Trio of receivers declare for draft, likely sending NFL QBs dancing into streets

Many believe Mike Evans has the best NFL future of any receiver in college right now. Looks like we'll soon find out if they're right.

Thomas Campbell/Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports


Cheer up, Tom Brady. Help could be on the way.

For most of his career (save for that record-smashing season with Randy Moss), the Patriots QB’s biggest flaw has been one not of his own doing — the lack of a big-time, big-play receiver. So for Brady and every other NFL QB looking for somebody to throw deep to, Thursday must have felt like a second Christmas as a trio of receivers with big-time potential declared for May’s NFL Draft.

So why should receiver-hungry NFL QBs and GMs be giddy?


Brandin Cooks, Oregon State: He won the 2013 Biletnikoff Award, given to the player voted the nation’s top receiver. He is not big (5-foot-10, 185 pounds) but is explosive. He is third all-time in Oregon State history with 3,272 receiving yards and had 226 catches and 26 total TDs in three seasons. His last season was perhaps the greatest in Beavers history, setting school and Pac-12 records with 128 receptions and 1,730 yards (also tops in the nation this season), and setting a school record with 16 TD grabs.

Mike Evans, Texas A&M: The most high-profile member of the receiving class, thanks in large part for spending the last two seasons catching passes from Johnny Manziel at Texas A&M. Considered by most as the top receiving prospect among this group (and by some as the top WR prospect in the entire draft), Evans has the size that NFL personnel people drool over (6-5, 225 pounds), and while he is not considered a high-end burner, he has the ability to create separation, and his size gives him the advantage over most corners who can keep up with him. The 2013 first-team All-America set a school record this past season with 1,394 receiving yards, twice broke the school’s single-game receiving yards record against perhaps the two best teams in the SEC (smashing his record 279 set against Alabama with 287 against Auburn), and is top five in Aggies history in career receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns. And he only played two seasons.

Allen Robinson, Penn State: The Penn State star is the least-known of these three players, but that doesn’t mean he takes a back seat to them in the eyes of NFL scouts. He was third in the nation with 1,432 receiving yards this season, and holds Penn State records for receptions (97) and yards in a season, and is second in Nittany Lions history in career receptions, third in career receiving yards. The back-to-back Big Ten Receiver of the Year is another one with good size, listed at 6-3 and 210 pounds.

The NFL Draft will be held May 8-10 in New York City.