NFL Draft 2013: Wide Receivers
Most of you will see this article and think, "Not another receiver article". Well yes it is another receiver article, but it is an overview some of the top receivers with broken down categories. By no means am I an NFL scout, but I decided to share what I thought about these receivers and I hope you will share your thoughts too. I have also given projections where these receivers could go. The article originally had pictures for each receiver, but they wouldn't transfer. Enjoy the article and thank you for reading!
Keenan Allan, Cal:
Weight: 210 lbs
Speed: Allan isn’t really a blazer, but has the ability to get separation from defensive backs. Don’t be fooled though. If Allan hits that second gear their is a pretty low chance you will be catching him.
Vision and YAC Ability: The first thing I notice is Allan’s vision. He sees the field as a whole and with the ball in his hands he has the ability to make multiple defenders miss.
Hands: Allan plucks the ball from the air with his strong hands. Very rarely does he catch with his body, unless it is necessary before taking a hit. He shows great focus when preparing for a catch and looks the catch into his hands.
Jump Ball and Body Control: Allan has the ability to go up and snatch the ball from defenders, but he isn’t in the same ability class of Calvin Johnson, Julio Jones, or A.J. Green. His body control is excellent, making sideline and corner end zone catches at will.
Route Running: Allan runs clean and precise routes. He shows flexible hips in and out of his routes.
Overall: Allan is probably the best receiver in this class. He didn’t see the 2012 most were expecting due to the lack of production from his half-brother Zach Maynard. Allen has the ability to be a #1 receiver in the NFL, but look for him to be more of a Reggie Wayne than a Julio Jones type.
Projected Team: St Louis Rams, Round 1: Pick 22.
The Rams drafted 2 quality receivers (Quicks and Givens) and Givens had a solid year, but Sam Bradford isn’t magically getting younger so the Rams can take their sweet time to get him some playmakers. The Rams pick up the most pro ready receiver in the draft and hit the ground running in 2013.
Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee :
Weight: 205 lbs
Speed: Speed and acceleration are the first and most obvious things you notice about Patterson. He has the ability to take the top off of a defense and beat defensive backs. He’s taken a few kickoffs to the house in his time at Tennessee too.
Vision and YAC Ability: Patterson saw snaps at RB and got his fare share of end around plays this season, and they tend to be his biggest highlights. He follows and uses his blockers to set up running lanes and makes multiple defenders miss.
Hands: This may be Patterson’s biggest area of question. Patterson uses his hands to make catches but some times lapses into catching with his body. He also loses focus and thinks about running before securing the catch leading to dropped balls.
Jump Ball and Body Control: His body control is excellent and gets his body in the right position to make catches and make defenders miss. He is also falls in the same area in the jump ball category as Allan. He’ll go up and get it but he is no Megatron.
Route Running: Patterson is not going to be that receiver that can run a route tree like Greg Jennings, but what would you expect from a one year starter who played two years of JOCO?
Overall: Due to his athletic ability, Patterson could be taken before Allan. He is an extremely athletic receiver with good hands and elite speed for his size. Their has been talk of him going as early as #12 to Miami. Patterson has potential to be a #1 receiver for a team, but it will most likely not happen right away.
Projected Team: Minnesota Vikings, Round 1: Pick 23.
People have Patterson going as high as #8 to the Bills. I don’t see a team taking a one year receiver, who didn’t really post great numbers. I also don’t think he will interview all that well at the Combine when it comes to his route knowledge on the board. You can not deny his freak athletic ability and is explosive with the ball in his hands.
DeAndre Hopkins, Clemson:
Weight: 200 lbs
Speed: Not the fastest receiver in the class, but also not the slowest. Hopkins shows good quickness and burst off the line.
Vision and YAC Ability: Not the best vision, but not the worst either. He falls about middle of the pack in this category.
Hands: Another strong handed receiver. Hopkins will also be the guy who will go and get it over the middle and make the catch. Just a tough pass catcher.
Jump Ball and Body Control: At 6’1" Hopkins won’t be beating out the taller corners, but he can and will go up and put his body on the line if he needs to.
Route Running: Runs solid routes and runs them hard. Runs routes well enough that corners don’t catch on to little changes in bad route habits.
Overall: Quite honestly I haven’t personally watched a lot of Hopkins. I do like Hopkins, but due to being a Dolphins fan I personally want nothing to do with a receiver under 6’3". Hopkins could be a very good option for one of the lower first round teams who want a strong guy with some speed behind him.
Projected Team: Houston Texans, Round 1: Pick 27.
Texans fans will probably hate this and wand an inside linebacker. I don’t think any one is worth it here. Te’o and Ogletree will be most likely be gone and I don’t know if Minter is worth a first round pick. Hopkins opposite Johnson sounds good to me.
