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2015 NFL Draft: Brett Kollmann Ranks His Top Four Wide Receivers

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West Virginia's Kevin White may be one of the darlings of this year's NFL Draft cycle, but BRB's Brett Kollmann has someone else in mind when he thinks about who the top dog is in this year's lauded class of wide receivers.

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As I go about building my final big board before the 2015 NFL Draft, I have started to re-evaluate all of my earlier scouting reports on the big name prospects in this class in order to fit everyone into a standardized 100 point grading scale. The idea behind a universal scale, of course, is that it will allow me to assign relative objective value to each individual player based on my own personal opinions on how they stack up against each other in various categories related to their positions. Different positions will have different categories with different values, but everyone in the end will all have a value out of 100 that can be compared, contrasted, and debated. From there I can create proper rankings, which will then allow me to gloat and/or eat crow sometime next fall when we finally get to see these guys in action.

As a little preview of what is to come over the next few weeks, here are my current rankings for the "big four" wide receivers in this draft class – DeVante Parker, Amari Cooper, Kevin White, and Jaelen Strong. Considering how often all of these prospects are mocked to our beloved Texans, perhaps it is time to start debating which of them we actually prefer should one or more be available when the Texans get on the clock. For context, my number one player – Leonard Williams – sits at 88 overall. Usually any player in the 80s will be taken in the top 15 picks or so. High 70s scores are solid first rounders, while mid to low 70s scores are mostly late first rounders or second rounders. The lower the score, the lower the round. Every single one of these mini-scouting reports are ripped straight from my personal notes – candidness and all – so without further ado here are my latest rankings for the top four wide receivers in this class.

DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville

Size/bulk ---------------------------------- 8/10 (6’3", 209 lbs. Thinner than Jaelen Strong, but taller too. He’s the tallest of all the top tier receivers)

Hand size/catching --------------------- 9/10 (Small 9 1/4" hands, but he’s a natural snatcher of the football who makes lots of contested catches and doesn’t have many bad drops or inconsistencies in traffic like Strong did on a regular basis. Easily on par with White here, and in fact probably even better despite his hand size. Only three drops since 2012, which is insane)

Route running --------------------------- 13/15 (Very well developed route runner in a pro style system. Extremely good footwork in release off the line…by far better initial release than both White and Strong. Jabs, sells, and counters very well. Good physicality to keep hands off of him and jockeys for position against press in the first five yards of the route. Arguably as good as Cooper in this category, but my main knock on him is that he has a horrible tendency to drift way too far up field on slants – which seems like his most common route – rather than flatten down, and that has allowed corners to make far too many plays on the ball. Had several first downs taken away by his own doing because he didn’t flatten enough and let DBs make up for losing on his great release by breaking up the pass on a good recovery angle. Once he fixes that, he’s pro ready. Can also stem down field well. Clean in and out of breaks considering his long stride. Still not quite as quick at the top of a route as Cooper, but few people are. Overall he’s pro ready as a route runner once he cleans up that slant)

Body control/ deep adjustment ---- 8/10 (Tracks very well. Kills people over and over on back shoulder jump balls. Looks to cross DBs' faces and use his size to an advantage. Main knock on him here is that I think there were a few balls that sailed over his head that he might have had a shot at if he laid out or geared up earlier, but it’s tough to tell with broadcast angle. I think being out first half of the season really impacted his chemistry with the multiple QBs he had to play with, so it was tough for them to get on the same page in terms of feeling each other out on deep balls. He knew exactly what Teddy Bridgewater's range and placement was, but these guys not so much)

Run blocking ----------------------------- 6/10 (Want to see more effort and fire when he’s driving into people, but at least he’s not quite as awful in this area as Strong despite similar scores. Really none of these top receivers are excellent run blockers. They need to all go to Georgia Tech for a semester or two and learn how to crush DBs on the second level. Really want to see pop into pads. He more just tries to get in the way and set up an angle for the RB)

Speed/Acceleration --------------------- 13/15 (Ran mid 4.4s at the combine and it definitely shows up on tape. Not necessarily world class speed, but enough to scare safeties and corners into backing up. Very Jordy Nelson-ish type of speed. Long stride, so it’s sneaky. Very good quickness on screens and he’s deadly after the catch. Racks up yardage in the open field with the ball in his hands. Breaks tackles more frequently than any other top tier receiver. Just straight up slippery despite his size)

