Marquez North Declares for 2016 NFL Draft: Latest Comments and Reaction

Matt Fitzgerald@@MattFitz_geraldCorrespondent IIIJanuary 19, 2016

OXFORD, MS - OCTOBER 18: Wide receiver Marquez North #8 of the Tennessee Volunteers looks to maneuver by linebacker Deterrian Shackelford #38 of the Mississippi Rebels on October 18, 2014 at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford, Mississippi. The Mississippi Rebels defeated the Tennessee Volunteers 34-3. (Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images)
Michael Chang/Getty Images

Tennessee Volunteers wide receiver Marquez North won't return for his senior year and instead will enter the 2016 NFL draft.

ESPN's Adam Rittenberg reported the news of North's bold decision on Monday. North managed only six receptions for 58 yards amid an injury-plagued junior season.

And it's not as though North was producing at a prolific rate before this year. He had 38 receptions as a freshman and 30 as a sophomore.

A torn shoulder labrum suffered in November 2014 was part of what prevented North from making a bigger jump in his second season in Knoxville. According to his official Tennessee profile, other injuries limited the 20-year-old throughout the past two years.

For whatever he lacked in college production, though, at least North went up against SEC competition and thus is more equipped to handle the caliber of athleticism at the NFL level than most prospects.

In terms of measurable attributes, North checks all the boxes pro personnel scouts will be looking for too. He boasts a 6'3", 229-pound frame, has excellent ball skills and leaping ability and has a penchant for acrobatic catches.

More proven receivers are bound to get a longer look than North on draft day. He'd probably be lucky at this point to be a mid-round choice and is bound to be a Day 3 selection.

Of course, the perception of North could well change depending on how well he interviews and tests at the Volunteers' pro day and the NFL Scouting Combine, provided he participates.

With exceptional burst to complement his size, North has the makings of a workout warrior who could yield tremendous value later in the draft. Absent a lot of game tape and with a lengthy list of injuries on his resume, though, teams are bound to be wary of taking a flier on North.


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