Football

NFL Draft position preview: Receivers

Alabama’s Amari Cooper seems likely to be the first wide receiver taken in the 2015 NFL Draft.
Alabama’s Amari Cooper seems likely to be the first wide receiver taken in the 2015 NFL Draft. AP

Overview

It seems almost impossible that this class could match the depth of the 2014 class of receivers. But this year’s crop comes close with starter-level talent early in the first round in Amari Cooper, Kevin White and DeVante Parker and consistent depth in the top 100 and into Day 3.

Cowboys’ needs

Dez Bryant became one of the top receivers in the NFL last season, earning All-Pro honors with 88 catches for 1,320 yards and 16 touchdowns. He remains unhappy with the Dallas Cowboys giving him the franchise tag instead of a long-term deal. Terrance Williams had stretches where he disappeared, but he finished with a 16.8 yards per catch average and eight touchdowns. Tony Romo trusted Cole Beasley as much as Bryant on third down, and Beasley won the job as the third receiver and then a new payday at the end of the season. Dwayne Harris left via free agency, leaving the Cowboys to hope Devin Street takes a step up in his second season after little playing time as a rookie. They likely will draft at least one receiver to challenge Street for playing time as the fourth wideout.

Top five

Amari Cooper, Alabama, 6-1, 211, 4.42 in 40: He played in 40 games, started 29, and made 228 catches for 3,463 yards and 31 touchdowns.

Kevin White, West Virginia, 6-3, 215, 4.35: He made 22 starts, catching 144 passes for 1,954 yards and 15 touchdowns.

DeVante Parker, Louisville, 6-3, 209, 4.45: He started 25 games, with 156 catches for 2,775 yards and 33 touchdowns.

Jaelen Strong, Arizona State, 6-2, 217, 4.44: In 26 games at ASU, he made 157 catches for 2,287 yards and 17 touchdowns.

Dorial Green-Beckham, Oklahoma, 6-5, 237, 4.49: He made 87 catches for 1,278 yards and 17 touchdowns at Missouri before transferring to OU and sitting out last season.

Sleeper

Ricky Collins, TAMU-Commerce, 5-11, 196, 4.49: He played at three colleges in his career, making 71 catches for 1,187 yards and a school-record 14 touchdowns last season.

Top Texas ties

Ty Montgomery, Stanford, 6-0, 221, 4.55: The Dallas St. Mark’s product, projected as a fourth-round choice, started 31 games with 172 catches for 2,125 yards and 15 touchdowns.

Dezmin Lewis, Central Arkansas, 6-4, 214, 4.46: The Mesquite product, projected as a fourth-rounder, played in 48 games, with 24 starts, and made 197 catches for 2,668 yards and 24 touchdowns.

Antwan Goodley, Baylor, 5-10, 209, 4.44: Goodley, projected as a fifth-rounder, made 30 starts at BU with 150 catches for 2,366 yards and 21 touchdowns.

Devante Davis, UNLV, 6-3, 220, 4.57: The North Shore High product, projected as a sixth-rounder, started 37 career games and made 186 catches for 2,785 yards and 22 touchdowns.

Deontay Greenberry, Houston, 6-1, 211, 4.50: Greenberry, projected as a sixth-rounder, made 201 catches for 2,612 yards and 20 touchdowns in 37 games at UH.

DeAndrew White, Alabama, 5-11, 193, 4.44: The North Shore High product, projected as a late-round pick, had 94 catches for 1,294 yards and 12 touchdowns in 42 career games.

Jordan Taylor, Rice, 6-4, 204, 4.50: Taylor, who likely is a priority free agent, had 176 catches for 2,588 yards and 20 touchdowns in 42 career games.

Heights, weights and 40 times were compiled from CBS Sportsline.

NFL Draft

Thursday-May 2, Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, Chicago.

Round 1: 7 p.m. Thursday. Rounds 2-3: 6 p.m. May 1. Rounds 4-7, 11 a.m. May 2. TV: NFL Network, ESPN/ESPN2

The order

1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

2. Tennessee Titans

3. Jacksonville Jaguars

4. Oakland Raiders

5. Washington Redskins

6. New York Jets

7. Chicago Bears

8. Atlanta Falcons

9. New York Giants

10. St. Louis Rams

11. Minnesota Vikings

12. Cleveland Browns

13. New Orleans Saints

14. Miami Dolphins

15. San Francisco 49ers

16. Houston Texans

17. San Diego Chargers

18. Kansas City Chiefs

19. Cleveland Browns

20. Philadelphia Eagles

21. Cincinnati Bengals

22. Pittsburgh Steelers

23. Detroit Lions

24. Arizona Cardinals

25. Carolina Panthers

26. Baltimore Ravens

27. Dallas Cowboys

28. Denver Broncos

29. Indianapolis Colts

30. Green Bay Packers

31. New Orleans Saints

32. New England Patriots

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