Toughness --------------------------------- 7/10 (Okay toughness. Possible that his reason for drifting up field on slants is to keep himself from getting killed by linebackers, but who knows?  He could also just be looking to set himself up for YAC. Saw him step out early after a long gain and leave yards on the table one time against Kentucky, which aggravated me. Fights for extra yards most of the time at least and usually doesn’t go down easy. Hard guy to press with his long arms and he’s great at not getting jammed off the line, but that’s mostly due to quickness rather than outright strength. Wish he laid out more for deep balls even if he didn’t really have the best chance at them. Can’t hurt to at least try. Again, his run blocking doesn’t have a lot of oomph to it. Willing to go across the middle.  I just hope the reason for his drifting wasn’t to avoid a hit and instead was just to get more yards. Either way he doesn’t seem to be outright soft, so I’ll take it. He’s a Charlie Strong product, after all)

Durability ---------------------------------- 7/10 (Hurt his shoulder against Temple and then missed next game against Rutgers in 2013. Missed first seven games in 2014 with fractured fifth metatarsal in his foot. Not sure if it was a Jones fracture or not, but it seemed to heal well enough for him to be a dominant player from the moment he got back on the field. Possibly even slowed him down more than we realize, which means we might not have even seen his best tape yet. Either way he’s had his share of injuries and missed games. Seems to be fully healthy now at least, so that’s good)

Character/leadership ------------------- 9/10 (Obviously put in a lot of hard work to come back from his injury and be in immediate playing shape. Respect that a lot. Seems like a good guy. No arrests or suspensions. Shouldn’t be a problem off the field at all. Not a captain or anything, but I have zero issues with him as a person)

OVERALL ----------------------------------- 80/100 (Tall, lanky, pro-ready #1 receiver with excellent length, body control, and naturally soft hands. Dominates on back shoulder fades. Good deep speed as a long strider, but he gears up much faster than Strong who tested similarly. 36.5" vert shows up when he goes up for jump balls, but there were a few off target passes sailed deep that I think he could have contested and just didn’t lay out. Not necessarily soft, but I don’t think he’s tough as nails either when you consider not that and poor effort on run blocking. Excellent route runner, easily superior to Strong and White off the line in his releases. Stems well down field. Gets out of breaks quickly for his stride length, though not as quick as Cooper, which is to be expected. Only route I have a problem with is his slant, which isn’t nearly flat enough…possibly could be because he wants more YAC and possibly could be because he doesn’t want to flatten within range of big hitting linebackers over the middle. Ties back into questions about toughness again – not accusing him of being soft but it’s just a question. Speaking of YAC, he’s deadly in the open field with the ball in his hands. Very quick and sudden, can break and elude tackles better than any other top receiver in this class. He’s the most complete pure receiver in this draft in terms of size, speed, quickness, route running, and hands. Only questions – which are MINOR, purely speculative, and shouldn’t be taken too seriously – are toughness and durability. He’ll be a high floor WR1 and make someone very happy in the top 10)

Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama

Size/bulk ---------------------------------- 6/10 (Just a hair under 6’1", 211 lbs. Not rail thin, can take a hit, but again not going to contend on 50/50 balls because he’s not very tall and not very long)

Hand size/catching --------------------- 8/10 (10" hands which is a plus, but he tends to let a lot of balls into his body when they aren’t at shoulder level or above. Does have a knack for bucket catches deep though. Also had a few bad concentration drops against LSU. Overall he’s reliable, but not super sticky hands)

Route running --------------------------- 14/15 (Tremendous route runner. About as polished as you can possibly be. Has a sick double move on deep balls, very quick feet, super-fast in and out of breaks, always flattens down away from defenders, rolls his hips into his cuts extremely fluidly. He’s ready to go day one)

Body control/ deep adjustment ---- 8/10 (Not a jump ball guy, but he adjusts well to deep passes and can track very well to get himself under the ball. Showed he can work back shoulder as well and screen off defenders from having a shot at it, though again he is NOT a consistent red zone threat on fades)

Run blocking ----------------------------- 6/10 (Terrible blocker. Whiffed a lot, doesn’t strike into DBs' chests, didn’t churn and sustain, seemed disinterested at times. He’s a body in the way and that’s about it)

