By Eric Galko
January 20, 2013
One of the most efficient and productive receivers in college football the last two years, Quinton Patton does all of the little things well project as a long-term NFL receiver in a variety of systems. His ability to get upfield quickly and with decisive run-after catch moves, his elite ball tracking skill set, his diversity in the routes he’s scored touchdowns on, and his development as blocker shouldn’t take long to adjust to the NFL level.
One of the best receiver athletes in college football the past two seasons, Williams maximized the role of the Baylor Bears’ number one receiver spot. With the natural athleticism and vertical speed, Williams won throughout college relying on just those two skill sets. Despite still being raw in his routes and in being physical, he’s flashed the progression in both of those areas, and with that development along with his elite upside (that should wow at the NFL Combine), he’ll likely end in the first round discussion by Draft Day.
Wheaton, who’s been a terrific athlete over his 20 starts and 49 appearances at Oregon State, began to develop more defined routes to gain separation on a consistent basis, as well as flashing the ability to use his hands and double moves to effectively get vertical. A still developing receiver, especially as a route runner, Wheaton’s progressions this year along with his vertical stretch ability should make him a great value in the 2nd-3rd round.
Dobson had the misfortune of playing with some mediocre or poor passers at his time at Marshall, and still was able to produce at a high level considering. What Dobson lacks in elite speed, burst upfield, or polish in his routes, he wows with highlight reel catches and elite body control. With his upside, he should turn out to be a better college than a pro, and could rise to the early 2nd round discussion.
With ideal size and producing with Tyler Wilson throwing him the ball, Hamilton was expected to not only be the star of the Arkansas offense, but also develop more as an NFL receiver. But his lack of extension away from his body and inability to consistently work downfield with physicality are concerning. He’ll need to prove he can overcome those two issues if he hopes to be in the 2nd round discussion.
The former running back recruit, Swope has become a short area route technician as a receiver, while still having the strength and balance to be strong runner after catch. Likely limited to the slot at the next level, it’s his bulk as a runner and definition as a receiver that should allow him to be one of the premier slot receivers in this class.
Despite just two years of high school football (partly why he landed at Elon), Mellette has gone on to be one of the most productive receivers in the country at the FCS level since 2010. However, Mellette doesn’t have elite speed, lacks polish as a receiver, and the level of competition issue (see his UNC game) won’t go away quietly. The Senior Bowl is of major importance for Mellette.
The former Oregon quarterback recruit, Harper transferred to Kansas State (closer to his hometown), and the former dual-threat QB developed the physicality and polish as a receiver to now be one of the most physical receivers in the country. With the sheer strength to win as a receiver and runner, similar to Anquan Boldin, Harper could rise throughout the process and be in the 2nd-3rd round discussion.