The Cleveland Browns had a really promising 2018 NFL season. And it is now carrying over to the offseason with the incredible activity already done by Browns General Manager John Dorsey through free agency and trades. Even though the Browns do not have a first round pick anymore, the Browns will use the 2019 NFL Draft to continue the development of the team and hopefully catapult the franchise to even higher heights. They still hold eight picks in the 2019 NFL Draft, so there will still be a big opportunity to keep improving the roster.
Here at WFNY, we are going to get you ready for the upcoming draft. In particular, Joe Gilbert and John Colosimo have been examining each of the positions in the draft, giving their top five prospects in each position group, while also giving their thoughts on the overall class at each position.
The next position under the microscope is the wide receiver position. Here is what Joe and John have to say about the top five wide receivers and overall class of wide receivers in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Gilbert and Colosimo’s 2019 NFL Draft Prospect Rankings Series: Safeties, Cornerbacks, Linebackers, Edge Rushers, Interior Defensive Linemen, Interior Offensive Linemen, Offensive Tackles and Tight Ends
|Joe Gilbert’s Top 5 Wide Receivers||John Colosimo’s Top 5 Wide Receivers|
|1. D.K. Metcalf, Ole Miss||1. Deebo Samuel, South Carolina|
|2. Hakeem Butler, Iowa State||2. AJ Brown, Ole Miss|
|3. A.J. Brown, Ole Miss||3. Hakeem Butler, Iowa State|
|4. Emanuel Hall, Missouri||4. D.K. Metcalf, Ole Miss|
|5. Deebo Samuel, South Carolina||5. J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, Standford|
Best of the Rest: Riley Ridley (Georgia), N’Keal Harry (Arizona State), Marquise Brown (Oklahoma) and Kelvin Harmon (N.C. State)
Which wide receiver do you feel stronger about than most people?
Joe: I love Emanuel Hall of Missouri. He is one of the most explosive speed receivers in the entire class. He is known for his big play potential because of his blazing speed, but he is more than just a deep threat. His athleticism allows him to gain easy separation from his coverage and he shows solid route running ability. I think he could be an immediate playmaker in the NFL.
John: Deebo Samuel, South Carolina. While it’s true he’s high on just about everyone’s list, I believe he will have the best NFL career in this class. He is an excellent route runner, has great speed and quickness, and it fantastic with the ball in his hands. I think he is an instant starter in the NFL and will have a long productive career if healthy.
Who is your No. 1 wide receiver in the class and why do you believe he is the best wide receiver?
Joe: My No. 1 wide receiver in the class is D.K. Metcalf of Ole Miss. Metcalf is the freak of this entire draft class. At 6-foot-3, 228 pounds, Metcalf ran a 4.33-second 40-yard dash and showed off his explosiveness at the NFL Combine. He is a big play producer, who can be a deep threat with his speed, but also a redzone touchdown producer with his size. After the catch, he can make defenders miss and pull off big runs after the catch. There is just not another receiver with this rare of athletic ability.
John: Deebo Samuel, South Carolina, for the reasons I stated above.
What are your thoughts on the overall wide receiver class? How would you rate the class?
Joe: I love this class. It is a supremely deep class with an array of different types of receivers to choose from. I think there are two elite talents in D.K. Metcalf and Hakeem Butler. The class also has a large group who deserve to be considered with a late Day 1 or Day 2 selection. I think this class is better than last season’s class, which was really good, too.
John: This is a fantastic class of wide receivers, while not extremely top heavy, its deep the whole way through. There are WR’s I would consider values in just about every round of this draft.
Who has the best single skill set and what is that skill set?
Joe: There are a lot of great skill sets in the class, but the best is the athleticism of D.K. Metcalf. Metcalf is a freak of nature with the combination of size, speed and explosion that not many have in the entire draft and even in the NFL. He is an amazing athlete.
John: I have to copy Joe here. While I am decidedly in the minority on how I feel about Metcalf as a prospect, there is no denying his explosiveness from an athletic standpoint. His weight adjusted 40, vertical and broad jumps are second only to Calvin Johnson. There is no question with regards to his athleticism. He’s a freak, plain and simple.
Who is a sleeper wide receiver who you are keeping an eye on?
Joe: I think Emanuel Hall of Missouri is a receiver who many are sleeping on in this class. He is probably the best deep ball threat in the class, along with Marquise Brown of Oklahoma. He can gain quick separation with his speed and he shows solid route running to be a complete receiver in the league. He deserves to be mentioned with the top receivers in the class.
John: Jazz Ferguson, Northwestern St. Jazz is a 6’5″ WR with 4.45 speed. He doesn’t have the production you are looking for, but shows enough traits on film to get excited about the possibilities if you can develop him as a Day 3 prospect. If he makes it to round 5, I expect he will be squarely on John Dorsey’s radar to add to the Browns WR room.
What is the impact of this wide receiver class to the Browns?
Joe: With the acquisition of Odell Beckham Jr., the need at wide receiver is not a big one for the Browns. But, the team could look to add some more young depth at the position, taking a receiver with a fifth round or later pick.
John: Any receiver taken this year is not likely to see action in 2019, so look for the Browns to capitalize on the great depth of this class by taking one late, likely with one of the 3 fifth round picks the team has. There will certainly be a WR worth adding there.