WR Ryan Swope- Texas A&M
Summary: Swope had a great end to his senior year, which off set the forgetful start. His season numbers aren’t all that impressive but some single game numbers dazzle: 11 receptions, 111 yards against Alabama, 6 catches, 140 yards against Auburn and 8 catches, 104 yards in the bowl game against OU. Swope killed the combine with one of the fastest 40 times which is not surprising when you watch his tape. He constantly ran past corners, even safeties. So why isn’t he considered higher? For one, Johnny football did not use him as much as Ryan Tannehill did. It looks like he declined when in fact he was just targeted less. Second, and more concerning, is his hands. His biggest weakness is that he occasionally drops a few passes. That is big for a slot receiver who is supposed to be the reliable one. He is also short and a little stocky. He doesn’t look like a starting receiver in the NFL. But he certainly plays like one.
NFL Translation: It’s hard to say whether a wide receiver can translate into the NFL due to the variety of offenses in the league. He certainly can be used in a myriad of ways, which will help his draft stock. He has solid character and is a team leader. The fact that he had a great connection with Tannehill will also help his draft stock, since all QBs want a great relationship with their wideouts.
NFL Comparison: Wes Welker
This comparison is so obvious. Welker is a small, slot receiver who is fast but has catching problems. That is exactly what Swope is except exaggerated. He is faster than Welker but also will drop more passes than him. Also, Welker seems to be a bit of a hard head where Swope seems to be easy to get along with and a team leader. But on the field and in the mirror, these guys are the same person.
Dream Team: Detroit Lions
Calvin Johnson can’t be the entire team. At some point, they have to get another receiver for Matt Stafford who isn’t always hurt (Ryan Broyles) or in jail (Titus Young.) Enter Swope, a guy who provides slot explosiveness but does not have to carry the team. And think about that offense! Johnson on the outside, Pettigrew in the middle, Bush out of the backfield, Broyles on a streak, AND Swope on a cut or a curl- that is the dangerousness that Detroit has been waiting for. Swope’s stock is rising so much that the Lions may trade have to trade up. But Swope would complete this offense.