Carolina Panthers 2012 Draft Prospect: The Next Wes Welker?

I believe all of us would agree that comparing two players based merely on their height and race, would only prove to be an exercise in futility. Perhaps this could best be explained by looking at who my next prospect has been compared to in the past. The charts below will give you a good idea of how the numbers stack up when comparing Devon Wylie and Wes Welker to each other. Meet me after the jump for a bit more analysis and a highlight video of our prospect.

Wes Welker and Devon Wylie’s Combine/Pro Day Numbers

Height

Weight

Vertical

Broad

BP

Wes Welker

5' 9"

195

30

9' 5"

12 reps

Devon Wylie

5' 9"

187

39

10' 3"

17 reps

Kealoha Pilares and Devon Wylie's Combine/Pro Day Numbers

Height

Weight

Vertical

Broad

BP

Kealoha Pilares

5' 10"

199

40.5

10' 5"

19 reps

Devon Wylie

5' 9"

187

39

10' 3"

17 reps


Wes Welker’s Career College Statistics

Rec

Yards

Avg

TD

PR

Ret

Yards

Avg

TD

2000

26

334

12.8

0

2000

28

353

12.6

2

2001

50

582

11.6

5

2001

34

271

8

1

2002

86

1054

12.3

7

2002

57

752

13.2

3

2003

97

1099

11.3

9

2003

33

385

11.7

2

Devon Wylie’s Career College Statistics

Rec

Yards

Avg

TD

PR

Ret

Yards

Avg

TD

2007

1

44

44

0

2007

0

0

0

0

2008

22

269

12.23

2

2008

0

0

0

0

2009

17

259

15.2

4

2009

12

107

8.92

0

2010

2

39

19.5

1

2010

0

0

0

0

2011

56

716

12.79

1

2011

29

446

15.4

2

I think the first thing you notice about these two diminutive wide receiver/punt returners is the fact that their measurables are very different outside of their weight and height. In fact, the numbers that are indicative of strength and explosiveness were all in favor of Wylie. Of course, this isn’t to say that Welker is a stiff. His career statistics in college and the NFL only prove the opposite. However, for all of Welker’s gaudy statistics since joining the Patriots four years ago, he will never be able to give Brady the game-changing, vertical threat that someone like Wylie could. In other words, Wylie has a gear that will allow him to get separation anywhere on the field, whereas Welker is more limited because of his lack of explosiveness. Wylie is actually much more similar to our very own Kealoha Pilares, as evidenced by their combine numbers.

It is important to point out something you’ve probably already noticed when looking at Wylie’s pedestrian career statistics while at FresnoState. They pale in comparison to Welker’s numbers because Wylie missed significant time due to various injuries while in college. His most notable injury came at the beginning of the 2010 season when he suffered a stress fracture in his foot during their first game, forcing him to accept a medical red-shirt for what was supposed to be his Senior football season. It’s also interesting to note that he was said to have run a 4.25 in the forty before his foot injury. While the accuracy of that time may certainly be debatable, the fact that Wylie is on the rise is not. How about you? Is he rising on your Panthers draft board? Take a look at his video and let me know how you feel about Wylie in the poll that follows.

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