A Look at NFL Receivers and Tight Ends
Report; Posted on: 2007-05-17 00:18:38 [ Printer friendly / Instant flyer ]
pictured: Matt Jones
by Kevin Roberts
While we all know running back is strictly kept a blacks only position. Still, with the drafting of Brian Leonard by the St. Louis Rams, we might now have a white tailback to root for depending on how he is used. So without further adeu, I will skip over the racially unbalanced position of running back and dive right into wide receiver/tight end.
1. Buffalo Bills:
No major white contributors at tight end, and zero players at the receiver position. No surprise, coming from a team that gave the horrid Peerless Price another shot at starting, not to mention the slowest receiver in football; Josh Reed.
2. Miami Dolphins:
With the loss of the reliable Wes Welker, the Dolphin's return game suffers, as well as their ability to pick up first downs.
Justin Peele (TE) - Only player with any notable consideration, but with the awful David Martin signing, he is sure to rarely touch the ball.
3. New York Jets:
Tim Dwight (WR/KR) - In the name of Wayne Chrebet, why has Tim Dwight been relegated to a return man, when he could have been a star in this league. Is this how you would treat Flash?
Other than Dwight, the Jets don't have any white players competing for a role that would see much time.
4. New England Patriots:
Wes Welker (WR/KR) - They say this offense and Tom Brady don't choose favorites. They just pass to the open receiver. If that's the case, Welker will be this year's Mike Furrey, and Randy Moss will quit by Week 3.
David Thomas (TE) - A very versatile player that could be used in a number of ways. Comes in the mold of a Chris Cooley. Will work in a two tight end set with current starter Ben Watson.
5. Indianapolis Colts:
Anthony Gonzalez (WR/KR) - The little guy with big dreams will be effective as the third guy from the get go.
John Standeford (WR) - It would be a blessing from the sky if Dungy even lets Standeford stay on the active roster. But word on the street is Standeford might actually start over Gonzalez to begin the season. Either way, Standeford should finally see some action and show his big play ability.
Dallas Clark (TE) - I still content guys like Clark and Cooley could be halfbacks if the NFL wasn't so racially biased. Even so, Clark is emerging as an elite tight end, and will do even better this coming season.
6. Houston Texans:
Kevin Walter (WR) - Very good hands to go with severely under estimated speed. Walter could be a sleeper, already slotted as the early second receiver.
David Anderson (WR) - Really hasn't been allowed to show people what he can do. With a severely depleted receiving corps, he and Walter alike will get plenty of opportunities to rise to stardom.
Owen Daniels (TE) - Very productive rookie season after being drafted late last year. Begins the season as projected starter over veterans Mark Bruener and Jeb Putzier, two white tight ends that will have limited value behind Daniels, who has much softer hands.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars:
Matt Jones (WR) - If he can stay healthy he will dominate.
8. Tennessee Titans:
The Titans have done a very good job of ridding their team of speedy white talents such as Eddie Berlin and Drew Bennett. Congratulations, Tennessee, you are now completely black at the skill positions.
9. Pittsburgh Steelers:
Heath Miller (TE) - Maintained his solid level of play coming off his rookie outing, scoring at least 5 touchdowns in his first two seasons. Look for Miller to expand his impact on the Pittsburgh ariel attack.
10. Baltimore Ravens:
Todd Heap (TE) - McNair loves his tight end, something clearly evident after last year's toals of 73 catches for 765 yards and 6 scores. When Heap isn't warding off injury, he's one of the best at his position in the league.
11. Cleveland Browns:
Joe Jurevicius (WR) - Excellent speed comined with good leaping ability, Jurevicius simply makes plays. The problem? He's rarely on the field to do so. Hopefully this year he can finally stay healthy enough to realize his potential.
Steven Heiden (TE) - Proved to be more than a capable receiver when Winslow went down in 2005, Heiden is a very solid second tight end.
12. Cincinnati Bengals:
They haven't had any white playmakers since Danny Farmer, and they didn't know how to use him, either.
13. Kansas City Chiefs:
Maybe the reason Kansas City has one of the poorest receving corps in the league is because they're all so slow. Where art thou, Marc Boerigter?
14. San Diego Chargers:
Greg Camarillo (WR) - At the bottom of the depth chart with no real reason to think it will ever change.
15. Oakland Raiders:
John Madsen- I list him as a receiver simply in disdain. Oakland is taking a promising receiver and moving him to tight end. For what? So he can sit behind newly acquired Zach Miller and watch Mike Williams make a monstrosity of the receiver position? Maybe they'll let Josh McCown play receiver.
