NFL Draft 2013: Breaking Down Best Fits for First-Round Talents at WR

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistMarch 20, 2013

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

The wide receiver position is always one of the most fun positions at the NFL draft, as fans seek out YouTube highlights and game films hoping their favorite team will add the top wide receiver on the board. 

After all, defense may win championships, but passing teams are the most fun to watch!

This year, the position isn't as strong at the top of the draft as in years past, but there are still some exciting talents available.

Here, I'll take a closer look at which teams in need of an upgrade at the position are solid fits for the top wide receivers on the board.


16. St. Louis Rams: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee  

There isn't a more intriguing wide receiver in this year's draft than Cordarrelle Patterson. There also probably isn't a riskier one to select, given how high in the draft Patterson will likely fall off the board.

The 6'2", 215-pound Patterson really impressed at the NFL Scouting Combine, running a 4.2 40-yard dash and showing off a 37-inch vertical jump. He was used in a variety of ways by the Volunteers, tallying 986 yards from scrimmage, 1,858 all-purpose yards and 10 touchdowns. 

But he also only started one season for Tennessee, is still somewhat unpolished as a receiver and  still drops more passes that you'd like to see.

Still, his upside is immense and he would give Sam Bradford the sort of deep, field-stretching threat he's never had. Plus, the team could use him in a number of alignments and roles as he's very dangerous as a ball-carrier.

With tight end Jared Cook and tackle Jake Long added in free agency, the Rams' offense would be dramatically improved in 2013 if Patterson was also added to the fold.


23. Minnesota Vikings: Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia 

Percy Harvin is no longer a Viking after being traded to the Seattle Seahawks, which left a major void at wide receiver for Minny. But after signing Greg Jennings, the Vikings could quickly turn that weakness into a strength by also drafting Tavon Austin, who could fill Harvin's old role.

There isn't a more explosive or exciting offensive player in this draft, at least in my opinion. Austin has blazing speed (4.34 40-yard dash) and, like Harvin, can be utilized as both a running back and wide receiver. He finished 2012 with 1,932 yards from scrimmage and 17 total touchdowns.

With Adrian Peterson, Jennings and Austin, the Vikings could have one of the most exciting offenses in football. 


27. Houston Texans: Keenan Allen, WR, California 

For years, the Texans have been trying to find a long, athletic receiver to pair with Andre Johnson. Finally, in Keenan Allen, they might just find the right man for the job. 

Though he's struggled with injuries in the past and was somewhat buried on a poor Cal team this year, Allen is a vertical threat with excellent ball skills and the ability to out-leap cornerbacks. When judging Allen, look at his junior year, when he caught 98 passes for 1,343 yards and six touchdowns.

With Johnson and Allen out wide, Matt Schaub will have a deadly pair of weapons and the Texans' running game and defense won't have to win every game for the team. Allen makes too much sense for the Texans to pass up.


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