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Mailbag: Sorting Out The Wide Receiver Group?

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In looking at the wide receivers down the depth chart such as Devin Smith, Noah Brown, Lance Lenoir, Cedrick Wilson and the two undrafted free agents recently signed, how do you see the final few wide receiver spots shaking out and why? Thanks - JASON LOPES / PROVIDENCE, RI

Bryan: Experience will help here for those final two spots. Also what will help is what those players bring to the scheme and game day roster. Brown is the one guy that’s lined up and played on a week to week basis, so in my opinion that gives him an upper hand. Wilson has a ton of potential as does Jalen Guyton and Jon’Vea Johnson. If one of those guys makes the final roster it will be because they were clearly better than the group they’re competing with. I don’t see any free passes given here.

Rob: I’ll be perfectly honest with you, Jason: I have no idea at this point. It’s a good question because there’s a lot of young talent beyond the trio of Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and Randall Cobb. The feeling is Allen Hurns will be ready around the start of training camp and he’s a steady presence for the coaching staff. Brown has made strides the last two years and has been a fixture on special teams. The undrafted rookies, Guyton and Johnson, are intriguing. But we haven’t seen Devin Smith yet and Wilson was injured last year.

I saw in Bryan's scouting report of the undrafted linebackers and he said Michigan State’s Andrew Dowell plays more like a safety. Is that something that would be considered, converting him to safety, or does he not have the speed to do so at the next level? JAMES WILEY / MARCELLUS, NY

Bryan: The way that Michigan State played Andrew Dowell was more in space than down around the line, which was the reason I offered that opinion. If they were going to switch him my feeling is that they would have taken a look at him in this rookie minicamp. This is what they did last season with Kyle Queiro moving him from college safety to linebacker. 

Rob: It’s a good thought, although Dowell is listed as a linebacker on the team roster. Keep an eye on sixth-round Donovan Wilson out of A&M. He’s more of the pure strong safety you’re talking about and was productive against top college competition.

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