NFL Draft 2013: Top WR Prospects Flying Under the Radar
Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports
You'd be hard pressed to find a college football fan who doesn't know Southern California's Robert Woods or West Virginia's Tavon Austin, but there are a handful of other top receivers flying under the radar for the 2013 NFL draft.
While Woods and Austin benefit from playing with two first-round quarterbacks on teams that garner a ton of national attention, the same can't be said for Tennessee Tech wideout Da'Rick Rogers.
At least not in 2012.
Before he suited up for the Golden Eagles, the 6'3", 206-pound junior formed a dynamic duo with Justin Hunter at the University of Tennessee. As a sophomore, Hunter led the Volunteers with 67 receptions for 1,040 yards and nine scores.
Unfortunately for both team and player, Rogers' multiple failed drug tests led to his indefinite suspension and ultimate transfer from the program.
Although he didn't have to move very far, the difference in quarterback play and competition should have been a wake up call for the talented but troubled wideout.
Despite the circumstances, Rogers put together a solid season at TTU, posting 61 receptions, 893 yards and 10 touchdowns. His Golden Eagles career may have been short, but he didn't fail to leave a lasting impact on the program. In a 43-38 double-overtime loss to Southeast Missouri State, Rogers set single-game school records for catches (18) and yards (303).
Drawing comparisons to Julio Jones because of his incredible combination of size, speed and toughness, Rogers has all the tools to become a dominant wide receiver at the next level.
Character concerns are the only thing holding him back from being a surefire first- or second-round selection.
Mississipi state cornerback Johnthan Banks has squared off against A.J. Green and Julio Jones during his All-SEC career with the Bulldogs, but neither current NFL superstar made the cut when he was asked in an ESPN interview about the toughest receiver he's faced in his career.
Not too bad for a guy who's been catching passes at Louisiana Tech.
Patton doesn't benefit from playing on the big stage, but the 6'2", 195-pounder puts up big numbers in the WAC. In just two seasons with the Bulldogs, Patton has racked up an incredible 183 receptions for 2,594 yards and 24 touchdowns.
Lacking ideal speed for a wideout, Patton instead uses his frame to gain separation, and he has some of the best hands in the country.
He won't go in the first round, but he'd be a great Day 2 pick for a receiver-needy team.
Playing in a conference with powerhouses like Alabama, Florida, Georgia and LSU, Vanderbilt is often the forgotten squad in the SEC.
As a result, not many people are familiar with the Commodores roster, but watch Vandy's offense and one prospect really stands out: Jordan Matthews.
Measuring in at a rock-solid 6'3", 205 pounds, the junior has improved his numbers every year before exploding for 87 catches for 1,262 yards—both ranking second in the SEC—and seven scores in 2012.
Matthews doesn't have great speed (4.57 estimated), but his size and ability to go up and get the football make him an ideal red-zone threat and a guy who could present a matchup problem when lined up in the slot.
Like Patton, Matthews is probably a third-round prospect and just one of a handful of top WR prospects flying under the radar.
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