Draft Prospect: Another New Target For Brady?

<P>The New England Patriots have been looking for promising young receivers to give their star quarterback another weapon on offense. With the recent addition of former Bears WR, David Terrell, one would think that need has been filled. But there's no promise that Terrell will pan out, or even make the roster cuts come September.</P><P>NFL expert, Denis Savage profiles one draft prospect the Pats may be intrigued by if he's still available.</P>

The final countdown has indeed commenced. NFL Draft prospects can hang a little looser after Pro Days come to a close. They have left it all out on the field and it is no longer in their hands. Now, they can revel in the experience and think back fondly on the opportunities they seized. One wide receiver prospect isn’t laboring over the “what ifs;” he is just happy to have the opportunity.

First-round receiver sees opportunity ahead
By Denis Savage

During Senior Bowl week, Mark Clayton was superb. Coming off a remarkable senior season with Oklahoma, Clayton was out to prove that height does not have a correlation to talent.

The whispers begin with, “If he was two inches taller, he might be the first wide receiver taken …”

“I don’t know about that,” Clayton admits honestly. “I know the first one that will go is Braylon Edwards, and it’s because he’s a great receiver. He’s big, strong, fast, and he makes plays. That’s what the guys want, and he has that.”

And where does a 5-foot-10 receiver fit into the mold?

“I’m not big, but I’m strong and I’m fast, and I can catch the ball and make plays,” he says with authority. “I run after I catch it, try to get the ball to the end zone however I have to do it, run it in or catch it.”

Talking to Clayton, you would not know he was a first-round prospect.

Clayton went on to the combine where he was anything but himself. While he ran well, he uncharacteristically dropped a few passes – something he rarely did as a Sooner.

Having played on the big stage – where Oklahoma football isn’t just a sport, it is a religion – he wasn’t intimidated by the scouts and coaches who will decide his future.

Although it wasn’t his best performance, Clayton acknowledged days like that will happen.

“Sometimes you have to take the bad with the good,” Clayton said. “I did run good, but I wanted to do good in my drills and didn’t do like I wanted to, but I know that I’m capable.”

He returned for his Pro Day focused on his positional workout. He ended up catching all the passes that went his way in front of 75 scouts and coaches, including the NFL Network.

Now that his workouts are done, and personal visits are the only thing left prior to the draft, Clayton is taking it easy, right?

Not exactly. He knows that the NFL is a year-round business and staying in shape commands attention every day of the year.

“I’m fortunate to come from Oklahoma and the way we work in the off-season. It’s pretty much the same thing in terms of being on-going and being around it continuously, so I already have a good feel for having to work year-round, being at Oklahoma and doing the tradition. It won’t be too much of a challenge for me. Being that, I’m just going to have a good time and enjoy myself with everything else that I’m doing.”

A former 150-pound receiver that ran a 4.7 when he came to Oklahoma may not have grown a whole lot in stature, but he worked hard to understand the game, got into the starting lineup with the Sooners because of his ability to read defenses and get open and never let it go. In the process he transformed 4.7 speed into 4.4 talent with soft hands and a sweet stride.

Clayton has a visit lined up with the Dallas Cowboys and admits the Chargers have been in close contact with him.

The team that takes him will end up with a dynamic playmaker that will give it his all every day on the field.

Patriots Insider Top Stories