Summary: Wheaton has been one of the best and most consistent receivers in the Pac-12 over the past three seasons. The speedster has been a big-play threat and has provided Oregon State with some big games.
As a sophomore in 2010, Wheaton saw his first significant playing time. He caught 55 passes for 675 yards and four touchdowns. He then improved his production with 73 receptions for 986 yards and a touchdown in 2011. Last year, Wheaton had an excellent senior season with 91 receptions for 1,244 yards and 11 touchdowns. He was a huge part of Oregon State's offense with his ability to move the chains and provide big catches downfield.
Wheaton continued to impress NFL talent evaluators at the Senior Bowl. Wheaton had a good week and was one of the better skill-position players. He gave cornerbacks a lot of issues with his speed. Between his quickness and route-running, Wheaton was consistently getting separation from defensive backs. The only corner that consistently covered Wheaton was Washington's Desmond Trufant. During their regular-season matchup, Trufant held Wheaton to 25 yards on two receptions. All the other cornerbacks had their hands full with Wheaton.
At the Combine, Wheaton had a fast 40 time (4.45), as expected. He also did well in the field receiving drills.
Wheaton looks like an instant NFL contributor as a slot receiver. He doesn't look like a future No. 1 wideout, but could be a very good second or third receiver. While working mostly out of the slot, he also should be able to line up outside some as an X (split end) receiver.
Wheaton looks like a receiver that can stretch the field vertically and potentially make some impact plays. With a good running game or No. 1 receiver on the other side, Wheaton could be a deadly big-play threat.
Offenses that are looking for a speed receiver to stretch the field and a slot receiver to move the chains in the short to intermediate part of the field will be interested in Wheaton. He could be a nice value pick in the second or third round.
Player Comparison: Mike Wallace. In terms of style of play, Wheaton is reminiscent of Wallace. Wheaton may not turn out to be as good as Wallace has been in the NFL, but Wheaton has that potential. Wallace was a steal at the end of the third round in the 2009 NFL Draft. Wheaton could go as high as late in the second round but shouldn't fall out of the third round. His game is very comparable to Wallace's. In the NFL, he could be a similar-style receiver but may not be as productive as Wallace has been. Wheaton could be a poor man's Mike Wallace as a pro.
NFL Matches: Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Minnesota, Houston, New England, St. Louis, Baltimore
There are many teams that could target Wheaton on the second day of the draft. Pittsburgh is a natural fit for Wheaton as it needs to replace Wallace. He could be a target for them in the second round.
The Chiefs also want to add a receiver. Wheaton could be a perfect complement to Dwayne Bowe and Jonathan Baldwin. Kansas City is without their second-round pick, so it would have to take Wheaton in the third round unless it trades Branden Albert.
St. Louis has a big need at wide receiver. Wheaton would make sense for the Rams.
Detroit wants a receiver to complement Calvin Johnson. Wheaton fits the mold of Ryan Broyles and Titus Young, two recent draft picks by general manager Martin Mayhew. The Lions could consider Wheaton in the second or third round.
Minnesota needs more receivers to work with Christian Ponder. If the Vikings target another position in the first round, Wheaton would be a good value in the second round.
The Texans need a downfield threat for their offense. Wheaton could be a good fit for them on the second day.
If the Rams pass on a wide receiver in the first round they would definitely be in play for Wheaton on day two.
New England badly needs receiver help and Wheaton is a good fit in their offense. The Patriots have shown a lot of interest in Wheaton, and he could be their second-round pick.
The Ravens could use another receiver, and Wheaton would be an interesting fit in Baltimore's offense. He could take advantage of Joe Flacco and give the Ravens another deep threat to pair with Torrey Smith.