Not too many people seem to agree with me here, judging from the comments on Sp0rtsfan's thread, but I, for one, really do feel good about our wide receiver corps for this season. Probably the most common complaint is that there are several unknowns among our group, which is true, however, when I look at our receivers this year, I see a younger, promising version of our 2010 receivers. And we had a good group in 2010, so that's not a throwaway comment IMO.
Well, first we have Santonio Holmes. Let's forget about what happened last season, and look at the player he was before then. When he got the ball in his hands, he was really dangerous, and he made some really clutch plays for us in 2010. If need be, go back even further to his time with the Steelers, where he was probably a top 15 or so wideout. I feel good about having him as our #1 receiver. I've said it before, and i'll say it again, he's a great player that we're lucky to have on our team. Still don't like him? Watch this.No, he doesn't quite have the size-speed combo to beat double coverage and be a true no. 1, but now we have Stephen Hill to help him out. I think his problems last year stemmed from under-utilization and poor quarterbacking at times.
Speaking of Stephen Hill, I still stand by my prediction that he'll have the biggest impact of our rookie class this year. Yes, he's raw, so i'm not expecting him to put up gigantic numbers or anything, but it's his presence that'll make a difference. Last year, we didn't really have a deep threat, meaning that the entire field kinda just shrank. Stephen Hill's H-W-S combo is rare. He fits in right away as a deep threat, even if nothing else. He doesn't need to put up huge numbers and be the go-to guy since we have guys like Santonio Holmes and Dustin Keller to work underneath. He's a threat just being on the field. If the defense decides to roll over to Santonio Holmes, then Stephen Hill can make them pay. I doubt he'll put up the kind of numbers that Braylon Edwards did in 2010, but I do think he can play a similar role as a deep threat. That's why i'm really excited to have him on the team. Because his presence can pay some immediate divdends, while he can still grow into a complete receiver over the next year or two.
Then there's Jeremy Kerley. He was one of the few bright spots of last year. Towards the end of the season, he really started to come along and actually turn into a weapon out of the slot. I'm not gonna say that he absolutely will build on that, but I do think he can take a step forward and become a legitimate threat out of the slot, filling a Davone Bess-like role. I don't really think he's gonna put up huge numbers, simply because he's the 3rd receiver in a run-first offense. That being said, I think he can be an important part of our offense, kinda like Jerricho cotchery was in 2010.
Then behind them, there's Chaz Schilens, who's a bit of an enigma since he's been injured for a big portion of his career, but he does boast an impressive physical skillset, and he's apparently been opening some eyes during the off-season. I'm not gonna crown him just based on that, but it is nice to hear either way. I'm not sure how much he's actually going to get onto the field since he's the fourth receiver, but I feel good about having him on the team for depth purposes.
So, as you can see I feel good about all of these guys on our team. I'm not saying we're gonna have an elite receiver corps or anything, but I can definitely see it being as good as in 2010, and that was a very fine group of receivers we had that year. If you throw in Dustin Keller with these guys, I'm not feeling bad at all about the outlook for this group this season. So I guess i'm buying this stock.