NFL Draft 2013: Tracking the Best Available WRs
Perhaps no position draws more excitement in the NFL draft than wide receivers—whether it's a proven pass-catcher or a prospect brimming with athleticism just waiting for someone to believe in the untapped potential.
Scouts mainly agree that the top prospect at the position is Tennessee's Cordarrelle Patterson, but there is some disagreement after that point.
There are plenty of options, though, and Bleacher Report's Matt Miller gave 35 wide receivers a draftable grade in this year's class. Here is a running list of the best ones available.
13. Da'Rick Rogers, Tennessee Tech
- Looks the part at 6'2 1/2", 217 pounds
- Very tough, makes challenging catches in traffic
- Good release, physical and fairly sudden
- Excellent athlete with impressive workout numbers
- Maturity is a big question mark, has a checkered past
- Lacks the speed to be a home run hitter in the NFL
- Not overly elusive after the catch, upright running style
- May be too reliant on strength and athleticism
You can view Da'Rick Rogers' complete scouting report here (via B/R's Ryan Lownes).
At 6'2" and 217 pounds, Rogers has the size to create matchup problems on the outside. He is a physical specimen in terms of his strength and quickness, and as a result, he's very difficult to bring down in the open field after the catch. Per Lownes:
There are big concerns over some off-field maturity issues and on-field effort issues. He also doesn't have great explosiveness or long speed. His lack of instincts and route-running savvy could limit how he contributes to an NFL offense. Via Lownes:
Overall, Rogers ranks as the 13th-best receiver in the 2013 NFL draft class.
19. Conner Vernon, Duke
You can view Conner Vernon's complete scouting report here (via Sigmund Bloom).
Duke is not known for its football program, but Vernon is known as the best player to come out of it in this year's class. He knows how to pick up yards after the catch and will be effective immediately in a spread offense as a result of his sharp route running and his effectiveness on screens and short passes. Per Bloom:
Vernon has turned his decent size and athleticism into very good production in a losing program. He is a creative and tough runner after the catch, enough so that Duke called his number a lot on bubble screens. Vernon is also a good receiver in the air who understands how to get his body between the defender and the ball in flight. He is also a sharp route runner, and can also contribute as an effective kick and punt returner.
He's not a great athlete, however, which means he could lack upside. He is also not as physical as his 6'0", 196-pound frame would suggest. Via Bloom:
Since he lacks outstanding quickness, speed, size or athleticism, Vernon is not much of a big-play receiver. He can be re-routed by a well-executed jam, and is not a very effective blocker. He also isn't that fast and lacks a second gear to create separation.
Overall, Vernon ranks as the 19th-best receiver in the 2013 NFL draft class.
22. Alec Lemon, Syracuse
You can view Alec Lemon's complete scouting report here (via B/R featured columnist Dan Tylicki).
Lemon put up outstanding numbers for Syracuse this past year, breaking the 1,000-yard barrier for the first time in his career while setting a career high for yards per reception. Those numbers are evidence that he knows how to get open by effectively setting up his routes, and that he has solid hands. Per Tylicki:
Lemon has a great track record at Syracuse. He was a starter for four seasons, and he put up great numbers. He finished his collegiate career with 201 receptions and 2,596 yards. His 72 receptions in 2012 is a school record. He knows how to run routes and has great hands as well, so he could be a good possession receiver at the next level.
Lemon is not a great athlete, as evidenced by his performance at the combine (4.59 40-yard dash, seven bench press reps, 32" vertical jump via NFL.com). That could limit his upside in the NFL. Via Tylicki:
The numbers that Lemon put up at the combine were rather poor. He had a paltry seven reps at the bench press, which draws his strength into question. A 32-inch vertical leap and broad jump under 10 feet are also near the bottom of the barrel for wideouts in the draft. Aside from his numbers at Syracuse, there's little that translates positively for him to the NFL.
Overall, Lemon ranks as the 22nd-best receiver in the 2013 NFL draft class.
24. Jasper Collins, Mount Union
You can view Jasper Collins' complete scouting report here (via B/R's Sigmund Bloom).
Collins is a hard runner with the ball in his hands and has some quickness to shimmy by defenders. Teams will be attracted to his ability to contribute on special teams as well, which is always a hallmark for a late-round pick making the roster. Per Bloom:
Jasper Collins is a tough receiver with good hands. He can create separation with acceleration that eats up the cushion his speed buys him. Collins is comfortable going up for the ball or fighting for position when the ball is in the air. Collins is dangerous after the catch with an aggressive mindset, quick moves and strong running. He is also good at adjusting to the ball in flight and staying inbounds near the sidelines with body control. Collins can also serve as a punt returner, with the ability to score in the role.
Collins isn't a great athlete and therefore struggles at times to create separation. He also doesn't have ideal field awareness just yet. Via Bloom:
Collins' frame is borderline too small to hang as an outside receiver in the NFL. He doesn't always separate and sometimes cornerbacks can easily stick to him. Collins will unnecessarily jump for receptions he could make in stride.
Overall, Collins ranks as the 24th-best receiver in the 2013 NFL draft class.
