A Prospect For Each Round: Wide Receiver

Stedman Bailey could be a Patriots draft target in 2013. (Photo: US Presswire)

NEPD Editor: Matthew Jones

This week, we’ll be taking a look at some positions the New England Patriots may target in the 2013 NFL Draft on a round-by-round basis, highlighting one potentially-available prospect who may attract New England’s interest in each frame of April’s draft. Today, we’ll begin by taking a look at seven wide receivers that could end up in Foxboro next month.

1. Keenan Allen, California*

A player such as Tennessee’s Cordarrelle Patterson or West Virginia’s Tavon Austin would be appealing, but both players are projected to be drafted earlier in the first round; Patterson could go as high as sixth (Cleveland) or eighth (Buffalo), while Austin could go ninth (New York Jets) or fourteenth (Carolina.) Allen was considered the top receiver in the class for some time, but has been unable to participate in pre-draft workouts. Nonetheless, he could add a smooth intermediate target to New England’s offense as a direct replacement for Brandon Lloyd.

2. Stedman Bailey, West Virginia*

Some projections have players such as Tennessee’s Justin Hunter or Oregon State’s Markus Wheaton available this late in the round, but that’s difficult to imagine given their physical tools. However, New England may be able to add a player such as Bailey, who has outside experience in a spread offense and is capable of getting open deep downfield. Bailey caught 114 passes for 1,622 yards and 25 touchdowns last season, eclipsing more highly-regarded teammate Tavon Austin’s production.

3. Ryan Swope, Texas A&M

Swope worked out much better than expected and could potentially be gone by the time New England is on the clock; however, he may last if teams trust what they saw on tape more than his timed speed. The Texas A&M product runs a variety of routes and is a dependable option on third downs, so he could work his way onto the field early in New England. If Swope is gone, Bill Belichick could potentially roll the dice on Texas’ Marquise Goodwin, whose timed speed has overshadowed his lack of collegiate production.

4. Kenny Stills, Oklahoma*

Stills is certainly a character, but could offer New England a reliable outside option if Brandon Lloyd’s antics can be compartmentalized in the Patriots’ war room. A 6’1”, 194-pound target, Stills erased concerns regarding his speed with a 4.38-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. He is excellent at making catches in traffic, and has the competitiveness to work through press coverage, suggesting that he could be a fit at split end in New England’s offense, currently an area of weakness on the team.

5. Josh Boyce, Texas Christian*

Boyce opted to forfeit his senior season in order to enter the draft early; unfortunately, in a deep wide receiver class, he could easily slip to the third day. Although Boyce is prone to drops (as evidenced by his lackluster performances in Combine drills), he has the speed to threaten defenses down the field, as evidenced by his 4.38 40-yard dash time. Boyce also performed incredibly well in the cone drill (6.68) and broad jump (10’11”), suggesting agility and explosiveness.

6. Ace Sanders, South Carolina*

We touched on Sanders this past Sunday when discussing potential late-round fits; in short, he’s an undersized slot receiver who doubles as a dangerous return specialist. New England is still considered the front-runner for Julian Edelman’s services, but if he opts to sign elsewhere, the Patriots could target someone like Sanders to replace him. Danny Amendola has not been particularly durable over the course of his career, so someone like Sanders could be a valuable emergency option.

7. Marquess Wilson, Washington St.*

Wilson’s character will likely be subject to scrutiny after quitting the team during his junior season, but his ability to produce at wide receiver should not be questioned. Wilson ran a variety of routes, using his combination of length and deep speed to amass some eye-popping statistics with the Cougars; his 82-catch, 1,388 yard, 12 touchdown performance as a sophomore stands out in particular.

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18 Responses to “A Prospect For Each Round: Wide Receiver”

  1. J H TARBORO says:

    The NFL network has a show called Gamechangers that will display every position before the draft, a 30min. show with Michael Irving and Steve Mariucci featuring the WRs (Cordarrell Patterson, Da Rick Rogers, Kenny Stills, Robert Woods, and Keenan Allen). You can see them up close and they workout with Irving. Check it out!!

  2. menelvagor says:

    I like Terrence Williams in 2nd or 3rd round

  3. Bomber says:

    The offense might take a step back.They still need to improve the defense and coach them up.The window is closing.

  4. Russell Easterbrooks says:

    I like WR Mark Harrison, 6’3″ 231 4.46-40 6.99 cone drill, in the 4th or 5th round. Great size and value, for a later pick!

    • acm says:

      yep, I also think he would be a good pick in 5th or even 6th round. Other WRs with similar build, likely to go in the later rounds, are R. Smith (FSU) and Wilson (Wash St.).

      With Aiken and Holmes on the roster and the lack of picks, however, I would be surprised if BB takes a shot at either of these WR unless they fall to late 6th or more likely 7th round and FA.

      • J H TARBORO says:

        ACM i recently had a similar thought and i feel that Aiken, Holmes, and Ebert will suprise people.I The double dip on receivers may happen 1 early and 1 later.

  5. hdh says:

    What about Dobson from Marshall?

  6. Breazy says:

    Big and fast…time to break the draft mold and go for a big and fast wideout. Anybody who ever played football with their little brother’s friends knows size matters. The pats seem to draft guys that are 5’10 and do 4.5 in the 40 but with a really good 3-cone time. That’s good for the slot, but come on we’re looking for a deep threat and a red-zone threat! Go large at wideout or large at CB, but go large.

  7. ActonBob says:

    Yes, it is a nice idea for a set of articles. I still hope they draft all defense this year again. Will be interesting to see what comes for corners, safeties and D-line…

  8. J H TARBORO says:

    Keenan Allen might go before Austin due to height and his pro day. Where is Aaron Dobson, Da Rick Rogers, De Andre (NUKE) Hopkins, Markus Wheaton, Conor Vernon etc. Stedman Bailey is one the best route runners of the group, but lets be honest his stats are a direct result of the defense accounting for Tavon Austin and where he lined up not vice versa. Kenny Stills is the smoothest of the route runners.

    • bmp1113 says:

      I disagree about bailey. Go watch a wv game, Bailey is his favorite target and does a great job getting open. Its not like the other teams didn’t cover him or know about his 25 touchdowns.

  9. AM says:

    Outside of Allen, my favorite player/round fit from this list is Boyce in the fifth. Great potential and athleticism–a good gamble that late in the draft.

    Great article concept–I’d love to see this for DBs as well.

  10. Eric says:

    Neat idea for an article. Would like Marquess Wilson in the 7th. Could be a Dennardesque steal. And obviously Keenan Allen in the 1st would be tremendous.

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