2014 NFL Draft wide receiver rankings

Jared Wickerham

It's been called the deepest wide receiver class in years. Here are our final rankings for the 2014 NFL Draft.

At this point, it's been said over and over again, but the 2014 wide receiver class is one of the deepest in recent memory. While Sammy Watkins and Mike Evans represent the top tier of pass catchers, there could 15 or more wide receivers taken on the first two nights of the draft.

After Watkins and Evans, this class is up for debate. Odell Beckham Jr. is our no. 3 receiver, passing over Marqise Lee in our final update. Beyond that, not a lot has changed in our rankings. Cody Latimer and Josh Huff received small bumps up the board, but most things stayed the same.

In total, we have 45 receivers ranked with quick scouting reports on the top 16.

1. Sammy Watkins | 6'0 3/4, 211 pounds | Wide receiver | Clemson *

Watkins is a sensation of a wide receiver. As a player, there are few flaws in his game. Those that are there – running a more diverse route tree, catching the ball when pressure is closing on him – are coachable points. Watkins is the type of receiver that can be brought in, start straight away and become a star. Expecting him to have the same type of impact Green did for the Bengals should be the expectation.

Full scouting report

2. Mike Evans | 6'4 3/4, 231 pounds | Wide Receiver | Texas A&M **

Evans grades out as one of the ten best players in the draft on our latest big board. He's the type of receiver who instantly makes his quarterback better. The skills he used to make plays in college all translate to the NFL. He already learned how to win when he wasn't the fastest player on the field. That's only going to help him as he transitions to the NFL and learns how to use his physical tools to out-muscle defensive backs for passes.

Full scouting report

3. Odell Beckham Jr. | 5'11 1/4, 198 pounds | Wide receiver | LSU *

Beckham is going to be a first-round pick in the draft; it's just a matter of how high he'll go. He's an athletic player who knows how to take advantage of his skill set. He can line up on the inside or outside and will win with his speed and elusiveness.

Full scouting report

4. Marqise Lee | 5'11 3/4, 192 pounds | Wide Receiver | Southern California *

At the beginning of this draft process, Lee looked like the best wide receiver in this draft class. He was battling with Watkins for that honor. Now, Lee has been passed over by Watkins and Evans and will be jockeying for position in the next tier of receivers that includes Beckham Jr. and Cooks. Lee has a lot of skills that translate to the next level, but his lack of physicality is what bumped him down a bit in our rankings. He also needs to clean up the drops and stay healthy in order to have an impact early in his NFL career.

Full scouting report

5. Brandin Cooks | 5'9 3/4, 189 pounds | Wide receiver | Oregon State *

Get ready for the Tavon Austin comparisons. Because of Brandin Cooks' size and ability to create plays after the catch, many will compare him to Tavon Austin, who was drafted in the top 10 by the St. Louis Rams a year ago. Cooks may be a more complete receiver, though. He combines a quick release off the line of scrimmage with the strength to beat press coverage and get separation early in his routes. Cooks also has tremendous body control and the spatial awareness to make plays along the sidelines. Those are all qualities that make him more than just a slot receiver in the NFL. Factor in his quickness and straight-line speed, and Cooks has the makings of a playmaker.

6. Jordan Matthews | 6'3 1/8, 212 pounds | Wide receiver | Vanderbilt

Jordan Matthews isn't perfect. Throughout his career, Matthews has been somewhat easy to knock off his routes because he takes such long strides. Part of that comes from Matthews not being as quick-twitch an athlete as some other receivers in this class. That being said, Matthews has shown toughness in his willingness to grab contested catches and decent skills after the catch. Factor in his deep speed, route running and catch radius, and he should be a solid no. 2 receiver in the NFL with the potential to be a no. 1 option for an offense. With his ability to shield defenders from the ball, Matthews should be a reliable red zone target.