27. Rodney Smith, Florida State
You can view Rodney Smith's complete scouting report here (via B/R featured columnist Dan Tylicki).
Smith's measurables make him one of the most intriguing prospects for an outside receiver in this year's class. He's 6'5" and 225 pounds with 34.75" long arms. He also has speed to stretch defenses vertically. Per Tylicki:
At 6'5", Smith is among the tallest wide receivers in this year's draft class; only two others are 6'5" and neither are likely to be selected. Despite his height, he has speed, running a 4.51 40-yard dash at the combine. He has long arms and a good vertical leap, and that athleticism rolled into one player is naturally going to appeal to scouts.
Smith wasn't incredibly productive in the ACC, so it's fair to wonder whether he will become productive when the competition rises. Via Tylicki:
While Smith has the measurables to be successful, he lacks the weight at 225 pounds to be sufficiently formidable. In other words, he does not always outmuscle the cornerback when catching a pass, which should not happen with a receiver like him. His height also raises the question of how well he can catch underthrown balls, and he failed to pass the 600-yard or 40-reception mark in any season at Florida State.
Overall, Smith ranks as the 27th-best receiver in the 2013 NFL draft class.
29. Brandon Kaufman, Eastern Washington
You can view Brandon Kaufman's complete scouting report here (via Sigmund Bloom).
Kaufman is known for his physicality and size at 6'5" and 216 pounds. He uses it well to win leverage and to create yards after the catch. His quickness is underrated for a man of his size. Per Bloom:
Kaufman is a big receiver with enough speed to create some deep separation and ball skills and catch radius to come down with the more tightly contested passes. He's tall, but plays with some strength and sturdiness. Kaufman does not shy away from contact and is willing and able to work the middle of the field. He has a solid stop-start move in the open field and should be a weapon in the red zone.
He's not particularly known for his speed and ran a 4.67-second 40-yard dash at the combine (via NFL.com). Via Bloom:
Even though he isn't a poor athlete, Kaufman's quickness and speed are average or adequate at best among big NFL receivers. He isn't particularly agile, flexible, or explosive and won't regularly get behind NFL secondaries. The level of play and lack of complexity in Kaufman's duties makes his ability to make in the NFL a larger unknown.
Overall, Kaufman ranks as the 29th-best receiver in the 2013 NFL draft class.
30. Marcus Davis, Virginia Tech
You can view Marcus Davis' complete scouting report here (via NFL.com).
Davis will be an intriguing addition to any offense simply for his height-weight-speed combination. A good quarterback will go a long way in taking advantage of the matchup problems Davis creates on the outside. He knows how to use that frame to win one-on-one in physical battles.
Strengths (via NFL.com):
Possesses prototypical size and speed combination to be an outside NFL starter. Smooth runner off the line and turns on a second gear downfield that allows him to separate. His size overwhelms smaller cornerbacks, can fight through their advances and go over the top to take away the jump ball. Uses his body to shield corners on slants.
Davis also has good footwork and is a solid route-runner. He shows good concentration on deep passes and is a strong runner after the catch. His size and strength will also help in run-blocking, no small feat for a wideout.
Davis is yet inexperienced, and therefore may not be ready to contribute in a broad range of ways from the get-go. Sometimes he gives up on routes when he's not the primary target.
Weaknesses (via NFL.com):
- Relatively inexperienced at the position
- Must work on using hands, not body, to catch balls
- Doesn’t seem to want to block
- Poor concentration. Doesn’t always run out routes when not the primary receiver
Overall, Davis ranks as the 30th-best receiver in the 2013 NFL draft class.
31. DeVonte Christopher, Utah
You can view DeVonte Christopher's complete scouting report here (via NFL.com).
Christopher's ability to work the sideline and the slot make him a good threat no matter where he lines up. He has the height and vertical to be a good red-zone target, at the very least.
Strengths (via NFL.com):
- Excellent size and strength
- Strong, soft hands
- Size and quick feet help him separate from defenders to go for balls near the sidelines and over the middle
- Length helps lock up defenders in run-blocking situations
He's not going to make any defenses play off, as his long speed is severely lacking. He needs to improve his hand discipline, making the catch away from his frame.
Weaknesses (via NFL.com):
- Poor straight-line speed
- Body-catches passes and loses some balls he should catch
Overall, Christopher ranks as the 31st-best receiver in the 2013 NFL draft class.
32. T.J. Moe, Missouri
- Sure hands, massive catch radius.
- Quick release.
- Deceptive agility to break away from defenders.
- Physical enough to go over middle.
- Smaller frame at 6'0" and 204 pounds.
- Dip in production over last two seasons.
- Limited to slot at next level.
You can view T.J. Moe's complete scouting report here (via B/R’s Chris Roling).
At 5'11" and 204 pounds, Moe has a compact build. That allows him to absorb hits and makes him tough to tackle when he makes catches over the middle.
Strengths (via Roling):
Moe peaked in his sophomore year, hauling in 92 catches for 1,045 yards and six touchdowns. He barely matched his catches and yards totals over the final two years combined. Nothing particularly jumps off the page about Moe as an athlete.
