2012 NFL Draft: Teams Disagree On Wide Receiver Grades

Feb 26, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Baylor Bears wide receiver Kendall Wright participates in a catch and run drill during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

One of the more intriguing positions in the 2012 NFL draft is wide receiver. There are a lot of wide receiver-needy teams heading into the draft, including the Bengals, and wide receiver is considered a fairly deep position. With the free agency signings of guys like Travelle Wharton and Jason Allen, the Bengals may have freed themselves from drafting for need outside of cornerback and many believe that they may look to select a wide receiver in the first round for the second year in a row.

While that is certainly a possibility, and recent mock drafts have reflected this, according to Rob Rang, there is disparity among teams when it comes to which wide receivers are first-round talents and which ones aren't.

But identifying the elite talent at the position wasn't the only way in which opinions differed. The number of receivers given first round grades by clubs also showed a startling lack of consensus.

For example, one high-ranking source for a team thought likely to be considering using an early pick on a receiver indicated that his club had only one -- Blackmon -- graded as a first round prospect.

An official for another team, however, cited five receivers -- Blackmon, Floyd, Wright, LSU's Rueben Randle and Georgia Tech's Stephen Hill -- as players his club had given preliminary top 32 grades.

The Bengals are looking for a new No. 2 wide receiver to play opposite of A.J. Green. If they get a cornerback with the No. 17 overall pick, they may look to draft a wide receiver in back-to-back first rounds for the first time since the 1985 and 1986 drafts (Eddie Brown and Tim McGee). However, if they don't believe that guys like Floyd, Wright, Randle or Hill are first-round talents, the Bengals' decision could be easy as they could go after a guy like Cordy Glenn or grab the best player available at No. 21.

Many still don't like the idea of drafting a wide receiver in the first round, even though it worked so well with A.J. Green, however, with two first-round talents on top of guys like Jermaine Gresham, Jordan Shipley, Armon Binns and Ryan Whalen, the Bengals offense could be incredibly potent.

It all just depends on what the Bengals think about the wide receiver talent in this year's draft class and how badly they feel they need a new No. 2 wide receiver. Considering the fact that they seemed to put no effort into signing a free agent wide receiver, I'd say they aren't looking to spend a first-round pick on one, but that just may be me.

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