Senior Bowl Position Previews: Wide Receiver Prospects for the 2014 NFL Draft


Credit: Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

The Senior Bowl is the biggest all-star game of the year for college seniors. This is the last game they will participate in before heading to the NFL combine in February. It is also the last chance for scouts to see prospects in a practice and game day situation. Although teams already have an opinion on players, this week can put a prospect over the top or knock them down draft boards.

Here is a look at the key wide receivers that will be taking part in the Senior Bowl festivities.

North Team:

Sep 14, 2013; Eugene, OR, USA; Oregon Ducks wide receiver Josh Huff (1) runs for a touchdown in the second quarter against the Tennessee Volunteers at Autzen Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

WR #1 – Josh Huff – Oregon
Huff was a fairly consistent player his entire career at Oregon, but took it to another level during his senior year at Oregon. He has very solid hands and does a good job making plays downfield. At times he does struggle when jammed at the line, but does create separation when the ball in the air. You can read a more in-depth report on Josh Huff here.

WR #80 – Shaquelle Evans – UCLA
Evans is both fast and physical. He is not afraid of contact and does a good job of fighting for the ball. Evans is a play-making threat when he has the ball in his hands. He is a mid to late round prospect at the next level, but his ability to go get the ball will give teams a reason to select him. Look for him to shine in Mobile.

WR #84 – Jared Abbrederis – Wisconsin
Jared Abbrederis does not have the flashy speed or overall quickness that many look for in a wideout. He does have solid route-running ability, as well as dependable hands. He does a good job separating on short routes and could be over the middle very often in the NFL. He’s not a guy who will light up the combine, but he will show up on the field.

WR #88 – Robert Herron – Wyoming
The concern with Herron is his size. He is 5’9’’ 193 lbs. This may be a liability at the next level because of his injury history. But with that said, he is a good football player. He is very fast and can be a threat downfield. He does a great job of tracking the ball in the air without losing his speed. Herron is a good pass catcher who rarely drops the ball. He will be an interesting prospect to keep an eye on throughout the weeks events.

WR #22 – Kain Colter – Northwestern
Kain Colter was the quarterback for Northwestern during his college career. Like Julian Edelman and others before him, he is making the switch to wide receiver. He will need to show good body control on the line, as well as the ability to get open. Also, he will need to show that teams can trust his catching ability. He may slip up into the later rounds of the draft with a good performance.

South Team:

Jan 20, 2014; Fairhope, AL, USA; South Squad wide receiver Mike Davis of Texas (1) carries the ball up the field during practice at Fairhope Municipal Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

WR #1 – Mike Davis – Texas
Mike Davis has a good mixture of speed and strength. He is a tad on the lean side, but has the frame to add weight if he needs to. He has quick burst as well as good long distance speed. While he is physically gifted, he does sometimes have inconsistent hands. He does a good job adjusting to the ball in the air, but he does fall into the habit of body catching the football. If he can add a little more muscle to add more to the power side of his game, he can become a dangerous target.

WR #2 – Cody Hoffman – BYU
Hoffman, a four-year starter for the Cougars, is an established route-runner. He has good burst out of his cuts and can create enough separation to get open downfield. He does a great job adjusting to the ball in the air and is a big enough body to fight for possession. Hoffman is a mid-round talent looking to help himself out with a good week.

WR #8 – Jalen Saunders – Oklahoma
Jalen Saunders is a playmaker with the ball in his hands. He has great speed and the ability to shake defenders. Size is an issue, measuring in at only 5’8’’ 164 lbs. That is a concern in the NFL where defenders are bigger and stronger. He is a natural slot receiver with good hands and concentration. He does a good job gaining separation and can break one open at any time. Teams will love his ability, but will be hesitant because of his size.

WR #87 – Jordan Matthews – Vanderbilt
Jordan Matthews could very well be the first senior wide receiver taken off the board this May. He has incredible work ethic, which could stem from being related to Hall-of-Famer Jerry Rice. He is a big, physical threat who does a great job fighting for the ball in the air. He has the quickness and agility to change direction on a dime, which helps him get open. He doesn’t have blazing speed, but he has enough to get the job done. He could progress to be a dangerous mismatch on Sundays. Matthews is head and shoulders above the other wide receivers at the Senior Bowl.