Nebraska senior wide receiver Niles Paul is one of the most enigmatic prospects in the 2011 NFL Draft. He has plenty of talent but an uninspiring track record of off-the-field issues that could scare off teams at the next level.
Paul recorded 39 catches for 516 yards and one touchdown reception in 2010 (missed two games and didn't touch the ball in two others). His best statistical line was from 2009 (40-796-4). He has totaled nine carries for 56 yards and one score in his collegiate career.
- Big-play threat
- Versatile - return specialist
- Violent hands
Experienced running a multitude of routes
Too much baggage?
- Size (6-foot 7/8, 224 pounds) and speed combination (4.45-second 40-yard dash at Scouting Combine; 4.42 at his Pro Day)
- Above-average blocker
- Leaping ability (36-inch vertical jump)
- Tough to bring down - creates plays after the catch
- Good vision in the open field
- NFL bloodlines - nephew of former NFL running back Ahman Green
- Inconsistent and rather unproductive
- Drops a lot of passes (small hands at 8 7/8 inches) and fumbles too much
- Health concerns (broken foot in 2010)
- Rounds off too many routes
- Arrested twice on alcohol-related offenses
- Maturity concerns
- Lack of effort at times
Expected draft placement
If NFL teams believe Niles' troubled past is really behind him, he could go as high as the early third round. In all likelihood, he will come off the board between the late third and the middle of the fourth round.
With a little coaching, Paul could develop into a low-end No. 1 receiver in the NFL. Assuming he puts it all together in the pros, a selection of Paul beyond the third round would have to be considered a steal.
About Cory J. Bonini
Cory is KFFL's General Manager. In late 2002, he joined the KFFL staff as a research analyst and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1996. A member of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, as well as Fantasy Sports Writers Association, Bonini has been featured in print, on radio and on scores of websites. Bonini co-hosted Big Lead Sports on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio from 2011 to 2012.
Bonini was recognized with the 2010 Best Article in Print Award from the FSWA and was a finalist for the same award in 2011. In '11, he finished first overall in the FSWA NFL experts challenge that featured 60 of the industry's best competitors.
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