Building the perfect NFL wide receivertheScore
Matt Williamson is a former scout for the Cleveland Browns and spent the last 10 years at ESPN as a scout and co-host of "The Football Today Podcast."
How would you build the ideal player? We decided to do exactly that by taking the head, eyes, arm/hands, body, and feet of a great player and assembling the ideal specimen at eight different positions. We also decided that you could only use one aspect of each player - no double dipping allowed. This edition covers wide receivers.
In this case, we are translating “Head” to toughness, competitiveness, and an infectious passion for playing that boosts teammates. Landry takes pride in blocking and does so with a nasty edge. He does most of his work near the ball in the slot doing battle with edge defenders and linebackers.
Landry runs with conviction and physicality when he has the ball in his hands and is more like a running back after the catch than a typical wideout in today’s NFL. He has a great head for the game and can set the tone for an entire offense.
Brown didn’t enter the league as the biggest or fastest of prospects and subsequently fell to the later rounds of the draft. But from the start, Brown has seen the game very well. He best exemplifies this as a punt returner, but he's also superb at reading defenses on the fly and altering his route accordingly.
His eye skills are also apparent with Brown’s great ability to track the football, particularly deep downfield. There are several traits that make Brown an elite receiver, but his eyes are at the top of that long list.
This is an easy one. While there are many sure-handed wide receivers in the league right now, Fitzgerald’s body of work in this area is simply unmatched. Not only does Fitzgerald haul in anything in his vicinity, his career highlight reel of amazing catches is about as impressive as anyone in history.
Fitzgerald is an easy Hall of Famer and has shown many great strengths - but none more so than his hands and ball skills.
With Calvin Johnson retired, Evans will have to do for our ideal wide receiver body. Johnson had the best such body of all time, but we'll settle for Evans, who is built to catch touchdowns in tight quarters as well as stretch the field.
With his extreme height and long arms, his quarterback can pretty much put the ball up for grabs when Evans is in one-on-one situations. Because he isn’t as twitched up as someone like Odell Beckham, Evans’ ability to stretch the field can be overlooked. But because of his huge stride length, Evans just eats up grass once he opens it up.
Hilton had one of the most underappreciated seasons in the NFL last year. He was simply outstanding. Hilton’s greatest asset is his feet, and his speed is obvious. Hilton is a burner, and he gets to top speed very quickly. His acceleration is top notch and there are not many NFL players capable of beating him in a race with pads on.
Hilton is also very laterally explosive and has great quickness to accompany his speed. Soon everyone will realize that Hilton is truly one of the NFL’s top wide receivers.
Other entries in the series
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