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2011 NFL Draft Projections: WR Austin Pettis

If you would have asked me two years ago which Boise State receiver would be getting the most love in the NFL draft, I would have undoubtedly said "Austin Pettis". Of course, I was forgetting that soft hands, productivity, and route-running were not among the most highly coveted skills to NFL GMs. I mean, a blind man could run a 4.2 at the combine and Al Davis would draft him. At any rate, Pettis might be the steal of the draft for any number of teams when he comes off the board between rounds 3 and 6. His 229 receptions and 39 TDs have to impress somebody (I'm not looking at you, Al Davis).

After the jump, get an overview of how the NFL scouts and experts view Pettis and where he might land in the draft. Plus, share your thoughts on what team you'd like to see him play for next year (I've got dibs on 'Boise State Broncos').

Austin Pettis facts

  • Height: 6'3"
  • Weight: 209
  • Speed: 4.56 40-yard dash (official)
  • Future NFL position: WR
  • Most similar NFL players: Kevin Walter rank - No. 17 overall WR

This is awfully low if you ask me...but again, this is based on a grading system that these "experts" have developed that obviously doesn't factor in Austin Pettis' greatest strength, which I call "OMG, how did he catch that?!" His peers in the lower teens of the rankings are as follows (A.J. Green, for reference, graded out the highest of all WRs with an 8.6)

5.6 - Vincent Brown (SDSU)

5.5 - Jeremy Kerley (TCU)

5.4 - Niles Paul (Nebraska)

5.2 - Ricardo Lockette (Fort Valley State)

5.1 - Austin Pettis (Boise State)

The NFL website does not show an overall ranking of all prospects, at least not one that I could find easily and with little effort. Chadd Cripe claims Pettis' composite score puts him in within the top 135 prospects. rank - No. 110 overall

The WorldWide Leader ranks Pettis as the No. 110 prospect in the draft.

Pettis' overall grade - a 67 out of 100 - translates into a 4th round grade. It's worth noting that after only viewing Pettis' game films versus Idaho, they originally graded him a 152 out of 100. rank - No. 12 overall

Ex-Fresno State standouts and alleged draft busts David Carr and Ryan Mathews went 1st and 12th in the draft, respectively, I can't in good conscience put Pettis any lower than that. He was every bit as dominant as the aforementioned during his collegiate career, but is obviously far more undervalued. Undervalued no more! 12th overall, it is.

Scouting report

To paraphrase the scouting report on Pettis ...

Strengths: Pettis is big, tall, has great hands and the potential to be a nasty run blocker.

Weaknesses: Forget about all those strengths...he's not super fast.

Possible landing spots

  • Pittsburgh at No. 95 (third round) - Pettis flew to Pittsburgh and worked out for the Steelers. Since this is the highest mock draft position we've seen for Pettis, this is his ideal landing spot.
  • Indianapolis at No. 188 (sixth round) - The thought of Pettis falling all the way to the sixth round is a bit hard to stomach...but hey, catching passes from awesome (yet slightly dorky) QBs is his specialty.

What team do you want to see Austin Pettis play for? 

Seems to me that Pettis' real value will be shown playing on a team with a less accurate QB. I mean, he made Jake Locker look okay at the Senior Bowl, didn't he?