2009 NFL Draft: Jarett Dillard Catches Touchdowns, Scouts' Eyes

John LorgeSenior Writer IJanuary 21, 2009

If you were to put a football position to 5'10" 182 pounds, it would undoubtedly be corner back. 

If I asked you give me the size of an NFL receiver you would say 6'3" 220 pounds.

Then how come last year's two most successful rookie receivers, Eddie Royal and DeSean Jackson, were of the 5'10" 180 pound variety?

Smaller receivers are breaking the mold in the NFL, and Rice's Jarett Dillard will be your diminutive breakout receiver in 2009. 

In four seasons as a Rice Owl Dillard compiled numbers that would make everyone but Michael Crabtree and Jeremy Maclin jealous.  Incase you were unaware Dillard recorded 292 catches, 4138 yards and 60 touchdowns.  He pulled in All-American awards as a sophomore and senior, and was a 2006 Biletnikoff Award finalist. 

Dillard isn't pure speed like some of the small receivers in the NFL, but he has all of the tools to be a professional wide-out. 

He is a great route runner who can get open at all depths of the field.  His size allows him to get in and out of breaks more quickly than bigger players, and he has the quickness to evade bump-n-run coverage.

In the East-West Shrine game and practices, Dillard displayed some of the skills that allowed him to to post three straight seasons of 1000-plus yards.  In the East-West game he finished with three catches for 51 yards and a touchdown.

Dillard uses his explosive jumping ability to get position on high comeback routes and climb defenders for end zone grabs.  His last tested vertical leap was at 42-inches and he hopes to post a vertical leap above 45-inches at the NFL combine. 

Over the course of his career Dillard has caught game-winning touchdowns and prefers that the ball comes to him with the game on the line.  I would relate his will to win and hunger for the ball to Steve Smith.

Right now Dillard is suspected to be a second or third round draft pick.  Teams that need receiving help should not sleep on him, because Dillard can help their team now.

Although the Seahawks are in position to draft Michael Crabtree, they should also draft Dillard to fill-out their corps.  Other teams that could use his services include Jacksonville, Chicago, Baltimore, Oakland, St. Louis, the New York Giants, and Detroit. 

2009 NFL Draft Big Board