7. Kelvin Benjamin | 6'5, 240 pounds | Wide receiver | Florida State**

For teams that are drafting a wide receiver out of need, choosing Benjamin is a risky proposition. He's a limited route runner and has suspect hands. On shorter routes, he doesn't seem to have the best agility make quick cuts and create space for the quarterback to throw the ball. His potential, though, may be too great to overlook. Built like a tight end, Benjamin is a star at the catch point and will make some ridiculous catches look easy. His speed is good for his size, but he does need some space to build it up.

8. Jarvis Landry | 5'11 1/2, 205 pounds | Wide receiver | LSU *

Landry isn’t the biggest receiver, nor is he the fastest. If you can get past those two things, he’s a great talent. Landry has some of the best hands in the draft, and is a crafty route runner. He’ll also do all the small things you want in a wide receiver. He’s willing to go over the middle and doesn’t mind getting hit. He also wants to play special teams – and not just returns. Landry wants to be the guy laying big hits on returns. Is able to play out of the slot and outside. Could be this draft’s Wes Welker.

9. Davante Adams | 6'2, 216 pounds | Wide receiver | Fresno State **

In two years for Fresno State, Davante Adams had over 230 catches, over 3,000 receiving yards and 38 touchdowns. The numbers alone are absurd, but Adams has the skill set to match. He's a lean athlete and a smooth route runner. When tasked with chasing down deep passes, Adams showed the ability to track the football and also had great leaping ability to high-point passes. He needs to work on plucking the ball out of the air and not letting it into his body, but Adams has a lot of subtle traits that make for a dangerous wide receiver in the NFL.

10. Donte Moncrief | 6'2 3/8, 221 pounds | Wide Receiver | Ole Miss *

Donte Moncrief was one of the most productive wide receivers in Ole Miss history, and he only scratched the surface of his potential. Moncrief has plenty of size, speed and strength to be a factor in all areas of the field. He attacks the football effectively at the catch point and displays a ridiculous catch radius, in part due to his leaping ability. If Moncrief can pay closer attention to detail during his NFL career, he will have a lot of success. His route running and focus need to improve, but Moncrief has all of the tools to, at the very least, be an effective no. 2 receiver in the NFL.

11. Allen Robinson | 6'2 5/8, 220 pounds | Wide receiver | Penn State *

Robinson’s combination of athleticism and strength is what makes him one of the better wide receivers in this year’s draft. Robinson is often compared to Anquan Boldin because of his physical playing style and ability to go up and bring down contested catches. That’s where Robinson should be used the most early in his career as he continues honing his route running. Too often he’ll round off routes or take an extra step or two. But once the ball is in the air, Robinson will attack it and more often than not he’ll bring it down. Has solid speed after the catch, but won’t make a lot of people miss in the open field.

12. Brandon Coleman | 6'6, 225 pounds | Wide receiver | Rutgers *

Maybe it was inconsistent quarterback play, or just general inconsistency, but Coleman was never the sum of his parts for Rutgers. There would be times you'd see a great play out of Coleman – a deep vertical or a sensational circus catch. Coleman doesn't have the most reliable hands, though, and needs to get better as a route runner. He can create some obvious mismatches because of his size on the outside. Has an incredible catch radius.

13. Cody Latimer | 6'2, 215 pounds | Wide receiver | Indiana *

The Indiana product is capable of getting open over the top speed but he also has the shiftiness after the catch. Add that in with some solid size and you have a good wide receiver prospect. Runs his routes with good pace. Latimer tracks the ball properly over his shoulder, though he didn’t have to run a lot of deep routes in college. Will go over the middle.

14. Jared Abbrederis | 6'1, 195 pounds | Wide receiver | Wisconsin

Jared Abbrederis was the model of consistency as Wisconsin. He may be the best route runner in this class, and that allowed him to get separation consistently. He dominated Bradley Roby of Ohio State in their individual matchup this season mostly because of the subtle details he gets right in his routes. Abbrederis is faster than most expect, but he needs to get stronger to avoid being washed out by press coverage.

