This is a very deep class, so we have flexibility when selecting our 2 needs of a big bodied (and fast) WRF to go along with a fleet-footed smallish WRS, who can also return kicks and punts. All WRs must have good hands, and be fast. Good route running can be coached, but if they can already run them, and have demonstrated the ability to gain separation, then that might become a tie-breaker.
First let's eliminate poor performers from consideration:
Any WR who can only run a 4.6 or worse time in the 40 after 2 tries should be eliminated. Remember, I would like our big WR to also be fast (or at least, "not slow").
Kelvin Benjamin 4.61
Chris Boyd 4.73
Trey Burton 4.62
Anthony Denham 4.77
Ryan Grant 4.64
Cody Hoffman 4.64
Jarvis Landry 4.77
Marcus Lucas 4.60
Walter Powell 4.63
Allen Robinson 4.60
Josh Stewart 4.69
The biggest surprise in there was Robinson, but Benjamin, Hoffman, and Landry were also disappointing., You have to draw a line somewhere, and a 4.6 40 for a WR works for me.
I won't go into every participant, but a player who caught my eye before the Combine, but is now eliminated is
Jared Abbrederis 6' 7/8" 195# ran a 4.50 40, but was weak in the upper body (4 bench reps), as well as the lower body (30 1/2" vert and a 116" broad), which were bottom 50% for all WRs who participated in the Combine over the last 15 years (1999-2013).
Now for the "big bodied" (meaning at least 6' 2") WRF options:
Martavis Bryant 6' 4 1/8", 211# ran a 4.42 40, with 16 reps on the bench. His 39" vert puts him just outside the top 10% (39.5"), and his broad jump of 123" puts him solidly in the top 30%. His shuttle and 3 cone performances placed him in the bottom 50%, so his agility is iffy, and he had a couple of drops at the Combine, so hands are too. Probably a late 2nd rounder?
Brandon Coleman 6' 5 5/8", 225# ran a 4.56 40, with 21 reps on the bench. He's a taller, faster, and stronger version of Kelvin Benjamin, who can be got in the 3rd round, so he doesn't have the "bust potential" of a Benjamin.
Mike Evans 6' 4 5/8", 231# ran a 4.53 40 and looked smooth in all the drills and caught everything with soft hands. He is the class of the big WRs, and will go mid-1st rd.
Jeff Janis 6' 2 5/8" 219# ran a 4.42 40, and 20 bench reps. Although his vert and broad were top 30% for WR, his agility drills are really impressive with a 20 yd shuttle of 3.98 and a 3 cone of 6.64 were top 10% performances for WR (that's ALL WR, not segregated for large WR, truly impressive). From what I could see (he wasn't shown on NFL Network much), he performed very well at the Combine. His stock increased and will probably be a late 3rd / early 4th rounder now.
Jordan Matthews 6' 2 5/8" 212# ran a 4.46 40 and put up 21 on the bench. His other field work put him either in the top or bottom 50%, or just slightly better than average. This 40 time alleviates the "slow" moniker, but he still has trouble with separation and he had some ill-timed drops during the Sr. Bowl week. A solid mid/late 2nd rounder.
Donte Moncrief 6' 2 1/8" 221# ran a 4.40 40 with 13 bench reps. Although his leg strength is great with both vert and broad distances in the top 10%, his agility drills (shuttle and 3 cone) came in bottom 50%.
Kevin Norwood 6' 2" 198# ran a 4.48 40, but with only 8 bench reps and a 33" vert, you have to question his drive (because he isn't spending much time in the weight room). He did have a top 10% on the 3 cone though.
Devin Street 6' 2 5/8" 198# ran a 4.55 40 his drills came in top 30%, but if I'm going with a big WR in the 4.55 range, I choose Coleman and get the extra 3" in height and 27# in wt.
L'Damian Washington 6' 3 3/4" 195# ran a 4.46 40, but everything else was a bottom 50% performance (pass).
I wouldn't have a problem with either Bryant, Janis, Matthews or Moncrief (with Coleman as a red zone / "Benjamin alternative" option who wouldn't be expected to stretch the field). So let's look at last year's production and scouting.
Bryant: had 42 rec, for 828 yds and a 19.71 avg YPC and 7 TDs over 13 games in 2013. One wonders what his production might have been had Watkins not been lined up opposite him?
"Flexible and balanced with easy body control to adjust and use his length.Nice job catching the ball in stride and away from his body. Wide catching radius and will make acrobatic and off-target catches look easy. Good timing and aggressiveness in 50/50 chances with very good leaping ability. Quick footwork to release off the line of scrimmage and make sharp cuts in his routes - good short-area burst to gain a step in/out of his breaks."
"Very inconsistent concentration with too many double-catches and drops at the college level. Wasn't asked to run a full route tree in Clemson's offense and unrefined in this area. Room to learn patience, hesitation and better body language in his patterns to hold defenders and better sell routes."
Coleman: 34 rec for 538 yds yielding a 15.82 YPC avg. and 4 TDs. Pedestrian production.
Janis: 83 rec for 1572 yds and a 18.94 YPC avg. with 14 TDs and another 2 rushing in 2013. He had 3 straight years of over 1400 yards receiving against lower level competition.
No scouting reports yet, but that might change post-Combine?
Matthews: 112 rec for 1477 yds and a 13.19 YPC avg. with 7 TDs in 2013. He showed 3 years of very good and increasing production in the SEC (played only 3 ranked teams last year, same as Bryant's Clemson).
"Balanced route-runner with a sizeable catching radius. Size allowed him to be moved inside and out in Vandy's offense, allowing the team to find him favorable matchups. Detailed and reliable route-runner. Very good hand-eye coordination to haul in tough passes, including one-handed catches."
"Good, but not great build-up speed and may lack an elite second gear to gain separation. Lean-muscled and needs to do more in contested situations."
Moncrief: 59 rec for 938 yds and a 15.90 YPC avg. with 6 TDs in 2013 against 6 ranked opponents. He had quite a game against #2 Auburn when he caught 6 passes for 122 yds and 20.33 YPC avg and 2 TDs.
"Moncrief's thick frame, deceptive speed and smooth route-running make him a nightmare for cornerbacks. He does not possess the explosive moves of Southern Cal's Marqise Lee or Clemson's Sammy Watkins but might be a better player than either of them. He is sudden in his breaks, showing the ability to generate separation even against tight man coverage, and accelerates quickly, often leaving defenders in his dust on double-moves. Moncrief tracks the ball well and generally shows excellent hands (one drop vs. Texas), as well as the body control to make the dazzling grab. Moncrief is also cognizant in the running game, showing awareness and toughness as a downfield blocker."
"Perhaps the only thing standing in Moncrief's way of becoming the first "skill-position" player from Mississippi to earn a first round draft selection since Eli Manning (No. 1 overall, 2004) is the question about his straight-line speed. Moncrief was not caught from behind on tapes viewed but the big-bodied receiver may not possess elite timed speed." This proved unfounded with his 40 time...
We are looking for a WR with size, speed, and production, so that leaves out Coleman. Matthews is the safe pick, and might be the call if we can't re-sign Boldin. We could probably trade down to the low 40s and still get him? If we do re-sign Q, then the large WR might be inactive until next year when Crabs might leave? So we could go with a slightly more developmental guy (either Bryant or Moncrief late 2nd - #61, or Janis late 3rd #94?)
I personally like Moncrief (look at the scouting strengths, especially what I bolded). He sounds like the total package. Can he be had at the end of round 2? Or would we need to use our #56, and hope Bucannon is still there at #61?