On Campus: 2014 Best in Class - Wide Receivers

Unpublished

Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - The recent NFL Draft was described as having perhaps the deepest pool of talent at wide receiver ever.

The mass exodus to the next level leaves some questioning whether there will be a dearth of talent at the position in the FBS in 2014.

Here are the top wide receivers heading into the new campaign.

RASHAD GREENE: Florida State's Kelvin Benjamin was a monster last year, providing big-play ability down the stretch as the Seminoles made their run to the national title, but it was due in part to the attention that was paid to the 6-foot, 180-pound Greene. A picture of consistency on the outside for FSU, Greene has led the team in receptions in each of the last three seasons, including last year, when he amassed 76 receptions for 1,128 yards and nine touchdowns, en route to All-ACC first-team honors. He only has average-size at best, but Greene possesses elite speed, has great hands and is an excellent route runner - all qualities that NFL teams covet. Another huge season in Tallahassee should put him among the top players at his position for the 2015 draft. He should have no problem making the transition from Saturdays to Sundays,

TYLER BOYD: The most-productive freshman receiver in the country played for the Panthers, as the 6-2, 185-pound Boyd burst on the scene and delivered some huge performances for Pittsburgh in 2013. Boyd finished the year with 85 catches for 1,174 yards and seven TDs and was tabbed a Freshman All-American. His 85 receptions were the second-most in a single season in school history, behind only Larry Fitzgerald's 92 as a sophomore in 2003. His catch total also set the ACC record for a freshman (set by Clemson's Sammy Watkins in 2011 with 82). He doesn't possess exceptional straight-line speed, but he does have great hands and a knack for making people miss. With veteran Devin Street moving on to the NFL, Boyd will take on an even more prominent role in Pitt's passing game. That may not sit well with the Panthers' opponents in 2014.

ANTWAN GOODLEY: Baylor continues to churn out quality playmakers under Art Briles and last year was no different, as the 5-10, 225-pound Goodley was a unanimous All-Big 12 first-team selection, racking up 71 receptions for 1,339 yards and 13 TDs. He averaged 18.9 yards per catch and 103 yards per game as the Big 12's top wideout. Goodley's versatility is his greatest strength, as he also can run the football and return kicks if need be. He isn't the tallest receiver out there, but doesn't lack overall size and more than makes up for his shortcomings with great strength. A productive pass catcher with an All- American candidate (Bryce Petty) throwing him the ball is a recipe for success in Waco.

JAMISON CROWDER: Defensive back Ross Cockrell was the first Duke player drafted before the seventh round since 2000 when he was selected by the Buffalo Bills in the fourth round last week. The 5-9, 175-pound Crowder should have no problem following in Cockrell's footsteps and may get drafted even higher should he duplicate a hugely successful 2013 season. Crowder doesn't intimidate opponents with his size, but rather with his ability to get open and make plays on a regular basis. As a junior in 2013, Crowder led the ACC in receptions (108) and receiving yards (1,360) with eight TDs, and he also returned two punts for scores, earning All-ACC honors as both a receiver and returner. The football climate is changing in Durham and Crowder is certainly a part of that.

TYLER LOCKETT: Another multi-faceted playmaker resides in Manhattan, Kansas, in the form of the 5-11, 175-pound Tyler Lockett. Kansas State's go-to guy on offense, Lockett earned All-America accolades, picked up All-Big 12 first-team honors and was the Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Year in 2013. Lockett burst on the scene as a junior, putting up better numbers in 2013 than his two previous seasons combined, finishing with 81 catches for 1,262 yards and 11 TDs. His reception and yardage totals set single-season school records. He also ranks as one of the best all-purpose players in KSU history, second in career yards (4,290) and fifth in yards per game (126.2). He ranks second among active players in the country in kickoff return average (31.1) and kickoff return touchdowns (4).

TY MONTGOMERY: A gifted playmaker on the Stanford offense, the 6-2, 215-pound Montgomery is coming into his own as a receiver, finishing last season with 61 catches for 958 yards and 10 TDs. He was also one of the nation's premier kick returners, earning consensus All-America honors, ranking second nationally with 30.3 yards per return, including two for touchdowns. His 36 kick returns resulted in 1,091 yards, the second player in school history to go over 1,000 return yards in a single season. More than a mere blur in the return game, Montgomery is evolving into one of the Pac-12's elite on the outside as well. The only thing holding him back is inconsistency under center at Stanford. With better play in that regard in 2014, Montgomery could find himself in the All-America conversation at two positions.

NELSON AGHOLOR: Staying in the Pac-12, USC's Nelson Agholor actually outplayed recent second-round selection and former Biletnikoff Award winner Marqise Lee in the Trojans' passing attack this past season, as Lee struggled with injuries. Much like the players before him on this list, Agholor excelled as both a receiver and return man in 2013. The 6-foot, 185-pounder had a big sophomore campaign, finishing with 56 receptions for 918 yards and six TDs, with 18 punt returns for 343 yards (a USC-record 19.1 yards per return) and two more scores. He was an All-Pac-12 second-team selection as a receiver and a first-team member on special teams. He will be the top choice down the field in 2014 in Steve Sarkisian's first season at the helm.

JAELEN STRONG: Completing the trifecta is another Pac-12 playmaker suiting up for Arizona State down in Tempe. The 6-4, 205-pound Strong tore up the junior college ranks in 2012 and carried that big-play ability over to Arizona State in 2013. The Philadelphia native seemed right at home at ASU, bursting on the scene last year with 75 receptions for 1,122 yards and seven TDs, en route to All-Pac-12 second-team honors. Strong will continue to build a rapport with veteran gun slinger Taylor Kelly, so the numbers should be there when all is said and done.

DEVANTE DAVIS: One of the top players at his position in the country with the least amount of national press is the 6-3, 210-pound Davis. Playing in the Mountain West certainly has something to do with that, but the UNLV standout continues to get better and better with each season. He outshined a breakout sophomore season in 2012 by posting 87 receptions for 1,290 yards and 14 TDs as a junior in 2013, setting the single-season mark at UNLV in touchdown grabs and picking up All-Mountain West second-team honors. He will have a new quarterback throwing him the football, but another highly productive campaign will force people to stand up and take notice.

DEONTAY GREENBERRY: The first five-star recruit to select Houston in school history, the 6-3, 198-pound Greenberry has more than lived up to the hype. After being named to the Conference USA All-Freshman squad in 2012, Greenberry took it up a notch by earning All-American Athletic Conference first-team honors in 2013, as he led Houston with 82 catches for 1,202 yards and 11 TDs, the second-most in the American Athletic Conference. A game-changer who can take over a game on the outside, Greenberry may not have peaked yet, which is a scary thought for defenders.

HONORABLE MENTION: Amari Cooper (Alabama), Stefon Diggs (Maryland), Laquon Treadwell (Ole Miss), Tommy Shuler (Marshall) and Josh Harper (Fresno State).

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