards and three touchdowns.
Mayock: "He's been ascending since the Senior Bowl."Deon Cain (Clemson)
2017 Season: 58 receptions for 734 yards and six touchdowns.
Mayock: "Cain reminds me of Kenny Stills. Might be undervalued. Will probably run
in the 4.4 range."
J'Mon Moore (Missouri)
2017 Season: 65 receptions for 1,082 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Mayock: "He's a big kid (6-foot-3, 205 pounds). Too many drops, but a height, width, speed guy."