2011 NFL Draft: Leonard Hankerson, Ronald Johnson Potential WR Selections For Falcons

Two things we learned in 2010: One, Roddy White is really good at football. And two, the rest of the Falcons' receivers are not quite at his level. While there may be more pressing needs, you can bet the Falcons will at least kick the tires on a few receivers in this draft.

Current Starters: Michael Jenkins, Roddy White

Reserves: Tim Buckley, Harry Douglas, Brian Finneran, Brandyn Harvey, Kerry Meier, Andy Strickland, Eric Weems (FA)

The Falcons have a lot of wide receivers options but the drop-off from White to Michael Jenkins is precipitous. An upgrade is definitely needed. Though perhaps the upgrade is already on the team. 2011 will be Douglas' second-year back from his knee injury and most experts believe that's when you regain all the strength and speed. Meier will also be healthy after having his rookie season wiped out due to injury.

In case, Thomas Dimitroff and Mike Smith don't think the way I do, here's some early round options from Mocking the Draft's top 200 they may consider. Their overall rank is shown below and you can see their entire wide receiver rankings here.

27. Torrey Smith | 6'1, 205 pounds | WR | Maryland

Projected round: 1-2

Caught 61 passes for 824 yards and five touchdowns and was the primary kick returner averaging 25.7 yards per return.

Closest pro comparison: Steve Johnson, Buffalo


55. Jerrell Jernigan | 5'9, 185 pounds | WR/KR | Troy

Projected round: 2

Multi-purpose threat rushed 40 times for 266 yards, caught 71 passes for 1,101 yards, averaged 23.0 yards per kick return and scored five touchdowns his senior year.

Closest pro comparison: Jacoby Ford, Oakland


57. Ronald Johnson | 6'0, 190 pounds | WR | Southern California

Projected round: 4-5

Hauled in 378 yards and three touchdowns on 34 catches while also averaging 20.3 yards per kick return.

Closest pro comparison: Brandon Lloyd, Denver


60. Randall Cobb | 5'11, 190 pounds | WR/ATH | Kentucky

Projected round: 2-3

Combined 133 touches (rush/rec) in senior year totaling 1,020 yards and 14 touchdowns.

Closest pro comparison: Jordan Shipley, Cincinnati


62. Titus Young | 5'11, 170 pounds | WR | Boise State

Projected round: 2-3

Caught 79 passes and 12 total touchdowns his senior year while rolling up 1,179 total yards.

Closest pro comparison: Anthony Armstrong, Washington


82. Leonard Hankerson | 6'3, 215 pounds | WR | Miami (Fla.)

Projected round: 2

Caught 45 passes for 801 yards (17.8 average) and six touchdowns as a senior.

Closest pro comparison: Miles Austin, Dallas


92. Niles Paul | 6'1, 220 pounds | WR | Nebraska

Projected round: 3

Averaged just under 20 yards per catch for the Cornhuskers (40-796) and caught four touchdowns.

Closest pro comparison: Anquan Boldin, Baltimore


94 Greg Little | 6'3, 210 pounds | WR | North Carolina

Projected round: 3-4

Combined for 91 touches (rush/rec) and 890 yards with six touchdowns his final year as a Tar Heel.

Closest pro comparison: Braylon Edwards, New York Jets


97. Vincent Brown | 6'0, 195 pounds | WR | San Diego State

Projected round: 3-4

Made 45 receptions for 778 yards and six touchdowns in 2009-10.

Closest pro comparison: Steve Smith, New York Giants


If we follow the Falcons draft strategy, we can eliminate Smith and Cobb as both are juniors and Atlanta has shied away from underclassmen. Of the remaining seven early round options, I think Hankerson is the best option. He grades out the best at Scouts, Inc. and anyone who saw him in the Senior Bowl knows what kind of player he can be.

And I apologize to Tech fans but this is the kind of thing I'd love to see in the Georgia Dome.

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