2011 NFL Draft: Receiver Flash Forward

A total of 27 wide receivers were drafted in 2011, including Randall Cobb. The NFL's head scout, Dave-Te' Thomas, catches up on their careers and provides a draft mulligan for those who plucked one of those pass catchers.

Of the 27 wide receivers that were drafted in 2011, six of those players are no longer in the league, including Kansas City’s first-round choice, Jon Baldwin, who was traded to San Francisco last season. Baldwin was cut early in 2014 camp by the 49ers.

Also among the six unemployed receivers is oft-troubled Detroit second-rounder Titus Young, who is awaiting sentencing on multiple charges that should see the former Boise State prospect spend a good portion of his remaining years in a penitentiary rather than on the gridiron.

Six other 2011 receiver choices have left their original teams, with Cleveland castoff Greg Little leading that group as he vies for a roster spot in Oakland. Two standouts in this draft class return to the field this season after injuries wiped out most of their 2013 campaigns: Atlanta’s Julio Jones and the Packers’ Randall Cobb.

Jones and Cincinnati’s A.J. Green have kept their titles as the “cream of the crop” mentioned in my 2011 predraft analysis, and Cobb and Baltimore’s Torrey Smith have proven my staff’s assessment that they were quality receivers worthy of their early-round status. Two sleepers that have provided great value out of this class are Oakland’s Denarius Moore and Seattle free agent find Doug Baldwin.

Based on the order they were selected on draft day, here is a present-day look at the wide receivers that teams were hoping would develop into their long-term solutions.

Cincinnati1 4 4*A.J. GreenWR Georgia
Atlanta1 6 6*Julio JonesWR Alabama
Kansas City1 26 26*Jon BaldwinWR Pittsburgh
Detroit2 12 44Titus YoungWR Boise State
Baltimore2 26 58*Torrey SmithWR Maryland
Cleveland2 27 59Greg LittleWR North Carolina
Green Bay2 32 64*Randall CobbWR Kentucky
St. Louis3 14 78Austin PettisWR Boise State
Washington3 15 79Leonard HankersonWR Miami
San Diego3 18 82Vincent BrownWR San Diego State
NY Giants3 19 83Jerrel JerniganWR Troy
Seattle4 10 107Kris DurhamWR Georgia
Miami4 14 111Edmond GatesWR Abilene Christian
St. Louis4 15 112Greg SalasWR Hawaii
Jacksonville4 17 114Cecil Shorts IIIWR Mount Union
Baltimore4 26 123*Tandon DossWR Indiana
Carolina5 1 132Kealoha PilaresWR Hawaii
Oakland5 17 148Denarius MooreWR Tennessee
NY Jets5 22 153Jeremy KerleyWR Texas Christian
Washington5 24 155Niles PaulWR Nebraska
Cincinnati6 2 167Ryan WhalenWR Stanford
Dallas6 11 176Dwayne HarrisWR East Carolina
Washington6 13 178Aldrick RobinsonWR Southern Methodist
San Francisco6 17 182Ronald JohnsonWR Southern California
NY Jets7 24 227Scotty McKnightWR Colorado
Minnesota7 33 236Stephen BurtonWR West Texas AM
Arizona7 46 249DeMarco SampsonWR San Diego State

NOTE: An * indicates the player is an underclassman.




It was a fierce yet friendly battle between Southeastern Conference standouts Green and Julio Jones to see who would be the first receiver taken in the 2011 draft. Green emerged as the Bengals’ fourth overall selection and Cincinnati brass could not have found a better weapon to rebuild their once-struggling offense around.

In 2011, Green's first NFL reception was a 41-yard touchdown catch against their in-state rival, the Cleveland Browns. By the end of his rookie season, he recorded four 100-yard games and led all NFL rookies in receptions and receiving yards, catching 65 passes for 1,057 yards in 15 games. His seven touchdown receptions were second among rookies — one behind Jones.

Green earned his second Pro Bowl berth after a 2012 campaign that saw him record 97 receptions (ranked seventh in the league) for 1,350 yards and 11 touchdowns. In the Bengals’ playoff loss to Houston, he was the team's leading receiver with five grabs for 80 yards. In the Pro Bowl, he had 119 yards and three touchdowns.

Green was again named to the Pro Bowl after the 2013 schedule. Last year, he set career highs for receptions (98, sixth-best in the NFL) and receiving yards (1,426, the second highest total in Bengals history and fifth-best in the NFL for 2013), while also scoring 11 touchdowns. He had six 100-yard games, including a franchise record five in a row.

The Verdict: Cincinnati has a proven winner in Green, who has outstanding chemistry with quarterback Andy Dalton. With Dalton having re-signed during 2014 training camp, Cincinnati turns its attention to wrapping up a huge deal for Green before the receiver can enter the free agent market. He will earn $3 million in 2014 and has $10.1 million on board for 2015. The team could wait until the end of that deal and then place a franchise tag on Green for 2016, but expect the receiver to earn a new deal sooner, rather than later.

Draft Redo: The 2011 draft gave the team a superb deep threat and future Pro Bowl receiver in A.J. Green, who has caught 260 passes for 3,833 yards and 29 touchdowns, as he had 169 grabs for first downs, 53 for at least 20 yards and 23 for 40 yards or longer since teaming up with Dalton. While some would have preferred Colin Kaepernick (49ers with the 36th pick) at No. 35 instead of Dalton, the TCU product has done everything he could to produce in his 48 games as a starter.

Of the six other draft selections in 2011, only fourth-rounder Clint Boling earned a starting job, taking over right guard duties. Third-rounder Dontay Moch was sent packing, only to re-sign with the Bengals on March 14, after spending the 2013 season with Arizona, but the Cards released him this offseason. He is listed fourth on the Bengals’ depth chart at weak-side outside linebacker.

With the 66th pick wasted on Moch, Cincinnati passed up the chance to take middle linebacker Nate Irving (Denver with the 67th pick) and outside ‘backer Justin Houston (70th to Kansas City). Fifth-round pick Robert Sands was cut, signed by the Giants and again waived. He’s involved in serious issues with the law and that 134th selection could have been better served on a player like offensive tackle Marcus Cannon (138th to New England) or receiver Denarius Moore (148th by Oakland).

Sixth-round receiver Ryan Whalen proved to be too slow for NFL competition and a clutch third-round receiver like Charles Clay (to Miami at 174) would have added another short-area weapon for Dalton’s passing game.




