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August 23, 2007

Better or Not: Wide receivers

Mike Farrell's "Better or Not" series continues this week with a look at the top wide receivers entering the college ranks this upcoming year.

Are some of the top receiver prospects in the 2007 class like Terrance Toliver and Arrelious Benn "Better or Not" when it comes to those they're trying to replace?

Better or Not: Wide Receivers
Ronald Johnson, USC
Johnson HS video
Stunning how another USC guy makes one of these lists (they had two in the running back category and one on the quarterback list). Johnson, in this scenario, is replacing the departed Steve Smith and not Dwayne Jarrett because he's much more similar to Smith. A superior talent for USC, Smith will be a very good NFL player. However, Johnson is already the same size as Smith, will get bigger and faster and is a pure gamebreaker. The only way Johnson doesn't surpass Smith's tremendous production at USC is if he's moved to cornerback, where he would also be an upgrade.
Verdict: Better

  • Vote: Ronald Johnson at USC - Better or Not?
  • Terrance Toliver, LSU
    Toliver HS video
    This is another good one. Toliver eventually hopes to fill the shoes of Dwayne Bowe. Toliver is skinny right now and needs to add bulk to his 6-foot-4 frame. Bowe got better every season at LSU and became a matchup nightmare for defenders by his senior season. But Toliver is faster than Bowe was at the same stage of development. Toliver has no qualms making plays in traffic or over the middle, same as Bowe. However, to think that Toliver can surpass Bowe's career is questionable at this time. Everything has to go right for Toliver to be a first round NFL pick, so I give Bowe the benefit of the doubt.
    Verdict: Not

  • Vote: Terrance Toliver at LSU - Better or Not?
  • Chris Culliver, South Carolina
    Culliver HS video
    Sidney Rice played only two seasons with the Gamecocks and many felt another year would have been in order. He slipped in the draft to the second round based on questions about his ability to take physical punishment and willingness to go over the middle. Culliver has excellent speed, but he's not as big as Rice. However, Culliver seems to be more physical. Culliver isn't a natural receiver and will be learning the position on the fly, so the jury is out on how close he can come to reaching his full potential. For those reasons, Rice gets the nod.
    Verdict: Not

  • Vote: Chris Culliver at South Carolina - Better or Not?
  • Arrelious Benn, Illinois
    Benn HS video
    The leading receiver for the Illini had 30 catches last year. That's horrible. Benn, a 6-foot-2, 215-pound manchild, has already shown in spring ball and in fall practice that he's the best wideout on the team.
    Verdict: Better

  • Vote: Arrelious Benn at Illinois - Better or Not?
  • Duval Kamara, Notre Dame
    Kamara HS video
    Jeff Samardzija put up some pretty impressive numbers at Notre Dame despite being an afterthought his first two seasons under Ty Willingham. But Kamara has two advantages. First, he'll focus on football exclusively instead of throwing fastballs. Secondly, he's going to be with Charlie Weis for four or five years. With his potential, he should be an upgrade even over Samardzija.
    Verdict: Better

  • Vote: Duval Kamara at Notre Dame - Better or Not?
  • More Better or Not: Quarterbacks | Running backs

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