Lynn Bowden Jr – Wide Receiver – Kentucky Wildcats
One of the most dynamic players this draft has to offer is in Lynn Bowden Jr. The former high school quarterback changed positions multiple times at his time with Kentucky. He played wide receiver, wildcat running back and even moved back to quarterback his senior year. He is extremely versatile and dangerous with the ball in his hands, which is why he also returned kicks. It’ll be interesting to see how NFL teams view the jack-of-all trades player. Bowden is likely going to be a shifty receiver, who is an incredible route runner. He has a natural feel for the game and was the heart and soul of the Wildcats offense. Moving to quarterback might hurt his draft stock a bit, but versatility isn’t a bad thing. He just has a knack for making plays and his vision is incredible.
Chase Claypool – Wide Receiver – Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Chase Claypool is one of the largest receivers in this draft, standing 6’4, 238 pounds. He managed to carry that weight to a 4.42 forty yard dash, put 225 pounds up on bench 19 times and added a 40.5 inch vertical. He raised his salary quite a bit at the combine. He really is a freakish athlete. He uses his size and strength to create separation and has a massive catch radius that corners will have trouble covering. He is a dog in the run game. Would love to see him transition to tight end, where I believe his size and athleticism can really be put to use. He had 13 touchdowns his senior year. Not the most agile guy, but that is about what you expect for a player his size. He has issues cleanly getting off press and tries to muscle through, though it will throw off timing. Claypool has been mocked in the third round, but he could go much higher.
Adam Troutman – Tight End – Dayton Flyers
Not many players from FCS schools are hyped up the way that Adam Troutman is. He is a big bodied receiver who was given many opportunities at Dayton. He has the size of your prototypical tight end, and pretty effective as a run blocker. His strength will need to be addressed, but he does a great job of walling off defenders. Being a former quarterback should help him read defenses from a different point of view. He has the ability to create separation from linebackers, but could struggle against safeties who are more athletic and faster. He will use basketball moves to box out defenders to make tough grabs. He had over 900 yards and 14 touchdown grabs as a senior, which is phenomenal production, even against inferior production. Likely an early third-round pick with a lot of upside, who could hear his name toward the end of the second round. Could carve out a nice role, but will likely take some time to develop and should get plenty of opportunities on special teams.
Antonio Gandy-Golden – Wide Receiver – Liberty Flames
Big, strong receiver who plays extremely aggressive. Doesn’t have a ton of speed or agility, but his routes are crisp and he has a knack for getting open. He is slippery to bring down and runs hard. Played mostly outside, but he knows how to stay in the middle of zones. Uses his strength to beat press and has a nice stutter-step. Can snag catches up top and will come down with contested catches. He’s a beast in the run game and he will eliminate corners from the play. Lower level competition might inflate stats a bit, but he put up monster numbers. Has back to back years of 1000 yards receiving. Great hands and uses them rather then his body to catch. Doesn’t elevate, but still has the height advantage. He is very similar to Devin Funchess in terms of skill sets and I would say that’s about what you should expect at the next level.
Bryan Edwards – Wide Receiver – South Carolina Gamecocks
Not the fastest receiver in terms of straight line speed, but agile enough to work underneath. Has the right blend of size and footwork to be a decent route runner and jump ball specialist. Can be very creative with his release at the line of scrimmage. Would like to see him attack the ball in the air more, but he is a reliable third down target. Sells out on misplaced throws. He is extremely physical with the ball in his hands. If he doesn’t break the tackle, he is falling down with positive yardage. Injuries are a bit of a concern. He is a four year starter at an SEC school which says something. Focus drops are a concern, but they are limited. One of the lesser known receivers in the draft who is extremely talented and under-the-radar.