At Alabama, Jones etched his name into nearly every receiving category in the Tide record book. His 179 receptions are second all-time at the school behind D.J. Hall’s mark of 194 (2004-07), while his 2,653 yards receiving are surpassed only by Hall’s 2,923. He also tied Joe Jones (1980-83) for fourth in Crimson Tide history with 15 touchdown receptions, topped only by Dennis Homan (18; 1965-67), D.J. Hall (17; 2004-07) and Ozzie Newsome (16; 1974-77).

Selected sixth overall by the Falcons, Jones has been sensational, but has had a few injuries that forced him to miss three regular-season games as a rookie and 11 more contests in 2013. To date, he has pulled in 174 balls for 2,737 yards and 20 touchdowns while appearing in 34 contests.

Jones finished the 2011 schedule leading all rookies in touchdown receptions with eight, while his 54 receptions for 959 yards ranked him second among rookies in yardage and touchdowns behind Green and third in catches behind Green and Greg Little.

In 2012, Jones registered 79 receptions for 1,198 yards, caught 10 touchdowns and was selected for the 2013 Pro Bowl — his first Pro Bowl nomination. He joined fellow receiver Roddy White in becoming the first 1,000-yard receiving tandem the Falcons have had since 1998.

The team finished the season with a 13-3 record and earned the top seed in the NFC for the NFL playoffs. In the divisional playoff game versus Seattle, Jones recorded his first career interception on the last play of the game defending a Hail Mary pass attempt. On Oct. 9, 2013, it was announced that Jones would be out for the rest of the season after injuring his foot. He finished his abbreviated third year with 41 grabs for 580 yards and a pair of scores.

The Verdict: Jones will be in Atlanta through at least the 2015 season, as the Falcons announced that they would accept the fifth-year option of his rookie contract. If healthy, Jones and White should again take their place as one of the elite receiving tandems in the league.

Draft Redo: During the 2011 draft, the Falcons traded their 2011 first-round pick (26th overall subsequently traded, Jonathan Baldwin), 2011 fourth-round choice (118th overall subsequently traded, Jalil Brown), 2011 second-round pick (59th overall, Greg Little), 2011 fourth-round selection (124th overall, Owen Marecic) and 2012 first-round choice (22nd overall, Brandon Weeden) to the Browns for the 2011 draft’s sixth overall selection to land Jones.

The trade left the Falcons with two choices of their own, but they also secured a fifth-rounder from St. Louis and received a seventh-rounder from Detroit for cornerback Chris Houston. Another seventh-round choice came from New England as payment for offensive lineman Quinn Ojinnaka.

Their own third-round choice was used to select linebacker Akeen Dent, as the 91st overall selection spent three seasons and 47 games with Atlanta before a June 2014 trade saw him leave for Houston, as the Falcons received quarterback T.J. Yates in the exchange. Dent was less than spectacular during his time in a Falcons uniform, making 136 tackles with 1.5 sacks. Despite having serviceable linebackers, the team had glaring needs at offensive tackle (Joseph Barksdale-Louisiana State) and safety (Da’Norris-North Carolina) that could have been filled with other available athletes at No. 91.

The Falcons were looking for a spark in the backfield and a future replacement for out-of-shape tailback Michael Turner when they used their fifth-round pick on Jacquizz Rodgers. They soon realized the diminutive tailback was fragile and eventually signed aging Steven Jackson in 2013 to carry the rushing load. Jackson was injured for much of 2013 and Rodgers has averaged just 3.6 yards on 247 carries that produced four touchdowns in 47 career games. He’s pulled in 126 passes for 931 yards but, even with Jackson again hurt in 2014 training camp, Rodgers is in danger of losing his roster spot to rookie Devonta Freeman. If they could do it all over with pick No. 145, imagine taking Denarius Moore (148th to Oakland) to add to a formidable receiving unit, or again addressing secondary needs as Seattle unearthed All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman with the 154th overall choice.

Sixth-round pick Matt Bosher remains as the team’s punter, averaging 46.6 yards per attempt with 26 kicks inside the 20-yard line in 2013. Seventh-round offensive guard Andrew Jackson came to camp overweight in 2011 and is no longer on any NFL roster. Fellow seventh-rounder Cliff Matthews is fourth on the depth chart at left defensive end and is likely to be a 2014 camp casualty, with rookie Ra’Shede Hageman expected to be the primary reserve at that position behind Tyson Jackson.




One of the biggest draft blunders at the receiver position came when the Chiefs used the 26th overall choice on disgruntled Pittsburgh split end Jon Baldwin. They soon soured on his poor route running and even poorer work habits, shipping him off to San Francisco for their 2012 first-round bust. A.J. Jenkins.

Past problems from college would soon rear its ugly head once Baldwin arrived in KC. He was expected to be the second receiver on the roster behind Dwayne Bowe after he signed his four-year deal with the Chiefs. In Week 2 of the 2011 NFL preseason, he suffered a wrist injury after a locker room fight with former All-Pro tailback Thomas Jones, which sidelined him for the rest of the 2011 preseason.

It was not until the seventh week of the 2011 regular season that Baldwin caught his first NFL pass (vs. the Raiders). He finished his rookie year with 21 catchers for 254 yards and one touchdown.

Baldwin started seven games, appearing in 15 contests in 2012. He managed 325 yards on 20 grabs, reaching the end zone once. New coach Andy Reid soon tired of his first-rounder and, on Aug. 19, 2013, Baldwin was traded to the San Francisco 49ers in exchange for receiver A. J. Jenkins. He was waived by the 49ers on Aug. 3, 2014, having managed just three catches for 28 yards for San Francisco in 2013.

The Verdict: In a very strong case for “I told you so,” I had a long talk about Baldwin with then-Chiefs head scout Chuck Cook a month before the 2011 draft. The team was enamored with the Pittsburgh wideout after he ran 4.49 in the 40-yard dash and produced a 42-inch vertical jump at the NFL Scouting Combine. Our advice was simple — look elsewhere for receiving help. As soon as he arrived at the Chiefs complex, much like Bart Simpson, trouble soon followed.

Draft Redo: The Chiefs took part in the 2011 draft frenzy, as they received Atlanta’s first-round pick (No. 26) that Cleveland had received from the Falcons in the previous Julio Jones deal. All told, the Browns had received four picks in the 2011 draft and a first-rounder in 2012 from Atlanta for Jones. They then turned the 26th overall pick, along with the 70th overall choice (third round, used by the Chiefs for Justin Houston) and traded it to KC for its first-round choice, 21st overall, as the Browns selected nose guard Phil Taylor.

