Success in Hollywood can often lead to a sequel, but will that be the case for the NFL in 2015 as well?
Depth of the receiver group was a major point of emphasis during the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine and the lead up to the NFL Draft. It was on display throughout last fall on big screens at stadiums, flatscreens in homes and, for that matter, phone screens after viral catches.
As the Vikings and the rest of the NFL prepared to descend on Indianapolis for the combine this week, NFL Media analyst Mike Mayock said Monday during a conference call that this year's group can be "highly productive" because of a "bunch of talent" and because of rules and a set up that can aid passing proficiency.
"Although it might not be quite as dramatic at wide receiver as a year ago, it's still going to be a very good wide receiver class," said Mayock, who opened by saying the running back position is "particularly deep."
Mayock said Alabama's Amari Cooper, Louisville's DeVante Parker and West Virginia's Kevin White are three receivers that are "consensus top-20 picks."
Cooper had 124 catches for 1,727 yards and 16 touchdowns, ranking second in the NCAA in catches per game (8.9), yards and TDs in 2014.
Parker, a former teammate of Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, had 43 catches for 855 yards and five touchdowns in playing seven games of his senior season. White had 109 catches for 1,447 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2014.
Click here for Vikings.com's Mock Madness 1.0 to see who draft prognosticators have Minnesota selecting at the 11th overall spot.
The receiver position group is one that Vikings.com's Mike Wobschall plans to lock in on daily from Lucas Oil Stadium. Click here to read Wobschall's five "good fits" for the 11th overall spot.
Receivers are scheduled to participate in interviews with media Thursday and in on-field timing and testing drills Saturday.
As for the 2014 premieres at the position:· Five receivers were drafted in the first round, all of which were taken within the first 28 picks, and all five posted at least 50 receptions:
· 4th overall: Sammy Watkins 65 receptions, 982 yards, six TDs
· 7th overall: Mike Evans 68 receptions, 1,051 yards, 12 TDs (tied for 10th in NFL)
· 12th overall: Odell Beckham, Jr. 91 receptions (eighth in the NFL), 1,305 yards (10th), 12 TDs (tied for 10th)
· 20th overall: Brandin Cooks 53 receptions, 550 yards, three TDs
· 28th overall: Kelvin Benjamin 73 receptions, 1,008 yards, nine TDs
· Receivers accounted for 12 of the first 63 overall picks (19 percent) and 20 of the first 123 (16.2 percent) players that were drafted. Notable performances from players taken in deeper rounds included:
· Jordan Matthews (second round, 42nd overall) 67 catches, 872 yards and eight TDs
· Jarvis Landry (second round, 63rd overall) 84 catches, 758 yards and five TDs
· John Brown (third round, 91st overall) had 48 catches, 696 yards and five TDs
· Martavis Bryant (fourth round, 118th overall) had 26 catches, 549 yards and eight TDs