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McShay: NFL trending towards big pass-catchers

Nov. 6, 2013
 
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ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay was asked if there’s a dominant trend in the NFL that should show up at the Combine and the Draft in April? His answer: Big receivers and tight ends. From a Packers perspective, they already have a few in TE Jermichael Finley (6-foot-5, 247 pounds) and WR Jordy Nelson (6-3, 217). Size is what makes practice squad WR Tori Gurley (6-4, 216) so intriguing. “The one trend we’re seeing is bigger pass catchers,” McShay said. “The NFL is cyclical. I feel it was like this for a while maybe 10-12 years ago. Then teams like the Patriots started to go with quicker guys that could separate and get open quickly. Then more teams went that route and now we’re back to bigger receivers.” The Packers aren’t likely to be in the market for this group, who are first and second round prospects. But here’s what McShay had to say about the class: “And I think this year’s class, there’s a lot of big guys that fit that mold. You’ve got Justin Blackmon (Oklahoma State), he’s just 6-1, but he plays like he’s 6-3. After that you’ve got Michael Floyd, the 6-3 receiver coming out of Notre Dame. You’ve got Alshon Jeffery (South Carolina) who’s 6-4 and probably put on too much weight, in the 230-pound range. Rueben Randal is 6-4 coming out of LSU. A tall, kind of linear guy. Mohamed Sanu (Rutgers) is a little bit over 6-2, I believe.” “The list goes on and on of bigger receivers who kind of fit the mold. And also tight end. Guys who can catch the ball at tight end. It’s not a deep position, but there’s some really good pass catchers at the top of the board.” “Coby Fleener from Stanford, I think is underrated as far as what he can do as a pass-catcher. Dwayne Allen really stepped up this past year in that spread offense at Clemson. And Orson Charles (Georgia) I think is going to have a huge combine. Very athletic. A little bit undersized at 6-3, but an explosive athletic that can get down the field. And also Ladarius Green from Louisiana-Lafayette who has some tendonitis in his knees, I guess, and it’s something we’ll have to check out at the combine. But when he’s healthy, he’s almost 6-6, 236 pounds he weighed in at the recent all-star game. He really can run routes, is athletic, can get down the field and has strong hands.” “Teams that are looking to get that pass catcher … there are some teams that are looking to catch on with that trend.”

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