|Player, Pos, Team||Height||Weight||Draft Grade|
|01||Sammy Watkins WR, Clemson||6'1"||205||A||7.3||Full Scouting Report|
Sammy Watkins - Wide Receiver
The best prospect Clemson has on the offensive side of the ball is receiver Sammy Watkins. He is a third year junior who according to many scouts and agents, may enter the draft. He has started since midway through his freshman year. He is Clemson's go-to receiver and is having a productive season to date. In four games he has 25 catches for 355 yards and two touchdowns. In two and a half seasons, he has caught 164 passes for over 2000 yards and 17 TDs.
Watkins has good size at 6'1 - 205 and is strong. He plays taller because of his long arms. To go along with his size, he has good athleticism and body control. He is fast (4.48 est.) with quick change of direction and is explosive. He can be very physical and does a good job competing for the ball in traffic.
Watkins is used often on quick bubble screens. He shows he can snatch the ball on these type of plays and consistently gets yards after the catch. He also runs slants, outs, comebacks and deep routes. He does a good job setting up defensive backs with double moves on the deeper routes. When running routes, he can sink his hips and get in and out of cuts quickly to gain separation. On comeback routes, he doesn't waste time chopping his feet. He can put his foot in the ground and burst back. He shows he can find the seams in zone. He usually shows very good hands and almost always tries to snatch the ball, but he will have an occasional concentration drop. He is a consistent runner after the catch showing instincts, moves, and power. He has the skills to turn a short pass into a long gain.
Watkins is still young and raw, but he has excellent talent. He will need to learn to run routes better at the NFL level and learn more types of routes. I like his physical play and big play ability. Because it is a stop watch driven position, how he runs in the spring may determine his draft position, but I have no doubt that once in the league Watkins will grow into a solid number 2 receiver. It may take a year to develop but there is a lot of upside.
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|02||Mike Evans WR, Texas A&M||6'5"||225||A||7.0||Full Scouting Report|
Mike Evans – Wide Receiver
Evans is a third year sophomore who can enter the draft if he chooses. The former basketball player has great size at 6’5" – 225 to go along with very good play speed. He had an outstanding game versus Alabama with 7 catches for 279 yards and a touchdown. That included a 95-yard TD reception.
With his size, Evans is a very strong and physical receiver. He uses his size effectively and in this game, was a mismatch. For a tall receiver, he runs well and can get in and out of cuts quickly. When making a cut, he can sink his hips and burst out of the cut. His body control is excellent. He showed good route running skills and is effective finding the open areas in zone. Evans has great hands and often snatches the ball. He also has very good leaping ability. Put all these traits together and it can be very difficult to cover this receiver.
After the catch, Evans looks like a big running back. He has good run instincts to go along with speed and power. In this game, he used a straight arm effectively to keep tacklers off him.
The player Evans reminds me of, from a physical viewpoint, is Chicago’s Brandon Marshall. They are similar in size and play a similar, physical game. If Evans decides to enter the draft, he will be a high pick. Athletic, big guys like this are hard to find.
|03||Marqise Lee WR, USC||6'0"||195||A||6.9||Full Scouting Report|
The college football season gets going in a little over three weeks, and one of the most explosive and exciting players we will get to see is USC's junior receiver Marqise Lee.
Last year as a true sophomore, he caught 118 passes for 1,721 yards and 14 touchdowns. He also returned 30 kickoffs for a 28.5 yard average and 1 score.
Lee grew up in Inglewood, CA, and attended Junipero Serra High School where he starred in both football and track. He was rated as a 4-star recruit and was offered mainly by Pac-12 schools but did receive offers from Michigan, LSU, Miami and Florida as well. He came in and started as a freshman and caught 73 passes for 1,143 yards and 11 touchdowns.
ICONMarqise Lee caught 118 passes for 1,721 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2012.
On tape Lee looks bigger than his listed 6-foot, 195-pound frame. The reason being he has extremely long arms. He may be 6-foot but he plays 6-3 or 6-4 because of his arm length.
He has great play speed and looks to be a 4.40-type. Along with his excellent top-end speed he has very good body control and leaping ability. Besides playing football at USC, Lee also participates in track as a long jumper with a personal best of 25 feet. When Lee decides to go to the NFL (from what I hear, that will be next year) it will be interesting to watch him perform the long and vertical jumps at the Combine. I would think he would be in the 11 foot range with the long jump and 40" area with his vertical.