Wiser minds would have used the 26th pick to shore up a highly suspect defensive line, as Temple’s Mohammed Wilkerson slide past Kansas City and was scooped up by the Jets at pick No. 30.

Kansas City would eventually use nine picks in the 2011 draft, having secured an extra fifth-rounder from Denver in a 2010 deal and received a compensatory pick in the sixth round.

Kansas City did produce three starters from the 2011 draft, as second-rounder Rodney Hudson (No. 23) mans the center position. Third-round left outside linebacker Houston is Pro Bowl material and recently earned a second contract from the team. Fellow third-rounder Alvin Bailey lines up in front of Houston as the Chiefs’ starting left defensive end.

None of the picks used in rounds four through seven remain with the team. Fifth round quarterback Ricky Stanzi is a reserve in camp with Jacksonville and fourth-round cornerback Jalil Brown is in camp with Miami. Brown made 25 tackles during the 2011-12 seasons but was cut by the Chiefs, claimed by Indianapolis, cut by the Colts and claimed by the Dolphins in 2013, finishing with four tackles in five games. That No. 118 selection would have been put to better use on a physical cornerback like Cortez Allen (No. 128 to Pittsburgh) or Davon House (No. 131 to Green Bay).



Boise State/5:11.2-174

With only fifth picks in the 2011 draft, Detroit could ill-afford to waste any of them on suspect character types, but each of the first three selections have run afoul of the organization or law since their arrival. None came with a bigger “wackadoo” label than the Broncos receiver, well-known throughout the scouting industry for having locker room, authority and social issues. The Lions soon soured on the receiver and he has not stepped back on to the football field since 2012. Several arrests in California leave the former Boise State receiver staring at a long prison term when he is sentenced later this summer.

The Lions fell in love with Young at the NFL Scouting Combine, where he was clocked at 4.39 in the 40-yard dash. He was primarily used as the team's second wide receiver, and played frequently in three-receiver sets. He collected 607 yards with six touchdowns on 48 catches in 16 games, earning Lions-Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association Rookie of the Year honors in 2011.

However, his personality changed dramatically as the season wore on. He was noticeably quieter than he had been earlier in the season, and he became increasingly undisciplined on the field. This culminated in Week 13 vs. the New Orleans Saints, when he shoved safety Malcolm Jenkins in the face, drawing an unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty. He was benched for the rest of the game. There were other, less public incidents that led someone in Young's inner circle to ask the league for help. The league offered counseling, but Young turned it down.

On May 21, 2012, the Lions sent Young home for two weeks after he sucker-punched safety Louis Delmas in minicamp. On Nov. 19, 2012, the Lions sent him home again for his behavior the previous day vs. the Packers. According to Lions coaches, Young deliberately lined up in the wrong position twice and got into a verbal confrontation with receivers coach Shawn Jefferson. It was the last game Young played for the Lions. He was deactivated for the team's Thanksgiving Day game a week later vs. Houston, as he finished the year with 33 grabs for 383 yards and four touchdowns in 10 contests.

On Feb. 5, 2013, Young was claimed off waivers by the St Louis Rams, the only team that turned in a waiver claim for the receiver. However, he was released 10 days later, with the Rams saying they wanted to go "in a different direction.".According to Sports Illustrated, the Rams cut ties with him due to concerns about his behavior. He seemed lost in interviews with head coach Jeff Fisher and other team personnel, and threw a fit when he was barred from boarding a flight to Los Angeles after forgetting his identification.

Since being let go by the Rams, Young has been involved in four other incidents with the law. He was arrested again on July 9, 2014, on five counts of battery. He is being held in Los Angeles on $105,000 bail.

The Verdict: With first-round defensive tackle Nick Fairley and second-round tailback Mikel Leshoure having having legal issues, injury problems and poor playing performances, the 2011 draft is one that the Lions would love to do over. Young had so many red flags from his days at Boise State, even his college coaches were amazed that any team would show interest in him. Incarceration is the only recourse for a person with such a lack of regard for authority and the rules.

Draft Redo: Fairley was put on notice that the 2014 season is “make or break” for him. Hoping that he would team with Ndamukong Suh to form the NFL’s elite defensive tackle tandem, Fairley has been set back by injuries and uninspired play. To date, he has posted 84 tackles through 38 games, not the numbers the team expected from the draft’s 13th overall selection.

The Lions told Fairley they wanted him to play at 298 pounds after he was well over 320 pounds at the end of the 2013 season. He arrived for minicamp sporting a “sizeable belly," prompting Lions GM Martin Mayhew to say he'd like Fairley to "reposition" some weight.

"As I told him, I'd like to see his commitment to the offseason program improve, and see him on a consistent basis," Mayhew stated. "It's voluntary, but if he's not training with us, I'd like to see him training somewhere."

Needing defensive line help at the time, the Lions would have gotten much more value with pick No. 13 if they had selected pass rushers like Robert Quinn (No. 14 to St. Louis) or Ryan Kerrigan (No. 16 to Washington) instead.

In the second round, they could have saved themselves a lot of aggravation by passing on Young and using the No. 44 pick on Maryland receiver Torrey Smith, selected No. 58 by the Ravens.

Leshoure is listed fourth on the depth chart at tailback and is vying for a reserve role at the position, with Reggie Bush firmly entrenched as the starter. His Achilles injury left him with just three games of action in 2013. With Joique Bell expected to hold down the second-string job (650 yards and eight touchdowns rushing, 53 receptions in 2013) ahead of Leshoure, look for the former Illini prospect to be a camp casualty. His No. 57 draft spot could have netted Detroit needed offensive tackle help (Marcus Gilbert to Pittsburgh at No. 63), Torrey Smith or a highly effective and multitalented receiver like Randall Cobb (No. 64 to Green Bay).




Smith should garner All-Pro status in 2014, as he has grizzled veteran Steve Smith at the other receiver position to keep opposing secondaries honest. Teams targeted Smith with double-team coverage throughout the 2013 campaign, as the Ravens let go Anquan Boldin before the season, leaving Smith as the Ravens’ only verified deep threat. He had his best season, statistics-wise, pulling down 65 balls for 1,128 yards (17.4 ypc), but only reached the end zone four times from the split end position.

Smith, who ran the 40-yard dash in 4.41 seconds at the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine, was described as a deep threat that the team had missed the previous season. After facing criticism for a lack of production in the first two weeks, the rookie turned in a record-setting performance vs. the Rams in Week 3, ending up with 152 yards on five grabs, becoming the first rookie in NFL history to catch three passes for touchdowns in one quarter. He finished the 2011 campaign with seven scoring grabs among 50 catches for 841 yards.

