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Top prospects at wide receiver and cornerback for upcoming NFL draft

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014 - 10:56 pm
Last Modified: Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014 - 1:29 pm

HOT SHOTS

The NFL draft is expected to be especially deep at wide receiver and cornerback. Here are five of the top prospects at each position:

WIDE RECEIVERS

• Sammy Watkins, Clemson: He’s considered the best receiver prospect in the past three years, but may be out of the 49ers’ reach.

• Mike Evans, Texas A&M: The 6-foot-5 Evans is a former basketball player and was quarterback Johnny Manziel’s favorite target – especially in the red zone.

• Marqise Lee, USC: A smooth and slippery receiver, but is he rugged enough for the rough-and-tumble NFC West?

• Kelvin Benjamin, Florida State: He’s nearly 6-6, has good speed and is a handful for defensive backs. His hands, however, have been unreliable.

• Brandin Cooks, Oregon State: The Stockton native has rare acceleration and led all wideouts in receiving yards in 2013. At 5-10, size is a concern.

CORNERBACK

• Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State: He may be the best athlete at the position. He had seven interceptions last season. He also returned six kickoffs for touchdowns while at Oklahomas State.

• Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State: He won the Thorpe Award as the nation’s top defensive back and was particularly tough in the Big Ten title game against Ohio State.

• Bradley Roby, Ohio State: He should be one of the fastest players at the scouting combine with a chance to run a sub 4.4-second 40-yard dash.

• Kyle Fuller, Virginia Tech: Mike Mayock says Fuller, who battled injuries as a senior, will be a first-round pick if he runs well at the combine.

• Terrance Mitchell, Oregon: The Sacramento native and Burbank High School graduate has the long arms and press coverage ability NFL evaluators seek these days.

– Matthew Barrows

Read more articles by Matthew Barrows



MATTHEW BARROWS

Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.

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