15. Josh Huff | 5'11 1/4, 206 pounds | Wide receiver | Oregon

Josh Huff is one of the most under-appreciated wide receivers in this draft. A former running back, Huff has outstanding burst and quickness in and out of his routes. He gets separation with ease and is tough to bring down once he has the ball in his hands. Athletically, Huff is built like a running back and has the fluid athleticism and body control to make plays along the sidelines. The biggest knock on Huff is that he dropped too many passes. He'll need to improve his focus at the next level.

16. Robert Herron | 5'9 1/8, 193 pounds | Wide receiver | Wyoming

Many consider Robert Herron to be a slot receiver, but he might be strong enough to do damage on the outside in the NFL. He's surprisingly strong with the ball in his hands and has a great release off the line of scrimmage. Herron wins with his quick cuts and ability to get separation in a hurry. He's aggressive when going after the football and has reliable hands. He just isn't the ideal size to play wide receiver, but a lot of his other skills translate well to the NFL game.

17. Cody Hoffman | 6'3 7/8, 223 pounds | Wide receiver | BYU

18. L'Damian Washington | 6'3 7/8, 195 pounds | Wide receiver | Missouri

19. Paul Richardson | 6'0 3/8, 175 pounds | Wide receiver | Colorado *

20. Martavis Bryant | 6'3 3/4, 211 pounds | Wide receiver | Clemson *

21. Bruce Ellington | 5'9 3/8, 197 pounds | Wide receiver | South Carolina *

22. Jeremy Gallon | 5'7, 185 pounds | Wide receiver | Michigan

23. Mike Davis | 6'0, 197 pounds | Wide receiver | Texas

24. Devin Street | 6'2 7/8, 198 pounds | Wide receiver | Pittsburgh

25. Corey Brown | 5'11 3/8, 178 pounds | Wide receiver | Ohio State

26. Jalen Saunders | 5'8 7/8, 163 pounds | Wide receiver | Oklahoma

27. Tevin Reese | 5'10 1/2, 163 pounds | Wide receiver | Baylor

28. Ryan Grant | 6'1, 191 pounds | Wide receiver | Tulane

29. John Brown | 5'10, 179 pounds | Wide receiver | Pittsburg State

30. Willie Snead | 5'11, 195 pounds | Wide receiver | Ball State

31. Kevin Norwood | 6'2, 198 pounds | Wide receiver | Alabama

32. Kain Colter | 5'10, 198 pounds | Wide receiver | Northwestern

33. Shaquelle Evans | 6'1, 213 pounds | Wide receiver | UCLA

34. Jeff Janis | 6'3, 219 pounds | Wide receiver | Saginaw Valley State

35. Chandler Jones | 5'11, 174 pounds | Wide Receiver | San Jose State

36. Quincy Enunwa | 6'2, 225 pounds | Wide receiver | Nebraska

37. Matt Hazel | 6'3, 190 pounds | Wide receiver | Coastal Carolina

37. Josh Stewart | 5'9 7/8, 178 pounds | Wide receiver | Oklahoma State *

38. Michael Campanaro | 5'9 3/8, 192 pounds | Wide receiver | Wake Forest

39. Isaiah Burse | 5'10, 188 pounds | Wide receiver | Fresno State

40. Jaz Reynolds | 6'2, 198 pounds | Wide receiver | Oklahoma

41. Noel Grigsby | 5'11, 175 pounds | Wide receiver | San Jose State

42. Bernard Reedy | 5'9, 175 pounds | Wide receiver | Toledo

43. Eric Ward | 6'0, 205 pounds | Wide receiver | Texas Tech

44. Tracy Moore | 6'2, 215 pounds | Wide receiver | Oklahoma State

45. Marcus Lucas | 6'4, 218 pounds | Wide receiver | Missouri

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