Day 3 dandies? Wide receivers for Minnesota Vikings

Most of the players on NFL rosters are third-round picks and lower and still have productive careers. Here are several of those prospects at the receiver position.

The Minnesota Vikings are expected to draft a receiver in Day 1 or Day 2 of the NFL, but what about adding depth and insurance with a Day 3 pick there?

There are plenty of receivers in the draft that won’t be picked until Saturday and yet have a solid chance of carving out a strong NFL career.

These are some quick thumbnails on what these players bring to the table. You may not know them now, but one thing you can be assured of – many of the names on this list are going to be NFL draft picks in less than two weeks.

Bralon Addison, Oregon, 5-9¼, 197 – He missed the 2014 season with a torn ACL but came back last year to catch 63 passes for 804 yards and 10 TDs. He played in a system that didn’t force him to run an extensive route tree and will need some seasoning.

Geronimo Allison, Illinois, 6-3¼, 196 – A possession receiver who has talent, but has inconsistent hands. His strong performance at the East-West Shrine Game should help elevate his stock a bit.

Demarcus Ayers, Houston, 5-11½, 190 – Had a huge 2015 season, catching 97 passes for 1,221 yards. He has good speed, but he is undersized and will likely be pigeon-holed as a slot receiver. 

Chris Brown, Notre Dame, 6-2, 180 – A two-year starter who came to Notre Dame as a track star. He is a raw prospect who will need time to add muscle and learn how to run a proper route tree.

Aaron Burbridge, Michigan State, 6-0, 206 – Emerged as a senior as Connor Cook’s favorite target. He doesn’t have good speed, but is a reliable hands catcher who could find a role on a NFL team for his hard work and determination.

Cody Core, Ole Miss, 6-3¼, 205 – The “other guy” opposite Laquon Treadwell, he has big-play ability, but his limited production (78 catches the last two years) will likely push him into the later rounds.

Keyarris Garrett, Tulsa, 6-3½, 220 – A fifth-year senior who blew up in 2015, catching 96 passes for 1,588 yards and eight TDs. He doesn’t have deep speed, but he can be a solid chain-mover at the next level.

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Rashard Higgins, Colorado State, 6-1½, 196 – An All-America in 2014, over the last two years he caught 171 passes for 2,811 yards and 25 TDs, but he is undersized and will need to add bulk and muscle to stick in the pros.

Cayleb Jones, Arizona, 6-3¾, 209 – A fourth-year junior who sat out 2013 after transferring from Texas. A big receiver who was productive at Arizona, he may be a premium pick on Day 3.

Jay Lee, Baylor, 6-2, 217 – A big, long-striding receiver who ran a basic route tree at Baylor. His is a little old at 23, but given time he could develop into a special receiver.

Roger Lewis, Bowling Green, 6-1¼, 199 – A raw receiver who has the talent to make plays, off-field issues nearly derailed his career – he was on probation for three years on felony rape charges. Some teams won’t have him on their boards.

Kolby Listenbee, TCU, 6-0¾, 183 – A two-time All-America track star, his game needs a lot of refinement and durability will be a concern, but he can stretch a defense in a limited role.

Byron Marshall, Oregon, 5-9½, 201 – A versatile wide receiver/running back/return man. He had a big junior year but suffered a leg injury that required surgery and, for a slot receiver, that can kill a player’s draft stock.

Jalin Marshall, Ohio State, 5-11¼, 203 – A third-year sophomore who was a high school quarterback, he is raw and could have helped his stock a lot by going back for another year at OSU, but he has huge upside.

Paul McRoberts, Southeast Missouri State, 6-2, 202 – A possession receiver who can be a threat in the red zone, he isn’t viewed as a deep threat and will need medical clearance after suffering a 2014 Lisfranc injury.

Jaydon Mickens, Washington, 5-10, 174 – Extremely quick, but is undersized and will have to carve out a role for himself wherever he lands. He isn’t a game-breaking returner, which is what most teams will eye him as being.

Malcolm Mitchell, Georgia, 5-11¾, 198 – A fifth-year senior who missed the 2013 season after tearing an ACL. He has recovered from the injury, but he will be a possession receiver, not a deep downfield threat.

Chris Moore, Cincinnati, 6-1, 203 – A raw talent with exceptional big-play ability – he averaged more than 19 yards a catch for his career. He helped his stock greatly at the Senior Bowl.

Charone Peake, Clemson, 6-2½, 209 – A fifth-year senior who didn’t become a starter until last year. He doesn’t have great speed, but catches just about every pass thrown his way.

Jordan Payton, UCLA, 6-1, 216 – A physical receiver who has an NFL body, but doesn’t have great straight-line speed. He had a strong 2015 season, but he didn’t help his stock at the Senior Bowl.

Demarcus Robinson, Florida, 6-1½, 203 – A talented player, but he was suspended four times while with the Gators for off-field violations and breaking team rules. He needs to grow up, but if he gets his head right, he could be a talented player.

Rashawn Scott, Miami, 6-1¼, 195 – Led Miami in receptions, yards and touchdowns last year and has proved to be a strong third-down receiver, but he likely won’t ever be viewed as a starting-caliber talent.

Hunter Sharp, Utah State, 5-11, 192 – Started 22 games in two seasons, catching 137 passes for 1,774 yards and 16 TDs. He’s undersized and needs to add strength, but he could develop into a No. 3 slot receiver.

Tajae Sharpe, U-Mass, 6-2, 194 – Over the last two seasons, he caught 196 passes for 2,600 yards. He is too skinny to compete with physical corners, but should end up on an NFL roster with the potential of being a productive third or fourth receiver.

D’haquille Williams, Auburn, 6-2¼, 215 – A talented player who had just 15 games at Auburn before being kicked off the team in 2015. A project with red flags, he may have to wait until after the draft to get his chance.

 


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