Stedman Bailey WR West Virginia #3
Size/Athleticism: Built like a slot receiver. He’s short with decent speed to make plays after the catch.
Separation Skills: Speed is decent and he’ll occasionally get over the top, but he lacks the explosive speed to be a consistent deep threat. He will primarily be effective on underneath routes where he can catch the ball in space and attempt to make plays after the catch. He’s very quick in his breaks and can create separation in tight spaces.
Ball Skills: Struggles to go up and battle for the ball. He’s lacks the height and explosive leaping ability to go up and challenge for the football. Demonstrates great body control on the sidelines. Does a great job adjusting to the ball and putting himself in the best position to make the play. Primarily catches with his hands, away from his body.
Intangibles: Cited for attempting to steal a $4.99 box of Theraflu from a Kroger grocery store in Jan. 2012.
Durability: Slowed by an ankle injury during the 2012 season.
Comments: Bailey can be a quality No. 3 option in the slot, but his upside is limited. He needs to be given the ball in space because he isn’t the type of receiver who will battle for positioning to come down with a contested catch. He reminds me somewhat of former Giants receiver Steve Smith.
Chris Harper WR Kansas State #3
Size/Athleticism: Rare build for a receiver, he looks more like a running back. Height is average but his size is impressive. He’s very physical and a great athlete for his size. Played quarterback at Oregon before transferring to Kansas State.
Separation Skills: Not a threat to get over the top of the defense. He straight line speed is very average and he lacks the explosiveness to shake defenders to get open deep. Knows how to use his size to shield defenders in tight situations. He’s a prototypical possession receiver who can consistently provide the quarterback with a target on shorter routes. Not exceptionally quick in his breaks, which contributes to his inability to get deep.
Ball Skills: Reliable hands. He consistently catches with his hands away from his body and quickly secures the ball. He struggles to adjust to the ball in the air at time, but he’s a good athlete and should continue to improve in his area due to his relatively limited experience at receiver.
Intangibles: Three-years of experience as a receiver at Kansas State after transferring from Oregon where he played a mix of quarterback and receiver as a true freshman in 2008.
Durability: No known issues.
Comments: Harper’s upside is limited by his size and speed, but he can definitely contribute as a possession receiver. Due to his lack of height, he isn’t the prototypical receiver, but his rare strength and ability to fight through press coverage and use his body to shield defenders from the ball allows him to be effective. He should continue to show growth at the next level as someone who is relatively new to the position.
Aaron Dobson WR Marshall #3
Size/Athleticism: Above average height. Decent blend of height and speed. Clocked at 4.43 in the 40 but doesn’t quite play up to that speed. Decent strength for a receiver, can be effective at times as a blocker and can fight through press coverage.
Separation Skills: Limited in his ability to get over the top, but he runs crisp routes and consistently gives the quarterback a target. He’s primarily a possession receiver, but has just enough speed that the defense must respect his ability to go deep on occasion. Somewhat slow to get up to full speed, but very quick in his breaks. Needs to have the timing down with his quarterback to be effective, but can consistently create windows of opportunity as a possession receiver.
Ball Skills: Extremely reliable hands. According to STATS, did not drop a single pass as a senior. Shows great body control adjusting to poorly thrown balls. He’s definitely the type of receiver who can help bail out a quarterback. Consistently catches with his hands away from his body.
Intangibles: Three-year starter. Team captain in 2012.
Durability: Missed time with an undisclosed injury in 2012. Did not work out at combine due to hamstring injury.
Comments: Dobson’s speed and athleticism limits his upside slightly, but he has the potential to be a very reliable possession receiver. He definitely isn’t a game changer at the position, but his ability to consistent get open on possession routes is a valuable asset. He will be a very safe pick on the second or early third day of the draft.
Sam Montgomery DE LSU #99
Size/Athleticism: Solid blend of strength and athleticism, however, he’s not elite in either category. He has enough speed in short bursts to be effective as an edge rusher, but he isn’t the type that makes great plays in pursuit.
Run Defense: Somewhat inconsistent against the run. He’s fairly easily stonewalled at the point of attack and struggles to consistently shed blocks against more powerful linemen. He’s not a great athlete when weaving through traffic. He doesn’t have the fluid hips and footwork to allow him to slide through tight spaces to get after the ball carrier.
Pass Rush: He wins with speed, but he isn’t fast enough to consistently dominate based off this trait alone. He took advantage of slow-footed offensive linemen in college, but he didn’t face a ton of great future NFL left tackles. He isn’t the type of pass-rusher that will be a consistent difference maker at the next level, but he will take advantage of favorable matchups. He needs to show a wide array of moves. Too often his initial speed rush gets stopped and he struggles to battle with the offensive lineman. He needs to add a secondary move to seamlessly transition to when the lineman is able to kick out and step in front of his initial attack.
Versatility: Primarily played with his hand on the ground in college, but has the ability to play linebacker in a 3-4. He isn’t a fluid enough athlete to offer much in coverage.
Intangibles: There are serious concerns about his work ethic and his commitment to the game. He has admitted to taking plays and even entire games off. If a player can’t be motivated when he’s playing for free in college, he will never be motivated once he’s handed an NFL contract.
Durability: Suffered a season-ending knee injury as a freshman.
Comments: Montgomery was productive at LSU, but he lacks the elite physical tools to rank him among the top prospects in a very deep class of pass-rushers. To make matters worse, his inconsistent play and admitted lack of effort destroys his draft stock. You simply can’t teach a player to care about his performance. If he can’t put forth the effort to make himself great prior to reaching the NFL, he won’t learn that type of commitment once he’s collecting an NFL paycheck. Montgomery can still be a solid player, but don’t expect him to take his game to another level.
Cornelius Washington DE Georgia #83
Size/Athleticism: Incredibly athletic for his size. Has a great blend of size and speed. Built like a prototypical edge rusher.
Run Defense: Among the best prospects in this draft at making plays in pursuit. He sheds blocks fairly consistently and flies to the ball. He makes a lot of impressively athletic plays, diving at the ball carrier to track him down from behind. He does a great job weaving through traffic and moves through it like a much smaller linebacker.
Pass Rush: Washington is an explosive pass-rusher off the edge, who can fly past slow-footed offensive linemen. His first step is at an elite level, and he consistently beats slower tackles off the snap. He also has a decent bull rush, and can battle with more physical lineman and shed blocks.
Versatility: Played a mixture of end and linebacker in Georgia’s 3-4 defense, but he’s clearly best suited to play linebacker in the 3-4 scheme or end in the 4-3. Occasionally drops in coverage and has the athleticism to stay with some tight ends, although his technique needs work, especially his footwork in his backpedal. He gets tangled up in himself and won’t be able to stay with many tight ends at the next level without refining his technique.
Intangibles: Never a full-time starter. Despite seeing playing time throughout his four years, he was never a regular member of the starting lineup. Arrested for a DUI during his junior year and suspended for two games.
Durability: Limited by a hamstring injury during offseason which prevented him from working out at pro day. Missed 2009 spring practices with shoulder injury. Suffered a concussion during his sophomore year.
Comments: Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham is an excellent coach who has transformed the Bulldogs defense, so why didn’t he play Washington more? Given his documented off-field issue (DUI arrest), it’s impossible not to wonder if there’s something going on behind the scenes that the general public doesn’t know about. But based purely on raw talent, Washington has as much upside as any pass-rusher in this draft class.