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2011 NFL Combine: Wide Receivers That Have A Lot To Gain And Lose

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After a weekend full of Superbowl stuff going on, we decided to lay off the combine coverage until after the dust settled. Congratulations to the Green Bay Packers. Hopefully next year, we'll all have Monday hang overs of joy with a 49ers Superbowl win. Is that wishing for too much?

So far, we have looked at some of the quarterbacks and running backs that have an opportunity to make or break where they are going to potentially be drafted.

Today, we'll turn the focus over to the wide receiver position.

Wide Receivers tend to be in the best position in terms of making big plays. More than any other position on offense, or the league for that matter. There have been numerous times throughout history of the game that players from this position have caught game winning passes in the back of the endzone, and other times where they have caught a pass late in the game to be taken to the house for six. Players like DeSean Jackson have revolutionized the game as well. Even though there has been players such as Paul Warfield and Willie Gault who opened up the way the game was played at that position in regards to stretching the field, guys like Jackson have given a whole new wrinkle to that equation and elevated that style with sheer speed coupled with excellent hands.

There are many different styles of players at the wide receiver position. You have your possession receivers, who aren't very fast but have hands made of glue. Then you have your speedy stretch the field type of guys who have the ability to burn the secondary to give the quarterback a target way down field. On top of that, you also have your really physical receivers a la Hines Ward and Andre Johnson. And then there are the special players who are able to do a bit of all things encompassed. But that is not to say that there is a super receiver out there that carries every single trait. Usually a guy carries one or two of those characteristics, but not all.

The crop of wide receivers that is coming out this year seems to have a bit of depth. In each one of the categories above, there are very talented receivers falling in to each of them. But some of these guys will fall off the map, and some of them will soar up the draft boards after the combine. We'll take a look now at some of the possibles from all of the categories.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Most to gain:

Titus Young (Boise State), 5'11", 175 LBS: Young is a burner and knows how to get separation. Depending on how well he does with his 40-time as well as other events, people may be looking at him as a DeSean Jackson type of player. He is definitely a play-maker. The comparisons have already been drawn by some of the highly regarded analysts of the NFL.

Vincent Brown (San Diego State), 6'0", 190 LBS: Vincent Brown has emerged from the shadows of playing at a smaller school. Brown has all the tools and skill-set to make it at the next level. He still has some ground to gain and will need to have a close to perfect combine in order for teams to start taking a real serious look at just how talented he is.

Greg Little (North Carolina), 6'3", 214 LBS: The UNC wide receiver is potentially the dark horse of the bunch in this years crop. He is an all around athlete with hands to match. He catches anything and everything thrown his way just about. He has versatile moves and could be a sleeper to be some teams number one receiver. He will have to interview very well consider his suspension stuff that happened last year, and of course to very well in the events. If he does both those things well, it's quite possible that his stock can rocket upwards by a good round or two... maybe more even. The interview process will be key for Little.

Most to lose:

Julio Jones (Alabama), 6'4", 212 LBS: Alabama has been churning out NFL talent up, down, left, and right in the last few years. Jones is no exception. The 'Bama receiver is considered to be the number one receiver to come off the board behind only A.J. Green. However, Jones is one of those guys that will heavily rely on the combine to help secure that number two, or possible number one position. If Jones doesn't run the high end 40 though, and doesn't do well at all the other things, it's also possible that he could get passed up by one or two more guys.

Torrey Smith (Maryland), 6'2", 200 LBS: Smith is rated relatively high. He did beyond well at Maryland this year. His stats and play this year helped catapult his draft stock to where it is currently at. There is still some gray area with Smith though. He had only one season with over 1000 yards and over 10 touchdowns. Sometimes it is hard to gauge a guy when there is only one season of excellence. The combine is very important for these one year emergences like Smith. Since he is already rated high, any little slip up, or clear problems in his performances, and Smith could tumble his way downward.

