Jan 3, 2014; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Clemson Tigers wide receiver Sammy Watkins (2) scores a touchdown in the first half of the 2014 Orange Bowl college football game against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Draft: Year of the Wide Receiver

In last year’s NFL Draft, Cordarrelle Patterson, DeAndre Hopkins and Tavon Austin were the only wide receiver taken off the board in the first round. In 2012, only four pass catchers were drafted in the first. That class included Justin Blackmon, Michael Floyd, Kendall Wright and A.J. Jenkins.

But the 2014 draft could very well be the Year of the Wide Receiver, with seven different players earning a possible first round grade from CBS Sports. The college ranks haven’t produced a pass-catching crop like this since six receivers were taken in the first round in 2009. That board included Percy Harvin, Michael Crabtree and Hakeem Nicks.

Receivers that are fully expected to be drafted in the first-round this year include Sammy Watkins, Mike Evans, Marqise Lee and Kelvin Benjamin. Others with possible first round projections include Odell Beckham Jr., Allen Robinson and Brandin Cooks.

With the NFL moving more toward an aerial assault, it wouldn’t be too surprising to see all seven go off the board in the first round. Especially considering that Cooks, the seventh-ranked wide receiver, led the ACC with 128 receptions for an NCAA best 1,730 yards.

CBS Sports also listed 11 NFL Teams that could go wide receiver in the first round of the draft. Any takers on the over/under in Vegas?

The links below include the 11 teams named by CBS Sports, as well as teams that NFL.com has listed as being in need of receiver help from the draft.


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