The 2010 college football season is sure to be an exciting one, as a number of big play wide receivers are set to have breakout years. With the exception LSU’s Terrance Toliver, the following players are all entering their junior years and are likely to depart from college early in search of a lucrative NFL contract. However, before they can cash that big paycheck they have to impress NFL scouts on the college gridiron one last time.
A.J. Green – Georgia
At 6’4″ and 212 pounds, Green has been compared to Alabama’s Julio Jones most of his college career; not because of his playing style, but because they have both been anointed as the “next big thing” at receiver since their junior year in high school. While Jones is more of a gritty possession type player, Green tends to be more of a down-field threat. He has gotten the better of Jones in the battle of statistics over the past two seasons, and considering the offense that Georgia runs, you can expect him to put up impressive numbers again in 2010.
Julio Jones – Alabama
Predicted to have a big junior season, Crimson Tide receiver Julio Jones hopes to have his first injury free year of football since high school. Plagued by health issues during his first two seasons with Alabama, many consider this formally top ranked recruit to be a bit of an under achiever. While his stats haven’t been through the roof like some expected, he has still managed to make his mark at the receiver position in other ways. His size and quickness make him nearly impossible to cover one on one while also allowing him to dominate cornerbacks when run-blocking. With a confident returning quarterback and an established down-field threat lining up opposite Jones, look for him to have more opportunities to demonstrate why he is one of the best in the game in 2010.
Michael Floyd – Notre Dame
Floyd is a big receiver who has a real knack for finding the pay dirt on Saturdays. He managed to reel in nine touchdowns despite missing five games due to injury last season. Like the previously mentioned receivers, Floyd already possesses elite NFL size and speed (6’3″ and 227 pounds). Although he lost his big play quarterback to the NFL, the outlook remains positive that this player is in for a big junior season.
Jarmon Fortson – North Alabama
While not necessarily a “top receiver” candidate, Jarmon Fortson provides NFL scouts with an interesting opportunity. He was dismissed from Florida State for allegedly failing a number of drug tests and has since enrolled at Division II power house, North Alabama. Now under the tutelage of longtime coach Terry Bowden, Fortson joins a number of other Florida State transfers as they try to make a case for an eventual professional contract. He has the size and ability to be a productive NFL receiver but owners and coaches will likely be weary of his potential character flaws come draft day. Regardless of his off field issues, Fortson is a player to watch in 2010.
Terrance Toliver – LSU
Ryan Broyles – Oklahoma
DeAndre Brown – Southern Miss
“Michael Floyd” – ESPN.com
“A.J. Green” – ESPN.com