1. Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis Colts- Reggie Wayne has stepped out of Harrison’s shadow and into the spotlight as one of the game’s best deep threats. Wayne followed up his Pro Bowl season of 2006 with another Pro Bowl year that included career highs in receptions with 104, receiving yards, with 1510, and he added 10 touchdowns.
Positives: Great speed, great route runner, solid blocker, does everything well.
2. Andre Johnson, Houston Texans- Andre Johnson is one of the biggest difference makers on the Texans, as he is a player who strikes fear in opposing corners. Johnson is a two-time Pro Bowler who missed nearly half of the 2007 season, but still almost had 1000 yards receiving. Johnson is a big play receiver who can go over the middle as well as run the vertical routes.
Positives: Speed, route running ability, size, no fear.
3. Marvin Harrison, Indianapolis Colts- Marvin Harrison is one of the all-time great receivers in the NFL, as he has eclipsed 1000 receptions, and has nearly 14,000 receiving yards and better than 120 touchdowns. Harrison will be 36 at the start of the regular season, and appears to have lost a half-step. Combine that with a knee injury from a year ago and some legal issues, and Harrison may not be his ultra-productive self in 2008.
Positives: Route running, speed, hands.
Limitations: Blocking, recent injury, tendency to disappear in the playoffs.
4. Jerry Porter, Jacksonville Jaguars- The Jaguars signed Porter in the offseason to be their number one receiver, and through a week of OTA’s, he hasn’t disappointed. Porter is a big, physical receiver who is a solid route runner.
Positives: Speed, size, strength, route running, blocking, hands.
Limitations: Past attitude, comes from a losing culture.
5. Reggie Williams, Jacksonville Jaguars- The former top-ten overall pick had a breakout year in 2008 as he set a franchise record with 10 touchdown receptions. Williams is one of the toughest receivers in the league who is not afraid to go over the middle.
Positives: Strength, blocking ability, hands.
Limitations: Route running, not a deep threat.
6. Andre Davis, Houston Texans- The Texans special teams star is also a big play wide receiver. Davis adjusts well to the ball in air, and singlehandedly kept the Texans afloat when Andre Johnson went down with his knee injury.
Positives: Big play guy, hands, speed.
Limitations: Route running, blocking, doesn’t go over the middle often.
7. Anthony Gonzalez, Indianapolis Colts- Last season’s first-round pick adjusted to the NFL while learning in one of the best passing offenses of all time. Gonzalez is a tough, speedy receiver who can take advantage of match-ups in the slot.
Positives: Route running, speed, toughness, blocking.
Limitations: Not a deep threat, sometimes displays questionable hands.
8. Dennis Northcutt, Jacksonville Jaguars- Dennis Northcutt came to the Jaguars as a free agent prior to the 2007 season and was supposed to be a slot receiver. Northcutt turned into the Jaguars number one receiver and led the team in receptions. Northcutt is speedy and is a very solid punt returner.
Positives: Speed, ability to change direction quickly, route running.
Limitations: Hands, size.
9. Justin Gage, Tennessee Titans- Justin Gage came to the Titans as a free agent prior to the 2007 season, and despite playing with an inconsistent quarterback, Gage led the team in receptions and receiving yards in his first year in Nashville while starting only eight games.
Positives: Speed, size.
Limitations: Toughness, hands.
10. Roydell Williams, Tennessee Titans- Williams is a former fourth-round pick who had a breakout year in 2007, as he had 55 receptions for 719 yards, and four touchdowns. Williams is a quick receiver who can get in and out of breaks in a hurry.
Positives: Speed, route running.
Limitations: Size, hands.
Honorable mentions: Troy Williamson, Jacksonville Jaguars; Mike Walker, Jacksonville Jaguars, Matt Jones, Jacksonville Jaguars; Brandon Jones, Tennessee Titans; John Broussard, Jacksonville Jaguars; Kevin Walter, Houston Texans.
Charlie Bernstein is the Editor-in-Chief of JagNation.com, and a regular syndicated contributor to FoxSports.com, Sirius NFL Radio, MySpace Sports and Sportsillustrated.com. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers Association, and is a columnist for the New Smyrna Observer. Feel free to contact him -HERE- with questions or comments.
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