The Bengals might be in the market for a wide receiver relatively high in this year's draft and there are a plethora of prospects to choose from. Though there doesn't seem to be any A.J. Green-type of franchise players at first glance, there are a good handful of players that could contribute in a variety of capacities for a number of teams.
This position group was on display Sunday afternoon and there were quite a few performances that raised eyebrows. We're going to break those down by groups, ranging from the positive to the questionable.
RISERS FROM SUNDAY PERFORMANCE:
Tavon Austin, West Virginia University: There are varying opinions on Austin and where he should go in this year's draft, but everyone knew that the kid could play football. Questions arose on his size (5'8", 175 pounds), if he was too much of a gimmick player for the NFL, as well as the "quick versus fast" argument. Austin blazed a 4.34 second 40-yard dash and did well in the 20-yard shuttle. He also repped 225 pounds 14 times, which is impressive for his size. Mike Mayock really likes him and Austin could be a Percy Harvin type of player in this year's draft.
Ryan Swope, Texas A & M: Going into Combine weekend, Swope was NationalFootballPost's 22nd ranked wide receiver in the 2013 Draft. Swope had 72 catches and eight touchdowns in 2012, but he wasn't thought as a high-level prospect this year. He ran the same 40-yard dash time as Austin at 4.34 and did well in the vertical jump with a 37-inch leap. At six feet tall with solid hands and route running skils, Swope could be a fast riser after Sunday.
Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee: Sometimes as a high-level prospect, all you need to do at a workout is not blow it. Most agree that Patterson is a top-three player at his position, so all he needed was a solid day--not necessarily a spectacular one. The youngster out of Tennessee ran a nice 4.42 second 40-yard dash, and also put forth a 37-inch vertical leap, which is impressive for a 6'3", 200-plus pound wide receiver. With Cal's Keenan Allen not running on Sunday, some may move Patterson to the top of the heap in the position group.
WE KNEW WHAT TO EXPECT:
Robert Woods, USC: Woods had the misfortune of a couple of scenarios while playing at USC over the past few seasons. A lot of media attention went to his counterpart, Marquise Lee, but Woods was a more reliable receiver than the big-play prone Lee. Throw in a couple of massively disappointing seasons by the Trojans and Woods has been falling under the radar. He ran a decent 4.5 second 40-yard dash, which is where most people expected him to run and displayed the solid hands he had in college. He's on most draftniks' top-five board at the position and will likely have a lot of stock put into his Pro Day.
Justin Hunter, Tennessee: Hunter has been overshadowed a bit by Patterson, but the duo of Hunter and Patterson was akin to Woods and Lee from USC. The wide receiver from Tennessee did well in the broad and vertical jumps, and had a steady performance in the 40-yard dash. With his size (six feet, four inches tall), Hunter solidified himself as a guy worthy of a high round pick--which we already knew he was.
INTRIGUING/JURY IS STILL OUT:
Quinton Patton, Louisiana Tech: In truth, Patton didn't have a terrible day, he just didn't blow anyone away. He didn't run an all-that-impressive 40-yard dash, but looked solid and fluid out on the field in other drills. Still, the only event that he excelled at was the 20-yard shuttle and finished outside of the top 12 to 15 in other drills for his position. It will be interesting if he still makes the top-five to seven wide receivers for a lot of draft gurus' position list.
Marquise Goodwin, Texas: The former Texas Longhorn had the fastest time of all wide receivers, but had trouble tracking the deep ball on throws from quarterbacks in drills. A speedster who can't track a deep ball? Hm. It could be that he just wasn't familiar with the quarterbacks throwing the ball on Sunday, but it also calls into his pass-tracking skills. Goodwin's speed makes him an intriguing guy, but you'd hate to have to use a valuable pick on a speedy wide receiver that is relegated to the slot.
Markus Wheaton, Oregon State: Wheaton has surpassed the likes of T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Chad Ochocinco as the Beavers' all-time leading receiver. He came into the Combine relatively unheralded, but left with a lot of positives from his workout. A 4.45 second 40-yard dash, 20 reps on the bench and a solid three-cone drill time rounded out a productive Sunday for the young man. At 5'11" and under 200 pounds, his size might scare some teams, but his production and display of skills can't be ignored.
Denard Robinson, Michigan: Eric Crouch or Josh Cribbs? That's the question with the former Wolverine. Robinson ran an impressive 4.43 40-yard dash and showed some athleticism that could make teams want to use a late-round flyer on the former quarterback. he could have value as a returner and wildcat quarterback to boot, so he's a guy to keep an eye on.