2012 was a year where our biggest issues were our Wide Recievers and our secondary. A combination of getting burned and never being able to burn anyone lead to lackluster (but solid) performance. Today I am going to take a look at our WR's, what they have and what they need.
As it stands right now, our starting Wideouts are: Davone Bess, Rishard Matthews, and Brian Hartline (for the sake of this post I'm going to assume we resign him at 5 million a year). We need an upgrade, and it's obvious. People are looking at the Wide Reciever situation all wrong in my opinion, people are thinking that we need a #1, #2, #3 WR, but that isn't how we should look at it. Every Wide Receiver corps needs 4 things: The ability to stretch the field, the ability to be a redzone target, the ability to move the chains, and lastly the ability to run up the seam and clear the middle of the field. With our Current Wideouts, we have 2 of those things accomplished, ability to move the chains (Hartline) and the ability to run up the seam and clear the middle of the field (Bess). Now, in Free Agency and the draft we need to find guys that can give us a redzone target, and guys that can stretch the field.
Stretching the Field: I only see 2 options at "burner" that can give us a guy to stretch the field. One established, one not. The only guy in Free Agency that is a real "burner" is Mike Wallace. The only real guy in the draft I see that way is Terrance Williams. Either sign Wallace or draft Williams. But, I would perfer to sign Wallace, because there's a guy in the draft that can do at least 3 of the 4 things listed above, and being a redzone target is what he does best.
Redzone Target: In Free Agency Greg Jennings and Dwayne Bowe are both very good redzone targets. Bowe has the size, and Jennings just has the production. But there's a guy, out of Clemson, that had 18 TD's last year. I don't care what anyone says about Hopkins as far as routs, speed, or whatever. He scores, and that is what we really need. Hopkins can beat you deep, move the chains, and he can obviously be a redzone target.
In Conclusion: If it were up to me, I would sign Mike Wallace to give us a supurb burner, and draft DeAndre Hopkins in the second round. This gives us 4 guys who can accomplish the 4 things every WR corps need. Of course I wouldn't mind getting either Dwayne Bowe, or Greg Jennings, and drafting Terrance Williams. In the end, we still have a bunch of CAP space, and 4 draft picks in the 1st three rounds (1st, 2nd, 2 3rds) to address our other needs. We still need at least 2 CB's, an explosive pass rusher, Offensive line help, and maybe a threat at Tight End.