The draft will be here before you know it, and war rooms will be making some difficult decisions about the future. Each team has particular needs, and some franchises will be looking for a dynamic playmaker that can stretch a defense or catch a tough ball over the middle.
This particular draft has some interesting athletes, and there may be a number of impact players, especially toward the end of the first round and the beginning of the second. Markus Wheaton may be one of those athletes, as teams look for a combination of speed, strength and ability to run good routes.
Here are five things you need to know about Markus Wheaton.
Full name: Markus Wheaton
Date of birth: February 7, 1991
Hometown: Chandler, Ariz.
High school: Chandler High School
College: Oregon State University
Major: Public health
Wheaton played all four years with the Oregon State Beavers. The Arizona native also received offers from UCLA, California and Colorado. He was a first-team All-Pac-12 selection in his senior season.
2009: 12 games, 8 receptions, 89 yards, 0 TDs, 7.4 YPG
2010: 12 games, 55 receptions, 675 yards, 4 TDs, 56.3 YPG
2011: 12 games, 73 receptions, 986 yards, 1 TDs, 82.2 YPG
2012: 13 games, 91 receptions, 1,244 yards, 11 TDs, 95.7 YPG
Wheaton also ran for 631 yards and five touchdowns in his four-year college career. He returned three kicks for a total of 81 yards and three punts for a total of 68 yards.
Over four seasons, Wheaton showed steady growth, particularly in receptions, yards and yards per game. His senior season was particularly impressive, and he finished his college career with 2,994 yards and 16 touchdowns.
Statistics courtesy of osubeavers.com
Weight: 189 pounds
Arm Length: 32 3/4 inches
Hand Size: 9 1/8 inches
40-yard dash: 4.45 seconds (10th amongst wide receivers)
Bench press: 20 reps (Tied for third amongst wide receivers)
Vertical jump: 37.0 inches (Tied for fifth amongst wide receivers)
Broad jump: 120.0 inches
20-yard shuttle: 4.02 seconds (Fourth amongst wide receivers)
Statistics courtesy of NFL.com
Wheaton is not the tallest receiver, but he is very strong and showed solid speed at the combine. His ability to run routes was evident in some of the receiving drills.
Plenty of athletes have jobs when they are growing up. What did Markus Wheaton do? In an interview with Bleacher Report, Wheaton revealed that he once worked as a Chuck E. Cheese mascot. He entertained and danced at kids' parties, and he will soon look to dance down an NFL sideline.
In 2011, Wheaton traveled to Guatemala to help build a house for a needy family as part of the “Beavers Without Borders” program.
Wheaton’s brother played defensive back at Southern Mississippi University. His father played basketball at Howard Payne University.
At 5’11”, Wheaton isn’t necessarily going to be the massive body that some teams crave. However, Wheaton’s raw speed, solid route-running and good hands will still make him a target of many teams.
As noted by SB Nation, Wheaton has been very durable throughout his college career, but his 190-pound body may be challenged by physical corners in the NFL. Teams may look for Wheaton to be a solid No. 2 receiver behind a bigger wideout.