Lee is used in a variety of ways by USC. He is split out wide as an X or Z, lines up in the slot and also as a running back. He runs a lot of bubble screens and is also used on outs, comebacks, slants and go routes. While he is an exceptional athlete he is an average to good route runner. He doesn't run what I would call disciplined routes but he can still break down and get in and out of a cut very quickly.
He separates easily. He has very good hands and shows the ability to snatch the ball. Because of his athleticism and body control he makes some highlight film type catches. He tracks the ball very well, and with his flexibility can easily catch balls that are behind him or up high. With his burst he can get to passes that look as though they may be overthrown.
After the catch he is a highlight film waiting to happen. He is very quick and sudden with excellent change of direction. He has the ability to make defenders miss both in tight and in the open and can easily turn a short out or comeback route into a long gain. He has very good strength and shows the ability to break tackles and get yardage after first contact. His run instincts are equal to a top running back.
There are many wide receivers who have big play ability but they aren't physical players. That is not the case with Lee. He is one of the better blocking receivers you will see. There have been numerous times in the tape I watched where he makes the key block to open up a running lane. He isn't a "shadow" blocker either...he gets after it and tries to put his opponent on the ground. This is a very competitive football player in all phases of the game.
As a kickoff returner he is NFL-ready right now. He is patient to set up and follow blocks and then burst when there is a seam. Once in the open he is tough to catch and has the speed to outrun opponents with an angle.
Overall, Lee could be considered a bit "raw" because he is not a polished route runner but few have his natural traits. He has everything that is needed to be a top receiver at the NFL level. His speed, hands, run instincts and playmaking ability are all at an elite level. I expect that when we see him play this year he will show vast improvement over last year and that has to be scary for USC opponents. If he improves the way I feel he will, he easily has top 10 pick potential in next year's draft.
|04||Odell Beckham Jr WR, LSU||6'0"||207||A||6.9||Full Scouting Report|
Odell Beckham – Receiver
Beckham is a third-year junior and has been a starter since his freshman year at LSU. He is a top receiver as well as their top return man, and shows NFL-tier skills both. This year, he has caught 57 passes for 1117 yards and eight TDs.
Beckham has adequate size at about 6’0 – 188 pounds, but he also has very long arms, which allows him to play taller than his actual height. He is an excellent athlete with good speed, excellent change of direction, body control, and leaping ability. I would not call Beckham a “burner”, but he is fast enough. His play speed is in the 4.48 – 4.50 range. He has a quick burst that allows him to get out of cuts quickly.
As a receiver, Beckham runs very good routes. He shows the skills necessary to uncover versus man and zone, and he makes big plays. He does a great job finishing his routes and comes back to the ball very well. He has excellent hands and always catches the ball away from his body. He is effective as both a short and deep receiver, and his run after skills are excellent. He can be a club's number one return man as soon as he comes into the league.
Overall, Beckham is very talented, and if he comes out, he should be a premium pick. Because the receiver position is tied so much to speed, how he runs at the combine and his pro day will determine where he actually goes. Regardless of where he gets drafted, he will play very early in his career. He has the talent to play either outside or in the slot and be productive at ether position.
|05||Kelvin Benjamin WR, Florida State||6'5"||235||A||6.8||Full Scouting Report|
Kelvin Benjamin – Wide Receiver – Florida State
Benjamin is a third-year junior with this season serving as his first as a starter. He redshirted in 2011 and played as a rotational player in 2012. That year, Benjamin caught 30 passes for 495 yards and four touchdowns. This year, he became a starter and his production soared to 54 catches for 1,011 yards and 15 scores.
Benjamin scored 15 touchdowns in 14 games this past season.