Despite losing his brother in a tragic motorcycle accident the morning before the Week 3 game vs. the Patriots, Smith had a great second season. In the playoffs vs. Denver, he caught a 59-yard pass and a 32-yard pass for touchdowns in a 38-35 double overtime win. The Ravens would go on to win Super Bowl XLVII vs. the 49ers 34-31, earning Smith his first Super Bowl ring, as he finished the season with eight touchdowns, 49 receptions and 855 yards.

Smith started the 2013 season as the Ravens’ top receiver. Six weeks into the season, he was one of the NFL's leaders in receptions and receiving yards, reaching the 1,000-yard receiving season mark for the first time in his career after Week 15 into the season, as he became the first Raven-drafted receiver to eclipse 1,000 yards for the team.

The Verdict: In 46 games, Smith has recorded 164 receptions for 2,824 yards (17.2 ypc) and 19 touchdowns. With the addition of Steve Smith, Torrey Smith should be primed for a banner campaign, as the tandem is too quick for opponents to place multiple defenders on this pair of deep threats.

Draft Redo: Outside of seventh-rounder Anthony Allen, all of the Ravens’ 2011 draft choices remain in the NFL, six that are current Ravens. The team let the clock run out in the first round and, instead of having the 26th pick, Kansas City jumped ahead of Baltimore to take receiver Jon Baldwin. There was word that Dallas was trying to trade with the Ravens, but when the deal failed to materialize, Baltimore pounced on Colorado cornerback Jimmy Smith at No. 27. Smith has four interceptions and 26 passes defended in 39 games as the starting right cornerback.

When injuries hit the secondary in 2013, fifth-rounder Chykie Brown, who was seldom used, stepped in to provide solid play at right corner. Brown, a special teams leader, had his best season in 2012, posting 25 tackles. Torrey Smith was taken with the 58th overall choice.

In the third round, Baltimore looked to improve its offensive line play. Jah Reid was a surprise choice at No. 85, but it was even a bigger surprise when he stepped in at right tackle in 2012, with Michael Oher shifting to left tackle and the previous starter there, Bryant McKinnie, shipped to Miami. Reid suffered through a horrible rash of penalties and allowed countless sacks in 2013. He faces a serious challenge for the right tackle job from 2013 fifth-rounder Ricky Wagner. If the coaches had their way, GM Ozzie Newsome should have used that choice on the staff’s favorite, LSU offensive tackle Joseph Barksdale (No. 92 to Oakland and presently the starting right tackle for the Rams).

Fourth-rounder Tandon Doss never developed into the complimentary receiver the Ravens hoped he would become. He had 26 catches for 428 yards in three seasons, but did average 15.3 yards as a punt returner. During the offseason, he signed with Jacksonville as a free agent. With the No. 123 choice, Baltimore could have taken tight end Julius Thomas (No. 129 to Denver), but Newsome was concerned about the level of competition (at Portland State) and lack of experience (just the 2010 season) that the former college basketball player had on his resume.

Fifth-round pick Pernell McPhee has recorded 65 tackles with 9.5 sacks and 18.0 stops-for-losses in 44 games. The former defensive end is being shifted to strong-side outside linebacker, as this season could be the final year that Terrell Suggs is a member of the squad.

Sixth-round selection Tyrod Taylor, has completed just 19-of-35 passes for 199 yards with no touchdowns, and the three-year reserve will again “caddy” for Joe Flacco at the quarterback position this year.

Seventh-round tailback Anthony Allen managed to last two seasons in Baltimor, but failed to contribute. He was cut in 2013 camp, signed by Buffalo, but never played before the Bills eventually cut him in May.



North Carolina/6:02.1-219

Little had a solid yet unspectacular career with the Browns. He started 41-of-48 games for Cleveland, collecting 155 receptions for 1,821 yards (11.7 ypc), but had just eight touchdowns to show for his efforts. After the 2013 season, the former Tar Heel was one of a boatload of veterans to help Oakland relieve themselves of some of their massive salary cap funds after the Browns strangely released the receiver rather than try to trade him away.

Little’s Cleveland career began with great promise, as he finished the 2011 season leading the team in catches (61) and receiving yards (709). He placed second among NFL rookies in receptions, behind Cincinnati’s first-round pick, A. J. Green, and was fifth in receiving yards behind Green, Torrey Smith, Julio Jones and Doug Baldwin. He also finished with two touchdowns.

Little started all 16 contests in 2012, producing 647 yards behind 53 catches (12.2 ypc) that included four touchdowns. He added 41 more receptions for 465 yards and a pair of scores last season, but on May 16, 2014, he was informed by the front office that he had been released after three seasons with the team. Three days later, he was claimed off waivers by the Raiders.

The Verdict: Little had impressive figures, averaging close to 52 receptions for 607 yards per season during three campaigns for the Browns, but had just eight touchdowns. He was part of the massive trading frenzy that saw the Browns trade the sixth overall pick in the draft to Atlanta. The Falcons used that pick to take Alabama receiver Julio Jones. Cleveland used the haul it received to take Little in the second round. The trade also produced the 26th overall pick, but the Browns used that and a third-rounder to take nose guard Phil Taylor with pick No. 21, as Kansas City selected receiver Jon Baldwin with the previous No. 26 that Cleveland had gotten back in the deal with Atlanta. The Browns also netted a fourth-round pick (118th overall subsequently traded, Jalil Brown), another fourth-rounder (124th overall, Owen Marecic) and a 2012 first-round pick (22nd overall, Brandon Weeden).

Draft Redo: The Browns used the No. 21 pick they received after two first-round trades to take Taylor, who immediately took over at nose guard. He has only 38 tackles in 39 games, including seven sacks, and he’s been hampered in 2014 camp by a hamstring injury and failed conditioning tests. He missed half of the 2012 season after suffering a left pectoral muscle tear working out prior to that campaign. While there are no indications that he is on the bubble in 2014, the new staff is stressing that he needs to be in shape before he will get back on the field for the Browns. The previous front office overruled the former coaching staff when it took Taylor, as the defensive coaches were campaigning heavily for Temple’s Muhammad Wilkerson, who later went with pick No. 30 to the Jets.

The team is so impressed with second-rounder Jabaal Sheard that they hope to wrap him up to a new deal before 2014 camp ends. In three seasons, the right outside linebacker has made 146 tackles with 21 sacks in 45 games. He was limited to 36 stops after he missed three full games and parts of others with a nagging wrist injury in 2013.

