Evaluating the 2013 NFL Draft Receivers Declared So Far for the Dolphins

December 19th, 2012

Justin Hunter
It’s no secret that the Dolphins need help at receiver. Davone Bess has been a pleasant surprise the past three years, and Brian Hartline came on strong this season, but neither are feature receivers for the long term, and that’s something Joe Philbin and Ryan Tannehill need for the future.

The free agency route is one we’ll discuss in the future. But for now, let’s take a look at the top juniors that have declared thus far, as Miami should be targeting at least one receiver with one of their three picks in the Top 64.

MDD Lead Editor: Eric Galko
Be Sure to Keep Up With BuffaloBillsDraft.com’s and Optimum Scouting’s Underclassmen Tracker

 

Keenan Allen, California
The top declared receiver on my board as of right now, the only other receivers that could battle with Allen as the process continues is Robert Woods of USC (who hasn’t declared yet) and Quinton Patton (top senior receiver). Allen didn’t have great quarterback play this year, which limited how much he could show, but he catches away from his body very well, is a fantastic open field runner, has the length and body control to be a top flight receiver, and is a natural athlete overall. While receivers don’t have much success if picked in Top 20 if they aren’t “elite” prospects,  Allen (and Woods eventually) are worth “reaching” for if the Dolphins don’t go the free agent route for the receiver position. (On Him Declaring)

Da’Rick Rodgers, Tennessee Tech
The former Tennessee Volunteer left the SEC program on very poor terms, and likely won’t get any positive reviews from Tennessee former staff. Still, he has rare physicality for a receiver, and reminds instantly of a Terrell Owens type player. Elite strength as a runner after catch, extends away from his body well, finishes catches in traffic, and some deep play ability. Not a great locker room presence which may turn off the Dolphins (see trading Brandon Marshall, cutting Chad Johnson), but he’s got the talent to be an early 2nd rounder. (On Him Declaring)

Stedman Bailey, West Virginia
While Tavon Austin got most of the headlines at West Virginia, Bailey may actually be the better true receiver prospect. The speedy yet short-area polished receiver could play in the slot or at the Z-receiver spot, and should be a consistent playmaker in the mold of Antonio Brown of the Steelers.  Unsure if he fits what the Dolphins need, especially with Davone Bess already in the long-term plans, but he’s at least worth considering if he falls to the late 2nd round area, where the Dolphins have a pick. (On Him Declaring)

Justin Hunter, Tennessee
While he may have had the most pre-season hype of anyone on the Tennessee roster, I’d actually rank him 3rd from that Tennessee pre-season depth chart of he, Da’Rick, and Cordarrelle Patterson. He’s got the length and high ceiling as a receiver prospect thanks to his deep speed, ball skills, and big play ability, but he doesn’t have any route definition, looked sloppy/lazy at times, and doesn’t have the physicality in his routes that’s necessary to get separation as an X receiver. In the late 2nd round, I’d give the thumbs up, but he shouldn’t be viewed as the answer at receiver anymore than Stephen Hill should have last year (and he fell to the late second as well. (On Him Declaring)
Who Else Is Likely to Declare:
Robert Woods, USC
Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee
DeAndre Hopkins, Clemson
Kenny Stills, Oklahoma

Top Senior Receivers
Quinton Patton, Louisiana Tech
Terrence Williams, Baylor
Cobi Hamilton, Arkansas
Tavon Austin, West Virginia
Markus Wheaton, Oregon State
Aaron Dobson, Marshall
Aaron Melette, Elon

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