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Drafting Right Kind Of Guys: Wide Receivers

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Having grown up in Irving, Bill has deep roots in the DFW area. ...
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Let’s look in my big red spiral scouting notebook and see what we’ve discovered in the way of 2013 NFL Draft “Right Kind of Guy” wide receivers. There are many good ones but these are the ones who’ve caught my attention, and you can find one throughout the draft:

Right Kind of Guys – Wide Receivers

Tavon Austin – West Virginia (5-8 ½, 174, top half of 1st round)

  • Best playmaker in the draft – jaw dropping speed and moves in the open field
  • Won’t make it to the Cowboys pick at #18 in the 1st round

Deandre Hopkins – Clemson (6-1, 214, 1st round)

  • Cowboys have a real need for a 3rd outside WR behind Dez Bryant and Miles Austin; Deandre Hopkins may be the best of the bunch in this draft class
  • All State football and basketball high school player in South Carolina – a gym rat in all sports
  • Was on Clemson basketball team early in his college career – 1st year in football weight room was last spring
  • Scored 18 TDs on 82 receptions, averaging 17 yards a catch, his final year at Clemson
  • Absolutely lit up LSU in bowl game win – 13 catches, 191 yards, 2 TDs
  • Only 20 years old, but seems like a mature kid who’s strong minded, confident, smart, tough and determined to succeed
  • Clemson coach Dabo Swinney: “He has the best hands and ability to catch the ball in traffic that I’ve seen in a long time.”
  • Biggest hands (10 inches) and longest arms (33 ½ inches) of any of the top 20 WRs in this draft
  • Could go in 1st round – doubt he’s still on board when Cowboys pick at 47 in 2nd round
  • He may be the best player available when the Cowboys pick at 18 in the 1st round, and I would have no problem with that pick…he’s visited the Rams twice; don’t be surprised if they take him with one of their 1st round picks (16 or 22)

Stedman Bailey – West Virginia (5-10, 193, 2nd round)

  • Tavon Austin gets all the hype but Stedman Bailey is the better pure wide receiver
  • Mature, smart, precise route runner with great hands who can separate, go deep and come through in the clutch
  • Amazing 25 TD catches on 114 catches his junior and final season
  • Came up big in big games – in 9 games vs. bowl teams Texas, OU, OSU, Baylor, LSU, Louisville, Syracuse, UConn, and Clemson, Bailey averaged 9 receptions, 158 yards and scored 21 TDs

Terrance Williams – Baylor (6-2, 208, 2nd round)

  • Dallas W.T. White product who was a favorite target of Robert Griffin as a junior, then increased his production his senior year, averaging 19 yards a catch
  • Cowboys will be very tempted to take Williams with their 2nd round pick

Markus Wheaton – Oregon State (5-11, 189, 3rd round)

  • Highly productive as a receiver and averaged 7.5 yards with 5 TDs on 83 career carries
  • High character, smart playmaker who has an infectious smile and positive attitude
  • I’m sure he comes with a strong recommendation from head coach Mike Riley, who was one of Jason Garrett’s 1st pro coaches with the World League San Antonio Riders in 1991

Kenny Stills, Oklahoma (6-0, 194, 4th round)

  • There have been plenty of OU receivers who I thought were incredibly overrated by NFL scouts, most notably Malcolm Kelly (2nd round – Wash – 2008) and Joaquin Iglesias (3rd round – Chicago – 2009), but I believe Kenny Stills has a chance to be a pretty good player in this league.
  • Stills ranks only behind Ryan Broyles (2nd round –Detroit – 2012) as the best receiver OU has produced and doesn’t have the injury history Broyles has.
  • Broyles may be a more dependable and better receiver but Stills isn’t far behind and has more speed (4.38 forty)
  • Bright, young, confident crisp route runner who can get deep…stronger than you think (16 bench reps)
  • Turns 21 this week and seems to have matured after a misdemeanor DUI arrest his freshman season…that red flag drops his “right kind of guy” stock down to a 4th round value but having followed him closely the past two years, I think he’s a good kid who made an immature freshman mistake and learned his lesson. I’d take a chance on him in the 4th round, only the 2nd OU receiver I’ve seen that I thought was worthy of being drafted above the 6th or 7th round.

Tavarres King, Georgia (6-0, 189, 4th round)

  • 4.4 speed – averaged a whopping 22.6 yards a catch his senior year
  • Intriguing, competitive, confident player with an engaging personality who’s earned his college degree
  • Excelled on the big stage, averaging 143 yards receiving and scoring 2 TDs in postseason games against Alabama, Nebraska, and Michigan State

Ryan Swope, Texas A&M (6-0, 205, 4th round)

  • Highly competitive football player with terrific speed (4.34 forty) who plays with a ton of heart
  • Not a polished receiver but is fearless and will fight, scratch, and claw to win a game

Denard Robinson, Michigan (5-10 ½, 199, 5th round)

  • Former QB who is making the conversion to slot receiver and could be used as a 3rd down back
  • Great playmaker with 4.43 speed and very high character
  • An arm injury that has caused lingering numbness in his hand is a cause for concern and could drop his stock…if he’s on the board in the 5th round, Cowboys might want to take a flyer on him

Jaron Brown – Clemson (6-2, 204, 7th round)

  • Playing 3rd fiddle to Sammy Watkins and Deandre Hopkins in Clemson’s high powered offense, Tajh Boyd didn’t have enough footballs around for Jaron Brown to put up much in the way of numbers but might be a late round possibility to develop behind Dez Bryant and Miles Austin
  • Good size and speed (4.4 forty), team captain, college grad and 4-time Academic All-ACC
  • Has punt and kick return experience and has athleticism to be a strong special teams player

Wrong Kind of Guys

Keenan Allen, California (6-2, 206)

Da’Rick Rogers, Tennessee Tech (6-2 ½, 217)

  • Terrific talent who started his career at Tennessee but wound up at Tennessee Tech after Honey Badger-like off the field issues

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