Weaknesses (via Roling):
Overall, Moe ranks as the 32nd-best receiver in the 2013 NFL draft class.
33. Uzoma Nwachukwu, Texas A&M
You can view Uzoma Nwachukwu's complete scouting report here (via B/R featured columnist Matt Stein).
He is a playmaker in the purest sense. Nwachukwu has the ability to create big plays with the ball in his hands.
Strengths (via Stein):
Nwachukwu is very exciting to watch once the ball gets in his hands. He doesn't have elite speed, but he has the elusiveness and quickness in the open field to consistently make plays.
He's also a physical wide receiver who uses his hands well to get separation from cornerbacks down the field.
Nwachukwu played against top competition as a senior at Texas A&M, and his production suffered greatly as a result. He needs to work on his hands, as he drops some passes that are thrown right to him.
Weaknesses (via Stein):
At only 6'1", there are questions to whether Nwachukwu has the size to play on the outside in an NFL offense. There are also concerns about just how consistent of hands he has. He'll often drop passes and doesn't win enough in 50-50 situations.
Overall, Nwachukwu ranks as the 33rd-best receiver in the 2013 NFL draft class.
34. Tyrone Goard, Eastern Kentucky
- Questionable physicality and toughness
- Lean and relatively weak lower body
- Poor concentration level and less-than-sure hands
- Unsure as a run-blocker
You can view Tyrone Goard's complete scouting report here (via NFL.com).
Goard is great at creating separation, using his foot quickness to set up cornerbacks for double-moves. At 6'7", Goard is the tallest receiver on Miller's big board, and therefore is tough to cover down the sideline and in the red zone.
Strengths (via NFL.com):
Good length and long arms. Room to comfortably add more weight. Gets off the line well when not pressed. … Shows good foot quickness for his size…and displays some elusiveness with the ball in his hands. … Tough red zone and sideline matchup.
Goard needs to improve his concentration and needs to work on using his frame to make contested catches more frequently.
Weaknesses (via NFL.com):
Overall, Goard ranks as the 34th-best receiver in the 2013 NFL draft class.
35. Mark Harrison, Rutgers
You can view Mark Harrison's complete scouting report here (via B/R featured columnist Wes Stueve).
Harrison has the perfect size for an outside receiver and is nearly impossible to jam at the line. He is also a great vertical threat, both in terms of his ability to stretch a defense deep and his leaping ability.
Strengths (via Stueve):
At 6'3", 231 pounds, Harrison is big. He combines size with impressive straight-line speed and vertical ability. Harrison plays physically, using his body to get open and position himself to make the catch. He has no problem going up for a pass. Harrison also frequently displays impressive body control and catching ability. Harrison's size allows him to easily run through many defensive backs, and he relentlessly searches for opportunities to make plays with the ball in his hands.
Harrison lacks the explosiveness and quickness that could make him a more versatile receiver. He also needs to work on his concentration in making catches with his hands.
Weaknesses (via Stueve):
Though he is fast, Harrison isn't exceptionally quick, and he lacks great burst. He doesn't explode off the snap, and it takes him a while to get up to full speed. Harrison's routes lack great suddenness, and he isn't going to gain yards after the catch with his quickness. Harrison doesn't always extend his hands like he should, and he's had some problems with drops.
Overall, Harrison ranks as the 35th-best receiver in the 2013 NFL Draft class.
2. Tavon Austin, West Virginia
You can view Tavon Austin's complete scouting report here (via Bleacher Report NFL draft lead writer Sigmund Bloom).
No one can say anything negative about Austin's explosiveness. He has drawn many comparisons to Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson because of his diminutive frame and explosive nature. He has versatility to line up outside, in the slot or even in the backfield.
Austin can hurt the opponent as a wide receiver, running back, kick returner and punt returner. No one in this class is better at making tacklers miss in the open field, and Austin also has speed to outrun the fastest player on most NFL defenses. Austin plays with an aggressive mentality that keeps defenders on their heels, and he'll be a player opponents have to account for on every play.
His size is a red flag in that you have to wonder whether he can stand the test of time in the NFL, taking repeated shots on catches over the middle and tackles in the open field.
Austin is right at the "too small to hold up for long in the NFL" size line. He's limited to being a slot receiver in the NFL, and physical coverage could cancel him out. He seems to hear footsteps when he works the middle of the field, and Austin won't be a good fit in every NFL offense. His return skills aren't decisive and well-honed enough to produce the kind of results that a player with his abilities should produce.
Overall, Austin ranks as the second-best receiver in the 2013 NFL draft class.
Drafted: Round 1, Pick 8, St. Louis Rams
4. DeAndre Hopkins, Clemson
You can view DeAndre Hopkins' complete scouting report here (via B/R's Sigmund Bloom).
Hopkins is an excellent route-runner and has great hands to go with it. He knows how to run routes effectively to get open, setting them up just right to allow as much separation for his quarterback as possible.
