Each year the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel polls NFL personnel with "national responsibilities", which most likely means directors of college scouting, to compile a ranking of prospects at each position. This year, 17 NFL execs were tasked to share their top 5 wide receiver prospects for the upcoming 2014 draft. The ranking was compiled using a Borda count ranked voting system, giving the top ranked player 5 points, down to 1 point for the fifth ranked player.
Eleven receivers got votes, showing that this years class at the position is very deep. So, let's take a look at the results and see where, or if, your favorite lands on the list.
1. Sammy Watkins
Not surprisingly, Sammy Watkins ran away with the voting, garnering 83 of a possible 85 points.
2. Mike Evans (59 points)
3. Odell Beckham Jr. (55 points - Only other player to receiver first place rank)
4. Brandin Cooks (25 points)
5. Marqise Lee (22 points)
6. Jordan Matthews (3 points)
7. tie Kelvin Benjamin, Cody Latimer, Paul Richardson (2 points)
10. tie Davante Adams, Shaq Evans (1 point)
These are not new names, almost, if not all, have been kicked around for weeks now here on our beloved fan site as possibilities from pick #28, to pick #60 and even at pick #92, or later. Historically, in the last five drafts, an average of 12.8 wide recievers have been selected in the top 100 picks, so if the Panthers wants to get one of these top ranked prospects, they need to pull the trigger in the first three rounds.
Another interesting tidbit is a quote from the Panthers' Director of College Scouting, Don Gregory. When asked how deep the field is and how late they would be able to get a "capable" receiver, Gregory responded, "If you do your homework you can find that type of guy in the fourth round."
It's also significant in the fact that Gregory was quoted, so he was almost assuredly one of the responders to the poll. So of these 11 players, 5 of them sit atop the positional ranking for the Carolina Panthers. With multiple visits with Cody Latimer and Davante Adams, could the Panthers exec have turned in a list with Latimer as the 4th best WR (2 points) and Davante Adams as the 5th best prospect (1 point)?? Seems plausible.
Now, it's just a matter of where they rank overall, because as we all know, Gettleman will be going ...