(Corey Coleman photo courtesy of the Cleveland Browns)
(Will Fuller photo courtesy of the Houston Texans)
Talk of Fame Network
In 2013, there were three wide receivers selected in the first round of the NFL draft. The second one chosen — DeAndre Hopkins of the Texans — turned in the best rookie season.
In 2014, there were five wide receivers selected in the first round. The third one chosen — Odell Beckham Jr. of the Giants — had the best rookie season. In 2015, there were six wideouts taken in the first round. The first one – Amari Cooper of the Raiders – had the best rookie season.
There were four wide receivers selected in the first round of the 2016 draft: Corey Coleman by the Browns, Will Fuller the Texans, Josh Doctson by the Redskins and Laquon Treadwell the Vikings.
Which one will have the best rookie season? That’s the subject of this week’s Talk of Fame Network poll. We’ve added some spice to the voting by adding two talented second-round receivers to the ballot, Sterling Shepard of the Giants and Michael Thomas of the Saints.
So here are your choices:
Corey Coleman, Cleveland. Won the 2015 Biletnikoff Award as the best receiver in college football at Baylor. A three-year starter and two-time All-Big 12 pick who elected to skip his senior season to turn pro. He became the first receiver in Baylor history with two 1,000-yard seasons and closed out his college career with a 74-catch, 1,363-yard, 20-touchdown performance in 2015. He led the NCAA in touchdowns.
Josh Doctson, Washington. Also was a three-year starter at TCU after transferring from Wyoming. He was the other All-Big 12 wide receiver in 2015 when he set school records with his 79 catches and 14 touchdowns. He had one stretch of six consecutive games with at least 100 yards receiving and two touchdowns. The only other NCAA receiver to do that in the last 20 years was Michael Crabtree.
(Josh Doctson photo courtesy of the Washington Redskins)
Will Fuller, Houston. A two-year starter at Notre Dame who also elected to skip his senior season to turn pro. But he was spectacular in the two seasons he started, catching 76 passes for 1,094 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2014 and 62 passes for 1,258 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2015. His 30 career touchdowns rank second in school history behind Michael Floyd, who is now with the Arizona Cardinals. He also had the best NFL debut of these rookies, catching five passes for 105 yards on opening day against Chicago.
Sterling Shepard, NY Giants. Shepard played four seasons at Oklahoma and started games in all of them, catching 233 career passes for 3,482 yards and 26 touchdowns. His senior season was his best when he caught 86 passes for 1,288 yards and 11 touchdowns. His father Derrick was a wishbone quarterback at Oklahoma who went on to play five seasons in the NFL with the Redskins, Saints and Cowboys. He won a Super Bowl ring with the Redskins in 1987.
(Sterling Shepard photo courtesy of the New York Giants)
Michael Thomas, New Orleans. Another three-year-and-out player, Thomas skipped his senior season at Ohio State to turn pro. He led the Buckeyes in receiving in 2015 with 56 catches for 781 yards and nine touchdowns. Thomas caught a pass in 29 consecutive games to close his career, leaving Ohio State with 113 receptions for 1,602 yards and 18 touchdowns. But he only had one 100-yard game in his career.
(Michael Thomas photo courtesy of the New Orleans Saints)
Laquon Treadwell, Minnesota. Another three-year starter at Ole Miss who elected to skip his senior season to turn pro. Treadwell led the SEC in receiving last season with 82 catches for 1,153 yards and 11 touchdowns and finished as Mississippi’s No. 2 all-time leading receiver with 202 catches. He also set school records with his six 100-yard games in a single season (2015) and his streak of eight consecutive games with at least one TD catch.
(Laquon Treadwell photo courtesy of the Minnesota Vikings)