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Miami Dolphins: 2013 Draft WR Prospects

Richard SantamariaCorrespondent IISeptember 22, 2015

Miami Dolphins: 2013 Draft WR Prospects

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    I have argued that the Miami Dolphins must sign at least one premier free agent from the group of Greg Jennings, Mike Wallace and Dwayne Bowe.  If this does not happen, General Manager Jeff Ireland may be on his way to sabotaging an offseason full of potential.

    Miami will have approximately $50 million in cap space and five selections in the first three rounds of the 2013 NFL Draft.  The problem with relying on the draft to fill the Dolphins' gaping hole at No.1 receiver is that there may not be a pass catcher of that caliber available.  Let's take a closer look at some members of the 2013 WR class entering the draft.

Keenan Allen

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    Keenan Allen, Junior, California

    6'3", 210 lbs, 4.53 sec 40-yard dash

    Allen would be the top receiver in the draft by consensus if he possessed elite speed and acceleration.  Still, some consider him the top 2013 receiver because of his size, dependable hands and special teams play at punt returner.

    Allen had a remarkable sophomore year with 98 receptions for 1343 yards and 6 touchdowns.  Because of an injury to his left knee's posterior cruciate ligament, Allen missed the final three games of his junior season and posted 61 receptions for 737 yards and 6 touchdowns in 2012.  The injury was minor and should not affect his draft status.

    Projection: Second Half of Round 1

Tavon Austin

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    Tavon Austin, Senior, West Virginia

    5'9", 175 lbs, 4.38 sec

    Austin produced 1857 yards from scrimmage in 2012 and, a former-high school running back, rushed for 598 of those yards.  Austin is a versatile playmaker but, because of his lack of size, is better suited for the slot in the NFL. 

    Miami fans cringe at small receivers with first round projections because they envision the reincarnation of Ohio State receiver Ted Ginn, the Dolphins first round pick and ninth overall in 2007, no longer with the team.  They also remember undersized quarterback West Virginia quarterback Pat White, who Miami drafted in the second round of the 2009 draft.

    Austin was on the AP All-America first team and was eighth in the Heisman voting.

    Projection: Late First Round

Cordarrelle Patterson

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    Cordarrelle Patterson, Junior, Tennessee

    6'3", 205 lbs, 4.46 sec

    According to a report from the Tennessean, University of Tennessee coach Butch Jones believes Patterson will enter the 2013 NFL Draft.  His draft stock is quickly rising as a versatile player with good size.  Patterson amassed 1086 yards from scrimmage with eight touchdowns in 2012.  He also returned a punt and a kickoff for a touchdown.

    Patterson transferred from Hutchinson Community College and is considered a project who needs to refine his route running, but he does possess the tools to be a No.1 receiver.

    Projection: Second Half of Round 1

Terrance Williams

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    Terrance Williams, Senior, Baylor

    6'2", 205 lbs, 4.49 sec

    Williams' 2012 numbers were gaudy: 95 receptions for 1764 yards and 12 touchdowns.  He led the nation in receiving yards and is on the AP All-America first team.

    Despite his production, Williams is being pegged to be a second-rounder by many.  A recent Fox Sports mock draft has the Houston Texans drafting him 31st overall. 

    Williams does not possess top end speed and is not considered to be physical.  As his teammate Ahmad Dixon said, “Terrance isn’t the biggest guy, and he’s not the fastest guy, so he knows he has to run great routes and...catch the ball."

    Projection: Early Round 2

Justin Hunter

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    Justin Hunter, Junior, Tennessee

    6'4", 200 lbs, 4.49 sec

    Like his Volunteers teammate, Cordarrelle Patterson, Hunter has decided to put his name in the hat for the 2013 NFL Draft.  Also like Patterson, he is climbing up the draft ladder.  Patterson could have been the highest rated receiver in the draft if not for an ACL tear that cost him almost all of the 2011 season.

    In 2012, he posted 73 receptions for 1083 yards and 9 touchdowns.  He is silky smooth with great leaping ability and offensive awareness.  Because of this, he has drawn comparisons to former Round 1 draft pick Randy Moss.

    Because of his past injury, he is a gamble, but he has as much upside as any receiver in this draft.

    Projection: Second Half of Round 1

Robert Woods

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    Robert Woods, Junior, USC

    6'1", 190 lbs, 4.46 sec

    After his 2011 season, in which he had 111 receptions with 1292 yards and 15 touchdowns, Woods was a household name when it came to potential receivers for the 2013 draft class.  His production tailed off in 2012 when he had 73 receptions for 813 yards and 11 touchdowns.  Woods was overshadowed by teammate Marqise Lee.

    As he came back down to earth statistically, scouts began to notice he did not have ideal NFL size and that he dropped too many balls.  While he is an excellent route runner, he may fall out of the first round.

    Projection: Late Round 1

In Conclusion

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    I do not believe there is any receiver in this draft class that will be Ryan Tannehill's top option right off the bat.  The Dolphins need a true lead receiver and none of the aforementioned draft prospects will provide what Mike Wallace, Dwayne Bowe, or Greg Jennings can add in 2013. 

    If Miami strikes out with the big three in free agency, they may spend an early pick on a receiver.  In that case, who should they draft?

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