Big receivers are in vogue right now and Benjamin is as big a receiver as you will find in this year’s draft class. He is listed as being 6050 – 234 with very long arms. He could easily be a 240-245 pound receiver once he fills out. For as big as he is, Benjamin is a very good athlete. He should run in the 4.50 range with the possibility of turning in a faster time. He has good body control and flexibility, but as a route runner, he’s still a bit raw. While Benjamin can break down and get in and out of cuts, he can be sloppy with his routes and does not consistently finish. He has good hands and tracks the ball well. I have seen him make some circus catches, but he is also good for at least one concentration drop per game. With his size, Benjamin can create a number of mismatch opportunities. While he is 6’5, he plays taller with his long arms. He has very good leaping ability and is extremely difficult to defend in the red zone. On the tape I’ve watched, the Florida State wideout is effective as both a short and deep receiver. He will compete for the ball in traffic and is very good at running after the catch. He has a quick burst, is very strong and difficult to bring down. In addition, Benjamin is both willing and effective as a blocker.
Overall, Benjamin is still raw, but has a high ceiling. He is only going to get better with experience. Because of his size, he can be used a number of different ways at the next level. While he has the talent to be drafted in the first round, because there are so many good receivers, I see him more as a second round pick at this time. Remember, South Carolina standout Alshon Jeffery went in the second round two years ago.
|06||Brandin Cooks WR, Oregon State||5'10"||186||A||6.8||Full Scouting Report|
|07||Allen Robinson WR, Penn State||6'3"||204||A||6.7||Full Scouting Report|
Allen Robinson – Wide Receiver
Like Jones, Robinson has started the 2013 season very well. In 2 games he has 14 catches for 262 yards and 2 touchdowns.
USPRESSWIRERobinson has the natural traits to be a very good NFL receiver
Jones is a 3rd year junior from Southfield, Michigan. He played as a reserve in 2011 and became a starter in 2012. As a sophomore he caught 77 passes for 1013 yards and 11 touchdowns. He has excellent size at about 6’2 – 210. He has very good play speed and I would estimate he can run the 40 in about 4.48. He is a very smooth athlete with quickness, a burst and very good body control. He has a way of making things look easy. Penn State is playing with a true freshman quarterback and because of that you don’t see Robinson run a number of different routes. He is used most often on bubble screens but I have also seen him used on outs, crossing routes and streaks. With his change of direction and body control he can make a sharp cut and get separation. Once the ball is in the air he has a good burst to go get it. He has very good hands and can snatch the ball. He shows real good ability to adjust to the ball. As a runner he is quick, smooth and elusive. He has strength as a runner and can break tackles.
Overall, Robinson has the natural traits to be a very good NFL receiver. I like his size, speed, hands and athleticism. Even though he is playing with a freshman quarterback he has top production. If he decides to come out he has a chance to be a high premium round pick
|08||Davante Adams WR, Fresno State||6'2"||205||A||6.7||Full Scouting Report|
Davante Adams – Fresno State
Adams is a third-year sophomore and a two-year starter at Fresno. In only two years, he has put up unbelievable numbers. In 2012, he caught 102 passes for 1312 yards and 10 TDs. This year, he upped his production to 131 catches for 1718 yards and 24 TDs. Adams' physical traits are the similar to many of the productive, big receivers in the NFL, he is listed at being 6020 – 212 and looks bigger because of his long arms. He is a very good athlete with good play speed. I don’t think that Adams will run much faster than 4.48, but with his stride and size, he plays faster.
Watching tape, Adams is not asked to run a large variety of routes. He runs mostly bubble screens, go’s and comebacks. He will occasionally run a slant. He is not a precise route runner and can get sloppy. While he can make sharp cuts, he doesn’t do it consistently. He has a burst to get separation. What he does do, is use his size and body very well. He has great length and a huge receiving radius. He has the strength to shield defenders and the jumping ability to go up and get it. While he will double-catch some balls, he shows the ability to snatch the ball. I would grade his hands as very good. He also is excellent at adjusting to the ball and has made numerous “circus” catches. After the catch, Adams is a strong runner. He has both power and a burst and can make the first man miss. As a blocker, he is willing, but the results are inconsistent.
Overall, Adams is still a raw “work in progress”. He hasn’t begun to reach the level of receiver he can be. It’s all in front of him, and he has the physical traits to become an excellent NFL receiver. He will need time to develop, but the team that drafts him will look at what he can be, not what he is. For that reason, it wouldn’t surprise me to see him drafted in the first, but right now, I see him as a guy that could go anywhere from the bottom third of the first to the top third of the second round. In other words, a 20-to-40 guy.
