Marquise Goodwin Combine: Texas Receiver Has Serious Sleeper Potential

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IFebruary 25, 2013

OXFORD, MS - SEPTEMBER 15:  Marquise Goodwin #84 of the Texas Longhorns runs upfield during the game against the Ole Miss Rebels at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on September 15, 2012 in Oxford, Mississippi.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

After running the 40-yard dash in a blazing 4.27 seconds on Sunday at the NFL combine, Texas receiver Marquise Goodwin has officially opened some eyes around the league.

The 5'9", 193-pound wideout posted the second-fastest time in the 40-yard dash at the combine since 2006 (only bested by Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson). Then again, given he was a track star in high school and college and won the long jump title at the 2012 U.S. Olympic trials, perhaps that should have been expected.

Scouts and writers appear to be at odds when discussing Goodwin's draft stock. While he's exceptionally fast, he doesn't have ideal size at the receiver position and he's raw.

Matt Miller of Bleacher Report tweeted about Goodwin on Sunday:

Marquise Goodwin is one of my favorite players in this year's class. A guy who is truly moving up boards the more we see him.

— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) February 24, 2013

Miller didn't agree with former defensive back Charles Davis' take on Goodwin:

Charles Davis just called Marquise Goodwin "a track athlete trying to play football" and I couldn't disagree more. He just wasn't used at UT

— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) February 24, 2013

Miller does make a good point. Goodwin only touched the ball 39 times in his senior campaign with the Longhorns. On Friday, Oakland Raiders head coach Dennis Allen even said that he was "impressed" with Goodwin's route-running, per Miller.

To give you an idea of Goodwin's explosiveness and versatility, he rushed 13 times for 140 yards and three touchdowns in his senior season at Texas. That was after rushing 22 times for 220 yards in 2011. Imagine if you give him more opportunities.

To expect Goodwin to be an all-around receiver is expecting too much. Frankly, given his size, it's unrealistic. However, using him as a slot receiver and targeting him on quick screens and go routes like Percy Harvin could make him a dangerous player with the potential to take it to the house. He could also become an excellent returner in the NFL.

Speed and athleticism isn't everything when it comes to succeeding in the pros, but Goodwin certainly has the potential to be a difference-maker at the next level with his legs. He's nowhere near a first-rounder in the 2013 NFL draft, but it wouldn't be surprising if we hear his name called on Day 2 or Day 3 after an electrifying showing at the combine.

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