Jonathan Baldwin (Pittsburgh), 6'5", 225 LBS: He is without question the largest wide receiver coming in to the draft. Question is, will he wind up being a smaller tight end at the next level; the receiving type like Dallas Clark? A converted wide receiver to tight end like Delanie Walker? Or will he fit the mold of an Andre Johnson type of player? The combine will certainly determine which way teams are going to go with Baldwin once he is drafted.

Here is the rest of the list of players that were invited:

ADAMS, DARVIN

AUBURN

4

WO1

WO

GATES, EDMOND

ABILENE CHRISTIAN

4

WO10

WO

GREEN, ADRIEL

A J

GEORGIA

4

WO11

WO

GURLEY, TORI

SOUTH CAROLINA

4

WO12

WO

HAMLER, JAMEL

FRESNO ST

4

WO13

WO

HANKERSON, LEONARD

MIAMI-FL

4

WO14

WO

HARRIS, DWAYNE

EAST CAROLINA

4

WO15

WO

HOLMES, ANDRE

HILLSDALE

4

WO16

WO

JEAN, LESTAR

FLORIDA ATLANTIC

4

WO17

WO

JERNIGAN, JERREL

TROY

4

WO18

WO

JOHNSON, RONALD

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

4

WO19

WO

BALDWIN, JONATHAN

JON

PITTSBURGH

4

WO2

WO

JONES, QUINTORRIS

JULIO

ALABAMA

4

WO20

WO

KERLEY, JEREMY

TEXAS CHRISTIAN

4

WO21

WO

LITTLE, GREG

NORTH CAROLINA

4

WO22

WO

LOCKETTE, RICARDO

FORT VALLEY ST

4

WO23

WO

MAEHL, JEFFREY

JEFF

OREGON

5

WO24

WO

MOORE, DENARIUS

TENNESSEE

5

WO25

WO

MORGAN, JOSEPH

JOE

WALSH

5

WO26

WO

MURDOCK, ORENTHAL

O J

FORT HAYS ST

5

WO27

WO

NEWSOME, JAMAR

CENTRAL FLORIDA

5

WO28

WO

PAUL, NILES

NEBRASKA

5

WO29

WO

BINNS, ARMON

CINCINNATI

4

WO3

WO

PETTIS, AUSTIN

BOISE ST

5

WO30

WO

PILARES, KEALOHA

HAWAII

5

WO31

WO

ROBINSON, ALDRICK

AL

SMU

5

WO32

WO

SALAS, GREGORY

HAWAII

5

WO33

WO

SAMPSON, DEMARCO

SAN DIEGO ST

5

WO34

WO

SANDERS, JOCKEE

JOCK

WEST VIRGINIA

5

WO35

WO

SANZENBACHER, DANE

OHIO ST

5

WO36

WO

SHORTS, CECIL

MT UNION

5

WO37

WO

SMITH, KEITH

PURDUE

5

WO38

WO

SMITH, JAMES

TORREY

MARYLAND

5

WO39

WO

BROWN, DEANDRE

SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI

4

WO4

WO

SPENCER, OWEN

NORTH CAROLINA ST

5

WO40

WO

TOLIVER, TERRENCE

LOUISIANA ST

5

WO41

WO

TURNER, TERRANCE

INDIANA

5

WO42

WO

WHALEN, RYAN

STANFORD

5

WO43

WO

WILLIAMS, MARSHALL

WAKE FOREST

5

WO44

WO

YOUNG, JIMMY

TEXAS CHRISTIAN

5

WO45

WO

YOUNG, TITUS

BOISE ST

5

WO46

WO

BROWN, VINCENT

VINCE

SAN DIEGO ST

4

WO5

WO

BURTON, STEPHEN

WEST TEXAS A&M

4

WO6

WO

COBB, RANDALL

KENTUCKY

4

WO7

WO

DELL, MARK

MICHIGAN ST

4

WO8

WO

DOSS, TANDON

INDIANA

4

WO9

WO