With everyone in Browns nation wringing there hands over our current WR situation, I thought I'd give a primer for next year's draft class and give some names to watch during this year's college football season. Next year's class is not as deep as this year's, but this year was not the norm. There are a few players that will rise throughout this next year and we will take a look at the top players projected to come out.
Amari Cooper- Alabama, 6'1", 205 lbs. Jr.
Through his first two seasons Cooper has been Alabama's big play threat. He struggled at times in 2013, but put up huge numbers in the Iron bowl and their Bowl game, 15 catches, 299 yards, 1 TD. He has the speed and physicality that the NFL will love. Going into 2014, he is the top WR prospect at this point.
Ty Montgomery- Stanford, 6'2", 215 lbs., Sr.
Ty is one of my favorite prospects in next year's draft. From Jackson, Mississippi, he was his single parent mother's only child. She taught him giving and charity, they brought in over 17 kids as foster children. Ty still sees these kids as his brothers and sisters. Not only that, he had the grades and discipline to get into Stanford. Ty's football talent is slightly hidden due to the run oriented attack that David Shaw utilizes at Stanford. Get the ball in his hands though, and magic happens. He led the nation in KR yards, taking kickoffs back for 100 yard TD's in back to back games. His receiving numbers would have been much higher had he played in a system that throws more, but they still weren't bad at all. 61 rec, 958 yards, 10 TD. He has the size, and this kid can flat out fly. Watch the videos to see.
Jaelen Strong- Arizona State, 6'4", 205 lbs, rJR
As a JUCO transfer, 2013 was Strong's first shot against top competition. He had his "coming out party" against Stanford in late September with a 12-168 line. He has great size and plays more physical than you would think someone with his slight stature would. He put up an impressive line of 75 catches, 1122 yards, and 7 TDs. Note in the highlights that he seems to be a natural at catching the back shoulder fade and high pointing the ball.
Dorial Green-Beckham- Missouri/ Eastern Illinois, 6'6", 225 lbs, Jr.
With the troubles that Josh Gordon has found himself in, I doubt many Browns fans will be clamoring for DBG come draft day. Let's start with the legal trouble. In April, he was dismissed from the Mizzou football team after being accused of dragging his girlfriend out of her apartment by her neck. He also has had issues with marijuana in the past. He had a tough life growing up as his father was never in his life and his mother was a drug addict. He seemed to turn things around in high school when his high school football coach and his wife adopted him. In high school, he broke the all time receiving record in high school. He chose to stay home in Missouri and turned down all the other top programs that wanted him. His talent on the field is undeniable. He is an athletic freak of nature. He won the state title in the 100 meters with a time of 10.92 seconds and also won the triple jump title. For comparison sake, Randy Moss won the state title in high school too with a time of 10.94. You will see a trend start to form in this write up regarding Moss. Moss had signed a letter of intent to play football at Notre Dame when he got into a fight that left someone in the hospital. ND passed on Moss. Moss then went to Florida St., where when he was on probation he tested positive for marijuana. FSU kicked him off the team. He found a home at Marshall and put up huge numbers, but fell in the draft due to character concerns. I can see a similar path for DGB. I hope that he sees how he has lost so much and decides to change his ways. If DGB puts up massive numbers at Eastern Illinois, I can see a team taking a shot on him towards the end of the first round. Maybe a team with two first round picks? Maybe the Browns? Here's the tape.
Rashad Greene- Florida State, 6'0", 180 lbs, SR
Jameis Winston's favorite target. This kid knows how to get open, has great hands, and is quick. I anticipate him having another huge year and possibly being a late first or early second round selection. 2013 numbers were 76 catches, 1128 yds, 9 TD. He showed up big in the National Championship Game with 9 catches for 147 yards.
Antwan Goodley- Baylor, 5'10", 220 lbs, rSR
At first look, Goodley doesn't look like a WR, but more like a RB. Baylor is quickly becoming Wide Receiver University, putting into the NFL players like Josh Gordon, Kendall Wright, Terrance Williams just in the last 3 years. Goodley looks to follow in their footsteps. His production is top notch (2013- 71, 1339, 13) and with Bryce Petty returning to Baylor, look for 2014 to be even bigger. He is strong as a bull with a 660 lb squat to his credit.
Nelson Agholor- University of Southern Cal, 6'0", 180 lbs, JR
Agholor will get his chance to be top dog this year with Marquise Lee headed to the NFL. His 2013 was productive with a 56-918-6 line, but his QB play was spotty at best. Cody Kessler will lead the offense for USC this year, and he looked better than Vittek, so there is a good chance for Nelson to improve his numbers. I keep seeing him mocked in the first round next year, but I don't buy it. He doesn't have the size or strength teams will look for in a WR1.
Deontay Greenberry- Houston, 6'3", 198 lbs, JR
A former 5 star recruit from Fresno, California that bucked the trend of picking Bama, FSU, or other perennial powerhouses for Houston (he was the first 5-star recruit to ever commit there). As a true sophomore he had a huge year, 82-1210-11.
DeVante Parker- Louisville, 6'3", 209 lbs, SR
Parker put a cap on his junior year with a 9-142-1 performance against Miami in their bowl game. He had the benefit of Teddy Bridgewater last year, and took full advantage of it with a 55-885-12 line. His draft status will depend on how he clicks with redshirt sophmore Will Gardner. A down season and he will be labeled as a product of Bridgewater.
-Shaq Roland- South Carolina
-Sterling Shepard- Oklahoma
-Quinshad Davis- North Carolina
-Sammie Coates- Auburn
-Leonte Carroo- Rutgers
-DaVaris Daniels- Notre Dame (suspended)
These are the top players as of right now in the 2015 WR class. Just some names to keep in the back of your mind during Saturdays in the fall when watching college football. I will be doing some others before the college season to highlight other positions and areas the Browns may be looking. Gordon will be back at some point, but it wouldn't surprise me to see the Browns draft a WR in the first round next year if the production with our current roster in unsatisfactory. I can almost guarantee that one of these guys on this list will be a Brown 51 weeks from now, who do you guys want?