Tavon Austin, West Virginia:
Weight: 175 lbs
Speed: Tavon Austin isn’t fast, he’s explosive. If he beats you off the line and gets even a step on you, you might as well just save your energy for the next time you get on the field cause he will be in the end zone.
Vision and YAC Ability: Austin played a good amount of snaps at running back and made some big plays from the backfield, so vision isn’t a problem. Austin’s middle name might as well be YAC. If he slips that first catch watch out, he’s going to pick up some big yards.
Hands: The only times I questions Austin’s hands is over the middle and when he occasionally looses focus when wanting to run before the catch.
Jump Ball and Body Control: No one will be drafting Tavon Austin based on this field at all, it’s almost a non-factor in his scouting. He does put himself in good position to get between his defender and the ball before the catch.
Route Running: Austin isn’t a masterful route runner, but he does run his routes well.
Overall: First of all, these WVU uniforms are awesome. Austin’s biggest problem is his size. At 5’9" and 175 he will get stuffed at the line and abused. No doubt he is a playmaker though. He just needs to end up on a team that knows how to use him.
Projected Team: New England Patriots, Round 1, Pick 29:
I don’t love him due to his size, but if someone can make great use of the speed weapon that is Tavon Austin it is the Patriots.This guy is electric. Watch the Oklahoma highlights and you’ll konw.
Terrance Williams, Baylor:
Weight: 205 lbs
Speed: Williams has deceptive speed. At 6’3" he’ll run in the 4.4s at the Combine and his Pro Day.
Vision and YAC Ability: Terrance Williams wont tear any teams up with YAC, but if he gets in the open field he will make someone look foolish.
Hands: Picking Williams picks a very strong handed receiver. He will make the catch over the top, across the middle, or wherever you want him to make it.
Jump Ball and Body Control: Williams also uses his his bigger frame to position himself between the defensive back. He’ll also use his size to go up and beat defenders for the ball.
Route Running: He runs nice crisp routes to separate himself from the defender.
Overall: If Williams gets into a strength program this offseason and puts on 10 lbs without loosing his speed he will be a lethal target in the NFL. He may even be considered a #1 guy depending on who drafts him.
Projected Team: Kansas City Chiefs, Round 2, Pick 34.
Remember when I said he could be a #1 guy on certain teams? If the Chiefs take him he will be their #1. Bowe is most likely gone this year in free agency and I don’t know if Baldwin will be their top guy. Overall this would be a great pick up for the Chiefs assuming they take Geno in the first.
Robert Woods, USC:
Weight: 190 lbs
Speed: Woods wont torch a NFL secondary with his speed, but he can get behind defensive back and make them pay.
Vision and YAC Ability: He isn’t the receiver that will pull out a bunch of moves, but Woods will fight for that first down once he gets the ball.
Hands: Like Hunter, Woods had a case of the dropsies this year. He is capable of making the catches he just looses focus every now and then.
Jump Ball and Body Control: Woods has average jump ball ability, but will surely stretch out and put his body on the line to make a catch. He will also make those tough sideline catches.
Route Running: This is the best part of Woods’ game. He is a technician on the route tree which helps him separate from defenders. Fluid hips and just the fact of being a "football player" make his route running elite.
Overall: Woods could be a #1 guy on a team, but more than likely he will be a really good #2. Maybe he’ll be in the Reggie Wayne situation where he is a #2 guy and later in his career gets the chance to be the guy.
Projected Team: Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Round 2, Pick 43.
Tampa has Williams, but he’s almost a default #1 guy. Woods will come in and challenge for that #1 spot, but will probably be the #2 guy. Freeman will be more than happy to get an elite route runner like Woods.
Justin Hunter, Tennessee:
Weight: 200 lbs
Speed: Justin Hunter has a rare combination of size and speed. Being 6’4" he is a lanky athlete that eats up field in long strides.
Vision and YAC Ability: For a guy with speed it doesn’t make sense at first how he doesn’t have great YAC. He will beat you over the top for some yards, but he wont catch a screen and take it to the house like Tavon Austin. He can do it, but it’s not as probable.
Hands: Hunter has good hands, but had an odd lack of focus this season. If he gets with the right coaching staff that can be changed though. He is still working on becoming a natural hands catcher.
Jump Ball and Body Control: I posted that picture of Hunter for a reason. At his hight and being a high jumper in high school this guy knows how to jump. Any defensive back under 6’2" will have to go through Hunter to get the ball, and I don’t see that happening.
Route Running: Hunter runs good but not great routes. He needs work on running them more precise.
