Wide receiver appears to be one of the deepest positions in the 2014 NFL Draft, and that means teams looking to boost their passing games will have plenty of intriguing options to choose from, even after the first round.
The Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers both have a need at the position and, in particular, for somebody who can stretch the field. Chip Kelly is now without DeSean Jackson, so he could use a player capable of creating space for Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper. 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick's targets include Anquan Boldin, Brandon Lloyd and Michael Crabtree, but nobody who qualifies as a speed guy.
Kelly has said that size is one way for a receiver to create separation, so Florida State's Kelvin Benjamin, whom NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah has going to the Eagles at No. 22 in his latest mock draft, makes sense, but there still would be a need for somebody from the later rounds who runs the 40-yard dash in less than 4.5 seconds. San Francisco could find itself in a similar position on the draft's second day (Rounds 2-3) -- the team was said to have interest in Jackson before he signed with the Redskins.
There might just be some good fits available when the teams pick on Day 2.
San Francisco, in particular, has some flexibility to move up and down the board with six picks in the top 100, and in his two-round mock draft, analyst Bucky Brooks has the team selecting Ole Miss' Donte Moncrief in the second round as its potential field-stretcher. Moncrief is not as physical as the 49ers' other receivers, but has the speed they lack; he ran a 4.40 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine.
"Moncrief is a remarkable size-speed athlete, with the potential to slide into Boldin's spot when the veteran retires in a few seasons," Brooks wrote.
Another option for the 49ers could be Colorado's Paul Richardson, who also ran a 4.40 at the combine. Richardson is visiting the team this week, according to sacbee.com, along with wide receivers Martavis Bryant of Clemson and Albert Wilson of Georgia State. While fast-rising Indiana wide receiver Cody Latimer has yet to visit the team, the report cites a league source that said the 49ers are also taking a close look at him.
As for Richardson, he showed he was fully recovered from a torn ACL with a terrific 2013 season, leading the Buffaloes in just about every receiving category despite inconsistent quarterback play and a heavy dose of double coverage. His father, Paul, played wide receiver for several seasons in the NFL, too, so he understands what it takes to succeed at the next level. He could be in play for San Francisco with their picks at Nos. 61 and 77 overall, but his stock has been rising as of late.
In a deep year with plenty of turf-burning wide receivers available, it's safe to say teams will have a number of choices they could go with to fill that need for speed.
Follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter @BryanDFischer.