NFL Draft Analysis: Jeremy Maclin, WR, Missouri Tigers

by James Li on April 23, 2009 @ 01:00:01 PDT

 


University of Missouri wide receiver and return specialist Jeremy Maclin has opted to forgo his remaining two years of eligibility and has entered the 2009 NFL Draft.

Maclin has certainly made the best of his curtailed collegiate career, posting huge numbers en route to consecutive All-American and first-team All-Purpose honors. He holds the NCAA freshman record for the most all-purpose yards in a season, with 1,039 kickoff return yards, 1,055 receiving yards and 2,776 total yards (an astounding 198.3 yards-per-game average). Despite an ankle injury, the Missouri native outdid himself his sophomore year with a nation-leading 2,833 all-purpose yards (202.7 yards per game).

Strengths

  • Extremely versatile all-purpose player
  • Electrifying elusiveness when with ball; threat to take it the distance every time
  • Strong and explosive
  • Downfield threat with great focus
  • Proven toughness to overcome injury
  • Great at leaping and twisting his body to make the tough reception
  • Always gives 100 percent

Weaknesses

  • Does not run crisp routes
  • Often gets banged up after hard catches; has brief injury history
  • Needs to add upper-body muscle
  • Occasionally loses concentration over the middle
  • Possibly relies too much on speed for separation from cornerbacks

Expected draft placement

Maclin is widely regarded as the second-best wide receiver available in the draft, behind Texas Tech wideout Michael Crabtree, and a lock to be drafted in the first round. Needless to say, Maclin would provide a huge boost to a team that needs an elusive wide receiver who can also double as a special teams returner.

Maclin is a good fit for the Oakland Raiders (No. 7), who had immense wide receiver issues in 2008. While trying to develop a young quarterback in JaMarcus Russell, the Raiders' receiving corps caught a mind-boggling total of 82 passes as a group. With wide receiver Javon Walker all but a huge (and very expensive) disappointment, Raiders team owner Al Davis may very well be looking for an infusion of young blood into this struggling department. Maclin fits what Davis likes in a receiver, and the former Tiger would give the team their own offensive triplets for years to come. The Raiders, however, have not selected a wideout with a first-round pick since one Tim Brown in 1988.

Possessing a set of weapons that mirror Chicago Bears return specialist Devin Hester's, Maclin should not fall out of the top 20 in the draft; the Jacksonville Jaguars (No. 8) and New York Jets (No. 17) are likely spots.

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About James Li

James Li has been a KFFL contributor since 2006.

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