GLENDALE AZ - JANUARY 10: Jeff Maehl #23 of the Oregon Ducks catches a two-point conversion to tie the game late in the fourth quarter against Zac Etheridge #4 of the Auburn Tigers during the Tostitos BCS National Championship Game at University of Phoenix Stadium on January 10 2011 in Glendale Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
I’m not sure how many of you are familiar with Wes Bunting, but he does some great daily write ups over at the National Football Post, mostly pertaining to draft prospects. I would highly suggest reading him; yesterday he did a piece on the Redskins being the best fit for Cam Newton.
Nevertheless Wes did a good piece that caught my eye this morning regarding the top five late round WR prospects.
Top Five after the jump:
1. Courtney Smith: South Alabama
I was blown away the first time I saw Smith up close at this year’s Senior Bowl. At 6-5, 230-pounds he was as physically imposing as any receiver in the draft and for his size, exhibited good explosion and ran well. Now, he’s a bit linear and has had some inconsistencies catching the football. But a size/speed threat like him is definitely worth a late round flyer.
2. Jeff Maehl: Oregon
He isn’t the biggest or fastest of wide outs. However, he knows how to get open, possesses good fluidity and looks natural going up to catch the football. He was one of the top performers in all the short area quickness tests at the Combine and looks like a potential slot guy who will be able to get open in the NFL.
3. Denarius Moore: Tennessee
Every time I watched Moore on tape he showcased a good initial burst off the line, could get off press and accelerated well down the field. Plus, he was physical and coordinated when asked to go up and adjust to the football. He’s not a real fluid or savvy route runner, but as a vertical threat I could see him making plays from the inside at the next level.
4. Ricardo Lockette: Fort Valley State
An out and out burner who has the straight-line speed to consistently get down the field. Displays average fluidity for his size and has some upside as a route runner, but it’s his overall second gear that will intrigue late in the draft.
5. Chris Matthews: Kentucky
A king sized wide out prospect at 6-5 who takes a couple steps to get up to full speed, but is tough to keep pace with down the field and displays a comfort level working the intermediate pass game. Is raw, but has a little Malcom Floyd to his game.
Some of these guys intrigue me quite a bit. The first two that caught my eye were Matthews and Smith, just because of their sheer size and our needs as a football team. I saw Smith play a couple times this year and nothing really jumped out to me, but he was very solid in the games I watched. Lockette is a guy that I’ve been enamored with the past couple of weeks because of his speed, this guy in like lightning and he was a NCAA national champion on the track.
Here is the link to Bunting's article: http://www.nationalfootballpost.com/Top-five-late-round-receiver-values.html