Its a universal thought outside of scouting circles that Oklahoma State junior Justin Blackmon is the number one receiver in April’s NFL draft. But as we have found out that’s not necessarily the case on some draft boards around the league.
Justin Blackmon is a receiver prospect to get excited about. He’s big, electric and athletic. Many rank him as the number one receiver available in the 2012 draft and we’ve likened his skills to those of Terrell Owens.
Yet talk to a few teams and area scouts who patrol the southwest and you’ll find they do not necessarily share the same opinion.
In fact another Big 12 receiver, Kendall Wright of Baylor, adorns the top spot at the receiver position on their draft boards.
Earlier this week we were alerted that several teams, including one NFC team in the playoffs this weekend, grade Wright as the top wide out in the draft. After several conversations with scouts and league insiders we found out this is not an anomaly- many decision makers rate Kendall Wright higher than his Big 12 counterpart.
When teams look at Wright’s film they see the entire receiver package; great speed, quickness, acceleration and more than anything else- tremendous hands. He’s graded as a terrific route runner with barely any stiffness in his game and a prospect that understands the position. Wright’s ability to outrun defenders down the field and beat them in midair for the difficult reception is only surpassed by the consistent separation he gets from opponents in underneath coverage.
Wright does not have Blackmon’s size yet area scouts feel his combination of size (5′-10”/195lbs) and speed (sub 4.40s) coupled with his natural receiving skills are good enough to label him as a number one wide out for the NFL.
There’s still much to be played out but heading into post season bowl games its true that Kendall Wright is steaming up draft boards.