Hopkins is going to his damage with pinpoint routes and outstanding ball skills. He creates separation by subtly changing speeds and generally keeps cornerbacks off balance for the entire game. Hopkins has long arms and outstanding hands at full extension. He almost always times his leaps perfectly and makes climbing the ladder for a high pass look very easy. Hopkins also runs tough after the catch and always has a strategy in place to elude the defender once he secures the ball.
Hopkins knows how to use his speed, but he isn't going to jump off the page with speed or quickness.
Hopkins is just average when it comes speed and quickness. He sometimes has trouble when he has to compete for the ball in the air, and he can be re-routed and disrupted by press coverage. Hopkins lacks the jets and phone booth quicks to be a real threat to break long plays after the catch and he won't take the top off of defense.
Overall, Hopkins ranks as the fourth-best receiver in the 2013 NFL draft class.
Drafted: Round 1, Pick 27, Houston Texans
1. Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee
- Electric with the ball in his hands
- Game-breaking speed
- Prototypical size at 6’3”, 205 lbs.
- Unlimited upside
- Inconsistent hands, too many drops
- Raw, unrefined route runner
- Limited technique as a blocker
You can view Cordarrelle Patterson's complete scouting report here (via Bleacher Report's Ryan Lownes).
With all the tangibles teams love in an outside-the-numbers threat at receiver, and versatility to boot, Patterson is one of the most coveted prospects in this year's class.
There are concerns, however, that he may not have the football acumen to successfully pick up a complicated offensive playbook. He also played just one year at the FBS level, so it's unclear whether he can carry out his production over a length of time.
Overall, Patterson ranks as the best receiver in the 2013 NFL draft class.
Drafted: Round 1, Pick 29, Minnesota Vikings
7. Justin Hunter, Tennessee
- Long strider with great straight-line speed
- Excellent size at 6'4", 196 pounds
- Huge catch radius due to length and body control
- Deep threat that stretches the field vertically
- Did not look as explosive as he was prior to ACL injury
- Too many dropped passes
- Often runs sloppy routes and suffers from mental errors
- Not much of a run blocker at this point
You can view Justin Hunter's complete scouting report here (via Bleacher Report's Ryan Lownes).
Hunter has ideal length for the position at 6'4" and with 33.25-inch arms. He is not limited to being an outside receiver, with the quickness to create separation on underneath routes as well. He has solid long speed, but he's not a one-speed receiver and knows how to use his speed to set up routes and get open. Per Lownes:
There are concerns over Hunter's torn ACL from 2011, which caused him to miss most of that season. He's not a physical run-blocker and should spend some time in the weight room to help him win matchups on the outside against press coverage.
Overall, Hunter ranks as the seventh-best receiver in the 2013 NFL draft class.
Drafted: Round 2, Pick 34, Tennessee Titans
5. Robert Woods, USC
- Excellent body control
- Large catch radius, routinely makes plays at full extension
- Picks up yards after the catch with balance and vision
- Quick, nimble feet
- Lacks extraordinary size or speed
- Looked a bit sloppier, more mistake-prone in 2012
- Inconsistent route and blocking technique
- Average workout numbers
You can view Robert Woods' complete scouting report here (via Bleacher Report's Ryan Lownes).
Woods possesses savvy hands and has the speed and foot quickness to excel running just about any route. His ability to create yards after the catch helped make USC quarterback Matt Barkley look a lot more effective at times in 2012. Per Lownes:
Woods has a long frame but isn't built like a prototypical receiver. He isn't known for his strength, so press coverage could be an issue at times in the NFL. Via Lownes:
Overall, Woods ranks as the fifth-best receiver in the 2013 NFL draft class.
Drafted: Round 2, pick 41, Buffalo Bills
15. Aaron Dobson, Marshall
You can view Aaron Dobson's complete scouting report here (via Bleacher Report's Ryan McCrystal).
Dobson has great size for an outside receiver at 6'3" and 210 pounds with 33" arms. Not only does he have it, but he knows how to use it, making difficult leaping catches look routine. He's also regarded highly by his teammates, having been voted a team captain last season. Per McCrystal:
Dobson is a prototypical possession receiver. He knows how to get open, work the sideline and, most importantly, comes down with everything thrown his direction.
In terms of ball skills, Dobson may be the most polished receiver in this year's draft class.
The Marshall wideout has weirdly small hands, which could cause some difficulty for him making contested catches against stronger defensive backs. His ceiling could be low due to a lack of athleticism. Via McCrystal:
While Dobson is extremely reliable, he does lack upside due to some physical limitations. His lack of breakaway speed will hinder his ability to get open over the top, and some of the elite, more physical cornerbacks in the league should have little trouble shutting him down.
For these reasons, he won't be a No. 1 receiver, but he could develop into a quality second option down the road.
Overall, Dobson ranks as the 15th-best receiver in the 2013 NFL draft class.
Drafted: Round 2, Pick 59, New England Patriots
8. Terrance Williams, Baylor
- A vertical threat with speed to win deep
- Good ball skills, body control
- Wide catch radius, makes plays outside his frame
- Fairly sudden, quick release
- Unrefined route-runner lacking polish
- Lacks elusiveness after the catch
- Finesse receiver who does not use his size to his full advantage
- Not sure he can hold up versus physical defenders
You can view Terrance Williams' complete scouting report here (via Bleacher Report's Ryan Lownes).
