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NFL Combine: Scouting the Wide Receivers

Posted Feb 24, 2013

An in-depth analysis of the wide receivers who worked out at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Ricky Henne’s Take: My biggest takeaway from watching the wide receivers work out on Sunday was that there is great depth at the position, but no singular star.  There are a lot of guys who will help teams on Sunday, but no one who flashed elite talent. Two years ago, A.J. Green and Julio Jones broke out at the combine and went on to become not only standout rookies, but two of the best wideouts in the game today.  I personally didn’t see a player of that elite caliber distinguish himself today, but there are many players who did impress me greatly.  First and foremost is Tennessee’s Cordarrelle Paterson, who is considered the top WR prospect this year.  I’m buying the hype on him.  He caught the ball with ease and ran smooth routes.  He also tested well, but not outstanding. Paterson has the height, build, speed and hands to make an impact right away, although as the top prospect at the position, I don’t see him having the Green or Jones impact mentioned earlier.  Two players wowed everyone in the 40-yard dash.  They were Texas’ Marquise Goodwin, who ran a 4.27, and West Virginia’s Tavon Austin, who turned in a 4.34 performance.  Goodwin didn’t do much noteworthy in the WR drills, but Austin was tremendous.  My biggest takeaway from the “pocket rocket” was his route running.  He ran crisp routes and had quick feet making his cuts. He also caught the ball well and showed he can be an explosive player out of the slot.  The guy I had my eye on the most was Denard Robinson, as in my opinion the converted quarterback had the most to gain or lose depending on his performance.  My take is that he did more positive than negative.  Robinson flashed great speed by running a 4.43 and caught the ball better than I thought he would.  He most needs to work out his route running, which is expected for a guy who didn’t play the position in college.  But that will come with time. Two other guys that I thought played well were Oklahoma’s Kenny Stills and Baylor’s Terrance Williams.

Ryan Schuler’s Take: The wide receiver workout on Sunday at the NFL Scouting Combine became the Tavon Austin and Marquise Goodwin show. The wide receivers from West Virginia University and University of Texas, respectively, came close to breaking current Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson 40-yard dash record of 4.24 seconds, but came short as Goodwin recorded a 4.27 time and Austin had a 4.34 time. And though Austin, rated the No. 4 wide receiver in the class by NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock, struggled in other measureables, he made a name for himself today catching the ball. Goodwin’s 11-foot broad jump was tied for the third highest in the group. Goodwin is more known for his track and field endeavors, winning the NCAA outdoor long jump title in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Tennessee’s Cordarrelle Patterson and Terrance Williams from Baylor University, the No. 1 and No. 3 ranked players by Mayock, respectively, did very well in the catching drills, but their measurables didn’t stand out. Patterson’s 37-inch vertical leap was tied for the fifth best among the wide receivers. Texas A&M’s Ryan Swope was the biggest surprise in my mind. Though he is not highly regarded, I think Swope turned heads after running a 4.34 40-yard dash to go along with a 37-inch vertical jump and 16 reps on the bench press. Swope could possibly make a roster come this summer. Oklahoma’s Kenny Stills also pleasantly surprised me. A San Diego native from La Costa Canyon High School, he ran a 4.38 40-yard dash. Stills most impressed me during the catching drill, hauling in every ball away from his body and at the ball’s highest point.



40-Yard Dash
1. Marquise Goodwin, Texas – 4.27
2. Tavon Austin, West Virginia – 4.34
3. Ryan Swope, Texas A&M – 4.34
T-4. Josh Boyce, TCU – 4.38
T-4. Kenny Stills, Oklahoma – 4.38

Bench Press
1. T.J. Moe, Missouri - 26
2. Josh Boyce, TCU - 22
T-3. Chris Harper, Kansas St. - 20
T-3. Lanear Sampson, Baylor - 20
T-3. Markus Wheaton, Oregon St. - 20

Vertical Jump
T-1. Marcus Davis, Virginia Tech – 39.5
T-1. Justin Hunter, Tennessee – 39.5
T-1. Da’Rick Rogers, Tennessee Tech – 39.5
4. Mark Harrison, Rutgers – 38.5
T-5. Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee – 37.0
T-5. Ryan Swope, Texas A&M – 37.0
T-5. Markus Wheaton, Oregon St. – 37.0

Broad Jump
1. Justin Hunter, Tennessee – 136.0
T-2. Marquise Goodwin, Texas – 132.0
T-2. Da’Rick Rogers, Tennessee Tech – 132.0
4. Josh Boyce, TCU – 131.0
5. Mark Harrison, Rutgers – 129.0

3-Cone Drill
1. T.J. Moe, Missouri – 6.53
2. Marquess Wilson, Washington St. – 6.65
3. Josh Boyce, TCU – 6.68
4. Da’Rick Rogers, Tennessee Tech – 6.71
5. Ryan Spadola, Lehigh – 6.72


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