Browns finally draft a wide receiver
Maybe Ray Farmer isn’t allergic to wide receivers after all.
After not drafting a wide receiver in the entire 2014 NFL Draft, the Browns General Manager waited until the third day of the 2015 to select one.
When Farmer did pull the trigger on a wide out, he did so on a player who had a lot of production in college last season in Vince Mayle of Washington State.
Mayle (6-3, 219) caught 106 passes last season for 1,483 yards, including nine touchdowns. Washington State plays a spread offense and Mayle says he got a lot of opportunities.
"I probably got targeted about 15 times a game," Mayle said. "We threw the ball a lot, underneath, screens, downfield."
Mayle caught 15 passes for 252 yards against Arizona State on Nov. 22 and caught 14 against Arizona for 145 yards and a score. He had double-digit receptions in two others games, as well.
"I bring a bigger, physical receiver to the team," Mayle said. "I’m a physical receiver, a competitor, who wants to win."
Mayle said despite the Browns not drafting a receiver earlier, he was aware the Browns were looking at the position.
"I know they were looking for a wide out because of the number of times they visited with me and the interest they showed in me."
Mayle said he visited the Browns at the team’s facility in Berea as one of the 30 visits teams are allowed.
Mayle started his college career as a basketball player at Shasta College where he averaged eight points per game and once won a dunk contest.
"I started off playing basketball, but one of my coaches told me I would be a better wide out than a point guard, so I took that advice."
After playing basketball at Shasta College, Mayle transferred to Washington State where he started playing football. In his first season at Washington State, Mayle caught 42 passes for 539 yards, including seven touchdowns.
Mayle had a high number of dropped passes in college and was criticized for the number. He was asked about his hands.
"I believe the scouting reports are wrong," Mayle said. "I like to get up the field right away and sometimes take my eye of the ball."
He was asked what he intends to do to improve catching the ball.
"It’s a humbling experience," he said. "It lets me know there’s something wrong with my game and that I need to improve."
Dane Brugler of NFLDraftScout.com compared Mayle in some ways to Louisville’s DeVante Parker.
"H-back/tight end by some scouts, (Mayle) showed more natural receiving traits as a senior and although he’s not quite as gifted as Louisville’s DeVante Parker, Mayle is a lesser talented prospect in a similar mold," Brugler said. "It’s clear he’s still learning the tricks of the trade and his passion for football needs to be addressed, but Mayle is an easy player to get excited about with his size, athleticism and the upside his talent suggests - projects as a NFL starter in year two."