Sept. 22, 2012; Pasadena, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins cornerback Aaron Hester (21) defends as Oregon State Beavers wide receiver Markus Wheaton (2) grabs a pass in the second quarter of the game at the Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Seattle Seahawks Draft Target Profile: WR Markus Wheaton

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You want a deep threat profiled? Here’s one of the very best in this year’s draft. Oregon State’s Markus Wheaton doesn’t get the press that other receivers in this draft class get, but he very much belongs in the discussion of guys who could go in the first round.

Because of the depth at the position in this draft class, Wheaton very well could slip into middle portions of the 2nd round. That makes him a great target for the Seahawks if they either trade down out of the first round, or decide to cash in some of their other 11 picks to move up their 2nd round pick.

At 5-11, 183 lbs. Wheaton doesn’t have the size that the Seahawks seem to covet at the WR position. What he does have is elite speed that can stretch a defense, and that is something the Seahawks definitely need.

Wheaton gets off the line quickly, and can eat up any cushion the CB gives him as fast as any player in this year’s draft. He also uses his hands well and get past the press very well for someone of his size.

There are 3 concerns about Wheaton which are why I think he’ll slip into the 2nd round. First, he has streaks where he drops a lot of passes. While he is very sure handed most games, he does have a some drops, and they tend to come in bunches. This suggests that he loses focus at times.

The 2nd issue is that he rounds off his routes at times. It’s frustrating because he doesn’t need to. He’s a good route runner and has good quickness in and out of his breaks. I believe his occasionally lazy route running probably comes from the fact that his speed allows him to get away with it. Hopefully the better opponents he’ll see on Sundays will keep him focussed enough that this problem will go away.

My last concern is related to his size. It would be nice if he were taller, but that’s not what I’m referring to. Wheaton is thin, especially in his lower half. Guys with his frame size generally have a tough time staying healthy in this league. Luckily, Wheaton doesn’t have an injury history, so there’s hope this wont be a problem, but that doesn’t mean I wont be worried.

Draft Projection: 2nd round

Pros

  • Elite straight line speed
  • Good body control in the air
  • Good Downfield blocker
  • Can play in the slot, not afraid to go over the middle.

Cons

  • Occasionally loses focus leading to drops
  • Rounds off routes on occasion
  • Doesn’t have elite size
  • Not a great yards-after-catch player on short throws

Here is some game film from OSU’s game vs Cal:


Game film provided by NFL Draft BreakDown

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