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Ex-NFL GM: Receiving corps could include Hall of Famers


With Clemson star Sammy Watkins at the top and more intriguing names than you can throw a football at making up the rest, the 2014 NFL Draft could be remembered for its wide receivers more than any other position.

And former Cleveland Browns general manager Phil Savage isn't shy about projecting their collective success.

"Ten years from now, when we add up the production of this entire class, I would expect the numbers would be very strong," Savage said, according to "Are there a couple Hall of Famers in here? Perhaps. They'll certainly get that chance because the ball is in the air."

Projecting how this receiver crop will do collectively, however, and how they'll do individually, are two very different propositions. Few know this better than Savage. In his first year as the Browns' general manager, Savage drafted Michigan receiver Braylon Edwards No. 3 overall in 2005. Edwards' career production -- except for one dynamite season in 2007 -- was more solid than spectacular. But amid wide receiver misses from the very same draft (Matt Jones/Jaguars, Mike Williams/Lions, Troy Williamson/Vikings) it was the last receiver taken in the first round, Atlanta's Roddy White, who turned out to be the superstar.

Nevertheless, clubs are falling all over themselves for Watkins in 2014.

"He's so good in and out of his breaks. He runs like a running back but he moves like a receiver," one scout told "He has strong hands to snatch the ball. He's going to be a real difference-maker."

Then, there are the those, like FSU's Kelvin Benjamin, who present cause for pause.

"I should like him more," one scout said. "I just thought he was a prima donna. That was his personality on tape."

A few other scouting remarks on some of the wide receivers expected to be chosen on the second day of the draft (Rounds 2-3) or the final day (Rounds 4-7):

On Indiana's Cody Latimer: "People will say he can't run and played at Indiana. But he's big. He's in the top group."

On Fresno State's Davante Adams: "All his big games were against (expletive) competition like Hawaii. He came on a little at the end but I don't see him as a top-three round guy. Fourth round."

On Ole Miss' Donte Moncrief: "Really soft. He doesn't want anything to do with it."

Adding to the intrigue of the draft's market for pass catchers is the tight end position, which includes several prospects who are expected to play slot roles rather than a traditional in-line tight end spot. The first two likely off the board: North Carolina's Eric Ebron and Washington's Austin Seferian-Jenkins:

On Ebron: "Watch him against (Jadeveon) Clowney. He didn't win but he wasn't afraid. He's (Rob) Gronkowski-like but he's a lot smoother."

On Seferian-Jenkins (gulp): "I wouldn't say he's a bad kid. But I would say that he probably will be hostile at times to coaches. He's going to have a hard time with authority figures because he's never been around them his whole life. Very, very abrasive at times when you criticize him." ... Another scout: "He's big and really has soft hands but he's lazy as heck. Even in the pregame of the game I went to he was just going through the motions. He should be a good blocker because he's built so powerfully but he doesn't block that well. Where he's really good is in the red zone."

Let the pass-catcher dice roll.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.



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