Speed/Acceleration --------------------- 13/15 (Legit deep threat. 4.4 flat kind of guy. Can make people pay for biting early, and curls were always there for him because people backed off and bailed immediately if he sold the 9 route. Can accelerate very quickly off the line, and if given space in the slot or at the Z spot he can wreck people on any down as a deep threat and underneath possession receiver)

Toughness --------------------------------- 8/10 (Not afraid to go over the middle, didn’t seem to shy away from contact, always looking for YAC, but he wasn’t necessarily running people over either. Kind of a product of his lack of size)

Durability ---------------------------------- 8/10 (Was banged up here and there, mostly in his sophomore year. Was out for a week before the season in 2013 with a foot injury, then had a nagging toe injury and missed two games that same year. Left against Chattanooga with a bruised knee in 2014 but didn’t miss any time. Nothing long term though at any time in his career)

Character/leadership ------------------- 9/10 (Not a captain or community leader, but was never in trouble either. Just a good normal kid all around it seems)

OVERALL ----------------------------------- 80/100 (Extremely talented slot receiver prospect that is worth a pick anywhere in the top 10 as long as his future team uses him properly. He might work as a Z, but he’s definitely not an X. He needs space, and he needs a QB with an arm. He’ll stretch defenses vertically with speed and shred people from the slot with route running. However, he won’t be a 50/50 ball type of guy and he’s not a red zone threat, so some teams won’t view him as a true #1 receiver. He’s more of a between the 20s weapon in the mold of Antonio Brown than he is a true top dog like A.J. Green or Julio Jones, simply because he can’t be used in some of the ways that big #1 guys can be used. That being said though, he has the best chance of any of the top guys this year of being a 100+ reception kind of player. He’ll get explosive plays and he’ll get a ton of first downs.  As long as someone else can score the touchdowns, that is all I need from him anyway)

Kevin White, WR, West Virginia

Size/bulk ---------------------------------- 8/10 (6’3", 215 lbs. Good, but not elite size)

Hand size/catching --------------------- 8/10 (Only 9 ¼" hands, but natural hands catcher. Attacks ball at high point on jump balls. Concentration drops here and there)

Route running --------------------------- 7/15 (Extremely raw. Stems well on fades and gos, but can’t release off the line with proper footwork if his life depended on it. Needs at least 2-3 years of development. Can really only run one route well (fade). The rest of his repertoire is garbage, which is to be expected from the WVU offense. Deep threat and red zone target early in his career and that’s about it)

Body control/ deep adjustment ---- 9/10 (Very good at tracking and getting under fades. High points well. Knows how to set up DB’s with double stems, which is his only good route running note at this point)

Run blocking ----------------------------- 7/10 (Willing blocker, physical at times but not always nasty. Adequate, I’d say)

Speed/Acceleration --------------------- 12/15 (Very good long speed. Long strider.  Once he gets going, he can stretch safeties with the best of them. Good acceleration into his route off the snap, but not necessarily elite. Deep speed is his best attribute)

Toughness --------------------------------- 9/10 (Willing to go over the middle, deliver hits. Sometimes tries to get too much YAC when he should just go down and protect the ball, but at least he tries. Beats press well with physicality)

Durability ---------------------------------- 9/10 (Missed first game of junior season with shoulder injury after transfer from JC. Stayed healthy since then. No long term medical concerns…or publically known concerns at least)

Character/leadership ------------------- 8/10 (Good guy off the field. Confident in himself, like most big time wide outs. Wasn’t a captain because he was still sort of new to the team, but caused no problems off the field)

OVERALL ----------------------------------- 77 (Kind of a one trick pony at this point in his career. Excellent as a deep threat and can get you YAC on screens, but outside of that, he’s way too raw to contribute as an all around #1. Footwork on releases is awful, breaks are rounded, doesn’t push corners with his release one way or another to set up a counter and no shoulder ride to snap on his break. He can beat press well because he’s physical, but could still use more effort as a run blocker. He needs probably at least two years of development to become what he is capable of becoming, but he’s got excellent potential based on physical talent alone. At the very least he is capable of being a complementary deep threat and red zone guy, but there is a decent chance that that is all he will ever be. Really tough for me to spend a top 10 pick on someone who might just be "okay" rather than a true slam dunk at that position. If I need a guy to stretch people vertically though, I’d be okay with taking him in the middle-ish to back half of the first or even early second)

Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona State

Size/bulk ---------------------------------- 8/10 (Bigger side of 6’2", 217 lbs. Good size, but not great or elite)

Hand size/catching --------------------- 6/10 (Small 9" hands, and I can’t bump it up at all because he showed a clear inconsistency when fighting for the ball in traffic. He isn’t like DeAndre Hopkins or Anquan Boldin with their ability to snatch a ball away from someone despite having a corner draped all over them. He does better with a clear shot at the ball, and even then he had some drops here and there. He made some really, really nice catches on back shoulder fades where he could use his bulk to screen the corner out of it, but everything else was spotty. Double catches at times as well. Had it poked out from his grip a few times on the way down. In general just small, inconsistent hands)

Route running --------------------------- 10/15 (Runs a wider variety of routes than Kevin White, but he’s still pretty raw. Feet on release could use work, but I like that he rides the shoulder to snap on breaks and uses his bulk to his advantage. Doesn’t stem on deeper routes as well as White either, but I think he beats press better with hand usage and strength. Another JC transfer, so again a lot of those guys are raw as hell. He has shown a lot of coachability though, so I’m optimistic about improvement. He just needs at least 1-2 years of seasoning first)

Body control/ deep adjustment ---- 9/10 (Flashes requisite body control to do work on jump balls/back shoulders/deep balls, but his hands kind of ruin it for him sometimes. Very good at trying to cross DBs' faces and put himself in between them and the ball. Good at setting up rubs. Clearly wants to give himself opportunities to use that size, which I like)

Run blocking ----------------------------- 6/10 (Terrible blocker. Whiffed a lot, doesn’t strike into DBs' chests, didn’t churn and sustain. He’s a body in the way and that’s about it….same exact evaluation as Cooper here, if it seems familiar)

Speed/Acceleration --------------------- 10/15 (4.4 at the combine was a lie. He doesn’t play that fast at all. Long strider, slow footed in and out of breaks. Takes a while to build up speed. Flashes some agility sometimes on screens, but he’s really not a YAC guy either. Overall he will win with body control over speed and quickness 9/10 times)

Toughness --------------------------------- 8/10 (Not afraid to go over the middle, didn’t seem to shy away from contact. Very good at breaking press with physicality. Still a weak run blocker though, want him to bury people)

Durability ---------------------------------- 8/10 (Never missed a game at ASU until he sat out of Wazzu with a concussion suffered against Oregon State. Was hobbled for a few weeks in his first season at ASU after an ankle injury suffered against Washington, but still didn’t miss a game)

Character/leadership ------------------- 10/10 (Captain for the bowl game against Duke. Extremely hard worker. Won’t give you any trouble off the field. Very coachable and wants to learn how to be the best at his craft more than anything. Took time to go into DB meetings to learn how they were playing him so that he could learn how to counter it. Love that about him. I have more faith in his development from raw to refined than I do White, though White has better speed, quickness, and hands at this point. If Strong can learn how to improve his hands and let the coaches mold his route running, he could be very, very good. That’s a big "if", though. At least he has the work ethic to stick on a roster and hopefully leave every practice better than when he got there)

OVERALL ----------------------------------- 75 (Big bodied jump ball and red zone threat who has inconsistent hands on every other non-fade route he runs. Better route runner than White, but that’s not saying much. Still slow in and out of breaks, slow off the line, long strider who takes a while to build up speed and probably won’t separate from anyone. He wins with body position, which he has the size to do. Biggest pros are size, 42" vert, and work ethic. Biggest cons are shaky hands and a lack of quickness to separate. He’ll be a complementary receiver at the next level, someone who can contribute with touchdowns and first downs on back shoulder fades and hopefully learn to work the middle with body control as well, but it’s hard for me to peg him as a number one receiver without the speed and quickness necessary to take advantage of route running and burn the most technically proficient corners. At the very least he’ll work hard, improve himself to a starting caliber #2, and be a good football player for someone. If he develops beyond that, it’s just gravy. Could be taken in the latter half of the first round or early second round for teams that need a complementary weapon)

What do you think, BRB? Am I crazy for ranking DeVante Parker as the best receiver prospect in this class? Is Amari Cooper "just" a slot receiver? Do you disagree with my pessimism about Kevin White? Is Jaelen Strong still too underrated? Leave your opinions below so that we may all violently disagree with you.