If the Browns had passed on Little with the 59th overall pick, Randall Cobb (No. 32 to Green Bay) would have not only given the team a perfect compliment to All-Pro receiver Josh Gordon, but a valid return specialist to improve a drastically suspect return unit. Before the 2013 season, the staff was starting to feel that fourth-round tight end Jordan Cameron was a bust. He then had a banner season, catching 80 of his 106 career passes at tight end to re-establish his role as the team’s starter. Those 80 grabs accounted for 917 of his career total of 1,176 receiving yards, as he reached the end zone seven times (had just one other touchdown combined for his first two seasons). With Gordon expected to be suspended in 2014, Cameron looms large as quarterback Brian Hoyer’s safety-valve target this season.

Marecic was a “training camp” audition and bounced around the league trying out for several other teams, but failed to earn a permanent residence. He is out of football. That No. 124 pick could have been better utilized on a fullback like Anthony Sherman (No. 136 to Arizona) or to hedge their bets on Cameron by taking emerging tight end talent Julius Thomas (No. 129 to Denver).

Buster Skrine is limping in 2014 training camp and, despite posting 168 tackles with 30 pass deflections in 48 games, he is expected to lose his right cornerback job to 2014 first-round choice Justin Gilbert. Fellow fifth-rounder, guard/tackle Jason Pinkston, is expected to retire, as it was announced last week that he has developed blood clots inside his lungs. Seventh-rounder Eric Hagg never earned a roster spot and is out of football.




“Put me in coach, I’m ready to play,” should be Cobb’s motto. As a Wildcat and Packer, this electrifying talent has been a deep threat, a safety-valve slot receiver, a speedy return specialist and perhaps the most dangerous player the Packers can put on the field offensively that is not named Aaron Rodgers.

Cobb was the 64th selection in the 2011 draft, as the second-rounder recorded his first NFL touchdown on a 32-yard reception in the first quarter vs. New Orleans. Later in that game, his 108-yard kickoff return touchdown tied New England’s Ellis Hobbs for the longest kickoff return in NFL history. That play was named Play of the Year at the season-ending NFL Honors banquet. In the Minnesota clash, he scored his second special teams touchdown of the year on an 80-yard punt return in the first quarter. With that, Cobb became the first rookie in Packers history to return a kick and a punt for a touchdown in the same season.

Cobb appeared in 15 games in 2012, as he snared 80 passes for 954 yards and eight touchdowns, adding 132 yards on 10 carries, 292 yards with a score on 31 punt returns and averaged 25.4 yards via 38 kickoff returns. His average of 14.7 yards gained each time he touched the ball was fourth-best in the league.

In 2013, the Packers lost Cobb and James Jones — two of their top three receivers — in the first half of a 19-17 victory over Baltimore. After Jones went down with a left leg injury in the first quarter, Cobb left with a broken right leg in the second quarter when he was hit on the knee by the helmet of Ravens safety Matt Elam. He missed a total of 10 games, finishing the 2013 campaign with 433 yards and four touchdowns on 31 receptions, adding 78 yards on four carries.

The Verdict: Having inked Jordy Nelson to a new deal recently, many expect the Packers to turn their attention to Cobb before the 2014 season ends. An injury in 2013 showed the team just how valuable the former Kentucky All-American had become. In 36 games, he has managed 136 catches for 1,762 yards (13.0 ypc) and 13 touchdowns, as he also piled up 215 yards on 16 carries (13.4 ypc), 610 yards with two touchdowns on 60 punt returns and delivered 73 kickoff returns for a 26.2-yard average and a record-setting touchdown runback.

Draft Redo: Among the 10 players that Green Bay selected in the 2011 draft, just three remain on the roster, with all three battling back from some sort of injury to re-establish their roles in the lineup. Former first-round pick Derek Sherrod broke both bones in his lower right leg in December 2011 and returned to the active roster only last year, playing six offensive snaps. However, the Packers’ offensive line coach, James Campen, has said Sherrod "looks terrific." He spent the offseason and start of training camp at left tackle but an injury to Don Barclay gave Sherrod snaps at right tackle, too.

Cobb appears fully recovered. With Rodgers at quarterback and a lack of a quality tight end, look for Cobb to be used often in the slot and a Pro Bowl berth looms in his immediate future.

Third-round choice Alex Green failed to stick, leaving Green Bay after two seasons to earn a spot with the Jets in 2013. As a Packer, he appeared in 16 games over two seasons, gaining 475 yards on 138 carries but never reached the end zone. He is fourth on New York’s depth chart and has a minimal chance to stick with the Jets this season. His failure to wrest the starting job in Green Bay caused the Packers to take Eddie Lacy in the draft last year. With the 96th overall choice, Green Bay could have hedged their bets at wide receiver by taking Cecil Shorts II (No. 114 to Jacksonville), or filled a need at inside linebacker with Colin McCarthy (No. 109 to Tennessee).

Fourth-round pick Davon House was expected to be the team’s third corner, but injuries limited him to 11 games during his first two seasons. He earned five starting assignments for an injury-depleted defensive backfield in 2013, delivering a career-high 44 tackles while defending 10 passes.

The rest of the Packers’ draft selections were all soon found on the unemployment line. With the 141st overall pick, Green Bay used that fifth-rounder on tight end D.J. Williams, but he lasted two years, making nine catches. He spent seven games in Jacksonville and two more in New England last season, but had no balls targeted to him. Back with the Pats this year, he looms as a camp casualty. Available when Green Bay took Williams was rush end Karl Klug (No. 142 to Tennessee), who has 12.5 sacks in three seasons. They could have also opted for Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman, who went to the Super Bowl champs at No. 154.

The sixth round was a major head scratcher, as two of those picks are no longer in the league and a third is soon expected to follow. Guard Caleb Schlauderaff never made it out of 2011 camps. In the last three years, he has seen brief action in 12 contests for the Jets. Linebacker D.J. Smith and Ricky Elmore are harder to find than Jimmy Hoffa’s body. While it is rare for late-round players to make an impact, with the 179th, 186th and 197th choices, Green Bay could have had a pretty decent backup quarterback in Tyrod Taylor (No. 180 to Baltimore) and a promising third-down back in Jordan Todman (taken by San Diego, but now vying for the starting job in Jacksonville). Rather than taking Smith, they could have easily solved offensive line issues with a Pro Bowl-caliber center like Philadelphia’s find, Jason Kelce (No. 191).

