The Super Bowl is right around the corner with only four teams remaining in the NFL Playoffs, but many teams around the league are looking forward to the offseason and the 2014 NFL Draft. This year there has been a lot of talk about depth at the quarterback position, but there is also a bevy of talented wide receiver prospects that have first round potential. From Clemsons Sammy Watkins to FSUs Kelvin Benjamin, the wide receiver position is full with young football players that show a lot of promise at the next level.
The following 2014 NFL Draft prospects are the top five wide receivers based on NFL potential and readiness.
5. Donte Moncrief, Ole Miss Rebels
Donte Moncrief made a name for himself in one of the toughest conferences in college football, the SEC. In each of his last two seasons with the Ole Miss Rebels, Moncrief recorded at least 900 yards and 59 receptions. Moncrief also has the reputation of showing up big in important games. The 6 foot 3 receiver caught six passes for 122 yards and two touchdowns against Auburn, while also catching six passes for 113 yards and one touchdown against Georgia Tech in the American Mortgage Music City Bowl.
Moncrief has the potential to be a very productive at the professional level along with the ability to contribute in his rookie season. At 6-3 226 pounds, Moncrief is a physical and lengthy receiver who will give opposing NFL cornerbacks nightmares. If paired with the right quarterback this wide receiver can make some serious noise at the next level.
4. Mike Evans, Texas A&M Aggies
Evans is a reliable playmaker that will have success as a professional, but may fall further in the draft than he should due to the depth at wide receiver and the complete talent of prospects entering the NFL in 2014. Evans was an elite receiver for the Texas A&M Aggies throughout his collegiate career, recording over 1000 receiving yards in each of his last two seasons. In 2013, Evans had four multiple touchdown performances and caught a total of 69 passes for 1394 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Playing against some of the most talented players in college football, in the SEC, Evans has exhibited that he can go toe-to-toe with the best competition. After having a monstrous season with Texas A&M, there are many NFL teams that would love to have this guy as an offensive weapon. Not only does Evans have potential, but he should have no problem contributing in his rookie season.
3. Marqise Lee, USC Trojans
There is no doubt that Marqise Lee has a ton of NFL potential, gaining superstar attention since he was a freshman at USC. Lee was incredibly impressive during his time with the Trojans, but during his sophomore season is when he truly made his mark as one of the most talented receivers in college football. In 2012 Lee recorded extraordinary numbers, making 118 receptions for 1721 yards and 14 touchdowns. He also managed to rush the football 13 times for 106 yards, averaging 8.2 yards per carry.
Marqise Lee has the ability to be a dual threat in the NFL, much like a Percy Harvin. Not only is Lee a deadly threat at receiver, but he also can be a nightmare running the football which increases his value for certain teams who like to mix it up.
2. Kelvin Benjamin, Florida State Seminoles
Kelvin Benjamin had an absolutely fantastic season with the Florida State Seminoles in 2013. Benjamin managed to score at least one touchdown in 10 of his 14 performances this year and was one of Heisman-winner Jameis Winstons favorite targets. Benjamin seems to have the most upside out of these five receivers due to his dominant physical stature and pure athletic ability.
If Benjamin can add some extra solid muscle weight than he has the potential to be a big-time playmaker much like a Calvin Johnson. With his freakish athleticism and pure physical ability, the FSU-product could very well be the next Megatron. Benjamin is a freak of nature and will prove so once he reaches the National Football League.
1. Sammy Watkins, Clemson Tigers
Sammy Watkins is without a doubt the safest bet at wide receiver in this upcoming NFL Draft. He possesses both gritty power and lightening quick speed, making him a dream selection for whichever organization lands the stud out of Clemson. Watkins also has the potential to be a devastating kick returner at the next level, although the Tigers refrained from having him return much in his Sophomore and Junior seasons. However, as a Freshman Watkins returned 33 kicks for a total of 826 yards and one touchdown.
Watkins is definitely a top 10 talent and should be considered as such. This past season Sammy Watkins caught a total of 101 passes for 1464 yards and 12 touchdowns. Throughout his three years with the Clemson Tigers Watkins eclipsed 3000 total receiving yards, averaged 13.93 yards per catch, and scored 27 touchdowns. Watkins can simply do it all from an offensive prospective and one lucky team is going to be ecstatic when they draft this young superstar.