ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. breaks down Santana Moss' draft outlook.
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Kiper: Vick at head of QB class

Kiper: Draft needs of NFC teams

Kiper: Draft needs of AFC teams

Kiper: Draft notebook

Kiper: First-round draft projection, March 5

Mel Kiper's story archive

Sunday, April 22

Top wide receivers available in draft

April 2

Koren Robinson, right, follows in the footsteps of ex-N.C. State star Torry Holt.
1. Koren Robinson, North Carolina State -- Enjoyed a brilliant third-year sophomore campaign with the Wolfpack, finishing with 62 catches for over 1,000 yards and 13 TDs (an average of 17.1 yards per catch). The 6-foot-1½, 210-pounder flashed big-time speed with the pads on but has yet to prove that to the NFL brass. You see, Robinson strained a hamstring running his first 40 at his individual workout on March 23. He will be working out again Thursday. This will determine if Robinson remains as one of the elite offensive players in the draft. Drafted by Seattle, first round (9th)

2. Rod Gardner, Clemson -- Has been enjoying a steady rise up the draft board to the point where he could now be a possibility for the Seattle Seahawks at pick No. 7 or the Green Bay Packers at the 10th spot. The 6-2¼, 217-pounder shows Cris Carter-type pass-receiving skills, figuring to be the most highly regarded Tiger wideout since Jerry Butler back in 1979 when he was the fifth overall pick to the Buffalo Bills. Drafted by Washington, first round (15th)

3. David Terrell, Michigan -- With the injury question now subsiding, Terrell has moved back into the mix for the Cleveland Browns' third pick. Last season, the 6-3, 213-pounder was a huge force just about every game, averaging over 100 yards receiving against Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Northwestern, Ohio State and Auburn. Drafted by Chicago, first round (8th)

4. Freddie Mitchell, UCLA -- Delivered a number of A-plus performances last season, finishing with 68 catches for nearly a 20-yard average and eight touchdowns. He also showed he can throw the football, tossing a pair of TD strikes covering 31 and 45 yards. Once he ran the 4.44 at the combine, Mitchell established himself as a top-echelon prospect at the strong and very deep WR position. Drafted by Philadelphia, first round (25th)

5. Santana Moss, Miami (Fla.) -- Qualifies as one of the top playmakers in the draft, able to beat you as both a wideout and punt returner. And while he's just 5-9½ and 185 pounds, Moss shows the toughness to finish plays that are directed to the middle of the field. If he were a couple of inches taller, you would more than likely be looking at a top-five pick instead of a mid-first-rounder. Drafted by NY Jets, first round (16th)

6. Chad Johnson, Oregon State -- After a spectacular close to the 2000 season, followed by an eye-catching effort at the Senior Bowl practices, it looked as if Johnson would figure in the top five to 10 overall. However, following his sub-par showing at the combine, it's conceivable that Johnson could still be on the board during the latter stages of the first round. At that point, he brings tremendous value. Drafted by Cincinnati, second round (36th)

7. Chris Chambers, Wisconsin -- Missed the first four games of the season due to a stress fracture in his right foot, then finished with a rush over the final five weeks of the campaign. Chambers runs in the 4.35 range at 5-11½ and 210 pounds and ranks as one of the top natural athletes in the draft. Drafted by Miami, second round (52nd)

8. Reggie Wayne, Miami (Fla.) -- Ranks as the most skilled route-runner in the draft and also has the strongest hands of any wideout on the board. The only reason he'll likely drop into the late first or early second round is due to his less-than-spectacular 40 time of 4.56 to 4.59. With Wayne, however, he plays faster than he times. It's always important to remember that we're looking for football players, not track stars. Drafted by Indianapolis, first round (30th)

9. Robert Ferguson, Texas A&M -- Strong, extremely physical wideout who excelled in his first and only season in the Big 12 after transferring from Tyler Junior College, where he earned All-America honors. Because of the depth and talent at the WR position this year, Ferguson also figures to become a major-league steal in the second round. In fact, had he returned to A&M and posted the exact same numbers (58 catches for a 15.3 yard average and six TDs), you could have easily been looking at a top 10-15 pick in round one. Drafted by Green Bay, second round (41st)

10. Quincy Morgan, Kansas State -- If he develops a little more consistency, Morgan's size (6-1, 209), athleticism and deceptive speed will prove to be quite a challenge for opposing CBs. Remember, in '99 he averaged a K-State and Big 12-record 24 yards per catch and followed that by averaging 18.2 yards per grab last season. Drafted by Cleveland, second round (33rd)

11. Kevin Kasper, Iowa -- After two productive seasons with the Hawkeyes, Kasper wowed the NFL brass at the combine, running under 4.4 and coming through with an explosive 44-inch vertical jump. Figures to garner a great deal of interest in round three.

