Scouting The Senior Bowl: Wide Receivers


The Ravens have a lot of depth at wide receiver, but with Steve Smith Sr. getting up there in age and Torrey Smith set to become a free agent, Head Coach John Harbaugh said Baltimore won't rule out adding more at the position.

Likely the only receiver at the Senior Bowl with a shot at going in the first round is Auburn's Sammie Coates, a redshirt junior who graduated early. Coates looks the part of a No. 1 or No. 2 receiver.

Other than that, there are several smaller-framed, quick receivers who could perhaps make an impact outside, but would likely be best suited for the slot. The Ravens drafted Michael Campanaro last year to play that position.

Plenty of talented receivers had a strong day on Wednesday.

Here are my notes:

  • The 6-foot-2 Coates comes off the line of scrimmage like he's being shot out of a cannon. With tremendous speed, he gobbles up cornerbacks' cushion and often gets over top of their coverage when he makes contact. However, Coates hasn't been consistent in making deep plays despite his obvious talent. He's let a couple balls go through his fingertips.
  • Coates has mostly been trying to prove to scouts that he's more than a deep threat. He's done a solid job, showing an ability to get open on shorter, quicker routes, and showing strong hands when making those catches.
  • The player drawing comparisons to Torrey Smith is another Smith, Ohio State's Devin Smith. Smith averaged a whopping 28.2 yards per catch during his senior season. Fresh off a national championship, he hasn't shown that big playmaking yet in Senior Bowl practice, but he did fight hard to make some tough catches in traffic, which is something he needs to prove he can do with more regularity.
  • Kansas State's Tyler Lockett showed Wednesday that he's more than just a small-framed possession receiver. Lockett hauled in a pair of deep passes in the one-on-one drills with a cornerback, beating the him around the outside and up the sideline. He has a long family history of athletes, including his father, Kevin, who played seven seasons in the NFL.
  • Miami's Phillip Dorsett is extremely slippery and very quick once he has the ball in his hands. He made nearly every catch that came his way and showed an ability to shake press coverage even with his 5-foot-10, 185-pound frame.
  • Central Florida's Rannell Hall had a strong practice Wednesday as he made a couple highlight-reel grabs. Another player from the Miami area, Hall burned one cornerback to make a deep catch, then went over the middle later in practice for a leaping catch that he held onto despite taking a big midair hit.
  • Duke's Jamison Crowder is another player in Blake's mold, although not as fast. Crowder makes up for it, however, with very crisp route-running that frequently left him open in one-on-one drills. He's one of the smaller receivers at just 5-foot-8.
  • East Carolina's Justin Hardy just gets open. The FBS career receptions leader stands at just 5-foot-10 ½, but he plays bigger than that and has good hands.
  • He's not a wide receiver, but tight end Clive Walford was one of Wednesday's biggest stars. The 6-foot-4 Miami product consistently beat linebackers in one-on-one drills with a variety of moves. He swam over them, put double moves on them and made one diving catch.
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