16. Denver Broncos:
David Kircus (WR) - Magically still slated as the number 3 guy. We know that won't last, especially with the addition of Stokely. It's unfortunate too, because his acrobatic catches are a dream to watch. All 9 of them a season.
Brandon Stokely (WR) - Cutler should get him to at least somewhere close to what he was in Indy a few years back. It just all depends on exactly which week Rod Smith breaks his hip.
Tony Scheffler (TE) - Had suspect hands throughout his rookie campaign, but still, the signing of Daniel Graghm was a bit premature.
1. Washington Redskins:
Chris Cooley (TE/FB) - A complete tight end with superb speed for the position. I still say he has the agility and speed to be an every down back.
2. New York Giants:
Jeremy Shockey (TE) - The fire in this guy will never go out. He will go as Manning goes.
3. Philadelphia Eagles:
Kevin Curtis - Can he emerge as the deep threat the Eagles have been missing? Yes.
Jeremy Bloom- Needs to secure a spot on the team through the return game. But once a member of the team, it won't be long before he's catching passes for 70 yard touchdowns.
4. Dallas Cowboys:
Jason Witten (TE) - In the top ten for tight ends, but his numbers will suffer as Anthony Fasano improves.
Anthony Fasano (TE) - Didn't do anything in his freshman season run to wow you, but he is too well-rounded to ignore.
5. Chicago Bears:
David Ball - He's in their training camp, so it's up to him what happens next. With his hands though, they could develop him into Muhammad's successor.
Mike Hass - Unlikely to get a fair shot because the taller Ball has slightly better play-making ability. What really should happen, is these two should be starting together somewhere else.
Greg Olsen (TE) - If he isn't in the running for rookie of the year it will be on Rex Grossman, not Olsen.
6. Green Bay Packers:
Clark Harris (TE) - If Green Bay can finally swallow their pride and realize their mistake in Bubba Franks, Harris might actually be able to pan out.
7. Minnesota Vikings:
Jim Kleinsasser (TE/FB) - A bruising blocker and hard-nosed runner.
8. Detroit Lions:
Mike Furrey- Some of the best hands in football, with precise routes. Furrey is getting hurt by the drafting of Johnson.
Kevin Kasper (WR/KR) - Once again, he's on a team to start the season. But it's the same old story — Kasper's buried on the depth chart.
Dan Campbell (TE) - With Pollard in Seattle, the Chad Kroeger look alike gets another shot at being a starting tight end.
9. New Orleans Saints:
Eric Johnson (TE) - The Saints got a free agent steal here. Where Ernie Conwell couldn't succeed, Johnson will excel.
10. Atlanta Falcons:
Brian Finneran (WR) - With another knee injury this off-season combined with his age, it looks like the talent filled Finneran has seen his last days in the NFL.
11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
Anthony Becht (TE) - He was already suffering from solid play out of Alex Smith. Now he has to compete with the overrated Jerramy Stevens.
12. Carolina Panthers:
Chris Horn (WR/KR) - Carolina has been surprisingly friendly to white receivers in past years. (Patrick Jeffers, Don Beebe, Ricky Proehl) But Horn will have to fight quite a bit just to make the team.
13. San Fransisco 49ers:
Eric Johnson left for New Orleans, leaving San Fran without any white playmakers.
14. St. Louis Rams:
Drew Bennett- If there ever was a place for Bennett to be a star, St. Louis is it.
Dane Looker (WR) - He'll have to fight off newly acquired Dante Hall for the 4th spot.
Joe Klopfenstein (TE) - Solid tight end, but the signing of Randy McMichael snuffs all hopes of a breakout season.
15. Arizona Cardinals:
Sean Morey (WR) - The convenient rubber ball, Morey has bounced around more than he'd like to admit. However, he is a fine special teamer, so he's likely to stick somewhere, if only as a gunner.
16. Seattle Seahawks:
Joe Newton (TE) - Undrafted tight end with tremendous size but with poor timed speed. Last time I checked tight ends don't need to be particularly fast to succeed. Besides, you really think Marcus Pollard has him beat? Newton could end up being a steal much like Houston's Owen Daniels. He is a dynamite redzone threat.
The receiver position just seems to get faster and faster as the years pass. Unfortunately, by the numbers, they aren't getting any whiter. However, with Anthony Gonzalez getting drafted in the first round, and guys like Drew Bennett and Kevin Curtis finding new homes, the position just might finally take a turn for the better. Don't forget about Matt Jones, either. He's my sleeper pick to break into the top 10 this year.
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