Williams is regarded for speed, speed and more speed. He has drawn comparisons to Dolphins wide receiver Mike Wallace for his ability to run the go route consistently and force defenses to respect his ability to get deep. He has refined his skills tracking the ball and knows how to make difficult catches. Per Lownes:
There is some work to be done on Williams' route-running. He doesn't have great start-stop quickness to break free from coverage. He also doesn't take contact well when trying to create yards after the catch. Via Lownes:
Overall, Williams ranks as the eighth-best receiver in the 2013 NFL draft class.
Drafted: Round 3, Pick 74, Dallas Cowboys
3. Keenan Allen, California
- Very good size at 6'2" and 206 pounds
- Excellent body control, has a wide catch radius
- Quick release, creates separation
- Light feet with some suddenness
- Knee injury ended his season
- Lacks an explosive top gear, not a vertical threat
- Too many drops, lets passes get into his body
You can view Keenan Allen's complete scouting report here (via Bleacher Report's Ryan Lownes).
At 6'2" and 206 pounds, Allen has great measurables for the position. He's also a refined receiver, with good hands and solid route-running discipline. He's not afraid to get his hands dirty as a run-blocker either. Per Lownes:
The problem with Allen is he's not exactly a burner. A team looking for a deep threat may be better suited elsewhere. He won't wow you with athleticism. Via Lownes:
Overall, Allen ranks as the third-best receiver in the 2013 NFL draft class.
Drafted: Round 3, Pick 76, San Diego Chargers
9. Marquise Goodwin, Texas
You can view Marquise Goodwin's complete scouting report here (via B/R's Sigmund Bloom).
Goodwin only averaged 13.1 yards per reception as a senior, but he is a solid deep threat—one who defenses will need to account for on every play. He also knows how to change speeds to help him get open. Per Bloom:
Speed, speed and more speed. Goodwin is going to instantly be one of the 10 fastest wide receivers in the NFL—if not 10 fastest players, period. He is the kind of player who has to be accounted for on every play, because he turns minor mistakes by defensive backs into touchdowns. Deep separation is effortless for Goodwin, and tacklers consistently take poor angles when he is on the run.
Goodwin also changes speed in his routes well enough to create separation on short and intermediate routes. He adjusts to the ball in flight well as long as he doesn't have to track it over his shoulder. Goodwin is physical and not afraid to hit or be hit.
Goodwin will need to polish his game in terms of tracking the ball in the air and running crisp routes. At 5'9" and 183 pounds, he's not going to win any size matchups, either.
Since he's a raw receiver, Goodwin needs to be coached up on ball-tracking, route-running and defeating the jam, among other finer points of the wide receiver position. He is not a very shifty or elusive runner when it comes to moves in the open field, and he's not a big wide receiver.
Overall, Goodwin ranks as the ninth-best receiver in the 2013 NFL draft class.
Drafted: Round 3, Pick 78, Buffalo Bills
10. Markus Wheaton, Oregon State
- Deep speed and terrific acceleration
- Shows savvy, is smooth and athletic
- Excellent body control
- Competitive player with a high IQ
- Slightly undersized at just 5'11", 189 pounds
- Must improve technique as a run-blocker
- Lets too many passes into his body
You can view Markus Wheaton's complete scouting report here (via Bleacher Report's Ryan Lownes).
Wheaton was one of the top targets in all of college football last year, hauling in 91 catches for 1,244 yards and 11 touchdowns as a senior. He is known for his quickness, but he also has great field awareness to make sideline catches as well. Per Lownes:
Wheaton doesn't have the prototypical size for an outside-the-numbers threat at just 5'11" and 189 pounds. That lack of size is a detriment when trying to get off jams and when he is asked to participate as a run-blocker. Via Lownes:
Overall, Wheaton ranks as the 10th-best receiver in the 2013 NFL draft class.
Drafted: Round 3, Pick 79, Pittsburgh Steelers
11. Stedman Bailey, West Virginia
- Tough and competitive, plays bigger than he is
- Fights for yardage after the catch, great balance
- Crisp route-runner with some savvy
- Good body control to adjust to passes
- Shorter than you would like at 5'10 1/4"
- Lacks an explosive top gear, does not have deep speed
- Can he be more than a slot receiver in the NFL?
You can view Stedman Bailey's complete scouting report here (via Bleacher Report's Ryan Lownes).
Bailey is known as the "other" receiver in West Virginia's explosive offense, but do not overlook him. He is a smart receiver who knows how to run routes and find soft spots in zone coverage. He has solid hands, with good discipline and concentration in that regard. Per Lownes:
What Bailey has in feistiness and competitiveness, he lacks in size and explosiveness. He was the secondary threat in West Virginia's offense and has never had to deal with top competition—both in terms of the teams he faced and the cornerbacks that lined up against him. Via Lownes:
Overall, Bailey ranks as the 11th-best receiver in the 2013 NFL draft class.