Overall: His athleticism, hight, and potential for me keep him in the 2nd round. Hands and better route running ability can be coached up at the next level if that player is willing to put in the work and I think Hunter will.
Projected Team: Miami Dolphins, Round 2, Pick 54:
Most Dolphins fans will say no way to this because Philbin and Ireland want hands receivers, but Hunter has two things all other Dolphins receivers don't have, speed and hight. I believe the Dolphins land one of the big three receivers in Free Agency (Most likely Jennings) and that means Hunter doesn’t have the pressure to come in and be the #1 guy right away. He can be used in the right situations to make plays and learn.
Quinton Patton, Louisiana Tech:
Weight: 195 lbs
Speed: Really good acceleration off the line and is able to get to full speed in a few steps. Has enough straight-line speed to make hesitating defensive backs pay.
Vision and YAC Ability: Shifty in his abilities to break free but is not a monster YAC guy.
Hands: Natural hands catcher who uses his long arms to get more separation between the ball and his defender.
Jump Ball and Body Control: Fluid receiver who plays under control. Will go vertical for jump balls, but doesn’t always come down with it due to lack of consistant snatch and secure.
Route Running: Uses good footwork and quickness in his routes.
Overall: When I look at Patton I just see Reggie Wayne. Very good route runner with solid hands. Just doesn’t show any elite abilities to be considered the guy in this class.
Projected Team: Green Bay Packers, Round 2, Pick 55:
Greg Jennings will probably be finding a new home since he recently put his home in Green Bay up for sale. Why not replace him with another solid route runner?
Markus Wheaton, Oregon State:
Weight: 182 lbs
Speed: Whether playing in the slot or on the outside, he seems to always get a step on his defender. Ran track in middle school and high school at a high level and it translates to the field on game day.
Vision and YAC Ability: Wheaton picks up yards by the handful once he gets the ball in his hand. On screens and end arounds he gets the ball and is off to the races.
Hands: He has good ability to locate and make the over the shoulder catches with ease and shows good hands overall, but uses his body at times instead of attacking the ball. He is also the Beavers all-time leader in receptions.
Jump Ball and Body Control: In what I want to sat was Oregon State’s game against Arizona, Wheaton makes a spectacular catch where he goes up and catches the ball behind the defenders back. He isn’t going to be your fade red zone threat, but he’ll make a play with his body in position and in the air when he needs to.
Route Running: Runs good routes, but on deeper comeback patters he tends to round them off. He will also be overwhelmed by physicals corners at the line.
Overall: Another receiver in this class that could really benefit from a good offseason strength plan, but is still one of my favorites in this class. I think Wheaton could be that non first round guy that makes an impact his first year.
Projected Team: Seattle Seahawks, Round 2, Pick 56:
Speaking of non first round guys. Russell Wilson would love to get another weapon to go to, especially an athletic one. If the Seahawks pick up Wheaton they have enough quality receivers to set a nice rotation and use the receivers they have in the situations they work best in.
Da’Rick Rogers, Tennessee Tech:
Weight: 208 lbs
Speed: Gets off of the line well for a guy his size. He’s more of a possession guy at the next level, but he is quite the physical specimen of power and strength.
Vision and YAC Ability: You don’t see Rogers breaking it lose for a big one all the time. If you’re looking for a long distance playmaker, then you’re looking at the wrong guy.
Hands: Roger’s strong hands allows him to grab balls all over the field. Works well over the middle and will take a hit.
Jump Ball and Body Control: "Shows flexibility in adjusting to the football, making difficult catches, and getting out of his routes. Uses his body to shield defenders from making a play on the football. Smooth, with good body control when going up for the football." (NFL.com) I think this is the perfect description for Rogers. This may be the strongest are for Rogers.
Route Running: Has the ability to run great routes, but only tends to do so when he is the primary receiver on that play. Tends to run lazy routes when he’s not the primary.
Overall: Extremely physical receiver who will overpower defenders. He played well at his time at Tennessee and dominated this past year at Tennessee Tech. It’s all going to come down to his interviews and his maturity into the NFL.
Projected Team: Buffalo Bills, Round 3, Pick 71.
Steve Johnson was a little immature too, but it seems as if the Bills staff has gotten him back on track. If they can do the same thing with Da’Rick Rogers they will have another great receiver. Assuming they draft a young quarterback and the Fitz era is over they will have another option for whoever that new guy is.
Stedman Bailey, West Virginia:
Weight: 190 lbs
Speed: Bailey isn’t the athlete Tavon Austin is, but looks the part due to his use of deception and body control.
Vision and YAC Ability: Same thing here, he isn’t Austin. He still does make plenty of defenders miss and has the ability to take it to the house on any play.
