Robert Alford WR Southeastern Louisiana #13
Size/Athleticism: Elite speed. Experience returning kicks and punts.
Coverage: Speed and athleticism allows him to matchup with just about any receiver, but his technique is very shaky. He relies too much on his speed and takes a ton of false steps. There’s a lot of wasted movement when he tries to stay with receiver in man coverage. Limited experience in zone coverage, but he does show strong awareness and recognition skills in zone.
Ball skills: Does a poor job putting himself in position to play the ball. He’s a great athlete, but he just doesn’t have the disciplined technique to consistently be in position when the ball comes his direction. Even when he’s right there with the receiver, it’s not difficult more technically sound receivers to position themselves to shield him from the ball.
Run support: Willing to step up against the run and he’ll lower his shoulder and deliver some hits. However, he’s overly aggressive and takes a lot of poor angles. He overcommits to a direction and athletic running backs have little trouble eluding him in the open field.
Intangibles: Older brother Fred Booker played briefly in the NFL. Forced to sit out the 2008 season to due eligibility issues.
Durability: Missed entire 2010 season due to neck stingers.
Comments: Alford is a physically gifted corner, but he is extremely raw and has limited experience against top competition. He tends to play like he’s in the backyard because was so much more athletic than most of the receivers he was matched up against in college. In the NFL, however, he will need to refine his technique before he’s ready to stay with NFL receivers who can match his athleticism and fool him with their route running.
D.J. Hayden CB Houston #2
Size/Athleticism: Adequate height, but a little too skinny. He’ll struggle when matched up with more physical corners and may be limited to playing nickel corner in the NFL.
Coverage: Overly aggressive at the line of scrimmage sometimes and he’ll get beat by receivers who really have no business getting over the top against him. He seems to trust his speed a little too much at times. Has the speed to stay with just about any receiver down the field. He is exceptionally quick and should excel against faster receivers in the slot.
Ball skills: Fairly reliable hands when he’s in position to make a play on the ball, but he needs to be more consistent in putting himself in those positions. A threat with the ball in his hands; returned two of his four interceptions for touchdowns as a senior.
Run support: Gives a decent effort and has the speed to make plays in pursuit. However, he’s undersized and often does little more than slow down the ball carrier. Occasionally used to blitz.
Intangibles: JUCO transfer with only two years experience in Conference USA. Hasn’t faced a ton of top competition.
Durability: Suffered a serious injury to his heart while making a tackle during practice in Nov. 2012 and nearly died. The injury required immediate surgery and he missed the remainder of the season. It was a freak accident, but due to his slender build he does have durability concerns. Did not work out at his pro day due to a hamstring injury.
Comments: Hayden is one of the better athletes in this draft class, but his size limits his upside. He will be a quality nickel corner, but his upside as an outside corner may be limited. He will struggle against true No. 1 receivers and could be a liability in certain matchups.
Kenny Stills WR Oklahoma #4
Size/Athleticism: Decent height. He’s somewhat skinny, but has the frame to put on some weight. Straight-line speed make him an effective deep threat. Doesn’t make many plays after the catch. Goes down on contact, or avoids it all together by stepping out of bounds.
Separation Skills: A deep threat on the outside. Lazy in his breaks. He rounds off his cuts and isn’t very quick. He plays as though he would rather go deep on every play and doesn’t want to get the ball when he’s going across the middle.
Ball Skills: Very inconsistent adjusting to the ball in the air. Doesn’t give much of an effort in traffic, he seems to shy away from battling for the ball. Needs to learn how to go up and pluck the ball rather than waiting for it to come to him. He plays like a typical prima donna receiver who wants to hit home runs but doesn’t want to put forth the effort to contribute on less glamorous plays. However, he has shown the ability on occasion Basically, when he’s motivated he can make the plays, but good luck convincing him to do so on a regular basis. Drops far too many easy passes.
Intangibles: Arrested on a DUI charge in 2011. Trash talks a lot on the field. Gets visibly upset with his quarterback after poor throws. Uncle Gary Stills played linebacker for the Chiefs and Ravens.
Durability: Missed a game with concussion in 2011.
Comments: Stills has the talent of a potential No. 1 receiver but he’s inconsistent and his lack of effort raises a major red flag. Add in some off-field concerns, and he will likely fall down draft boards. Most teams would rather gamble on a player with lesser talent than bring in a prospect who didn’t show a consistent effort in college. You can teach technique, but you can’t teach effort. Players either want to be great, or they don’t – it’s entirely up to them. And it is incredibly rare for a player who lacks effort in college to suddenly turn it on once he’s collecting an NFL paycheck.
Tavarres King WR Georgia #12
Size/Athleticism: Adequate height, but he’s skinny and struggles with more physical defensive backs. Good straight-line speed, but not exceptionally elusive. Used on a lot of screens, and he can pick up chunks of yardage, but he doesn’t make a lot of guys miss.
Separation Skills: A true deep threat. He has the straight-line speed to get over the top of the defense and often requires the attention of a safety. Does have a ton of experience with a wide range of routes. He ran a ton of screens and go routes but will only be marginally effective with either route at the next level. He’ll need to expand his ability to run the route tree before he is an effective NFL receiver.
Ball Skills: Reliable hands when he’s open. Struggles to battle for jump balls. Lack of height and size hinders his ability to go up and fight with defensive backs for the contested balls. Does a nice job tracking the deep ball and can adjust as necessary.
Intangibles: Two-year starter and saw fairly significant playing time during all four years. Excelled in the classroom at Georgia and won some academic awards.
Durability: No know issues, but his slight frame does raise concerns about his ability to hold up at the next level.
Comments: King has the skills to be a role player at the next level. He will be most effective lining up on the outside due to his slight frame, but probably doesn’t have the well-rounded game to ever be considered a starter – especially early in his career. He will need to develop his route running ability before he’s ready for an expanded role in the NFL.
Ace Sanders WR South Carolina #1
Size/Athleticism: Vastly undersized. His lack of height limits him to a slot receiver role. Lacks the breakaway speed to make up for his size which may limit his effectiveness at the next level. While he isn’t a burner in the open field, he is an excellent athlete and can make guys miss. His lack of size makes him tough to corral in the open field. Experienced returning punts.
Separation Skills: He isn’t very explosive, but he does a nice job getting open. He excels against zone coverage, finding the soft spots in the zone and making plays after the catch. Not much of a deep threat, but he does have enough speed to get over the top when a corner tries to jump his route on a double move.
Ball Skills: Great hands. Did not drop a ball in 2012. Does a nice job adjusting to the poorly thrown ball. He’s great athlete and demonstrates nice body control when adjusting to the ball in the air. Lacks the height and leaping ability to battle for balls in traffic. He needs space to catch the ball.
Intangibles: Father, Tracy Sanders, played football at Florida State.
Durability: No known issues.
Comments: Sanders is an undersized possession receiver, similar to Davone Bess or Wes Welker. He will be limited to a slot receiver role, but he could make a significant impact on the right offense. He may not interest every team, but