Drafted: Round 3, Pick 92, St. Louis Rams
23. Ace Sanders, South Carolina
You can view Ace Sanders' complete scouting report here (via B/R's Brandon Alisoglu).
Sanders has all the skills that teams look for in a slot receiver, with great quickness off the line and the awareness to find soft spots in zone coverage. He may be smaller than most receivers, but he is not afraid to make tough catches in tight quarters. Per Alisoglu:
First and foremost, Sanders is a top-tier punt returner. He has the vision to see where seams will be while weaving through multiple defenders.
Additionally, he's tough to bring down as his low center of gravity gives him great balance to match his agility. His hesitation move constantly leaves defenders picking up their undergarments.
Lastly, he is a bona fide receiver with excellent hands.
At just 5'7" and 173 pounds, Sanders is the smallest receiver in this year's class. He didn't run a wide array of routes and might not be ready to contribute in every situation just yet. Via Alisoglu:
Sanders doesn't possess a prototypical—or even typical—wide receiver build. His lack of height will scare off more than a few teams, which will have concerns about his ability to fight off NFL cornerbacks. And they’ll also question whether he can stand up to the physical punishment he'll encounter in the NFL.
Also, for a guy without the size, his 4.58 40-yard dash at the combine definitely hurt his stock, despite the productivity evident on the tape. That combine time easily cost him a round or two.
Overall, Sanders ranks as the 23rd-best receiver in the 2013 NFL draft class.
Drafted: Round 4, Pick 101, Jacksonville Jaguars
20. Josh Boyce, TCU
You can view Josh Boyce's complete scouting report here (via B/R's Sigmund Bloom).
The TCU program has been on the rise for awhile, and Boyce's production has been a big part of that (60-plus catches, 890-plus yards, seven-plus touchdowns each of the past two years). His skill set is at its best on short routes where he can put his speed and toughness on display after the catch. Per Bloom:
Boyce is a thickly built, strong wide receiver, who resembles a running back more than a wideout. He has a fifth gear to pull away from defenders after the catch, and he has good feet to snap through breaks in his routes. Boyce is tough after the catch with good balance and field vision. He is also good at making plays on contested balls in the air.
At 5'11" and 206 pounds, he's not the ideal size for an outside receiver. His numbers all took a hit when he and the Horned Frogs joined the Big 12, and there is concern that his size could limit him to a slot role in the NFL. Via Bloom:
Since he's under six feet with shorter arms, Boyce isn't going to have a great high-wire act in the NFL or create size mismatches with cornerbacks. He is only an adequate blocker at best and sometimes barely contributes in this area. Some believe that his lack of natural size will limit him to the slot in the pros.
Overall, Boyce ranks as the 20th-best receiver in the 2013 NFL draft class.
18. Chris Harper, Kansas State
You can view Chris Harper's complete scouting report here (via B/R's Sigmund Bloom).
Harper has great run-after-catch ability—not because of his quickness, but because he's just a physical runner, as his 6'1", 229-pound frame suggests. He gets up to his top speed quickly. Per Bloom:
Harper is thickly-built, strong, stubborn receiver with surprising speed. He will bang in the air and during routes to get position for the catch, and Harper is difficult to bring down after the catch. His speed grants him a bigger cushion that he can turn into separation on shorter routes. Harper is aggressive after the catch and can make the first man miss despite a lack of great natural quickness.
Harper can be too aggressive after the catch at times, which can lead to fumbles (12 in three years). He also fought through an ankle injury in 2011. Via Bloom:
Creating separation is not Harper's strong suit, and he has more trouble shaking corners in routes that you would typically see on a pro wide receiver prospect's film. His fight after the catch can create opportunities for forced fumbles because Harper is aggressive, but not that elusive. Klein's lack of accuracy visibly frustrated Harper at times, and his focus and effort would waver during games.
Overall, Harper ranks as the 18th-best receiver in the 2013 NFL draft class.
Drafted: Round 4, Pick 123, Seattle Seahawks
6. Quinton Patton, Louisiana Tech
You can view Quinton Patton's complete scouting report here (via B/R's Sigmund Bloom).
Patton knows how to use his quickness to get open on short and intermediate routes, but he also has great ball skills to track deep passes. His burst off the line is elite. Per Bloom:
Patton is an ultra-productive, tough receiver who can beat his opponent in a number of ways. He gets up to speed right out of his stance and puts immediate pressure on cornerbacks. Because of this, he usually gets a big cushion and can take advantage on short and intermediate routes by creating a lot of separation. Patton can also get free deep and has excellent ball-tracking ability over his shoulder to make big plays. His body control and moves to create separation in routes are all advanced.
Patton doesn't have great long speed, however, and won't truly test a defense deep. He isn't small by any stretch, standing 6'0" and weighing 204 pounds, but his size won't cause matchup problems on cornerbacks and he won't win many jump-ball situations. Via Bloom:
Patton isn't a true burner that can separate deep from speedy corners, and his size is just average. He isn't very elusive or a threat to make a huge play after the catch, despite hard-nosed running. He can lose contested balls and will have trouble against more talented NFL corners on 50/50 balls. His abilities probably limit him to a No. 2 wide receiver role in the NFL.
