2013 NFL Draft: Panthers work out Elon WR Aaron Mellette


Add Mellette to the long list of wide receivers the Panthers have shown interest in during the pre-draft process.

According to Pat Yasinskas of ESPN and Scout.com, the Carolina Panthers privately worked out Elon University wide receiver Aaron Mellette.

The Panthers aren't the only team interested in the local small school receiver - he also has private workouts scheduled with the Indianapolis Colts, Seattle Seahawks, and New York Jets.

Mellette has excellent size at 6'2, weighing 217 pounds. The senior was very productive in 2012, as he had 97 catches for 1,398 yards and 18 touchdowns. He led the FCS in both receptions per game (10.27), and receiving yards per game (149) in 2011. Mellette also impressed at the 2013 NFL Combine, with a 4.45 - 40 time (1.6-10 yard split) along with a 7.11 3-cone drill.

Unlike most of the other wide receivers the Panthers have shown interest in, Mellette is currently projected to be a mid to late-round draft pick, according to CBS Sports. Here's his analysis from CBS Sports:

Strengths: Solidly-built frame with good height and length for the position. Smooth body adjustments and looks flexible in his cuts, using his reach and movements to collect off-target throws. Uses his size well and knows how to box out defenders and utilize his frame. Natural hands-catcher with good focus to snatch grabs away from his body. Good toughness over the middle and competes for the ball in tight spaces. Good production over his career with at least 86 catches each of the last three seasons and 44 career touchdown receptions.

Weaknesses: Lacks elite speed and will struggle to consistently separate. Has more build-up speed and lacks natural burst to quickly change directions. Takes too long changing gears and isn't considered a dangerous threat after the catch. Room to improve his route running and needs refinement in his technique. Almost all of his production and experience has come against lower level of competition at the FCS level with mixed results against FBS-level talent.

Here's his tape from a game last year against Appalachian State:

Mellette looks like he would be a solid fifth or sixth round choice. He's very raw and will need time to adjust in the NFL, but he could be a good depth player his rookie year on the Panthers roster, and has enough upside to become a solid possession receiver in a few years.

Hat tip to rtb285 for his FanShot.

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