Sammy Watkins Leads Draft WR Class


If you need a wide receiver in the NFL Draft... 2014 just might be your year.

NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. estimated that anywhere from 6-to-9 wideouts could be taken in the first round of this year's draft.

The 49ers, who could potentially lose Anquan Boldin in free agency, might have to consider a wideout with the team's No. 30 overall selection.

According to Kiper and practically every other draft analyst, Clemson's Sammy Watkins leads the bunch of 2014 prospects. The 6-foot-1, 205-pound junior is expected to be snatched within the first 10 draft selections.

Grinding @PerformCompound — Sammy Watkins (@sammywatkins) February 6, 2014

Kiper spoke highly of the wide receiver depth during an hour-long conference call on Thursday.

"You're going to find a lot of diamonds in the rough in this draft," Kiper noted. "There's going to be some really good undrafted free agents this year."

Beyond Watkins, Kiper named several of the first-round prospects: Mike Evans (Texas A&M), Kelvin Benjamin (Florida State), Odell Beckham Jr. (LSU), Davante Adams (Fresno State), Brandin Cooks (Oregon State), Jarvis Landry (LSU) and Marquise Lee (USC).

Kiper sees several late-round options in this year's draft and mentioned that 19 underclassmen came out at wide receiver for this year's draft.

Kiper didn't just announce the wide receiver position as the only deep draft position. Cornerbacks and safeties stand out as some of the deepest positions in the draft.

It's worth noting because the 49ers have several notable free agents in the secondary. Safety Donte Whitner and cornerback Tarell Brown, starters in the NFC Championship game, are the biggest names on the list.

Here are some of the key notes Kiper offered on this year's defensive back group:

-Probably 2-3 first-round cornerbacks, a lot of second and third-round corners.
-Kiper sees more depth in defensive secondary than defensive ends and defensive tackles.
-Cornerback has extremely more value now that teams are often playing nickel and dime schemes.
-Teams should covet cover skills over open-field hitting ability. "You need cover guys, not intimidators."



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