Looking at the fastest college WRs

February, 24, 2014
Speed isn't everything at receiver, where route-running and hands and quickness matter quite a bit as well. But speed does help, especially if you’re a team trying to add a little more and stretch the defense -- such as the Washington Redskins. So I thought I'd check out the 10 fastest receivers, based on their 40-yard dash times, to see how they produced in the NFL and where they project. Among the receivers not on the list? Marqise Lee, Mike Evans, Davante Adams, Jarvis Landry, Kelvin Benjamin, Robert Herron and Josh Huff -- all are included among Mel Kiper's Top 10 receivers. That's why speed is good, but it's not everything.

Regardless, here are the top 10 when it comes to 40-yard dash times:

Brandin Cooks
College: Oregon State
Size: 5-10, 189
Time: 4.33 seconds
College production: Was named the Biletnikoff winner, given to the nation’s best receiver. He also was a first-team All-American after setting Pac-12 records for receptions (128) and receiving yards (1,730).
Projection: Possible first-round pick; likely an inside receiver with the ability to move outside.

John Brown
College: Pittsburg State (Kansas)
Size: 5-10, 179
Time: 4.34
College production: Dominated Division II the past three years; was named an AP Little All-American three times as an all-purpose player, including a first-teamer in 2012. Finished his three-year career with school records in catches (185) and touchdowns (32). Averaged 32.4 yards per kickoff return as a senior.
Projection: Slot receiver/returner. Mid- to late-round pick.

Donte Moncrief
College: Mississippi
Size: 6-2, 221
Time: 4.40
College production: Finished his three-year career No. 3 on his school’s all-time list for receptions 9156), receiving yards (2,371) and receiving touchdowns (20). His nine 100-yard games ranked second on the school’s all-time list.
Projection: Outside receiver. Second-third round.

Paul Richardson
College: Colorado
Size: 6-0, 175
Time: 4.40
College production: After missing all of 2012 following a torn ACL, Richardson started all 12 games and was Colorado’s leader in catches (83), receiving yards (1,343) and receiving touchdowns (10).
Projection: Outside receiver. Second-third round.

Martavis Bryant
College: Clemson
Size: 6-4, 211
Time: 4.42
College production: In three seasons, Bryant (a former high school teammate of Doug Williams’ son), caught 61 passes for 1,354 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Projection: Outside receiver/red zone target. Third round.

Jeff Janis
College: Saginaw Valley State
Size: 6-3, 219
Time: 4.42
College production: Dominated Division II, earning first-team AP Little All-American honors the past two seasons. He caught 83 passes for 1,572 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2013. He had 4,175 receiving yards the past three seasons combined.
Projection: Outside receiver/red zone target. Late-round pick.

Odell Beckham
College: LSU
Size: 5-11, 198
Time: 4.43
College Production: Set an LSU record with 2,315 all-purpose yards thanks in part to his return ability.
Projection: Slot receiver/returner. First-second round.

Sammy Watkins
College: Clemson
Size: 6-1, 211
Time: 4.43
College production: Was second-team All-American receiver as a senior and first-team all-purpose player as a freshman. Watkins established school records in catches (240) and receiving yards (3,391).
Projection: Outside receiver. Top-10 pick.

Albert Wilson
College: Georgia State
Size: 5-9, 202
Time: 4.43
College production: Averaged 190.2 all-purpose yards, though it’s not as if his returns were stellar. He averaged 23.5 on kickoffs and 8.5 yards on punts this past season. Finished career with 6,235 all-purpose yards, including 3,190 as a receiver.
Projection: Slot receiver/returner. Late-round pick.

Jalen Saunders
College: Oklahoma
Size: 5-9, 165
Time: 4.44
College production: After transferring from Fresno State, Saunders caught a combined 123 passes for 1,558 yards the past two seasons. He returned 20 punts for 308 yards and two touchdowns this past season.
Projection: Inside receiver/return man. Late-round pick.

John Keim

ESPN Washington Redskins reporter



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