We've heard for years from Jaguars media that WR's can be found anywhere in the draft, and they are "a dime a dozen". In three seasons of drafting GM Gene Smith has not drafted one WR in the first 3 rounds. Some people will cite the picks in rounds 4-5 of Cecil Shorts, Mike Thomas and Jarrett Dillard as Gene's attempt to fix the position. My response to those picks...big deal. Once you get outside the 3rd round there is a significant drop off in production, and the proof is in the numbers.
For this blog post I used the top 5 (6 in yr 2009 due to a tie in yds) WR's in terms of yards receiving for the last 3 seasons. Touchdowns were not factored in because when someone like Reggie Williams can have 10 td's in a season, the numbers clearly can be misleading. There were 3 players who were undrafted: Wes Welker, Miles Austin and Victor Cruz. For the purpose of this post I have assigned them a round drafted of 7.
2009 Receiving Leaders Round Drafted
Wes Welker 7
Miles Austin 7
Sidney Rice 2
2010 Receiving Leaders Round Drafted
Reggie Wayne 1
2011 Receiving Leaders Round Drafted
Wes Welker 7
Victor Cruz 7
Steve Smith 3
Average round drafted factoring in drafted/undrafted WR's: 3.06 (Top 96 picks)
Average round drafted factoring in drafted WR's only: 1.75 (Top 56 picks)
I think we can all agree players such as Wes Welker, Miles Austin and Victor Cruz are exceptions when it comes to lowly drafted WR's performing as elite WR's in the NFL. Never the less, for accuracy I factored them into this post. Using these numbers it generally shows elite WR's are taken in the top 56 picks of the draft. Here's hoping Gene Smith can see it's clear if you want an elite WR, you draft one in the first three rounds. Go Jags!
Note: This is my first fan post, comments and criticism are welcome. Thanks!