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2013 College Football Preview: Wide Receivers & The Jets

We take a very early look at the wide receiver position in college football for the 2013 season. Will the Jets be in the market for a receiver in the 2014 NFL draft?

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After a short break to enjoy our quarterback battle and over-reaction to every single pass thrown and word spoken, I have decided to take a very brief look at the 2014 NFL draft, the players expected to be in the first round and what this could mean for the Jets. Please take all this with a pinch of salt, this time last year Matt Barkley was the consensus number 1 overall selection, if you asked the June 2012 David Wyatt if he thought there was a chance Barkley would drop out of the first round, let alone last until the 4th round – I would have said not a chance in hell.

In my opinion, it’s never too early to look at some of the potential future Jets. A lot of people often say to me around March/April time that they wished they had made an effort to see some of these prospects through the year. Well hopefully a series of these type posts will help people highlight which games to watch and which prospects to focus on.

So right now, I see us going into the 2014 draft needing a WR, OLB and safety. Anything can happen and anything can change, but right now this is where I see us. So for the first instalment I’m going to focus on the wide receivers in the 2014 draft, and highlight some of the players you should be watching.

Right now I see three wide receivers who currently hold a first round grade. Marqise Lee who plays forUSC, Jordan Matthews from Vanderbilt and Sammy Watkins from Clemson. Lee had 1721 yards and 14 touchdowns last season and it will be interesting to see how he does with a new Quarterback, he runs excellent routes and possesses the most reliable hands in college, at just 6’0 though the usual height concerns will present themselves.

Sammy Watkins does it all, his 2,288 all-purpose yards in 2011 as a true freshman was very impressive. However some legal issues with drugs prevented him from repeating in 2012 as he was suspended for two games. With Boyd returning for his senior year, he has one of the nation’s top quarterbacks throwing him the rock so he should have a good year.

Jordan Matthews is one of the most interesting cases in 2013 for me. Last year he really broke out, recording 94 receptions for 1323 yards and 8 touchdowns. Unfortunately for Matthews, the Commodores offence will lose QB Jordan Rodgers and RB Zac Stacy so there will be a lot of pressure on Matthews to impress. Matthews has good straight line speed and catches the ball well, he adjusts while the ball is in the air and uses his 6’3 frame to box out corners. I think his statistics will take a tumble this year, but that doesn’t mean he won’t be a first round talent.

So then we move a little further down, to guys who won’t be ranked as a first round talent going into the season, but could find their way up the board as the season goes. Brandon Coleman from Rutgers is a 6-5 guy who has been compared to Calvin Johnson. However he doesn’t have the speed of Johnson and he’s not quite as reliable with his hands. However with his height and talent, he’ll get a look in.

Now we have to have a dark horse. It’s only right. Josh Stewart. Well this one isn’t really a dark horse, but speaking to draft experts, nobody considers him a first round talent. I find that hard to believe after he caught 101 passes for 1210 yards and 7 touchdowns for Oklahoma State. If the Cowboys can get a little consistency at Quarterback, Stewart’s ability to get open easily could lead to a massive year.