Welcome back to the next edition of my rankings for the upcoming 2013 NFL Draft! Running back was next on the list, but I feel the Eagles are set at that position with 3 talented guys in LeSean McCoy, Bryce Brown, and Chris Polk, who did not get a shot last year due to injury. The Eagles are set at RB, even if Chip Kelly decides to run the ball a lot. The next position of need for the Eagles is a receiver. DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Jason Avant, and Riley Cooper is a good set of receivers, but they are each missing something. DeSean is small, Maclin is a number two, Avant is slow, and Cooper is more known to be a special-teamer. (Even though I think he may be the best overall football player of this bunch, as he is a tremendous blocker.) The Eagles are missing a big guy who can produce after the catch. Everyone would love to have a Larry Fitzgerald or a Calvin Johnson, but the Eagles need a guy like Michael Crabtree or even Anquan Boldin, a strong receiver with good hands to make plays after the catch. Here are my WR rankings for this years class.
1. Keenan Allen, California 6″3 210 lbs
Allen was once recruited by Nick Saban to play safety, so that should tell you about his game. He does not have the elite speed to be a burner in the NFL, but if you are a team who needs a strong guy with good yards after catch, Allen is your guy.
2. Tavon Austin, West Virginia 5″9 175 lbs
That size will scare away a lot of NFL teams, but DeSean Jackson was even smaller. Austin has pure speed, a sub 4.4 time, and he played a Percy Harvin type roll at WVU as a WR, RB and return man. Austin will be a good weapon for someone in the NFL, think of a faster Dexter McCluster.
3. Deandre Hopkins, Clemson 6″1 200 lbs
Hopkins was the best receiver on Clemson last year, and that is saying something, as Sammy Watkins will be the first receiver taken whenever he comes out. His nickname “Nuke” was because of all the deep passing plays he made in his career. He does not have Tavon Austin speed, but he is as fast in pads as he is out of pads, a big turn-on for NFL scouts. Hopkins best talent is the way he can go up and get a ball over a cornerback, similarly to what Torrey Smith has done this postseason.
4. Robert Woods, USC 6″1 190
A lot of people are under-rating Woods, who I believe is worthy of a first-round pick. Woods has ELITE hands and is a fantastic route runner, a must in the NFL these days. His 4.4 speed is a plus. Woods has all the tools to be a very good receiver in the NFL next year. Expect a team to steal him in the late 1st round.
5. Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee 6″3 205 lbs
Patterson is tall AND fast. He reminds me most of Demaryius Thomas coming out of school, meaning that he could be an absolute beast, or he could be just average, it all depends how he grows. Patterson has all the tools, size, 4.45 speed, decent hands and he can return punts, but I do not see him doing that in the NFL. He will be strictly a receiver. I give Patterson a 2nd round grade, but he could be taken in the 1st, if a team likes him at the combine.
6. Terrance Williams, Baylor 6″2 201 lbs
A lot of people are high on Williams, but I am weary of taking him in the top-50. He did have a statistically good season last year, but I believe people are thinking he is the next Kendall Wright, which is not the case. Williams is a decent prospect at his size, but I can not see Williams being a number one guy in the NFL like the guys aforementioned. He is a safer pick than Patterson, but his ceiling is nowhere close.
7. Justin Hunter, Tennessee 6″4 200 lbs
Hunter and Patterson play on opposite sides of each other, but if they did not have names or numbers, you would not be able to tell the difference. Like Patterson, Hunter has a chance to be very good, but he is still considered a prospect, because he will disappear sometimes in a game.
8. Da’Rick Rogers, Tennessee Tech 6″3 206 lbs
Rogers is a CLONE of Justin Hunter, and he was actually at Tennessee before leaving the team due to a drug issue. He could be very good, but again, another prospect coming out of Derek Dooley’s WR class. I would take a chance on Rogers in the late 2nd or early 3rd round.
9. Denard Robinson, Michigan 5″11 196 lbs
I may take a lot of heat for this, but trust me, if I am a NFL GM in need of a playmaker, and his name is on the board in the 3rd round, I am taking him. He was a QB in college, but can not throw well enough to make it as a QB in the NFL. But he can still throw, imagine the things a creative offensive guy like Chip Kelly can do with him. Also, Robinson’s hands are HUGE, measuring at 10 inches. This makes his hands (which are a work in progress) a lot softer when it comes to catching the football, whereas a guy with small hands has to use his body more. Robinson has sub 4.4 speed, and will get faster I believe now that he is focused on being a WR in the NFL. You WILL see some passes from this guy though, whether or not it is in a Antwaan Randle El play or just a shotgun, Robinson will be a weapon for someone in the NFL.
10. Ryan Swope, Texas A&M 6″0 204 lbs
Everyone thinks Wes Welker when they see this guy, and that is unfair, because although Swope may look like Welker, he does not play the same game. Swope is not the flashy guy that the men aforementioned are, but when Johnny Manziel needed a first down, he looked at Swope every time. I saw at least 6 of TAMU’s games, and Swope held onto balls like no one else I have seen in this year’s class. Another plus is the fact that coaches at the Senior Bowl have been raving about his blocking and his football IQ, which is key in todays NFL with all the zone defenses are playing. I can see Swope being a very good slot receiver on a throw first team like the Lions, who I think will take Swope in the 3rd round. But, if the Eagles get Swope later in this draft, he will be a huge fan favorite in Philadelphia.
Other notables who could make an impact:
Quinton Patton, Cobi Hamilton, Kenny Stills and my sleeper for the season, he will be on a NFL roster next year, WR Mark Harrison from Rutgers. Remember his name everyone, Rutgers fans already know what he can do. You can check out my write-up on the Quarterbacks in the 2013 NFL Draft by clicking this link or the link below!Tags: Deandre Hopkins, Keenan Allen, NFL, NFL Draft, Robert Woods, Tavon Austin, Wide Receiver