Hands: Bailey has soft hands and is a very reliable pass catcher. He also has the ability to pull in the tough catches too. Catches the over the shoulder passes really well.
Jump Ball and Body Control: He’s 5’10". No team will be drafting Bailey for jump balls. He will layout for those passes just out of reach. Bailey has great body control not only brining in catches but while he has the ball in his hand too.
Route Running: As stated before, Bailey relies on his deception to find holes to get open. He gets good separation off the line and uses head and shoulder fakes to throw off his defenders.
Overall: Bailey is Greg Jennings 2.0 in my mind. He has athletic ability but more than that he knows his own strength and what he does best to get the best of his defenders and score.
Projected Team: Miami Dolphins, Round 3, Pick 77:
The Dolphins take another receiver? Yes. First of all their is no grantee the Dolphins resign Hartline, and If they do get Jennings why not get Jennings 2.0 to learn? He also brings something the Dolphins need, athleticism and the ability to score. Greg Jennings, Davone Bess, Justin Hunter, Stedman Bailey, Rishard Matthews, and Jeff Fuller? As a Dolphins fan that looks promising to me.
Marquise Goodwin, Texas:
Weight: 180 lbs
Speed: He literally has world class speed and athleticism. He was a member of the U.S. Olympic team this past year, but just fell short in long jump at 25’7" to qualify for the second round. Most NFL teams would take that.
Vision and YAC Ability: From his potential sub 4.4 40 ability and smooth hips, Goodwin has the ability to make defenders miss and defenses pay.
Hands: Goes and gets the ball while it’s in the air, but some time he is a body catcher.
Jump Ball and Body Control: Same goes for Goodwin as Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey, you aren’t drafting them for jump ball ability. Goodwin shows good body control. Forcing defenders to go through his body to get to the ball.
Route Running: His Senior Bowl week really helped Goodwin. He showed that he was a better route-runner than on film and more flexible in his patterns and breaks.
Overall: Due to Austin and Bailey, Goodwin will more than likely end up in the third to fourth round. He also won’t go higher due to his lack of production in 2012, but that came from missing spring practices for training for the Olympics.
Projected Team: Pittsburgh Steelers, Round 3, Pick 79:
Mike Wallace will be hitting Free Agency this year so why not replace a burner with a burner? I feel like the Steelers never get younger. Just older and older. I’m pretty sure Casey Hampton has been on every Madden in existence.
Cobi Hamilton, Arkansas:
Weight: 200 lbs
Speed: Average in the speed category for this group of receivers this year. Hamilton will run in about the 4.5s if that gives you an idea of his speed in Combine terms.
Vision and YAC Ability: Strictly a possession receiver. He won’t be breaking any ankles or cutting it all the way back across the field for a long gain.
Hands: He makes some nice catches, especially Senior Bowl week, but he also has his drops. Has questions around concentration.
Jump Ball and Body Control: Due to his size he gets great boy position on inside routes. Hamilton also uses his size to go up and above defenders for jump balls.
Route Running: Fights through jams at the line of scrimmage. Routes need a lot of work, and tends to round out routes.
Overall: Had to go with the black Arkansas uniform. Hamilton is like Da’Rick Rogers. A big and physical possession receiver. He isn’t going to beat corners over the top, but if he can improve his routes he could become a nice big option.
Projected Team: San Francisco 49ers, Round 3, Pick 94:
Manningham bummed his knee this year and could be a cap causality. The 49ers don’t need a receiver, but the more options Kaepernick has the better. Also Randy Moss may leave. Leaving them down 2 receivers.
Aaron Dobson, Marshall:
Weight: 204 lbs
Speed: Has striders speed, not actually sprinters speed. Has very quick feet for his size.
Vision and YAC Ability: Due to his size he won’t make any miss, but will make it difficult for smaller cornerbacks to drag him down. He will churn through contact to get the extra yardage.
Hands: Possesses strong hands along with length to snatch passes. Tracks over the shoulder passes very well.
Jump Ball and Body Control: At 6’3" Dobson goes up and gets it. Is able to climb the ladder and make those catches over defenders.
Route Running: Sells fakes during his routes extremely well and is able to change speed during routes to add to the deception.
Overall: Did anyone see that backhanded catch he had against East Carolina? I would draft him on that alone. Dobson reminds me of Sidney Rice. Big body receiver with really good hands, but not a speedy guy at all.
Projected Team: New York Jets, Round 4, Pick 103:
Holmes is coming off an injury year and Hill didn’t produce like they may have hoped. So using a 4th round pick on a guy that could get as far as high third would be a good call, especially with the quarterback situation in New York.