When you think of wide receivers right now, you probably think of a few guys by the names of Terrell Owens, Randy Moss, Anquan Boldin, Brandon Marshall and Steve Smith. Some of these guys are getting up there in the age category and undoubtedly won't be playing at a high level for much longer (relatively speaking). As I watch college football these days, I'm starting to notice a few wide receivers that could truly stand out in the NFL as the elite in the future. One of these guys are on my Alabama Crimson Tide, the other is on the #2 Texas Tech behemoth. You probably know who I'm talking about, but if not, their names are Julio Jones and Michael Crabtree. Both are dynamic options for their wide receivers and both have made game winning plays when it counts in conferences that don't leave room for error.
Michael Crabtree is about as dynamic option to throw to that you can have at the college level. His hands seem so good that it's almost unfair at times to have him on your team. Not to take anything away from Texas Tech, but I don't think they would be where they are without this play-maker. He took it on himself to make the winning catch against Texas, in double coverage, stayed in bounds, broke a tackle and made it into the end-zone. This is something he has been doing all season long in an extremely tough conference, that is perhaps the best in college ball right now. Texas Tech is not the team people expected to be in line for the national championship, but when you have a guy that can catch the ball no matter the situation, you're going to be able to make people look bad. The reason I think this guy will be special in the NFL is simply because he has been so much better at his position than anyone else. You normally don't hear people talking about wide-receivers the way they do about Crabtree. Plus, in the NFL, he's going to have to defeat adversity all the time. Considering Crabtree can make catches under pressure, when it counts, and in double coverage, he will be unusually great, if not elite at the next level.
Julio Jones is a freshman... I say that again, Julio Jones is a freshman. During Saturdays game against the LSU Tigers, Jones showed everyone that he was definitely worth the consideration he got coming out of high school. He took the entire game on his shoulders and won it for the Tide. In fact, the catch that he made was very similar to the one Crabtree made, with tons of coverage, breaking a tackle and scrambling into the end zone. For this reason, I actually think, when the time comes, Jones will be the more dynamic WR than Crabtree. The guy has more time to develop, in a conference that is consistently one of the best. He will also have time to work with at least two quarterbacks, which I think is essential for a player, in order to learn how different people throw the ball. Jones is also huge... He will be able to get up and grab balls that Crabtree may have trouble with. This guy, if he plays his cards right, could genuinely be the next Randy Moss or T.O. Only time will tell, but in a year or two, he will definitely be the talk of the draft.