Follow me on Twitter @greggabe
|09||Jordan Matthews WR, Vanderbilt||6'3"||205||A||6.6||Full Scouting Report|
Wide receiver Jordan Matthews is a fourth-year junior and three-year starter who recently became one of the most prolific pass-catchers in Vanderbilt history. Since 2012 (26 games), Matthews has caught 206 passes for 2,800 yards and 15 touchdowns. For his career, the 21-year-old has 262 catches for 3,759 yards and 24 touchdowns. Needless to say, Matthews is one of the top senior wide receiver prospects in this year’s draft class.
Matthews has great size, standing approximately 6024 – 208. He has a long frame with a good build. He is a very good athlete with excellent body control. While I wouldn’t call Matthews a burner, he does possess good play speed with a burst. I would estimate his 40 speed at between 4.50 and 4.53. Despite not having great top-end speed, Matthews is very quick and can reach top speed in a hurry.
Matthews caught 112 passes in 13 games for the Commodores this past season.
Matthews has good initial quickness to get into his routes. He has the size, strength and quickness to either avoid a jam or elude it. He is a very good route runner who shows the ability to uncover versus both man and zone. Despite his size, Matthews has demonstrated that he can break down and get in and out of cuts very quickly. He is good with single and multi-cut-type routes. When playing against zone coverage, Matthews has the awareness to find and get open down the seam.
At Vanderbilt, Matthews was utilized on a variety of routes. He was the team’s go-to receiver and is productive as both a short and deep pass-catcher. With his length and toughness, Matthews consistently competes for the ball in traffic. He has very good hands and can snatch the ball out of the air. He also tracks the ball very well and I have seen him make a number of acrobatic catches. After the catch, he is a strong runner. Matthews has the skill set necessary to get up-field instantly and the burst and power to consistently pick up yards after contact. He shows good run instincts and can turn a short bubble screen or hitch into a long gain. With his size and strength, Matthews is a physical receiver who is both willing and productive as a blocker.
Overall, Mathews is a very skillful receiver who has the talent and smarts to start as a rookie for most NFL clubs. While he doesn’t have the top end speed to be a consistent deep threat at the NFL level, Matthews will be very productive as a short and medium range receiver. The player he reminds me of is Reggie Wayne of the Indianapolis Colts. They are similar type athletes, but Matthews is a little bigger than Wayne. Where Matthews gets drafted will most likely be determined by how fast he runs. Wide receiver is a stop watch-driven position and the faster guys have a way of getting drafted higher. Still, I think the worst-case scenario for Matthews is that he gets taken in the second round.
If that ends up the case, the club that pulls the trigger on Matthews will have a Day 2 steal.
Follow Greg on Twitter: @greggabe
|10||Paul Richardson WR, Colorado||6'1"||172||A||6.6||Full Scouting Report|
Paul Richardson – Colorado
Richardson is a fourth-year junior and a two-year starter. He missed the 2012 season with an ACL injury but came back to catch 83 passes for 1343 yards and 10 TDs.
Richardson is not big as receivers go. He is listed at being 6010 – 170. He has a long, lean frame, but he is quick, fast, and athletic. In high school, he ran a verified 10.62 100 meters. Richardson gets off the line quickly and is a good route runner. In the tapes I saw, he seldom faced press coverage as opponents were concerned with his deep speed. When he did face press, he was a bit inconsistent getting off a jam. He has the athleticism to avoid a jam, but once a big corner gets his hands on him, he can be rerouted.
Richardson is a good route runner who has the body control to get in and out of cuts quickly. He has the speed to get deep and can come back to the ball well. He shows good hands and does a good job extending to makes catches. He shows toughness and competitiveness by consistently competing for balls in traffic. His run-after-catch concerns me. He is not really strong and needs space. The first tackler is the guy who gets him down. He has average elusiveness, but with his speed, he is dangerous once in the open. As a blocker, he is average. He lacks “pop” and does not stay with blocks.
Richardson reminds me of a receiver we had in Chicago in the mid 2000’s, Bernard Berrian. Richardson and Berrian have similar size and are similar athletes. Berrian was a productive receiver for about five years, but the pounding on his slight frame took its toll. I can see the same thing happening to Richardson. Still, he is a very solid “B” level player who will probably be gone before the third round is over. He needs to get stronger because he will struggle versus press coverage in the NFL. With his size limitations, I see him more as a slot-type receiver at the next level.