Does quantity equal quality with first-round wideouts?
Posted Apr. 10 at 06:10 AM
It's possible that as many as four wide receivers will be taken in the first round of the draft later this month, with Justin Blackmon and Michael Floyd certainties and Kendall Wright and Stephen Hill other possibilities. That would be more than have been selected in the first round of either of the last two drafts.
But does quantity equal quality? Over the last 20 years, four or more wideouts have been selected in the first round on nine occasions. Only twice or perhaps three times have even half of those receivers panned out as solid pros.
The nine times in the last 20 years that there have been at least four first-round wideouts, with comments, are presented below.
Years with 4-plus first-round wideouts, 1992-2011
Year, first-rounders: 2009: Darrius Heyward-Bey, Michael Crabtree, Jeremy Maclin, Percy Harvin, Hakeem Nicks, Kenny Britt.
Comment: One of the best groups of first-rounders ever. Last year all but the injured Britt caught 60-plus passes for 850-plus yards.
Year, first-rounders: 2007: Calvin Johnson, Ted Ginn Jr., Dwayne Bowe, Robert Meachem, Craig Davis, Anthony Gonzalez.
Comment: Meachem has a chance to make it three of six by emerging in San Diego, but so far only Megatron and Bowe have merited their draft status.
Year, first-rounders: 2005: Braylon Edwards, Troy Williamson, Mike Williams, Matt Jones, Mark Clayton, Roddy White.
Comment: White, selected last, has emerged as the best pro. Edwards is the next-best of a group that disappointed.
Year, first-rounders: 2004: Larry Fitzgerald, Roy Williams, Reggie Williams, Lee Evans, Michael Clayton, Michael Jenkins, Rashaun Woods.
Comment: A whopping seven first-round selections, but just one true star. Roy Williams and Lee Evans have had their moments, but only Fitzgerald has proved worthy of his draft status.
Year, first-rounders: 2001: David Terrell, Koren Robinson, Rod Gardner, Santana Moss, Freddie Mitchell, Reggie Wayne.
Comment: Moss and Wayne, the fourth and sixth wideouts drafted, have been by far the best of an otherwise disappointing group.
Year, first-rounders: 2000: Peter Warrick, Plaxico Burress, Travis Taylor, Sylvester Morris, R. Jay Soward.
Comment: Only Burress has put together a quality NFL career.
Year, first-rounders: 1997: Ike Hilliard, Yatil Green, Reidel Anthony, Rae Carruth.
Comment: Hilliard had some good seasons.
Year, first-rounders: 1996: Keyshawn Johnson, Terry Glenn, Eddie Kennison, Marvin Harrison, Eric Moulds.
Comment: If 2009 wasn't the best group of first-rounders in the last 20 years, this was.
Year, first-rounders: 1994: Charles Johnson, Johnnie Morton, Thomas Lewis, Derrick Alexander.
Comment: You could call this one of the three instances when half of the first-rounders panned out, as both Morton and Alexander had respectable careers.
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