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2011 NFL Draft: More Late Round WRs to Keep Your Eye On

Though not widely talked about as a great position of need, the Seahawks have met with several small-school WRs in the run-up to the draft and are likely eyeing them for the later rounds or as undrafted free agents. The Hawks have shown a marked interest in big-bodied receivers and Pete Carroll's interest in these guys goes back to his days at USC. Mike WIlliams and Ben Obomanu are the presumptive starters at wide-out with Golden Tate likely in the slot but the depth is tenuous at best - Deon Butler is coming off a gruesome injury and Isaiah Stanback, if healthy, is not a shoe-in for a roster spot either. I don't think it's out of the realm of possibility to see the Hawks try and draft a playmaker or two this year - they are lacking sorely in that department if Mike WIlliams gets hurt or doubled.

It seems more and more likely that we'll be seeing a move to bring in one or two of these players during or after the draft so I wanted to point out another great piece by Wes Bunting that profiles several guys that I actually have been keeping an eye on as well. He mentions three players: DeAndre Brown, Terrance Toliver, and Greg Little. I really like Tolliver, though I doubt he'll make it to the later rounds. I don't know as much about Little, but he's been making waves recently for his physicality and make-up as a tough receiver. 

DeAndre Brown out of Southern Miss may be the most intriguing to me for his size, speed, and jump-ball ability, and I think Bunting is intrigued as well:

Whenever you go back and watch tape of this guy as a freshman in 2008, you saw the making of a legit first-round pick. He was a powerful strider down the field who knew how to shrug off defenders, track the football vertically and consistently come down with the catch. He also displayed some natural fluidity to his game for such a big wideout as well, exhibiting a good burst out of his breaks for someone his size and was comfortable plucking the football off his frame.

Brown suffered a gruesome broken leg that he has struggled to bounce back from, but at 6'6, 233 he has the size Carroll looks for and has proven ability to make plays and catch the ball. He's physical and plays with a mean streak - and though the timing may be bad to make this comparison, I see a little Brandon Marshall in him (yikes, I know). Though his play in 2010 was inconsistent with how he started his career, he could be a good later round target based on his potential. Bunting cites maturity issues but points out that he has the potential to be great if he applies himself well. I looked a little further and found another article by Wes that profiles Brown a little more. Here's what he had to say about Brown's potential:

DeAndre Brown is a former big-time, five-star recruit coming out of high school and is arguably the biggest recruit ever to land at Southern Miss. He immediately made his presence felt on the field in 2008 as the 6-6, 240-pound physical specimen hauled in 67 receptions for 1,117 yards and 12 touchdowns.

For a guy his size he displays a good initial first step off the line and really does have an explosive element to his game - when healthy. He's not a burner, but is a powerful athlete who can easily shrug off defenders when getting into his routes and possesses the kind of strider speed that is tough to keep pace with. The further down the field he's asked to run the tougher he is to cover and overall he's very difficult for opposing defensive backs to keep pace with him on vertical routes.

Bunting then points out that after his broken leg, he hasn't been the same. These kinds of injuries can linger for a while but if Brown were to get healthy, he could be a fearsome red-zone target. It's a red flag that he hasn't bounced back sooner, and there's an element of character concern attached to Brown as well in the fact that he hasn't taken his rehab on full bore. That's a major question, but as Bunting points out he's the definition of a boom or bust player. He just strikes me as a Pete Carroll project for his size, potential, and risk. The Hawks have taken chances on injury plagued players hoping to strike gold when they get healthy and it's worked out for them a little bit so far with Leon Washington and Walter Thurmond. Brown could be that type of player, and a guy like Mike Williams could mentor a young player with a chip on his shoulder. I'm going to be watching closely to see where he lands.