College football's top draft-eligible wide receivers will be on display this week in Indianapolis, at the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine. A whopping 39 wide receivers will be in Indianapolis, aiming to improve their draft stock in advance of the 2013 NFL Draft in April.
In SB Nation's latest mock draft, three wide receivers are projected to go in the first round -- and all three could see their draft stock fluctuate throughout the week.
Keenan Allen, California -- Allen is considered to be the top wide receiver in the 2013 NFL Draft, despite uninspiring numbers as a junior at Cal in 2012. Allen caught just 61 passes for 737 yards and six touchdowns. Allen's numbers were hurt by the shoddy play of Cal's quarterback, Zach Maynard.
Matthew Fairburn praises Allen's athleticism in his detailed scouting report -- and praises Allen's ability to make defenders miss after he makes the catch. Fairburn doesn't believe Allen is a consistent-enough pass catcher.
Allen will have an opportunity to showcase improved hands at the NFL Scouting Combine this week, and is worth keeping an eye on.
Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee -- Patterson is currently projected to be a first-round pick in SB Nation's latest mock, being selected No. 22 overall by the St. Louis Rams. Fairburn's scouting report illustrates how explosive Patterson is -- and the 6'3 wide receiver certainly figures to be one of the most explosive players in the entire draft.
Still, Fairburn believes Patterson has to be more physical, and needs to have better technique when catching passes. Patterson has a chance to showcase improved catching-ability this week -- and if he does just that, he could see his stock jump.
DeAndre Hopkins, Clemson -- Like Patterson, Hopkins is currently projected to go in the mid-to-late first round. In our latest mock draft, Hopkins is selected by the Minnesota Vikings with the No. 23 pick.
Hopkins turned in one of the most impressive seasons in college football in 2012, catching 82 passes for 1,405 yards and 18 touchdowns. Hopkins is quick, elusive and can certainly serve as deep threat.
Still, no pro prospect is without warts, and Hopkins can improve his draft stock this week by showcasing better ball-catching. Hopkins had the tendency to catch the ball closer to his body rather than with his hands during the season.
Tavon Austin, West Virginia -- Austin fell out of the first round in SB Nation's latest mock draft, but with a strong showing at the combine, Austin could be right back in the first round -- especially to a team that needs a wide out toward the end of the first round (hello, New England).
Austin could turn scouts' heads this week during the 40-yard dash, and is certainly worth keeping an eye on this week.
Denard Robinson, Michigan -- The quarterback-turned-tailback is now a wide receiver, and he'll have a chance to prove that he belongs in the NFL as a legitimate receiver.
Few can question Robinson's pure athletic ability, but draft gurus wonder about Robinson's pass-catching ability. If Robinson displays good hands at the combine, he could entrench himself as a middle-round draft pick.
Here is a complete list of wide receivers who will participate at the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine, courtesy of the Combine's official website:
Keenan Allen, California
Tavon Austin, West Virginia
Stedman Bailey, West Virginia
Alan Bonner, Jacksonville State
Josh Boyce, TCU
Marlon Brown, Georgia
Marcus Davis, Virginia Tech
Aaron Dobson, Marshall
Corey Fuller, Virginia Tech
Tyrone Goard, Eastern Kentucky
Marquise Goodwin, Texas
Cobi Hamilton, Arkansas
Chris Harper, Kansas State
Mark Harrison, Rutgers
DeAndre Hopkins, Clemson
Justin Hunter, Tennessee
Darius Johnson, SMU
Brandon Kaufman, Eastern Washington
Tavarres King, Georgia
Alec Lemon, Syracuse
Aaron Mellette, Elon
T.J. Moe, Missouri
Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee
Quinton Patton, Louisiana Tech
Denard Robinson, Michigan
Darick Rogers, Tennessee Tech
Lanear Sampson, Baylor
Ace Sanders, South Carolina
Rodney Smith, Florida State
Ryan Spadola, Lehigh
Kenny Stills, Oklahoma
Ryan Swope, Texas A&M
Kenbrell Thompkins, Cincinnati
Conner Vernon, Duke
Markus Wheaton, Oregon State
Terrance Williams, Baylor
Marquess Wilson, Washington State
Robert Woods, USC