The 2006 NFL Draft doesn't have the big name wide receivers previous drafts have had. There isn't anyone who is considered to be a blue chip prospect or a dominating player. However, there are a few players worth keeping an eye on; Western Michigan wide receiver Greg Jennings is one of them.
Born September 21, 1983, Jennings grew up in Kalamazoo, Mich. He played high school football at Kalamazoo Central where he played virtually every skilled position on the offensive side of the ball during his four years there, especially excelling at wide receiver.
Jennings didn't have a large list of schools willing to offer him scholarships. He did have a few choices and originally made a verbal agreement with the University of Michigan; however, a scholarship never materialized. He ended up playing his college football at Western Michigan, having a great collegiate career.
His high school athletics didn't end with football. He was a tremendous athlete on the school's basketball team as well as being a track and field star. During a statewide competition in 2000, Jennings finished sixth with a 21-foot-5 1/2 long jump.
Jennings did more than sports in high school. He was a hard worker in the classroom and active in the community.
Jennings has been impressing scouts during workouts and had a great showing at the 2006 NFL Scouting Combine. He might not be a big name going into the draft, but he is bursting with upside.
Jennings has great physical skill, but his personality, work ethic and his character may be his biggest assets. In an age where many receivers have become selfish, lazy and cocky, a talented receiver with great character can be a difficult find. Jennings has great work ethic, believes in team consistency and will not be an off-field problem for any team.
Jennings has been impressing scouts with his great hands and route running. He has good speed and is not afraid to cross the middle of the field. He is aggressive in catching the ball as well as having a knack for making big plays.
He has been very productive in college and has shown improvement thought his college career. In 2003 Jennings had a good year making 56 catches for 1,050 yards and 14 touchdowns. The next season Jennings improved his numbers recording 74 catches for 1,092 yards and 11 touchdowns. He continued to work hard and his numbers improved again in 2005, his senior year, when he recorded 98 catches for 1,259 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Jennings also can contribute on special teams, which makes him even more valuable.
A major concern with Jennings is his lack of size. He is only 5-11 and 195 pounds. His size will not cause many match up problems for NFL cornerbacks. His size also limits his blocking ability. He may need to get stronger and may struggle with physical cornerbacks in the pros.
Jennings has good speed, but may not posses great break away speed to stretch the field. He was able to make big plays in college but it is unknown if he will be able to do the same in the pros.
Another major concern was the lack of elite competition Jennings faced in college. His production was great; however, most of the defenders who lined up against him were not as skilled.
Jennings has improved his stock lately. His very strong senior season coupled with his tremendous work at the combine has made NFL teams take notice.
He doesn't have all the physical tools most scouts look for, but his production can't be ignored. Going into his senior season he was rarely mentioned in 2006 draft talk. After putting up huge numbers his senior year he was mentioned as a late day two pick. After a great combine, including running a sparkling 4.42 40, his stock has increased even more. All of this combined with a relatively weak receiving class is giving him a chance to be chosen in the top three rounds.
He could be a productive third receiver in the NFL and contribute on special teams. Look for Jennings to likely be selected during the early stages of the third round. It is slightly possible for him to slide into the fourth round, though his upside is likely far too great for that to happen.
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