2014 NFL Combine Preview: First Round Wide Receivers to Watch

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Jan 1, 2014; Tampa, Fl, USA; LSU Tigers wide receiver Odell Beckham (3) reacts and celebrates after they scored a touchdown against the Iowa Hawkeyes during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. LSU Tigers defeated the Iowa Hawkeyes 21-14. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

2. Odell Beckham Jr.

School: LSU
Watch to Watch: 40-Time, Height and Weight, Vertical
2013 Stats: 57 receptions, 1,117 yards, 19.6 ypc, eight touchdowns
Met with Chiefs: No

Beckham in college was a slower version of Percy Harvin – a guy who can make big plays no matter where you put him on the field. Whether it was returning punts or kicks, catching screens, running reverses, or taking a slant and running with it, Beckham was gaining huge chunks of yardage. In 62 plays his junior season, Beckham averaged 19 yards per touch. That’s just insane.

What is more insane is the knock on Beckham, among other things, is he does not have elite top end speed. Throw that in with his size – listed as 6-0, 193 pounds by LSU – and there are suggestions Beckham cannot be a number one receiver in the NFL. A good combine could disprove some of these notions for Beckham.

His height is a bit of an issue if he comes in under six-feet, but he can trump that if he posts a 40-time close to 4.4 or below. There is also the issue of Beckham’s ability to win jump balls downfield. Some things can be corrected in terms of technique, but if he doesn’t post an excellent vertical while also measuring under six-feet in size then he’s going to have an issue. Technique can only go so far without certain athletic skills.

The more throw you start taking away from Beckham, the lower his ceiling falls. Kansas City needs to find a true number one receiver in the draft if they spend their first round pick on a receiver. Beckham has to prove he has that ceiling if he wants to be selected by the Chiefs.

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  • berttheclock

    Brandon Cook is more akin to one Steve Smith.

    Steve Smith is only five nine, ran a 4.39 40 and a 7.44 cone at his Combine. His NFL stats are 82 games, 836 receptions for 12,197 yards, average of 14.6 yards per catch with 67 TDs, one of which was 80 long and he has rushed 57 times for 387 yards and 2 TDs. Oh, BTW, the last time he faced the Chiefs he caught 5 passes out of nine targets for 120 yards and a TD. Yes, indeed, size means “everything” in the NFL.

    If “Alfie” is tall, but, can’t get open in the NFL, then, it really becomes “What’s it all about, Alfie?”

    My only fear is Cook is going to have very fast times in the Combine and will rise far above Number 23.

    • berttheclock

      Speaking of cone drill times, there is another player on the sights of scouts for the Combine. Supposedly, the little known LB from South Dakota, Tyler Starr, has had a couple of 6.29 times while training in Tennessee for the Combine. He had a huge game against KU, but, then again, who hasn’t? He could be a find for some NFL team wanting a LB with pass rushing skills.

  • Brandon

    What about mike Evans from Texas a&m he is a beast and finds a way to get open when the play called breaks down just ask Johnny football

    • berttheclock

      He is the favorite pick by Merlin, but, he will be long gone before 23.

  • Stacy D. Smith

    A lot of coaches hate the gauntlet and wonder if it really tells you anything about a receiver. I’ll definitely be watching how he runs routes though.

    • berttheclock

      Some wide outs are so good at dropping the balls in the gauntlet drill, they continue that practice into their NFL careers, eh?

  • Billie Cabral

    I noticed none of these guys met with the Chiefs and if I recall correctly most of Dorsey’s early round drafted players they met. So this makes me think they aren’t planning on drafting a WR early and will make a run at a WR in free agency. I’m thinking Maclin because it just makes so much sense on so many levels, granted that he is healthy, but then again so did trading for Tony G last year and we all now how that went down!

    • Ben Nielsen

      Some of these kids are underclassmen so the combine will be the Chiefs first chance to meet with them. Also, I only went with reports I trusted, so it is possible some of these players have met with the Chiefs but a credible report isn’t out there.