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Analyzing the NFL draft: Wide receivers and tight ends

Facts and figures about the top prospects in this year's NFL draft.

Indiana wide receiver Cody Latimer. (Alan Petersime/AP)
Indiana wide receiver Cody Latimer. (Alan Petersime/AP)Read more

NFL NETWORK draft analyst Mike Mayock once again breaks down the top draft prospects for the Daily News. He assesses the best player at each position, as well as a player who is rising up the draft board and a late-round sleeper to keep an eye on later in the draft.

Mayock, 55, resides in Newtown Square and is a graduate of the Haverford School. The former safety was a 10th-round pick of the Steelers in 1981 and played two seasons with the Giants (1982-83).

Wide receivers


Name: Sammy Watkins

School: Clemson

Height, weight: 6-1, 211

40 time: 4.43

225 bench: 16 reps

Vertical jump: 34 inches

Hands: 9 5/8 inches

Round projection: 1

Mayock: "He's a top-five pick in any draft. He has great speed. I love his toughness. He has a little confidence and swagger about him. Great hands and an ability to separate and tremendous run after the catch. There are bigger and faster receivers in this draft. There are guys that jump a little higher. But the bottom line for me is he's the best football player. He's got strong hands. He likes to compete. He blocks. He's tough as nails after the catch. A lot of his catches were behind the line of scrimmage, but he caught plenty of balls down the field, both vertically, intermediate and crossing [routes]. I have no qualms about his ability to catch the ball."


Name: Cody Latimer

School: Indiana

Height, weight: 6-2, 215

40 time: 4.44

225 bench: 23 reps

Vertical jump: 39 inches

Hands: 9 5/8 inches

Round projection: 3

Mayock: "He had foot surgery in January. He's a big receiver who ran a 4.4 and jumped 39 inches at Indiana's Pro Day. He didn't do any change-of-direction stuff because of the foot surgery. He was a high school hoops player who only played 2 years of high school football, so he's still really raw. But the height, weight, speed thing has people buzzing right now. This was a guy that, even after the season, people were thinking [he's] a fifth- or sixth-round guy. Especially with the injury. Right now, though, even in a great wide-receiver draft, I think he's going to go in the third round, and could even go a little bit higher."


Name: Jalen Saunders

School: Oklahoma

Height, weight: 5-9, 165

40 time: 4.44

225 bench: N/A

Vertical jump: 34 inches

Hands: 8 7/8 inches

Round projection: 5-6

Mayock: "He's a diminutive kick-return guy. He's just 5-9 and 165 pounds, but his toughness, his ability to block, his ability to give up his body, was what just blew me away when I watched him. He's a late draftable - fifth or sixth round. He can play inside. He can play outside. He's a return specialist. He's a gunner and jammer [on special teams]. He's going to make somebody's 53 [roster] and play in all 16 games. He's going to return kicks and be of great value if you get him."

Tight ends


Name: Eric Ebron

School: North Carolina

Height, weight: 6-4, 250

40 time: 4.60

225 bench: 24 reps

Vertical jump: 32 inches

Hands: 10 inches

Round projection: 1

Mike Mayock: "Ebron is going to go in the first 16 or 17 picks. I think he has top-10 type talent. It's just a matter of who is going to pull the trigger there. He's got special ability. He catches the ball and runs routes as well as [Aaron] Hernandez. But he's bigger and stronger than Hernandez. He has the ability, if you want to play him in-line, to block, and also release in-line and be a mismatch inside. But I think where he's going to do a lot of his damage is splitting him out wide or in the slot or anywhere you want. He catches the ball so easily and so fluidly."


Name: C.J. Fiedorowicz

School: Iowa

Height, weight: 6-6, 265

40 time: 4.76

225 bench: 25 reps

Vertical jump: 31.5 inches

Hands: 10-1/4 inches

Round projection: 3-4

Mayock: "This is a tough group because after the first four guys — Ebron, Washington's Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Texas Tech's Jace Amaro and Notre Dame's Troy Niklas — there isn't much. Fiedorowicz has a pretty good skill set, both in-line and as a pass catcher, short and intermediate [routes]. His value has risen because there isn't a whole lot after those first four. I think he'll go in the third or fourth round. He's just a good, solid NFL tight-end body."


Name: Trey Burton

School: Florida

Height, weight: >6-2, 224

40 time: 4.62

225 bench: N/A

Vertical jump: 30 inches

Hands: 9-3/8 inches

Round projection: 6

Mayock: "Burton is basically an undersized H-back, is what he is. But what I like about him is his athletic ability. He played quarterback, he played H-back, he played fullback. He threw the ball, caught the ball and ran the ball in college. He did a little bit of everything and that versatility is what his value is. You'd like to see him get up to 235-240 pounds. But you don't want him to sacrifice any speed or athletic ability to do it."