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Stefon Diggs isn't getting a ton of play on mock drafts, but he's a well-versed college receiver who is worthy of Biletnikoff consideration.
B1G on Biletnikoff list: Kenny Bell, Stefon Diggs, Devin Funchess, Christian Jones, Devin Smith and Shane Wynn
As mentioned before, Funchess is on the ascent...in the Big Ten. Sure, comparing him to national names is necessary, especially since he was thrown into the mix with them. He is of rare size, which helps, too.
But perhaps a more telling sign came during a recent interview with coach Brady Hoke, who believes that the former Harrison High School phenom has what it takes to play at the next level.
Back in June, while chatting at the Sound Mind Sound Body football camp in Detroit, he told me that Funchess was "athletically gifted." Though concise, Hoke's comment was, to an extent, enough for me to at least get on board. It wasn't a lukewarm, "sure, he's good" type of thing, nor did it seem as a way to jettison to a more realistic topic.
It was a "he's good, but let's focus on his college game" type of comment.
Fair enough. I can see why a coach would temper the talks. Why talk about about a guy bouncing for the NFL when said player is eligible for two more seasons with the Wolverines? Hoke probably wants to keep Funchess for as long as possible.
Maybe he should have said, "Devin needs to stay in college for four years. All. Four. Years" as a way to really idle the Funchess draft chatter. He knows it. We know it. Everyone knows it. Funchess has the skills to suit up on Sundays.
But let's get back to the topic at hand: Is he really worthy of national-level attention today? Yeah, watch lists are meant to cover anyone who could potentially do something. But there are five other Big Ten wideouts on the list. It's worth mentioning that Funchess returns with the most yardage, a factor that also likely played into his Biletnikoff praise.
Kenny Bell, Nebraska (6'1", 185)
Kenny Bell is on the ascent, so be sure to pay close attention to the Huskers senior who is probably the best wideout in the league.
Shane Wynn, Indiana (5'7", 170)
Shane Wynn's a super-mini-senior who's fun to watch, but he's not one of the best receivers in the country. The buck stops at the watch list.
Christian Jones, Northwestern (6'3", 225)
Christian Jones, another senior, is a big-bodied target who is considered among the top 20 best WR prospects eligible for the 2015 NFL draft, per CBS. However, I'm not sold on the idea of him being talked about with the best in the NCAA.
The list has dozens of candidates. I stopped counting after 40. That says something, doesn't it? Either that I don't like to count, or that there are way too many guys on the list. (Pssst...it's "there are way too many guys on the the list.")
Devin Smith, Ohio State (6'1", 198)
Devin Smith's another solid conference guy who should benefit by playing for a pretty good team. Along with Bell, he's certainly worthy of Biletnikoff consideration.
Stefon Diggs, Maryland (6'0", 185)
The Terps are newcomers (sacrificial lambs) to the Big Ten, so it's OK if you don't know a lot about Stefon Diggs. Here's a crash course: He's the real deal, at least in terms of college receivers. If not for a broken right fibula that sidelined him for the final six games of 2013, Diggs probably would have finished with more than 70 catches, 1,000 yards and at least nine touchdowns.
Instead, he had to settle for 34 grabs, 587 yards and three scores.
According to Alex Prewitt of The Washington Post, Wynn says he's feeling better and expects to have a productive fall.