Breaking down the 2012 WR class

Wide receiver prospects need more than good hands

Updated: April 24, 2012, 11:05 AM ET
By Todd McShay, Steve Muench and Kevin Weidl | Scouts Inc.

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When evaluating wide receivers, it is important to consider all aspects of their games: separation skills, ball skills, big-play ability and competitiveness/toughness.

Here's how we rank all draftable 2012 wide receiver prospects invited to the NFL combine by skill set (non-seniors noted with an asterisk), as well as a look at recent measurement/timing averages, market trends at the position and Round 1 and Round 2 picks from 2011.

[+] EnlargeJustin Blackmon
AP Photo/Sue OgrockiJustin Blackmon has the skill set of a top-10 overall pick.

Separation skills

The challenge when evaluating a receiver's separation skills is to sift through potentially deceptive variables, including his supporting cast and offensive system, and the types of defensive coverage and level of competition he faces. While there's no exact formula, the two most critical ingredients are suddenness and savvy as they pertain to route-running. Can a receiver get open, or is he forced to make contested catches due to his inability to separate?

Top in class
1. Kendall Wright, Baylor
2. A.J. Jenkins, Illinois
T3. Keshawn Martin, Michigan State
T3. T.Y. Hilton, FIU
T3. Jarius Wright, Arkansas

Ball skills


To see the complete 2012 WR rankings, plus to get access to all of Insider's NFL draft coverage, you must be an ESPN Insider.