Overall, Patton ranks as the sixth-best receiver in the 2013 NFL draft class.
Drafted: Round 4, Pick 128, San Francisco 49ers
21. Denard Robinson, Michigan
You can view Denard Robinson's complete scouting report here (via B/R's Sigmund Bloom).
Robinson will do whatever it takes to help the team—even if that means switching to wide receiver. He could be an interesting prospect to contribute in ways other than as a wide receiver, perhaps on gadget plays for an inventive offensive coordinator. Per Bloom:
Robinson is a natural in the open field. His burst, quickness, and instincts make him a handful for opposing defenses. Robinson is elusive, but he can also break tackles. He is a tough, competitive player who sacrifices his body for his team. He has a great arm and his passing ability can be leveraged in any number of ways on gadget calls. He also has extensive read-option quarterback experience.
Robinson did not look ready to make the switch to wide receiver at his pro day, although he had made some steps forward by the combine. He has solid speed and quickness, but it's fair to wonder whether he can learn how to use it to get away from an NFL cornerback. Via Bloom:
A terrible Senior Bowl week underscored just how much work Robinson has to do to play wide receiver in the NFL. He'll have to be built from the ground up as a route runner, his hands are inconsistent, and his ball skills are lacking. Robinson also has ball security issues and doesn't naturally run with a low enough pad level to be seriously considered as a running back that gets more than a few touches a game. While he is fast, Robinson doesn't have true breakaway speed or a fifth gear.
Overall, Robinson ranks as the 21st-best receiver in the 2013 NFL draft class.
Drafted: Round 5, Pick 135, Jacksonville Jaguars
12. Kenny Stills, Oklahoma
You can view Kenny Stills' complete scouting report here (via B/R's Sigmund Bloom).
Stills has a ton of speed, as evidenced by his 4.38-second 40-yard dash at the combine (via NFL.com) that ranked in the top five at his position. That speed, as well as his explosiveness off the line of scrimmage, will make him a solid X receiver. Per Bloom:
Even though he's not a big or strong receiver, Stills is outstanding at coming down with 50/50 balls and making the play in tight quarters in the end zone. He has a good burst off of the line and legitimate deep-separation speed. Stills is at his best adjusting to the ball in flight, especially on back-shoulder throws. His body control allows him to stay inbounds near the sideline and get better position while banging with defensive backs in the air.
Stills has less than ideal size at 6'0" and 194 pounds, which means he won't be a matchup problem for opposing defensive backs in that regard. He will also need some polish running routes and will not generate yards after catch. Via Bloom:
Stills is not going to dominate physical matchups and will never be a No. 1 receiver in the NFL. He is not elusive or creative after the catch. Stills is not a refined route-runner, although he shows the change of speeds and sudden breaks to become one. He won't break many tackles or contribute much as a blocker and will have to get stronger in general to hang in the NFL. Stills occasionally drops easy catches.
Overall, Stills ranks as the 12th-best receiver in the 2013 NFL draft class.
Drafted: Round 5, Pick 144, New Orleans Saints
16. Tavarres King, Georgia
You can view Tavarres King's complete scouting report here (via Bleacher Report's Brandon Alisoglu).
King's best attribute is his incredible long speed. He may run some of the best go routes and deep posts of any prospect coming out in 2013. He can use it more than one way, though, and is effective after the catch as well. Per Alisoglu:
King has a long stride that covers lots of ground. At times it doesn't even look like he's running, but there he is, striding past another unsuspecting safety on his way to paydirt.
He adjusts naturally to the deep ball and looks extremely smooth when making the transition from catching the football to running with it.
King isn't incredibly physical in terms of blocking as well as getting off jams at the line of scrimmage. The biggest knock on him, though, may be a lack of concentration that results in drops as well as occasionally losing sight of the ball when tracking downfield. Via Alisoglu:
His smooth style only translates to vertical routes. He lacks the fluid agility to go horizontally and can appear uncoordinated in that respect.
As will be covered below, his inconsistent hands will also weigh him down on draft day, allowing him to slide out of the first few rounds.
Overall, King ranks as the 16th-best receiver in the 2013 NFL draft class.
Drafted: Round 5, Pick 161, Denver Broncos
25. Corey Fuller, Virginia Tech
You can view Fuller's complete scouting report here (via B/R's Sigmund Bloom).
Fuller is a great athlete, and at 6'2" and 204 pounds, he has the size teams will like for an outside receiver. He also runs solid routes and has good hands. Per Bloom:
Fuller has legitimate deep-separation speed and exceptional ball tracking skills to reel in the big catch. He has smooth hips, and Fuller is a fluid athlete with precise routes and a knack for getting inside of his man when he is working the middle of the field. His hands are reliable, and Fuller seems to have a high football IQ for a player with limited big-time college football experience.
