Scouts Inc. - Finding wide receiver bargains on Day 3

Discussion in 'Draft Zone' started by Risen Star, Apr 20, 2014.

  1. Risen Star

    Risen Star Likes Collector Zone Supporter

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    By Kevin Weidl |

    Almost every year, there are some receivers who fall during the draft and end up hitting in the NFL as late-round selections or free agents. Recent examples have included Ravens WR Marlon Brown (UDFA, 2013), Seahawks Doug Baldwin (UDFA, 2011), Steelers WR Antonio Brown (6th round, 2010) and Giants WR Victor Cruz (UDFA, 2010). Injuries, size, not testing well at combine or pro day and character are some of the factors that can play into these players slipping through the cracks.

    As we near the end of evaluation process here at Scouts Inc., I have had a chance to focus on some receivers that projected in the Day 3 range. Of that crop, here is a look at three who have caught my eye during recent film study and could end up bringing strong return on Day 3.

    Kevin Norwood, WR, Alabama

    Norwood is one of my favorite prospects. He was relatively unheralded within the Alabama offense throughout his career, but he had a knack for coming up with clutch plays in big games.

    Although clocking in with a 4.48 40-yard dash at the combine, the 6-foot-2, 198-pound receiver lacks elite explosiveness on tape and is more of a possession-type receiver. However, he is a quality route-runner who has a natural feel for the position and has strong overall field awareness.

    One of the Norwood's greatest strengths is his ball skills. He caught my eye throughout Senior Bowl week, where he appeared to have one of the more natural set of hands of the receiver crop in Mobile, Ala. That translated to his tape, where he displays above-average body control adjusting to throws outside of the strike zone. Norwood also has the toughness to work the middle of the field and shows the focus in traffic to consistently win in contested situations.

    Norwood is still growing into his frame and must continue to develop his overall strength. However, he should be one of the wide receiver prospects teams could get great value for in the fourth-round range because of the unusual depth of this year's receiver class. Norwood will be a strong fit for teams like the Broncos or Patriots, who rely on their receivers' timing and reading coverages on the fly.

    John Brown, WR, Pittsburg State

    Brown lacks ideal size (he's 5-10, 179) and played at the Division II level, which will likely work against him on draft weekend. However, there is a lot to like about his tape.

    First is his overall play speed. Brown has an excellent combination of speed (4.34 40-yard dash), quickness and body control. He is an explosive starter who can quickly eat up cushions and threaten defensive backs vertically.

    The one thing that stands out about Brown, unlike a lot of speedsters at the position, is his route running. He doesn't rely solely on his speed and explosiveness, but shows an above-average feel for routes and uses tempo well to set up defenders to create separation out of cuts.

    Where Brown is most dangerous is with the ball in his hands. He flashes similar qualities to Rams WR Tavon Austin (the eighth overall selection in 2013) as a runner with an exceptional combination of speed and quickness. In addition, Brown maintains quality body control in fifth gear and shows the ability to cut on dime without losing momentum and flashes an extra gear out of cuts.

    He also brings added value in the return game on special teams where he has six career returns for touchdowns (three punt returns and three kickoff returns). Brown has taken advantage of the postseason process with a strong showing at the East-West Shrine Game before turning in impressive numbers at the NFL scouting combine. He could bring strong return in the middle of Day 3 for a team such as Carolina, where he can serve as a versatile receiver who can also fill a hole in the return game at the same time.

    Willie Snead, WR, Ball State

    Snead is a coach's son, and it didn't take long to recognize it on his tape. He runs detailed routes and has a clear understanding for the position. He does a nice job of working defenders in his initial stem to gain initial leverage. He also does a nice job of using tempo and head and shoulder fakes at the top of his routes. In addition, he quickly locates and shows strong spatial awareness out of cuts getting into soft spots against zone coverage.

    Snead also possesses big, strong and reliable hands (10 inches). He adjusts well to throws outside of his frame and is natural tracking the ball over his shoulder. In addition, he shows very good focus and toughness in traffic to secure throws while absorbing hits.

    While there is a lot to like about Snead's polish and ball skills, at 5-10 and 195 pounds, he lacks ideal size and possesses an average speed and quickness combination out of cuts. He will likely have to rely on his advanced route-running and consistently have to work for every inch of separation at the next level.

    Snead will likely be a late-round pick or priority free agent. If he is able to find the right fit, he has a chance to stick on a roster as a fourth or fifth receiver that could contribute on special teams.
    chris1995 and dallasdave like this.
  2. dallasdave

    dallasdave Well-Known Member

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    John Brown, WR, Pittsburg State sounds like the type of person the Cowboys need for returns and change of pace.
  3. TheDallasDon

    TheDallasDon AegonTheConqueror-Now bend the knee

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    Mike Davis Texas 5th round im down
  4. RS12

    RS12 Well-Known Member

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    I think Norwood has a long productive career.
    Oh_Canada likes this.
  5. ABQcowboyJR

    ABQcowboyJR Well-Known Member

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    I'm a huge Texas fan and think that Mike Davis brings some nice things to the table. He has good size, good speed, and he blocks well. But I'm not taking this kid before the sixth. He just disappears and can catch a case of the stone hands, bad. I like the upside but not willing to over draft him.
  6. TheDallasDon

    TheDallasDon AegonTheConqueror-Now bend the knee

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    IDK if I would say stone hands, I'd say enigma, I've seen him make hard catches and drop easy ones.......I'd still take him in the 5th depending on who the Cowboys get the previous rounds
  7. tm1119

    tm1119 Well-Known Member

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    LaDarius Washington from Mizzu. 6'4 195 with a 4.46 40. He's raw, but the size and speed combo is too interesting to ignore for a guy currently projected to go in the 7th.
    CopenhagenCowboy and da_whiz_kid like this.
  8. jnday

    jnday Well-Known Member

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    I like the tall WRs and I wish the team would concentrate on these type. This guy needs to gain some weight, but that should not be a problem.
  9. Gaede

    Gaede Well-Known Member

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    I like Norwood too. But I like him as a Patrick Crayton type, not a star
  10. AsthmaField

    AsthmaField Outta bounds

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    I wouldn't mind getting John Brown late. I like him as a player.
  11. JoeyBoy718

    JoeyBoy718 Well-Known Member

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    Two things I hope we don't do in this draft: 1) get Johnny Manziel, 2) draft a WR in the first 2-3 rounds. I'd love one of the guys you've mentioned on day 3 to complement Dez and Terrance.

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