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NFL Draft Preview: Wide Receivers

Redskins.com previews the NFL Draft position-by-position, with a focus on some of the top rookie prospects available in the April 29-30 NFL Draft. Monday: Wide Receivers.

The Redskins entered the 2006 offseason with questions mark at wide receiver--apart from Pro Bowler Santana Moss, of course. In a span of 24 hours, the team addressed those questions with the free agent acquisitions of wide receivers Brandon Lloyd and Antwaan Randle El. With David Patten, James Thrash and Taylor Jacobs also returning, the Redskins are suddenly deep at the wide receiver position.

There is not a great deal of size among the Redskins' corps of receivers, but there is plenty of speed.

Will the Redskins pursue wide receivers in the 2006 NFL Draft? It seems unlikely. If there's a rookie receiver available who has good size and can help in red zone passing situations, team officials may opt to draft him. Also, many teams prescribe to the theory that you can never have enough good, young wide receivers.

Redskins Draft History: Since drafting Art Monk (first round, 1980 NFL Draft and Charlie Brown (eighth round, 1981 NFL Draft), the Redskins have not had a great deal of success in drafting wide receivers. The rest of the 1980s included relative unknowns in Curtland Thomas and Eric Yarber. The 1990s included high-profile picks Desmond Howard and Michael Westbrook. (Keenan McCardell was selected in the 12th round of the 1991 draft, but he played sparingly for the Redskins.) In recent years, Rod Gardner, Darnerien McCants and Jacobs were among the selections at wide receiver.

Top Prospects

Jackson rose up the draft board with a strong performance at the NFL Scouting Combine last February and he is expected to be the first wide receiver selected on April 29. Last season, the 6-1, 201-pounder caught a team-high 88 passes for 900 yards and nine touchdowns for the Gators. While he's not regarded as an elite player, some scouts consider him to be the most complete wide receiver available in the draft.

Holmes has the sped to be a threat to score anytime he catches a ball, either at wide receiver or kick returner. Last season, he caught 53 catches for 977 yards--with a remarkable 18.4-yard average--and 11 touchdowns last season. His 5-11, 185-pound size is smaller than some scouts prefer, but players like Holmes, Santana Moss and Steve Smith could be the prototypical wide receivers of the future.

#### Second-Round Prospects

The brother of Santana, Sinorice Moss is another speedster but is smaller than both Santana and Ohio State's Holmes: he comes in at 5-8 and 183 pounds. Sinorice led the Hurricanes with 37 catches for 614 yards and six touchdowns last season. Like Santana, if he can beat jams at the line of scrimmage, he will be difficult to stop.

Hagan, at 6-1 and 203 pounds, could be the top possession receiver of this year's draft. He is regarded as a solid route-runner who knows how to get open, but he does not have elite speed. Last season, he led Arizona State with 77 catches for 1,210 yards and eight touchdowns.

Stovall came on for the Fighting Irish last season-and continued to impress with a solid Senior Bowl week in late January. At 6-4 and 216 pounds, Stovall has the most imposing frame of any other wide receiver in the draft. He recorded 69 catches for 1,149 yards and 11 touchdowns last season.

Late-Round Possibilities

Lee has good size at 6-2 and 200 pounds, but is regarded by some scouts as more of a possession receiver. He led the Panthers with 49 catches for 962 yards and seven touchdowns. He made his share of big plays last season, with 19.6 yards per catch.

Wilson did not post big numbers (25 catches, 310 yards, one TD) in the Sooners' offense, due in part to an inexperienced quarterback at the helm. The 6-1, 208-pounder does not have great speed, but he is thought to be a physical presence and should fight for passes in tight coverage.

Nance sustained a major knee injury in 2004, but he was able to bounce back last season to post 81 catches for 1,107 yards and 14 touchdowns. The 6-4, 208-pounder could be a steal in the mid-rounds.

A classic possession receiver prospect, Baskett is a 6-2, 220-pounder who does not have great speed but (as a former state champion high jumper) should fight for balls in traffic and the red zone. He led the Lobos with 67 catches for 1,071 yards and nine touchdowns last season.

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Other WRs to Watch

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