Late Round Gold: Episode 4 - Jeff Maehl - WR

GLENDALE AZ - JANUARY 10: Jeff Maehl #23 of the Oregon Ducks catches a two-point conversion to tie the game late in the fourth quarter against Zac Etheridge #4 of the Auburn Tigers during the Tostitos BCS National Championship Game at University of Phoenix Stadium on January 10 2011 in Glendale Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Jeff Maehl - WR

College: Oregon
Height: 6-1   Weight: 190

Projection: 5th to 7th round

Jeff Maehl (pronounced "mail") was the number one receiver in an Oregon offense that went undefeated in regular season play.  His senior year was a breakout year with 77 catches for 1076 yards and 12 touchdowns.  He is not a speedster down-field, does not have freakish size or extreme athleticism.  But Maehl is a key contributor from a winning program with tons of upside potential.

Browns Gold

One thing you immediately notice when looking at highlights of Jeff Maehl is that he is very good at creating separation.  He is often wide open against teams with excellent secondaries and can create space even when double teamed.  He can flat out catch the ball.  He does it in traffic, he pulls it down on the sidelines, he makes amazing leaps in the endzone.  Flat out speed is not his forte but he has elite quickness.  Maehl posted the fastest 3-cone time EVER RECORDED in the combine and he placed 2nd and 1st in the 20 and 60-yard shuttles.  He is a consummate route runner who knows how to outfox linebackers and corner backs.

Fools Gold

Maehl needs to build more strength in order to enhance his utility as a possession receiver.  He has shown the capacity to take a hit but will his smaller frame be able to absorb the increased violence of hits in the NFL?  His lack of all-out speed will reduce his threat on vertical routes and teams will probably feel comfortable covering him with a single back when he goes deep.  Do the Browns need another developmental receiver vying for the #3 or #2 spot?

Maehl would be a perfect complement to a deep-threat #1 receiver like A. J. Green.  If he can transition to the pro game he will be an ideal west coast possession receiver.  I think this guy would be a steal with the Brown's 6th pick or maybe even the 5th.  He could even go higher and it will be interesting to watch as I think he is very undervalued right now.  McCoy to Maehl--it has a nice ring to it.  Dare we compare him to Wes Welker?  Yes, we dare.  

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