While it might look like the team “threw darts” at the draft board in rounds six and seven, you have to be really counting on luck this late in the draft. However, instead of taking special-teamer Ryan Taylor and bust Lawrence Guy, big bodies for the defensive line like Chris Neild (No. 253 to Washington) to play nose guard and a rush end like Cheta Ozougwu (No. 253 by Houston, but currently with New Orleans) would have been been available.




Boise State/6:02.5-202

College resume: Pettis won’t burn anyone with blazing speed, but he’s a savvy route-runner with terrific hands and a reliable chain-mover for Boise State. Over his last two seasons, an astounding 74.63 percent of his receptions produced first downs (100-of-134), while 33 of those catches converted third- or fourth-down attempts. In his final two campaigns, the Broncos’ receiver had crucial receptions that led to 23 touchdown drives and eight others that ended in field goals.

NFL resume: Pettis was taken by the Rams with the 78th overall pick in Round 3. Even though he is on the roster, the team is looking to overhaul the receiving unit. His best season came in 2013, as he pulled in 38 balls for 399 yards and four touchdowns. In 42 games, he’s started 11 times, delivering 916 yards and eight scores on 95 grabs, in addition to averaging 9.0 yards on 28 punt returns.




College resume: When Hankerson signed with the University of Miami, the Hurricanes’ staff realized they had a talent that could one day rival other UM greats like Lamar Thomas, Michael Irvin and Andre Johnson. But, in his first three years, the only thing the receiver showed was inconsistency and lots of dropped passes, two traits that kept the youngster from reaching the lofty expectations of his coaches.

Flash forward to the 2011 season — which would turn out to be arguably the best statistical season by a wide receiver in Miami history. Hankerson became just the third player in program history to record a 1,000-yard receiving season and the first to have 2,000 yards for a career and 1,000 in a season. His 22 receiving touchdowns rank third all-time at Miami behind Michael Irvin (26) and Lamar Thomas (23).

That sudden turnaround in his career came thanks to Hankerson spending his last two off-seasons working under the guidance of former Dolphins Pro Bowler Mark Duper. With the teacher imparting his wisdom and expertise, the student has now developed into a more reliable receiver and route-runner.

NFL resume: Expected to be a second-round pick, he somehow lasted until the third round (No. 79). The Dolphins traded that pick, along with a fifth-round choice (146th overall, DeJon Gomes) and a 2011 seventh-rounder (217th overall, Maurice Hurt) to the Redskins in order to use the Redskins’ second-round pick in 2011 (62nd overall) for tailback Daniel Thomas. Hankerson has started 14-of-30 games in three seasons, as he tallied 1,081 yards on 81 receptions (13.3 ypc) that included six touchdowns.



San Diego State/5:11.0-184

College resume: A vastly underrated talent, Brown showed professional scouts that he has that Greg Jennings-like ability to not only stretch the field but to come up with crucial catches in traffic. One of the stars during the weeklong practices prior to the prestigious 2011 Senior Bowl, the Aztecs’ split end had one of the finest seasons in school history during his final campaign.

In 2010, Brown registered the first 1,000-yard receiving performance by a San Diego State player since 2002. His 1,342 yards as a senior rank fourth on the SDSU season-record chart, and combined with his three other impressive campaigns, he finished third on the school career-record charts with 209 receptions for 3,110 yards.

NFL resume: Brown “stayed at home” when the Chargers used their third-round pick (No. 82) to select the local product. He started 16 times in three seasons, including 12 with the first unit last season, as he pulled in 41 throws for 472 yards and a touchdowns working out of the slot in 2013.



Troy University/5:08.7-181

College resume: Jernigan set school career records with 262 receptions for 3,128 yards and an average of 5.24 catches per game. He placed third in Troy annals with 67 kickoff returns for 1,580 yards and is 12th on the school career-record list with 372 yards via punt returns. Those lofty totals helped him re-write the Trojans’ all-time record with 5,972 all-purpose yards.

NFL resume: That success has yet to translate to the pro ranks after the Giants used a third-round pick (No. 83) on the small yet speedy pass catcher. Through 32 games, he has started just three times, managing 32 receptions for 351 yards and two scores. He’s added another touchdown on three reverses and has served as the primary kickoff returner, averaging 24.6 yards on 20 runbacks.




NFL resume: Until the 2013 season, Durham was in a constant battle to remain with the team, any team. The Seahawks selected him in the fourth round (No. 107) but he managed just three grabs for 30 yards while starting three games as a rookie. Let go in 2012 training camp, he latched on with Detroit in 2012, but it was not until 2013 that he would contribute. He started 13 times last season and rewarded the new coaching staff with 38 receptions for 490 yards and two scores. The self-destruction of Titus Young in 2012 paved the way for Durham to move into the lineup last season, but with the addition of former Seattle teammat Golden Tate, Durham is expected to return to a reserve role in 2014.

Durham was drafted by Seattle using one of the picks it had received in a trade with the Lions on draft day. His 107th overall slot was traded by Detroit, along with a 2011 seventh-rounder (205th overall, Lazarius Levingston), 2011 third-round pick (75th overall, John Moffitt) and 2011 fifth-round choice (154th overall, Richard Sherman) for Seattle’s 2011 seventh-round pick (209th overall, Johnny Culbreath), 2011 fifth-rounder (157th overall, Doug Hogue) and 2011 second round choice (57th overall, Mikel Leshoure).



Abilene Christian University/5:11.7-197

College resume: Gates’ road to the NFL could be a great idea for a Hollywood movie, as his path to the gridiron was filled with lots of twists and turns along the way. As a scrawny freshman at Vernon High School, Gates would not put on a football uniform again until walking on the Abilene Christian campus six years later.

“I just felt like I had no future in football,” Gates related to Joey D. Richards of the Abilene Reporter-News in a recent interview. “I thought I would never grow. My dad is 5-7, so I thought I would be that small all my life. I thought I’d never go to the NFL being that small.” A guard on the Vernon basketball team, he turned his thoughts — and dreams — instead to basketball.

NFL resume: Taken in the fourth round by Miami (No. 111), Gates lasted just one season with the Dolphins before he was scooped off the trash heap by the Jets. He has just four starts among his 32 appearances, but boasts a career average of 24.8 yards on 34 kickoff returns. He has yet to make any impact as a receiver (30 catches in 32 games) and, unless he can show better route-running skills in 2014 camp, he could be replaced in the lineup by first-round safety Calvin Pryor on returns. He will also have to fend off 2014 drafted receivers Jalen Saunders-Oklahoma and Quincy Enuwa-Nebraska to stay in a Kelly Green uniform.




