Receiver: Best, Sleeper, Overrated

Williams (Brett Deering - Getty Images)

Scouts tell you about the cream-of-the-crop, under-the-radar and overhyped players at the position. Baylor's prolific Terrance Williams took a hit at the Senior Bowl.

Here is a closer look at the wide receivers, compiled from conversations with scouts and the NFL's longtime lead scout, Dave-Te' Thomas. As with our position rankings, we eliminated receivers standing less than 5-foot-10, based on the Packers' longtime preference for big receivers.

Best in class

1. Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee (6-2, 216): Early entrant and a big-time boom-or-bust proposition. That he's No. 1 speaks volumes to a receiver class that lacks a true star but does have a ton of mid-round depth. Patterson got the ball in every way imaginable to be named the SEC's first-team all-purpose player. He caught 46 passes for 778 yards (16.9 average) and five touchdowns. He carried 25 times for 308 yards and three touchdowns. He returned 24 kickoffs for a 28.0-yard average and one touchdown. He returned four punts for 101 yards and a touchdown. His 1,858 total yards ranked first in the conference. He ran in 4.42 with a 37-inch vertical at the Scouting Combine, meaning he has excellent size and game-breaking athleticism. Still, there are questions, including work ethic. "I look at Cordarrelle Patterson and I see another Troy Williamson," Thomas said. "He's not a great route runner. He's a very good athlete but I have a lot of problems with ball players who don't dedicate themselves to their craft."

Overrated

Terrance Williams, Baylor (6-2, 208): Finalist for the Biletnikoff Award as the nation's best receiver and the sixth unanimous All-American in school history. He led the nation with 1,832 receiving yards, averaging 18.9 yards on his 97 receptions. Williams owns eight school records, including his 4,693 all-purpose yards and his 17-catch, 314-yard day against West Virginia. Even though he's not a burner, he had one catch of at least 40 yards in 11 of 13 games. It's outrageous production for a player whose only scholarship offer came from Baylor and was called a two-star recruit. The big production, however, didn't show up at the Senior Bowl, where he just faded into the background. At the Combine, he ran a respectable 4.52 but had just a 32.5-inch vertical. Plus, he's got some of the smallest hands among the receivers. "He's got a lot to learn about an NFL passing tree," a scout said, "which may be why he was disappointing in Mobile. I'm just not a big fan. I thought he was a first-round guy entering that week and now he's clearly in Day 2. Don't get me wrong, I think he'll be a good player. But a lead dog? Nah, don't see that."

Sleeper

Corey Fuller, Virginia Tech (6-2, 204): Caught 43 passes for 815 yards (19.0 average) and six touchdowns in his second and final season with the team. A track star, Fuller was an AAU national champion and Nike All-American at Woodlawn High in Baltimore. He competed on the track team at Kansas for two full seasons before trying to follow in the family footsteps: A brother, Vincent, played cornerback for seven seasons in the NFL and had seven interceptions for the Titans in 2009; another brother, Kyle, intercepted two passes as a junior corner for Tech. Fuller got ready for the draft by working out with Antonio Freeman. Ran in 4.43, with his 10-yard time of 1.49 ranking fourth among receivers. "If you're patient and you give him some time to learn the finer points, I think your patience will be rewarded. He didn't look like just a track guy masquerading as a football player."


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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.

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