With the NFL Scouting Combine fast approaching, we continue our look at some intriguing prospects by moving over to the wide receiver position.
While it is highly unlikely that this year's crop of wideouts will repeat the impressive success had by the 2014 rookie class, this group is still a deep one that has serious talent down into the late rounds. With Randall Cobb's free agent status and return to Green Bay remaining a question mark, it is very much a possibility that the Packers could end up looking for another target for Aaron Rodgers.
Here are a few players that we think might appeal to the Packers, one for each day of the draft, and some reasons we'll be keeping an eye on them in Indy.
Sammie Coates, Auburn
Projected combine measurements (from NFL Draft Scout): 6'2", 213 pounds, 4.36 40
Coates was a productive member of the Tigers' receiving corps for the past three years, and he averaged more than 20 yards per reception in both his last two seasons. He's not just a burner, though - he has good size and excellent leaping ability and can make tough catches in the red zone as well. Though he's expected to test well in physical drills, where he may need to impress most is on the field - specifically, he'll need to show off good hands and route-running skills if he wants to sneak into the first round.
Tyler Lockett, Kansas State
Projected combine measurements: 5'10", 181 pounds, 4.46 40
Do those projections remind you of anyone associated with the Packers? I'll give you a hint: he wears number 18. Yes, Randall Cobb measured in at 5'10", 191 pounds, and ran his 40 at the Combine in...you guessed it...4.46 seconds. If Cobb ends up departing in free agency, Lockett could be an ideal replacement as a quick, versatile slot receiver.
As far as targets go, Lockett is comfortable seeing plenty of footballs thrown his way - he caught 81 passes his junior year, and exceeded that with 106 receptions in 2014. Oh, and if you're concerned about replacing Cobb's production on special teams, let Lockett give you a little more peace of mind. He served as the Wildcats' primary kick returner for four years and was the punt returner in 2014. In fact, he averaged over NINETEEN yards on 21 punt returns last year and was over 28 yards per kick return for his career. That's just absurd.
Finally, if you're a fan of repeating past successes, the last wideout the Packers drafted from Kansas State turned out pretty well.
Tre McBride, William & Mary
Projected combine measurements: 6'1", 205 pounds, 4.44 40
A year ago, Ted Thompson spent a late pick on a wideout with great physical skills from a small school, Saginaw State's Jeff Janis. McBride isn't quite the same caliber of athlete as Janis, but he's a more natural route-runner and has played well against top competition both in the regular season and at this year's Shrine Game.
In fact, McBride was one of the top players at the Shrine Game regardless of position, and could likely contribute both in the slot and outside, as well as returning kicks.
Phillip Dorsett, Miami
Projected combine measurements: 5'10", 183 pounds, 4.32 40
One look at the projections above should explain why Dorsett is our wild-card pick - he might end up running the fastest 40 of the week, which in and of itself means he'll be worth watching in Indy. Then there's his yards per reception average from his Senior year: 24.2. Also, he scored 10 touchdowns on just 36 catches. In other words, if you get Dorsett the ball in the open field, your opponents probably won't be able to catch him.
Here's the full list of all the wideouts attending the Combine.