Whichever team drafts Fuller will have to find ways to get him off press coverage, as he can be taken out of plays too easily when defenders get their hands on him. He's also not going to burn past any defenders on speed alone. Via Bloom:
Fuller isn't much of a blocker, and he's not creative after the catch. He lacks the physicality to be more than a No. 2 receiver, and he needs time to get up to top speed. His inexperience may make the learning curve in the NFL a little steeper.
Overall, Fuller ranks as the 25th-best receiver in the 2013 NFL draft class.
Drafted: Round 6, Pick 171, Detroit Lions
14. Ryan Swope, Texas A&M
You can view Swope's complete scouting report here (via B/R's Sigmund Bloom).
Swope tore up the combine by running a 4.34-second 40-yard dash (via NFL.com) that ranked as one of the five fastest times there. He knows how to set up his routes, and he became a favorite target of both Ryan Tannehill and Johnny Manziel as a result of his ability to find soft spots in coverage when plays break down. Per Bloom:
Swope has a sturdy build and does a good job occupying soft spots in the defense on short, precise routes out of the slot. He understands how to alter his placement in the defense to get open and set up a defensive back for a double move to break free deep.
He is physical and not at all shy working the middle of the field. Swope is also a tremendous blocker and reliable hands catcher.
Although he ran a fast 40, he doesn't show that kind of speed when he puts on pads. He's also not a great open-field threat to create yards after the catch. That may limit how he contributes to an NFL offense. Via Bloom:
He's not going to make many tacklers miss after the catch and he doesn't quite play up to his timed speed. Breaks in routes and moves in the open field are not very sudden or explosive.
In general, Swope is not much of a threat after the catch and his profile is more possession receiver than playmaker despite his blazing 40 time.
Overall, Swope ranks as the 14th-best receiver in the 2013 NFL draft class.
Drafted: Round 6, Pick 174, Arizona Cardinals
17. Cobi Hamilton, Arkansas
You can view Cobi Hamilton's complete scouting report here (via B/R's Sigmund Bloom).
Three words come to mind with Hamilton: height, weight, speed. He is a physical runner after the catch and is quick to put his second gear on display with the ball in his hands. Per Bloom:
Hamilton has an excellent combination of size and speed and can create separation deep. He is fast enough to run away from safeties in the open field and he has a few tricks up his sleeve after the catch. Hamilton's leggy frame disguises his speed; he seems to sneak up on corners who don't respect his jets before leaving them in the dust.
Like Aaron Dobson, Hamilton also has small size considering his frame. He's not particularly explosive or quick, which causes concern that he may be limited to strictly being an outside receiver in the NFL. Via Bloom:
There is a lack of physical edge and precision in Hamilton's game. He rounds routes, loses concentration on contested balls, fumbles after the catch and goes down easily on most any tackle attempt. Hamilton has subpar explosion and quickness, and he doesn't make strong plays on the ball in flight. Hamilton is also a marginal blocker, and his height advantage is somewhat negated by his so-so game in the air.
Overall, Hamilton ranks as the 17th-best receiver in the 2013 NFL draft class.
Drafted: Round 6, Pick 197, Cincinnati Bengals
28. Marquess Wilson, Washington State
- Great size and length
- Strong hands, large catching radius
- Glider in open-field
- Character concerns from leaving his team
- Thin frame and lack of strength
- Doesn't possess elite burst, could cause problems getting separation
You can view Marquess Wilson's complete scouting report here (via Bleacher Report's BJ Kissel).
At 6'3" and 194 pounds, Wilson is a matchup problem for smaller defensive backs. His 4.51-second 40-yard dash doesn't do justice to his long speed. He averaged 17 yards per catch in three years at Washington State. He knows how to find soft spots in zone coverage and is known for helping out his quarterback and extending plays. Per Kissel:
Overall, Wilson ranks as the 28th-best receiver in the 2013 NFL draft class.
Drafted: Round 7, Pick 236, Chicago Bears
26. Aaron Mellette, Elon
You can view Aaron Mellette's complete scouting report here (via B/R's Sigmund Bloom).
Mellette is a big target, at 6'2" and 217 pounds. He has good-enough speed to stretch a defense vertically, and also uses that speed well to create yards after the catch. Per Bloom:
Mellette is a long-limbed receiver with good feet, flexibility and agility for his body type. He is excellent at tracking the ball over his shoulder and adjusting to the ball in flight. Mellette squares and presents a big target on short passes and can be elusive with an aggressive mindset after the catch. He also has enough speed to be a downfield threat in the NFL and runs his routes well for a receiver that played at the FCS level. Mellette dominated at a small-school level the way an NFL prospect should.
Despite his size, Mellette is not incredibly physical. He also didn't face top-notch competition in the Southern Conference and didn't play particularly well when faced with FBS competition. Via Bloom:
Mellette isn't a physical wide receiver, and he can be pushed around or otherwise nullified by aggressive corners. His tendency to get re-routed and otherwise have his timing thrown off won't translate well to the NFL. Mellette doesn't really play or run hot. He generally lacks suddenness or burst in his routes and after the catch. His performances against FBS teams were uneven.
Overall, Mellette ranks as the 26th-best receiver in the 2013 NFL draft class.
Drafted: Round 7, Pick 238, Baltimore Ravens