Monday, February 25, 2013
Advancing the WR conversation
By Kevin Seifert
At least two of our teams will have wide receivers on their priority list this offseason. The Minnesota Vikings need all the help they can get, while the Chicago Bears probably would benefit from a receiver with deep downfield speed.
So what did we learn over the weekend about the draft-eligible receivers? The speedsters got majority of attention but, as in every year, they are not necessarily the best receiver prospects.
Texas' Marquise Goodwin, for example, ran a blazing 4.27 in the 40-yard dash. But receiving drills "exposed some weaknesses," according to Steve Muench of Scouts Inc. Goodwin "isn't a natural route runner," Muench tweeted.
West Virginia's Tavon Austin, on the other hand, was as smooth in receiving drills as he was in the 40 (officially a 4.34), and now has a good chance to be a first-round pick. Other likely first-rounders are Tennessee's Cordarrelle Patterson and Cal's Keenan Allen, according to ESPN's John Clayton.
I spent most of the scouting combine focusing on time with NFC North coaches and general managers, leaving the reporting on draft-eligible players to ESPN's vast array of specialists. But many of you are looking to at least be pointed in the direction of that coverage, and that's fair.
On receivers, a good place to start is Todd McShay's daily blog . You need an Insider subscription to read all of it, but I can pass along a few tidbits -- including the suggestion that Patterson's teammate at Tennessee -- Justin Hunter -- is "a better overall receiver at this point."
Other receivers who jumped out to McShay were Texas A&M's Ryan Swope, who surprised scouts by running a 4.34 in the 40. USC's Robert Woods is now "solidly in the second-round range," according to McShay, and Clemson's DeAndre Hopkins might be as well.