The 2013 NFL draft is quite deep at the wide receiver position, and there are several teams that could use a receiver.
In 2012, it was the quarterbacks that were highly sought after, but the receivers are the position that a lot of teams will be keeping a close eye on this year.
There are all types of receivers in the draft this year. There are small slot guys, big physical monsters and all-around fluid receivers.
Here’s a look at a couple of the best receivers in this year’s draft and a projection as to where they will end up.
Projection: St. Louis Rams, Round 1 Pick 16
Patterson is probably the most complete receiver in the draft this year. He has a good mix of size and speed, running a 4.42 40-yard dash at the combine, despite being 6’2’’ and 216 pounds. He’s a very fluid receiver as well, making cuts smoothly without being too hesitant.
Sam Bradford needs someone to throw to, so Patterson landing with the Rams makes a lot of sense. The two of them would make a great fit, and Patterson would make everyone remember why the Rams took Bradford as a No. 1 overall pick.
Projection: Minnesota Vikings, Round 1 Pick 23
The best option for a slot receiver would have to be Austin. He shows incredible speed and burned defensive backs frequently last year at West Virginia. He is able to quickly make cuts and has very impressive acceleration. At 5’8’’, he is best suited for being a slot receiver but not much else.
The Vikings lost their speed guy this offseason in Percy Harvin, and need a replacement. Greg Jennings will be the No. 1 receiver, but another weapon for Christian Ponder would help a lot.
Austin’s impressive combine performance should impress the Vikings enough to pick him up with the 23rd pick.
Projection: Houston Texans, Round 1 Pick 27
Knee problems were an issue for Allen in his senior season, but he still appears to be one of the best receivers in the draft class.
He does an excellent job of staying low and running routes to perfection. He has good vertical leaping ability that helps him catch contested balls up in the air. He can catch a passes from a lot of different angles, even balls that are underthrown, which is uncommon for taller receivers.
Even with Andre Johnson, the Texans could certainly use a No. 2 receiver for Matt Schaub.
Johnson has struggled staying healthy the past few seasons, and a reliable option opposite him could fill in whenever he happens to miss time. Allen would learn a lot about the game with Johnson teaching him, and that would make this offense quite frightening.
Projection: Baltimore Ravens, Round 1 Pick 32
Hopkins is an aggressive receiver, and it shows in games.
He has very strong legs that seem to always be churning. Fighting through contact isn’t a big fear for Hopkins, as he works to fight for extra yards. He makes sure to go after the ball rather than letting it go into his chest.
Now that Anquan Boldin is gone, the Ravens need another weapon. Hopkins could do a good job filling in for Boldin, especially in the red zone. When there’s a ball in the air, Hopkins will fight to grab it.
Joe Flacco loves throwing it deep, and Hopkins will fit right in.