Former UConn walk-on Easley lining up visits

More and more NFL teams want to know where Marcus Easley came from.

How did a walk-on player at Connecticut, who didn’t earn a scholarship until last April before his senior season, come out of nowhere to become one of the more intriguing stories in a draft full of them? Easley is sharing the story, that is for sure, after a solid outing Wednesday at the Huskies’ pro day. Twenty-two teams were in attendance and Baltimore (Jim Hostler) and the New York Jets (Henry Ellard) sent their wide receivers coaches.

Easley projected as a mid-round selection but as he gains traction, he could be selected in the top of the third round or late in the second round. He’s garnering attention because he’s arguably the fastest big wide receiver in the draft, a shade under 6-3 and 207 pounds. Easley ran an official time of 4.46 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the scouting combine, and some watches had him as fast as 4.39. He blocks well for his position, too, so he’s not just a straight-line runner and a vertical threat.

Where did he come from? Well, after Donald Brown departed the program, UConn made the choice to throw the ball a little more. Without a go-to receiver, Easley had the opportunity to step up and that he did, leading the team with 48 receptions for 893 yards (18.6 average) and eight touchdowns. He had made only five receptions in his previous two seasons and was not on the team as a freshman in 2006.

Teams recognize he’s a little raw but they like the skill set and everyone is looking for big receivers that can run. The Chicago Bears and Carolina Panthers showed a great deal of interest in him at the combine. He’s had an on-campus visit from the New England Patriots and will make a visit to the Jets. He has private workouts upcoming with Cincinnati, Cleveland, Philadelphia and San Francisco.

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