Senior Bowl Primer: Wide Receivers (Part 1)

photo credit: USATSI

Sammie Coates, Auburn
6'2", 213 lbs
We lead off with the biggest name from the receiving corps, and not just because he comes from the biggest school. Coates has what I call "raw awareness". He has an uncanny ability to position himself perfectly for catches, whether it's by adjusting his speed or by better positioning himself through his footwork. Yes, Coates can jump and leap to make the spectacular catches when necessary, and lord knows Nick Marshall made it necessary in some games. His greatest talent, though, comes from the work he puts in to make sure that, when he does go for the catch, it gets to him right between the numbers. Oh, did I mention he runs a 4.35 40-time?

photo credit: USATSI

Donatella Luckett, Harding
6'0", 206 lbs
Now we go from the most well-known receiver to the least. Luckett comes to us from Division II's Harding University Bisons, located in Searcy, Arkansas. From the footage I've seen, Luckett offers a relatively unique skill set. For being just six feet tall, Luckett has quite a wide frame, and is as well-known for his blocking ability as he is for his catching. Speed's not something that'll be featured by Luckett, but his possession skill might be. This kid can take the hits, and dish them out as well, bouncing off of hits like a pinball. Whether or not his blocking skill will be of use against NFL bodies is to be seen, but there's potentially a future for Luckett beyond Division II football.

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Josh Harper, Fresno State
6'1", 189 lbs
Fresno State was an awful team this year, but Harper's stat line didn't suffer from it, though he did catch fewer touchdown passes than last year. Harper has the ability to make the difficult catches look effortless, smoothly floating up for the snag, and moving out of trouble with ease. Harper doesn't have blazing speed, but it's serviceable for his skill set. Of course, playing against MWC opponents can make anybody look good, especially when you had Derek Carr as your quarterback for your best season. 

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Tyler Lockett, Kansas State
5'10", 181 lbs
Lockett's skill set is exactly what you'd want it to be for a receiver of his size. He's got all the moves and the speed to be able to get open and get the catch, no matter where it is. Yes, he can dodge and slip through defenders, but he's not afraid to get physical to get in position for the catch. Lockett's a "no fear" receiver, but he'll need an NFL coach to mold him into an NFL-caliber decision-maker. He won't survive a play in the league trying to get cute with the big leaguers.

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Dezmin Lewis, Central Arkansas
6'3", 215 lbs
Lewis might be the sleeper of the entire wide receiver class in the draft this year. This guy has a grade-A NFL body, and can virtually stretch anywhere on the field. He's a tough one to take down, his powerful legs keeping him on his feet longer than most. Again, it's hard to tell his actual talent level, considering he was basically a man among boys in the FCS, but with his frame and his skill-set, I can't imagine him having anything less than a solid NFL career. 

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Phillip Dorsett, Miami
5'9", 183 lbs
Dorsett might be my favorite player on this roster, simply because he knows what he does well and he does it often: he runs fast. I've never seen a receiver have so many of his routes involve just running as far as he can as Brad Kaaya heaves it. Credit to Dorsett, he almost always breaks away from his man. He can slip and slide when necessary as well, showing that signature playmaker ability. I'd like to see him used in more sweep and option sets, as well as kick returns, but if a team knows how to use him, I have a feeling Dorsett is going to get more than enough work.