2013 NFL Draft: Underrated Wide Receivers Who Will Make Major Impact

Ian HanfordFeatured ColumnistDecember 8, 2012

KNOXVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 20:  Cordarrelle Patterson #84 of the Tennessee Volunteers pulls in this reception against Robert Lester #37 of the Alabama Crimson Tide at Neyland Stadium on October 20, 2012 in Knoxville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

In today's pass-heavy NFL, teams are always looking to add a new target through the draft, and this year will be no different.

Most people know names like Justin Hunter, Keenan Allen and Terrance Williams, but other wide receivers will make an immediate impact at the next level as well. It's these guys who will captivate teams, especially because they won't command a first-round selection.

Some players enter the NFL as projects, but others are ready to play right away.

Let's take a look at three underrated receivers who will make a major impact at the next level.



Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee

Patterson could have as much upside as any wide receiver in the 2013 NFL Draft, even if his Division I sample size is rather small.

In one year with Tennessee, Patterson hauled in 46 passes for 778 yards and five touchdowns. He also ran the ball 25 times for 308 yards and three touchdowns, and I can't forget to mention that he also returned a kickoff and a punt for a touchdown as well.

There's no other way to put it other than Patterson is an incredible athlete. At 6'3'', he has game-breaking speed and elite agility. He's capable of making any tackler miss and breaking into the open field at a moment's notice. Once that happens, forget about it.

Patterson could go late in the first round, but the second round is probably a safer bet. He's still a bit of an unknown commodity, but there's no denying what he did on a struggling Volunteers team this season.

Very few players make you want to watch each and every time they touch the ball, but Patterson is one of those guys. He's dynamite with the ball in his hands.



Ryan Swope, WR, Texas A&M

Swope has a long NFL career ahead of him, and he should be able to produce right away in the slot.

When you picture Swope, just think of Wes Welker. There's not much of a difference between the two, except that Swope is actually bigger, but he has the same feel for the game underneath.

This year Swope had 64 catches, 809 yards and seven touchdowns as one of Johnny Manziel's top targets. He didn't have the home-run presence of freshman Mike Evans, but he's very good at doing the little things and getting to the dirty areas of the field.

Everyone needs a guy like this, especially in today's pass-happy NFL. He's never going to carry an offense by himself, but he will produce big receiving numbers as a team's slot option. If used correctly, it's an incredibly dangerous thing to have.

Look for Swope to be taken in the middle rounds, but his feel for the game, and his position, will have him ready to make an impact right away.



Kenny Stills, WR, Oklahoma

Stills isn't going to become a bonafide No. 1 wide receiver, but he has the potential to make an immediate impact as a No. 2 or 3 target.

He hauled in 75 catches for nearly 900 yards and 11 touchdowns this season. He isn't blessed with an enormous frame, but he possesses straight-line speed and the quickness that he needs to break loose in the open field.

Stills must work on his consistency, and focus on the basics, but he has tremendous big-play ability. He's enjoyed three productive seasons as one of Landry Jones' top targets, and that should translate to the next level.

Don't expect Stills to come off the board until Rounds 2-4, but he has the potential to make someone very happy. He will immediately provide help in the slot with the talent to move outside as he matures in an NFL system.