Evaluating The 2012 Wide Receiver Draft Class: Givens, Blackmon, Gordon, And Wright

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Oct 28, 2012; London, Wembley, England; St. Louis Rams wide receiver Chris Givens (13) celebrates after a touchdown during the game against the New England Patriots at Wembley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Paul Cunningham-US PRESSWIRE

The NFL is an ever-changing game, marked with rapid progression of players and positions that morph the overall style and “look” of the game. In recent years, due to the pure speed and size of the athletes and the offensively biased rule changes, we have seen the NFL turn into a more pass-happy league, marked by the shotgun formation and empty-backfield sets. We have increasingly seen 4000+ yard passers, 40+ passing touchdown seasons, and watched passing record after passing record be broken by quarterbacks that have grown up in the “new NFL.”

Of course, that means that there is going to be more of an emphasis on draft players on the offense that are specialized for the passing game. Offensive linemen with speed and passing block ability are now more coveted than hard-nosed run blocking linemen. Running backs drop out of the first round unless they are supremely talented in both pass protection, catching the ball out of the backfield, and, oh yeah, running the football. However, the position that will see the most love will be the wide receiver position. We saw that in the 2012 draft, with 5 wide outs taken in the first 33 picks of the draft, even in an extremely weak class of receivers.

So, how have the receivers stacked up against one another in this years class? It is hard to compare ALL of the wide receivers from the draft, considering 27 rookies have played so far this season. It also may not be wise to compare just the Top 5 players taken off the draft board, especially since that would not include several of the “actual” Top 5 rookies from the regular season. Instead we will take some of the most notable players, and compare their seasons, including: Justin Blackmon, Kendall Wright, Josh Gordon, and Chris Givens. Click “Continue” to see the breakdown of those players on the next page…