The Back of the WR Class

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Just more than a week ago it seemed a predetermined notion that the Ravens would draft a wide receiver in the 2010 Draft with one of their first two picks.

Well, after trading for Anquan Boldin, re-signing Derrick Mason and inking Donte' Stallworth, the Ravens appear to have more luxury to address other positions in the first two rounds.

Taking a wide receiver shouldn't be totally eliminated from the equation, however. Stallworth is playing with a reported one-year contract and Mason, 36, signed a two-year deal and has twice hinted at retirement. Mark Clayton is currently a restricted free agent, so his future is uncertain.

The point is, while Baltimore currently has an abundance of wide receiver depth, it could change in 2011 or beyond.

"I don't think we're done yet putting this thing together," Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron said Thursday, referring to the wide receiver corps. "We haven't even gotten to the draft yet."

The Ravens still could address the wide receiver position with their first two picks. If Baltimore chooses to go in another direction, it may have to wait until the fifth round or beyond as it traded third- and fourth-round picks for Boldin.

Fortunately, there is plenty of depth at wide receiver in this year's draft. Here are some of the options, according to NFLDraftScout.com.

Freddie Barnes, Bowling GreenStats: 6-0, 212; 155 receptions, 1,770 yards, 19 touchdowns
Projected Round: 5th
Barnes set an NCAA record for receptions in a single season last year with 155. He further improved his draft status when he made three straight receptions on the game-winning drive in the Senior Bowl. Barnes played a little quarterback his freshman year as well, which provides more intrigue.
Plus: Route-running, Hands, Production
Minus: Speed

Danario Alexander, MissouriStats: 6-5, 215; 113 receptions, 1,781 yards, 14 touchdowns
Projected Round: 5th/6th
Alexander injured his left knee during Senior Bowl practice in late January and knee injuries have been an issue throughout his career. However, Alexander's size is striking and he led the NCAA in receiving yards his senior year. Alexander averaged 191 receiving yards over his final five college football games.
Plus: Size, Production
Minus: Injuries, Strength

Marcus Easley, ConnecticutStats: 6-3, 210; 48 receptions, 893 yards, 8 touchdowns

Projected Round: 5th/6th
Easley is a former college walk-on who turned into a late-bloomer. He turned a lot of heads at the Combine when he ran a 4.46 40-yard dash (7th best among receivers), had 16 bench press reps (8th) and was fifth in the broad jump and fourth in the 60-yard shuttle. Obviously there's some athleticism, just not a ton of college production. He had five catches combined during his sophomore and junior years.
Plus: Speed, Size
Minus: Production

Emmanuel Sanders, Southern MethodistStats: 5-11, 186; 98 receptions, 1,339 yards, 7 touchdowns
Projected Round: 6th
Sanders put on a show at the Combine. He ran the second-fastest 40-yard dash (4.41), had the fifth-highest vertical jump, the longest broad jump and second-fastest three-cone drill. He showed his quickness during the Senior Bowl, but didn't run the sharpest routes. Sanders was a consistent producer who improved every year in college.
Plus: Speed
Minus: Size, Competition Level

Scott Long, LouisvilleStats: 6-2, 214; 53 receptions, 727 yards, 2 touchdowns
Projected Round: 7th/FA
Long was another Combine warrior. He tied Illinois wideout Arrelious Benn for the most bench press reps at 20, had the highest vertical jump, and posted the fastest three-cone drill and 60-yard shuttle. Long missed most of 2008 with a torn ACL but rebounded nicely in his senior season, which was the best of his three-year college career.
Plus: Speed, Strength
Minus: Production; Injuries

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