College resume: In college, Salas’ 285 receptions rank third in WAC annals behind fellow Warriors receivers Davone Bess (293, 2005-07) and Jason Rivers (292, 2003-04, 06-07), and tie Emmanuel Sanders of Southern Methodist (2006-09) for 15th in NCAA history. His 4,345 career receiving yards topped Rivers’ Hawaii record (3,919, 2003-04, 06-07), rank third in league history and tied Aaron Turner of Pacific (1989-92) for sixth in NCAA history.

Salas is a savvy route-runner that knows how to find the soft spots in a defense. He offers exceptional size not often seen in slot receivers, making him a mismatch for linebackers and small nickelbacks while also giving him the ability to go over the middle and compete in traffic. His Velcro hands and solid concentration allow him to snatch the football outside his frame, even if he has to adjust to the ball.

NFL resume: After catching 27 passes for 264 yards as a rookie, the 2011 fourth-round pick (No. 112) was traded to the Patriots prior to the 2012 season for a seventh-round pick in 2015. He appeared in just one game for the Pats, was later cut and signed by Philadelphia, who kept him around, but did not suit him up until cutting him early in 2013. He latched on with the Jets for eight games, making eight catches for 143 yards. He is in Jets’ camp but listed third on the depth chart at flanker and is one of 11 receivers in camp.



University of Mount Union/5:11.6-205

College resume: It is not often that the Jaguars do something right on draft day, but they used their fourth-round selection (No. 114) on an unknown that would play at a Pro Bowl-caliber pace the last two years. Shorts entered the league as a three-time All-American, the 2008 and 2009 Ohio Athletic Conference Ed Sherman Award Winner (given to the conference's top wide receiver) and the 2009 D3football.com National Offensive Player of the Year.

Shorts played in 55 games at Mount Union and had 259 receptions for 4,705 yards (18.17 ypc) and 63 touchdowns. He had 75 rushing attempts for 492 yards (6.56 ypc) with 12 scores on the ground along with 35 punt returns for 446 yards (12.74 avg) and two touchdowns, in addition to 14 kickoff returns for 346 yards (24.71 avg) and a score.

NFL resume: After injuries limited him to two catches in 10 games as a rookie, the 2012 campaign began with Shorts as the Jags’ starting split end. He pulled in 55 passes for 979 yards (17.8-yard average ranked second in the NFC) and seven touchdowns while fighting off minor injuries through fourteen games.

Last season, he started all 13 games he appeared in, as hamstring and calf injuries put him on the sideline for three contests. He still made 66 catches for 777 yards and three touchdowns. While listed as a starter, calf problems in minicamp, followed by a recent hamstring pull, had Shorts observing training camp from the sideline in training camp. He returned to practice this week.




College resume: Doss ranks sixth all-time at Indiana with 1,854 receiving yards, surpassed only by James Hardy (2,740; 2005-07), Courtney Roby (2,524; 2001-04), Ernie Jones (2,361; 1984-87), Thomas Lewis (2,324; 1991-93) and Duane Gunn (2,235; 1981-83).

His 154 receptions rank fourth in school annals, while his 13 touchdown receptions rank ninth. In 2010, Doss became just the sixth player in Big Ten history with 1,000 or more kickoff return yards in a season, as he set a school season-record with 1,016 yards, breaking Derin Graham’s previous IU mark of 897 yards in 2000.

NFL resume: The Ravens envisioned Doss complimenting second-round choice Torrey Smith as their future starting receivers, as they would part ways with All-Pro Anquan Boldin after their Super Bowl season. The 123rd choice in the 2011 draft never lived up to expectations and is vying for a roster spot in the Jaguars’ camp. Doss had just seven catches through his first 20 games as a Raven before injuries to other Baltimore receivers earned him 19 grabs in 2013. His final season as a Raven saw him lead the NFL with a 15.6-yard average via 23 punt returns.



University of Hawaii/5:09.7-199

College resume: Having spent his first two college seasons “toting” the pigskin for the Warriors, Pilares moved to the receiving unit full-time as a junior. He capped a magical senior season by setting the school game-record for receptions (18 vs. Louisiana Tech). With 88 catches for 1,306 yards and 15 scores, Pilares joined Greg Salas (119 for 1,889 yards and 14 touchdowns) in becoming the 36th tandem in college football history to gain 1,000 yards receiving in the same season. That duo was joined by Royce Pollard (64 for 901 yards and seven scores) in becoming the 13th trio in NCAA annals to have at least 60 receptions each in the same campaign. Pilares’ 15 touchdown catches in 2010 rank third on the school season-record list, as his 88 grabs placed 10th and his 1,306 yards finished fifth on Hawaii’s annual record chart.

NFL resume: Taken with the 132nd overall pick in the fifth round by the Panthers, Pilares averaged 25.7 yards on 23 kickoff returns as a rookie but had just two receptions to show for his first two years in the league. He was waived-injured prior to 2013 due to a shoulder issue and is back in camp with the Panthers, listed fourth on the depth chart at split end.



University of Tennessee/5:11.5-194

College resume: An emerging talent with excellent work ethic, Moore impressed not only his former Vols coaching staff but won over the locker room with his fierce determination to return from what many thought was a season-ending injury in 2009.

During that summer, the receiver broke a bone in his left foot and underwent July surgery. Doctors said he would need at least three months to even begin practicing again. Less than seven weeks after his operation, Moore took his place on the field for the season opener vs. Western Kentucky. He was still recovering from the surgery but “gutted” it out, going on to finish second on the team with 40 receptions, scoring seven times that year.

Moore would go on to become the seventh player in school history to gain at least 950 receiving yards, totaling 981 yards as a senior in 2010. The playmaker was also the seventh player in Tennessee annals to reach 2,000 receiving yards for a career, finishing with 2,004 yards. His 18 touchdown catches rank fifth in Volunteers annals.

NFL resume: Selected with the 148th overall pick, the fifth-rounder has been a godsend for the struggling Raiders, having caught 130 balls for 2,054 yards (15.8 ypc) and 17 touchdowns while starting 35-of-41 games for the Silver & Black. He also averaged 8.6 yards via 25 punt returns in 2012, which was his best pro season as a receiver, as he snared 51 tosses for 741 yards and seven scores. He is listed second on the depth chart at split end and is in a heated camp battle with former Packers receiver James Jones for the starting job.



