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Old 05-13-2008, 03:08 AM   #1
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Default New crop of wide receivers ready to take over

New crop of wide receivers ready to take over
By Vinnie Iyer - SportingNews
May 10, 12:17 pm EDT

Randy Moss and Terrell Owens never stop vying for attention. Chad Johnson dominated the offseason headlines until, in a surprise twist, mild-mannered Marvin Harrison was caught in the middle of a Philadelphia shooting investigation.

Enough about the old guys; it’s time to move on and shine the spotlight on some much younger NFL wide receivers. While the four above thirtysomethings don’t have too many combined years left in the game, there is a group of wideouts 25 years young—and younger—ready to dominate.

Here are the top five young receivers in the NFL—make that six—who are just getting warmed up:

1. Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals

Fitzgerald is the most experienced—and the most talented—in this group. After hitting nearly identical statistical marks in 2005 and ‘07, 100-plus catches, 1,400 yards and 10 TDs easily is in Fitzgerald’s reach for every full season he plays. Still only 24, the Cardinals were wise to lock him up with a four-year, $40 million deal.

There has been something special about Fitzgerald since his days hanging around the Minnesota Vikings as a kid, to standing out at the University of Pittsburgh, to his early entry into the ‘04 draft. Fitzgerald has lived up to the hype—unfortunately, few NFL fans noticed because he plays in Arizona.

2. Braylon Edwards, Cleveland Browns

Edwards (6-3, 212) must develop a great connection with a Cleveland quarterback to live up to his immense potential as a dominant big receiver. Heeding the call last season was a big passer, 6-6 Derek Anderson. Edwards scored 16 touchdowns last season, second only to Moss, accounting for more than half of Anderson’s 29 TD passes.

When matched against an undersized cornerback, Edwards consistently exploits the defender. Edwards can go up to get any ball, and it helps that Anderson throws it where it only Edwards can grab it.

3. Marques Colston, New Orleans Saints

How was it possible that Colston slipped to the seventh round in the ‘06 draft? OK, he went to Hofstra, but you would think someone would look past that, considering he is 6-4, 231 pounds and shows great hands. Luckily for the Saints, Colston and us, New Orleans coaches realized his potential and gave him the chance to start right away.

He has become Drew Brees’ unquestioned No. 1 target in the Saints’ prolific passing game. Colston is a possession machine, snagging everything thrown to him to deliver on third downs and deliver touchdowns. OK, calling him a “possession receiver” isn’t fair, either, because he also has caught several cornerbacks off-guard with his sneaky speed.

4. Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City Chiefs

There was room for only one second-year player on this list, and Bowe gets the nod over the Lions’ Calvin Johnson. While Johnson battled back problems and struggled to get going in a pass-oriented, mistake-prone Detroit offense, Bowe started 15 games and starred in Kansas City’s run-oriented, conservative offense.

Bowe (6-2, 221) used his size, soft hands and leaping ability well in the red zone, and he also showed he could be a downfield threat. Bowe fell only 5 yards short of a 1,000 as a rookie, and with steadier quarterback play he’ll shoot well past that mark this season and beyond.

5. (tie) Santonio Holmes, Pittsburgh Steelers
and Greg Jennings, Green Bay Packers

Both Holmes and Jennings are 5-11. Both weigh less than 200 pounds. Both are wiry speedsters with a knack for making big plays after the catch. Both play for storied franchises, and both quickly have become fan favorites. Both also play opposite tough, hardnosed, hard-working veteran all-star receivers (Hines Ward in Pittsburgh, and Donald Driver in Green Bay).

So you can see how difficult it was to separate Holmes and Jennings in these rankings. Durability is the only question about these 24-year-old players entering their third years, considering their slighter frames. Heck, they’ve both even battled similar ankle injuries
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Old 05-13-2008, 03:20 AM   #2
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Default Re: New crop of wide receivers ready to take over

o boy... i can see a number of players that are not on this list that deserve to be on this list.

i have a friend who's a die-heart broncos fan and he keeps pimpin' brandon marshall.. at times i greatly disagree but i have to say "Baby T.O" will be good once he gets his head on straight...

another guy is vincent jackson of the chargers.. a huge target at 6'5 241 pounds.. will be phillip rivers' favorite target soon..
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Old 05-13-2008, 03:42 AM   #3
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Default Re: New crop of wide receivers ready to take over

That is a list of some good receivers for years to come but like rhee rhee said they are some good ones not listed.
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Old 05-13-2008, 10:24 AM   #4
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Default Re: New crop of wide receivers ready to take over

heck yea santonio rep the black and gold!

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