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2014 NFL Draft: Wide Receiver Rankings, Part 2

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Who's hungry for some more scout speak?

John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

If you missed it, check out part 1 of my WR rankings for the Hawks.

Other options at 32

9. Donte Moncrief (6-2 221) - Ole Miss

Moncrief has great size and blazing speed. He's a handful when he's on his game. The sky's the limit for him. However, there are some glaring technical flaws that won't be easily fixed. Best case scenario he's probably a year away from contributing with any regularity. Worst case scenario he fails to develop and never does more than flash big play ability a few times every season.

Apart from his athleticism, Moncrief's release is probably his best trait. He gobbles up yards against off coverage and dips his shoulder to drive past the press. Possessing light feet and excellent pad level, he wins a lot of routes with his first three steps off the line. Corners have to respect his deep speed so they're quickly forced out of their back-pedal.

Unfortunately, this is where his route running breaks down to an extent. His breaks are rounded and not at all sudden. It's difficult to tell whether he's untrained at hard breaks or simply incapable of changing direction suddenly. He never really flashed the ability but he's clearly an excellent athlete so it's probably a bit of both. To account for this deficiency, he needs to use more body-lean to effectively sell routes.

Currently, Moncrief tries to create separation with some nifty "shimmy-shakes" at the top of his stem. These moves are fluid and can occasionally fool a twitchy corner. He uses them in excess though, which throws off the timing and depth of a lot of his routes. Also, film conscious NFL corners will see these and start jumping routes. His release aside, Moncrief requires a near total make-over on his technique as a route runner.

Once out of his break, Moncrief tracks the ball extremely well and has impressive concentration through the catch. He deals with contact nicely. The only major area for improvement here is a more unrelenting command of the red line. Given his size and acceptable physicality, he can probably remedy this pretty easily.

Moncrief gets up for the ball and comes down with his fair share of contested catches. His catching technique is concerning though. He seems uncomfortable extending for the ball and "ugly catches" are a common occurance. The result is a frustrating number of catchable balls hitting the turf. Considering his small, 9 1/8" hands, I think it's fair to say he'll never be a great hands catcher. Luckily, his concentration compensates for this to some degree.

The explosiveness he shows as a route runner doesn't translate as well as you'd hope to his ball carrying skills. Still, he has the foot quickness and the leg drive to get a decent amount of YAC. He obviously has the speed to house it if given enough space. As a blocker he allows the defender to dictate the action. He tries to stay in front instead of knock his assignment away from the play. With the right mentality he could be pretty good here.

Moncrief has mouth watering upside but a long ways to go to get there. He won't enter the league as anything more than a vertical threat. The Seahawks aren't afraid of a project though. It's not the bad route running habits that keeps Moncrief out of the "ideal picks at 32" grouping. We've already hurdled that barrier once with Tate,. It's shaky catching technique and small hands that I think will trouble John Schneider.


Game film here. Combine workout here.


10. Davante Adams (6-1 212) - Fresno State

Adams' athleticism shows well on film. He's fluid, agile, and coordinated. Teamed with Derek Carr at quarterback, the duo regularly outclassed Mountain West defenses. Carr knew that given enough targets, Adams would win out and have a big impact. Life won't be so easy for him at the next level.

He's quick off the ball and beats corners with light, sudden footwork. Better hand fighting would make him a tough jam. He needs to drop his pads more closing the cushion against off coverage. Neither of these issues are A-typical of college receivers coming into the league.

Adams displays a real agility in his breaks and the burst coming out to regularly create separation as a pro. Where he needs work is with consistent precision and urgency. Again, not uncommon issues for a college receiver. He lacks the deep speed to worry NFL corners but he's fast enough to encourage respect.

He adjusts to the ball in the air and finds ways to give himself a shot at the play. Unfortunately, he doesn't do much to keep corners from having a similar opportunity. His concentration can waver through contact so he needs to use his hands and body positioning more to give himself a clean platform for the catch.

