Titus Young’s stock is rising.  Mike Mayock recently promoted him to number three on his list of the top receivers in the 2011 draft and several expert mocks now have Young going as the third wide receiver off the board.  Young seems like a great kid and a high character guy, which may account in part for why his vertical movement on draft boards.

He’s undersized at 5’11” and just 174 lbs, and he ran a disappointing 4.43 forty yard dash at the combine, not exactly the speed you would expect from a guy that has been dubbed a “poor man’s DeSean Jackson”.  He plays faster than his forty time indicates.  Young has great acceleration, gets off the line and hits full speed quickly.  As a college player he’s been very good at avoiding defensive backs attempts to jam him at the line, but he is going to have to bulk up without losing speed to beat the jam in the pros.

Young had a very good Senior Bowl Week and helped draft stock by displaying great hands and crisp route running.  He lost some of his luster at the NFL combine when his route running came into question, but as a guy that can help a team on offense and special teams he has a good chance of being the third wide receiver taken.  He could also fall into the third round and see four or five wide outs taken before he hears his name.

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DRAFT ANALYSIS:

VIEWS

Walterfootball.com doesn’t think the comparison to DeSean Jackson works and are not nearly as high on Young as some other sites – ranking him as the seventh best WR in this class.  They point out that Jackson ran a 4.31, a far cry from Young’s 4.43.

The NationalFootballPost.com scouting report on Young compares him to Johnny Knox while acknowledging that he is significantly more polished at this stage than Knox was coming out of college.

FFToolbox’s Joel Welser has Young going to the Ravens at #58 overall.  This is the most popular predicted landing spot for Young and it makes a lot of sense.

FANTASY FOOTBALL SPIN

Young will likely end up as a starting slot receiver in the NFL.  It’s rare that a receiver if his slight build holds down a number one spot, but as a slot receiver he can be a guy that can stretch the field and line up wide as an X receiver who would be very difficult to cover on go routes even for the best of NFL corners.  The Ravens are the team most often associated with Young.  As a compliment to Anquan Boldin, Young could help open up the offense and become one of the AFC’s premier big play threats.

Young is a good route runner overall, which should help him make a successful transition and the depending on the team that drafts him you may see him contributing on special teams and in gadget plays.  We don’t expect him to be a guy that starts on your fantasy squad as a rookie.  He is going to have to get stronger in order to avoid being physically beaten at the NFL level.  Atlanta, Kansas City, San Diego, Carolina, and Pittsburgh are squads in need of a potentially dynamic slot receiver like Young.

Young will need time to mature and fill out.  He’s going to be a good one in our opinion, but not a top flight fantasy prospect.  Come year three he should be a WR#3 in the right situation.

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