12. Alex Bannister, Eastern Kentucky -- Blue-chip performer in the Ohio Valley Conference; his height (6-4½) and natural pass-receiving skills are real attention-getters. However, at the pro level, Bannister will need to develop strength and also add about 10 pounds to his angular frame. Would make sense in the late first-day or early second-day area. Drafted by Seattle, fifth round (140th)

13. Scotty Anderson, Grambling -- Good-looking developmental prospect who produced excellent results over the last three years (188 receptions). However, in the NFL, Anderson will have to work a bit harder to haul in the difficult reception. Drafted by Detroit, fifth round (148th)

14. Marvin "Snoop" Minnis, Florida State -- Came through with an exceptional final campaign with the Seminoles, proving he could get the job done as the featured option. However, in the NFL, I view Minnis as more of a third or fourth wideout. He could drop down a little further than his collegiate press clippings tend to indicate. Drafted by Kansas City, third round (77th)

15. Reggie Germany, Ohio State -- With his height (6-1¼), experience over the last three years and stop-watch 40 speed, you would expect Germany to figure as a potential first-round draft choice. However, in my opinion, he wasn't able to take his game to a new level last season, with his reception total dropping from 43 as a junior to 22, while accounting for just one TD. Germany could end up going higher (second or third round) in the draft than my rating tends to indicate.

16. Cedrick Wilson, Tennessee -- Lacks ideal size at 5-9½ and 180 pounds, but he provides a great deal of versatility with his return skills, shows the necessary toughness and has supreme knowledge of the position and what is expected. With his all-around talent and production against SEC competition, I envision Wilson settling in as a very effective extra wideout who can also figure heavily on special teams. Would qualify as an excellent choice in the fourth or fifth round. Drafted by San Francisco, sixth round (169th)

17. Ken-Yon Rambo, Ohio State -- Enjoyed an outstanding junior season, averaging 20.3 yards per catch and accounting for six TDs. Last season, though, his average dropped to 14.3 yards and he finished with just a pair of TDs. Rambo has the necessary talent, but I didn't see the type of performance on a week-to-week basis last season that you expect from a wideout with his ability. In the end, Rambo could go higher in the draft than my rating indicates.

18. Steve Smith, Utah -- The 5-9, 185-pounder proved to be a multi-dimensional weapon with the Utes, starring as a return man as well as a wideout. He also came through with impressive showings at the Blue-Gray and East-West Shrine all-star games. With his speed, athleticism and versatility, Smith would qualify as a nice addition on the second day of the draft. Drafted by Carolina, third round (74th)

19. Andre King, Miami (Fla.) -- While he'll be a 27-year-old rookie in the NFL (he spent five seasons playing minor league baseball after originally being a second-round selection of the Atlanta Braves), King's maturity level and the experience he gained working in a pro-style attack has to benefit him a great deal. In addition, he can get the job done on special teams, both as a kickoff returner and on the kick-coverage units.

20. Walter Williams, Grambling -- One of the true sleepers in the draft, Williams played football just his senior year at the prep level and saw action for just the '99 season at Grambling when he hauled in 36 receptions and six TDs. He also worked at running back while seeing action on special teams as well. After working all summer to improve his skills as a wide receiver, Williams found out just before the start of the 2000 season that he had no eligibility remaining. With his size (6-1, 203), strength (did 27 reps during a recent workout) and athleticism (44-inch vertical jump), there is a possibility he could land in the defensive secondary at a safety spot. Whether it be receiver or defensive back, Williams definitely has to be regarded as one of the more intriguing later-round prospects in the draft. By the way, he also worked as a kickoff returner at Grambling in '99 and saw action on the punt/kick-coverage units.

Other wide receivers of note:
Latef Grim, Pittsburgh
Eddie Berlin, Northern Iowa (Drafted by Tennessee, fifth round (159th))
Joey Getherall, Notre Dame
Ramondo North, North Carolina A&T
Justin McCareins, Northern Illinois (Drafted by Tennessee, fourth round (124th))
Quentin McCord, Kentucky
Bobby Newcombe, Nebraska (Drafted by Arizona, sixth round (166th))
Milton Wynn, Washington State (Drafted by St. Louis, fourth round (116th))
Ronney Daniels, Auburn
Vinny Sutherland, Purdue (Drafted by Atlanta, fifth round (136th))
Hilton Alexander, Morris Brown
Onome Ojo, UC Davis (Drafted by New Orleans, fifth round (153rd))
Chris Taylor, Texas A&M
Cedric James, TCU (Drafted by Minnesota, fourth round (131st))
Darnerian McCants, Delaware State (Drafted by Washington, fifth round (154th))
Jonathan Carter, Troy State (Drafted by NY Giants, fifth round (162nd))
Kenny Clark, Central Florida
Boo Williams, Arkansas
Javon Green, Colorado
John Capel, Florida
Khori Ivy, West Virginia
Steve Neal, Western Michigan
Adrian Burnette, Tulane
Francis St. Paul, Northern Arizona
Corey Brown, Tulsa

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