In response to Faucetman's comment:
I have been looking at various draft sites and draft expert’s WR rankings. I find that Austin and Patterson are still the clear #1 and #2 on most boards. After that Allen, Hopkins, and Woods are grouped together on most boards. You then see Hunter, Patton, Wheaton and Williams grouped pretty tightly together in the next wave. I looked at the top 16 WRs since I don’t see more than that taken before our pick 91. Their average rankings are:
1.8 Cordarrelle Patterson RD 1
1.8 Tavon Austin RD 1
3.3 Keenan Allen RD 1-2
3.8 DeAndre Hopkins RD 1-2
4.8 Robert Woods RD 1-2
6.4 Justin Hunter RD 2
7.2 Quinton Patton RD 2
8.6 Markus Wheaton RD 2-3
8.7 Terrance Williams RD 2-3
10.6 Stedman Bailey RD 3
10.8 Da'Rick Rogers RD 3
11.8 Aaron Dobson RD 3
12.0 Ryan Swope RD 3
15.3 Kenny Stills RD 3-4
16.3 Marquise Goodwin RD 3-4
17.8 Chris Harper RD 3-4
I really don't see more than 4 WRs going in the first round, with 2-3 more likely. Although I think there is a chance a top 10 team takes Austin, I think it would be foolish to spend such a high pick on such a diminutive receiver but can’t see him getting past the Rams at 16 to replace Amendola.
Patterson is a bit of a hard player to project but to be conservative, I’ll assume he’s gone by pick 24 to Indy although Indy is more likely to take a pass rusher. After Indy I see Houston as a strong candidate to take a WR. Then you have NE at 29 and BAL at 32 as the strongest candidates to take a WR in the first round.
So by pick 29, 2 maybe 3 WRs should be off the board meaning the Pats should have their choice of at least 2 of Allen, Hopkins and Woods. Knowing the Pats the way we do, they will be trying hard to trade down knowing they can still get one of these guys in the early 2nd if indeed they plan to go WR.
Let’s say the Pats go a different direction at 29 and look to take a WR at 59. Let’s say BAL addresses their needs on D instead of WR at 32. We could have 13-14 of the top 16 WRs on the board to start Round 2. This will cause a run at WR in the 2nd.
I see 8 teams that could target WR in the 2nd; SF (34), TEN (40), BUF (41), CAR (44), MIN (52), NE (59), ATL (60) and BAL (62). If NE can find a trading partner looking to move up at 29 to land a QB such as PHI (35), NYJ (39) or BUF (41), they could still see one of Allen, Hopkins or Woods. However, if they wait until 59, they could be left with Wheaton, Williams and/or Bailey as their top options, which isn’t bad. I would be thrilled with any of those guys at 59. At 91 however, we’d be lucky if Swope and lower are on the board.
I don’t think we can afford to NOT get a solid WR or two in this draft. However, I don’t see the Pats taking a WR at 29 as they have never taken a WR in the first round under BB. In fact the highest they ever drafted a WR in the draft under BB was Chad Jackson at 36. So in a perfect world, we’ll trade down with the Jets at 39 allowing them to come up for their QB and at 39, we will select who is left from Allen, Hopkins or Woods.
Very, very nice analysis, Faucet.
I can see four WRs taken before 29. Very likely takers are STL, CIN, MIN.
CAR is another team that could pick a WR high. Smith is nearing the end of his career. Here is a opportunity to bring in a playmaking option for Newton, who can go across Smith in the meantime, and then fully take over as a #1 a year or so later. If they continue the team;s trajectory, they may not have the same opportunity in the following years.
STL is another wild card. I am pretty confident that STL uses picks 16, 22 and 46 to pick up at least 2 (They lost Amendola and Gibson), possibly 3, receiving options for Badford. If they go three, they could do WR TE (Eifert) WR or WR WR TE (Ertz). Also possible that both TEs and top 5 WRs are gone by 46, in which case they may consider Lacy.
I am guessing the first four WRs taken are some order of Patterson, Austin, Hopkins and Woods.
I would not touch Allen at 29 (Frankly, not my type even at 59). I agree, taking WR would be going outside of the norm for BB. And for me, personally, I prefer going D on 29. Having Woods or Hopkins is available at 29 might make me think twice.
Yes, as many as 4 can go before 29 but I doubt it as I think CAR will go DT or Kenny Vaccaro if he's there. This WR class isn't elite but it is deep so I see CAR waiting until the 2nd. I already have STL taking a WR so I don't think they will use both of their #1s on a WR.