FLOWERY BRANCH — Here are the top 10 wide receiver prospects (with projected draft round) for the 2016 NFL draft, which is set for April 28-30 in Chicago:
1. Laquon Treadwell, 6-foot-2, 221 pounds, Mississippi (first): He’s the latest in a long line of recent stars to come out of the SEC. He was a three-year starter for the Rebels. He returned to have a strong 2015 season after breaking his fibula and dislocating his ankle in 2014. He led the SEC in catches (82), receiving yards (1,153) and touchdown catches (11). He’s scheduled to visit the Giants, Bears and Jets this week.
2. Josh Doctson, 6-2, 202, TCU (first): Holds the school record for most receiving yards (2,785) and in a single game (267). He has a large catching radius. He went from walk-on to All-American status for the Horned Frogs. Last season he had 79 catches for 1,327 yards and 14 touchdowns in just 10 games.
3. Corey Coleman, 5-10 5/8, 194, Baylor (late first-second): A dazzling play-maker for the Bears in college. He set school records for touchdowns receptions in a single season (20) and career (33). He also finished in the top five in receiving yards (3,009) in school history.
4. Will Fuller, 6-0, 186, Notre Dame (late first-second): Finished his career second behind Michael Floyd with most touchdown catches (30) in school history. Floyd, who plays for the Cardinals, had 37 touchdown grabs. He led the nation in receiving yards per catch with 20.3 yards per catch among receivers with at least 55 catches.
5. Michael Thomas, 6-2, 212, Ohio State (second-third): He’s the nephew of former NFL receiver Keyshawn Johnson. He led the Buckeyes with 54 catches for 799 yards during their national championship 2014 season. Last season, he had 56 catches for 781 yards and nine touchdowns. He’s a refined route-runner and a big target.
6. Braxton Miller, 6-2, 212, Ohio State (second-third): Flawlessly converted from quarterback to wide receiver. He’s still working on his route running and is considered raw.
7. Tyler Boyd, 6-1, 197, Pittsburgh (second-third): He was a three-year starter for the Panthers and played with three different starting quarterbacks. His 5,243 all-purpose yards are second-best in Pittsburgh history behind only the great Tony Dorsett. He also set school marks in catches (254) and receiving yards (3,361).
8. Sterling Shepard, 5-10, 194, Oklahoma (second-third): His father, the late Derrick Shepard, played at Oklahoma and in the NFL from 1987-1991. He died at age 35 of a sudden heart attack in 1999. He projects to be a dazzling slot receiver and some have compared him to Green Bay’s Randall Cobb.
9. Aaron Burbridge, 6-0, 206, Michigan State (third-fourth): He was the Big Ten receiver of the year last season after leading the conference in catches (85) and receiving yards (1,258). He ranks second in Michigan State history with 165 career receptions. He projects into the NFL as a solid possession receiver.
10. Pharoh Cooper, 5-11, 203, South Carolina (fifth-sixth): He was a two-time All-SEC selection. He caught 69 passes for 1,136 yards and nine touchdowns as a sophomore. He elected to enter the draft after catching 66 passes for 973 yards and eight touchdowns last season.
Top 5 seniors for the 2017 draft: 1. Mike Williams, Clemson. 2. Fred Ross, Mississippi State. 3. Travin Dural, LSU. 4. Stacy Coley, Miami. 5. Gabe Marks, Washington State.
NFL DRAFT 2016 – POSITION BY POSITION SERIES
Sunday, April 17 — QUARTERBACKS
Monday — RUNNING BACKS
Tuesday – WIDE RECEIVERS
D. Led’s breakdown of the Wide receivers
A look at the top 10 Wide receivers
Wednesday — TIGHT ENDS
D. Led’s breakdown of the Tight ends
A look at the top 10 tight ends
Thursday — OFFENSIVE LINEMEN
D. Led’s breakdown of the Offensive linemen
Offensive linemen chart
Friday — DEFENSIVE LINEMEN
D. Led’s breakdown of the Defensive linemen
Defensive linemen chart
Saturday, April 23 — LINEBACKERS
D. Led’s breakdown of the Linebackers
A look at the top 10 linebackers
Sunday, April 24 — CORNERBACKS
D. Led’s breakdown of the cornerbacks
A look at the top 10 cornerbacks
Monday, April 25 — SAFETIES
D. Led’s breakdown of the Safeties
A look at the top 10 Safeties
Tuesday, April 26
D. Led’s breakdown of the Specialists, kickers, punters and returners
Position by position: Specialists chart
Wednesday, April 27
Final mock draft