When he's afforded the space, Adams rarely disappoints. He's a tremendous hands catcher with terrific body control. Touting an impressive 39.5" vertical and the coordination to fully extend his arms to the ball, his catching radius far exceeds his modest 6-1 frame. He's an absolute monster on fade routes, consistently tapping his toes to finish the catch. His hands are surprisingly small (9") but it doesn't seem to negatively affect him much on the field.

Adams has some sizzle as ball-carrier. He'll often make the first man miss with jukes and enough balance to keep his feet. In traffic he encounters problems as he too often looks for the big play instead of taking what's in front of him. When denied the big play, he finishes well by dropping his pads and fighting for extra yards. He could become a nice option in the screen game if he started initiating the forward push instead of falling back on it as a last resort. He also needs better ball security as fumbles dotted his college career.

Blocking doesn't much interest Adams. He actually shows decent technique but doesn't bring the intensity necessary to finish blocks with any consistency. Weak effort as a blocker, poor body language, and some laziness running routes paints a picture of an undisciplined player who maybe wasn't ready for the jump to the pros. I don't expect him to contribute much as a rookie.

I get the odd sensation watching Adams that he's the second coming of Michael Crabtree. Physically they're nearly identical (height, weight, speed), even down to their broad shoulders and smooth running style with sudden cuts. They're also impressive hands catchers and shifty in the open field. Both receivers played in spread offenses in college with comparatively good quarterbacks against weak competition. Richard Sherman might not love the comparison, but he should.

Adams will be challenged as a pro to become a more refined receiver play-to-play. He won't win at the next level by force of volume and talent alone. He badly needs more technique and discipline to round out his game. The transition won't happen over night but becoming an impact starter is well within his reach. I think the Seahawks would stick with him through the growing pains because of his big potential in such a jump ball focused passing game.


Game film here and here.


11. Brandon Coleman (6-6 225) - Rutgers

Coleman has intriguing fluidity and long speed for his massive size. Unfortunately, catching issues and a near total lack of flexibility let him down at critical moments. The upside is there though. Truly dreadful quarterback play really hampered his development in college. Put him in the right situation and he could flourish as a pro.

From a technique perspective, Coleman's surprisingly refined with his release and route running. Athletically, he suffers from a slow first step, similar to Kelvin Benjamin. Rutgers didn't protect Coleman the way FSU did with Benjamin so he faced a lot of press coverage in college. That won't change as a pro. The good news is he knows how to hand fight and possesses enough foot quickness to work past it. Slow acceleration prevents him from capitalizing on victories at the line but at least he won't need to be protected on the same level as Benjamin.

Coleman skillfully disguises his routes. This is exceedingly valuable to him because he lacks the suddenness and body-lean to consistently create separation. His footwork needs some work but it isn't bad. He won't win many match-ups with his route running but he does enough to keep his big body between the ball and the defender.

The catch is where Coleman's game hits a wall. He's inconsistent tracking and adjusting to the ball. Even without contact, he struggles to put himself in a good catching position. Part of this is poor flexibility but the bigger problem is an unwillingness to commit his entire body to making the grab. Awkward catching angles are common and the results don't encourage much confidence. His catching radius fails to come anywhere near what his 6-6 frame suggests.

This is especially frustrating because when the pass is well placed (a rarity at Rutgers), he shows strong hands to reach outside his frame. More than anything, Coleman must start reeling in more contested catches. Almost every catch he makes as a pro will be contested so there's really no way around it. You can just throw the rest of this scouting report out the window if he refuses to better commit himself to the catch.

Coleman quickly transitions from receiver to runner and can make a defense pay if they don't wrap him up right away. He has a little wiggle and some leg drive but not enough to capitalize on much outside of bad tackling and good blocking. He's a pretty sound blocker. He probably won't ever excel as such, but he can get the job done.

Coleman's huge, athletic, and fairly polished as a route runner. Yet there's still a lot of uncertainty about his game because he doesn't make the most of his frame. The Seahawks are a good offense for him because the emphasis on play action would give his build up speed time to get down field. I'm unconvinced he'll effectively resolve his catching issues but if this coaching staff think they can do it then consider me a believer. He has superstar potential if he figures it out. He'll probably bust if he can't.


Game film here. Pro day workout here.


Part 3 tomorrow.