In this Sept. 14, 2019, file photo, Colorado wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr., front, outruns Air Force defensive back Zane Lewis to the end zone for a touchdown in the first half of an NCAA college football game in Boulder, Colo. Shenault Jr. looked like a first-round pick after his breakout season in 2018. His health, coupled with his production falling off last year, might keep him on the board longer than he expected. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)
In this Sept. 14, 2019, file photo, Colorado wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr., front, outruns Air Force defensive back Zane Lewis to the end zone for a touchdown in the first half of an NCAA college football game in Boulder, Colo. Shenault Jr. looked like a first-round pick after his breakout season in 2018. His health, coupled with his production falling off last year, might keep him on the board longer than he expected. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)|David Zalubowski | Associated Press
NFL

NFL Draft Preview: Eckel examines the deep WR class and ranks the top 10 with the help of an expert — did K.J. Hamler make the cut?

“Yes, this is a deep draft for wide receivers,’’ one executive said. “The key word is deep. I wouldn't take one in the first round."

Mark Eckel

A long-time executive in personnel has a warning for NFL teams looking for a wide receiver in the first round of this year’s draft.

Be careful.

“Yes, this is a deep draft for wide receivers,’’ he said. “The key word is deep. I wouldn't take one in the first round. There are so many of them. You can still get one just as good in the second, or even the third (round).’

Since the 2015 draft, 15 wide receivers have been selected in the first round, only the two selected in 2018 — D.J. Moore and Calvin Ridley — have lived up to their draft status thus far.

This year receivers are going to go, who are the best? Here’s the personnel executive’s list.

1. Jerry Jeudy, Alabama

Height: 6-1; Weight: 190

40 Time: 4.45

Stats: 2019: 77 receptions, 1,163 yards, 10 TDs

Quote: “I think he’s the best and he’ll be good. I’m not sure he’ll be great. I don’t think he will be great.’’

2. CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma

Height: 6-1; Weight: 190

40 Time: 4.5

Stats: 62-1,327-14

Quote: “He’s right there (with Jeudy), again good, but not great.’’

3. Jalen Reagor, TCU

Height: 5-11; Weight: 190

40 Time: 4.47

Stats: 2018:72-1,061-9; 2019: 43-611-5

Quote: “Yeah, I like him more than most. He’s dangerous. He’s a home-run hitter.’’

4. Chase Claypool, Notre Dame

Height: 6-3 1/2; Weight: 235

40 Time: 4.42

Stats: 66-1,037-13

Quote: “He was my sleeper, then he went to Combine, blew it up and now everyone is on him.’’

5. Laviska Shenault, Colorado

Height: 6-2; Weight: 225

40 Time: 4.58

Stats: 2018: 86-1,011-6 2019: 56-764-4

Quote: “Injuries knock him down a bit. But he’s talented. In he right offense he can do a lot of things for you.’’

6. Justin Jefferson, LSU

Height: 6-3, Weight: 190

40 Time: 4.43

Stats: 111-1,540-18

Quote: “He’s a slot guy, and a good one. That’s where you want to use him.’’

7. Henry Ruggs, Alabama

Height: 6-0, Weight: 190

40 Time: 4.27

Stats: 40-746-7

Quote: “His speed is straight line speed. I just don’t get it with him. He was the third best receiver on his team and people want to make him the best receiver in the draft.’’

8. Brandon Aiyuk, Arizona State

Height: 6-0; Weight: 195

40 Time: 4.50

Stats: 65-1,192-8

Quote: “He’s solid, dependable. He doesn’t jump out at you, but he can do a lot of things.’’

9. Tee Higgins, Clemson

Height: 6-4, Weight: 215

40 Time: 4.55

Stats: 59-1,167-13

Quote: “He’s got size and he used it in college. But he’s not going to be able to do a lot of what he did in college (in the NFL).’’

10. Denzel Mims, Baylor

Height: 6-3, Weight: 205

40 Time: 4.38

Stats: 66-1,020-12

Quote: “Baylor receiver, you watch the film and you see a good possession type guy. He killed the Combine so now people are inventing him.’’

OVERRATED: K.J. Hamler, Penn State. “He’s not good enough to make up for his size.’’

UNDERRATED: Jalen Reagor, TCU

SMALL SCHOOL STAR: Antonio Gandy-Golden, Liberty

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