Texas Christian/5:09.1-188

College resume: Kerley capped off a productive collegiate career by becoming just the seventh three-time first-team all-conference honoree in Mountain West Conference history. A dangerous return specialist, he also became the first non-kicker to earn Mountain West Special Teams Player of the Year honors as a junior and claimed the award for the second straight season in his final campaign.

Kerley provided the Horned Frogs with a dangerous all-purpose threat, as he racked up yards receiving, returning, rushing and even passing. The senior finished ninth in school annals in receptions (120), second in total return yardage (2,305) and punt return yardage (1,299), and fifth in kickoff return yardage (1,006). He also set school season records for touchdown receptions (10 in 2010), total return yardage (1,042 in 2009) and punt return yardage (563 in 2009).

NFL resume: The 153rd overall pick in the fifth round of the 2011 draft was obtained in a trade with the Eagles, as the Jets also acquired a 2011 seventh-rounder (227th overall, Scotty McKnight) in exchange for the Jets’ 2011 sixth-round pick (194th overall subsequently traded, Markell Carter) and 2011 fifth-rounder (161st overall, Julian Vandervelde) heading to Philadelphia.

Kerley has started 16-of-42 games for the Jets team, making 128 catches for 1,664 yards (13.0 ypc) and six touchdowns. His biggest contribution as a rookie came when he finished sixth in the league with a 10.9-yard punt return average. He had 56 receptions in 2012 and was credited with 43 grabs last season.




College resume: Paul finished his Nebraska career as one of the productive receivers and return specialists in Cornhuskers history. He was utilized as a deep threat, working underneath as a slot receiver, on reverses, as a gunner on special teams and also handled kickoff and punt return chores. His 4,122 all-purpose yards rank fifth in school annals, as his 1,697 all-purpose yards as a junior rank eighth on the Nebraska season-record chart.

As a receiver, Paul started 29-of-46 games at Nebraska. He ranks sixth in school history with 106 receptions. His 1,532 aerial yards placed fifth on the Huskers’ all-time receiving record chart. His 796 receiving yards as a junior placed fifth on the NU season-record list. He ranks ninth all-time with 647 yards via punt returns, as his 407 yards gained in 2008 placed sixth on the team’s annual record book.

NFL resume: Washington took Paul with the 155th overall pick in Round 5. They had obtained that pick from New Orleans, along with offensive tackle Jammal Brown, for payment to the Redskins for their 2010 third-round pick (72nd overall subsequently traded, Alex Carrington) that went to the Saints.

Since suiting up for the Redskins, Paul has earned starting assignments at split end, flanker, tight end, H-back and fullback, compiling 14 catches through 44 appearances. A quality special teams performer, he averaged 21.8 yards on 13 kickoff returns in 2012, followed by a 20.6-yard average on 20 runbacks last season. He is listed third on the depth chart at tight end in 2014 camp.


Cincinnati selected Ryan Whalen-Stanford in the sixth round (No. 167). The former Cardinal has accounted for 80 yards on 11 catches while appearing in 17 games. He is listed third on the depth chart at flanker…Dwayne Harris-East Carolina is a member of the Cowboys after they used a sixth-round pick (No. 176) on the return specialist. He has just 26 receptions through 36 games, but ranked second in the league with a 30.6-yard kickoff return average on 28 runbacks in 2013, adding a 12.8-yard average via 20 punt returns last season. In 2012, he was second in the NFL with a 16.8-yard punt return average and averaged 28.9 yards as a kickoff returner during his rookie campaign…Washington selected Aldrick Robinson-Southern Methodist in the sixth round (No. 178), having acquired the pick from Houston, along with a fourth-rounder (105th overall, Roy Helu) by sending their 2011 fourth-round pick (127th overall, Roc Carmichael), 2011 fifth round choice (144th overall, Shiloh Keo) and another 2011 fifth-rounder (152nd overall, T.J. Yates) to the Texans. Robinson has 29 receptions for 602 yards (20.8 ypc) and five touchdowns in 31 games over three seasons, but is at the bottom of the 2014 depth chart, behind Desean Jackson, Santana Moss and Leonard Hankerson at split end in 2014 camp.


Southern California’s Ronald Johnson was taken in the sixth round (No. 182) by San Francisco, as the 49ers acquired that pick, along with a 2011 third-rounder (80th overall, Chris Culliver), from the Jaguars for San Francisco’s 2011 third-round pick (76th overall, Will Rackley). Johnson never appeared in a 49ers uniform and spent the 2011-12 seasons on Philadelphia’s practice squad before hitting the unemployment line…Scotty McKnight-Colorado, best friends with former Jets QB Mark Sanchez, was selected in the seventh round by New York (No. 227), after it secured that choice, along with a 2011 fifth-rounder (153rd overall, Jeremy Kerley), with the Jets then shipping their 2011 sixth-round pick (194th overall subsequently traded, Markell Carter) and 2011 fifth-rounder (161st overall, Julian Vandervelde) to Philadelphia. After spending 2011 on the Jets’ practice squad, McKnight was cut and remains out of football…Minnesota used its seventh-round choice to take Stephen Burton-West Texas A&M. He spent two seasons with the Vikings, gaining 73 yards on seven catches in 16 contests before appearing in four games for Jacksonville in 2013, snaring eight balls for 76 yards before he was let go. He is not in any 2014 training camp…The last receiver drafted in 2011 was DeMarco Sampson-San Diego State, who was a seventh round compensatory choice (No. 249) by Arizona. He lasted 12 games with the Cards in 2011, gaining 36 yards on three catches in his lone “cup of coffee.”


In this day and age of micro-analysis, there are those few players that slide through the cracks, failing to generate even a nibble from NFL scouts during their college seasons. As a former coach of Southern California, Pete Carroll was well aware of the talent in the Pac-12 Conference. As soon as the 2011 draft concluded, the former Trojans boss was on the phone getting Stanford Cardinal receiver Doug Baldwin to ink a deal with Seattle. Even though he has started just 14-of-46 games during the last three seasons, Baldwin gained 1,932 yards with 12 touchdowns on 130 catches (14.9 ypc). He ranked fourth among 2011 rookies with 51 receptions that generated 788 yards and four scores, despite earning just one starting assignment that year. In the team’s march to the Super Bowl, he pulled in 50 balls for 778 yards (15.6 ypc) and five touchdowns as a slot receiver for Seattle in 2013. He is listed as the team’s starting flanker in 2014 camp.

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