Summary: Jared Abbrederis has been one of the best wide receivers in the Big 10 over the previous three years. Abbrederis was the big-play receiver for Russell Wilson, but was held back by poor quarterback play after Wilson left, yet he still was a playmaker.
Abbrederis had fewer receptions than No. 1 receiver Nick Toon in 2011, yet he topped Toon in yardage. Abbrederis caught 55 passes for 933 yards and eight touchdowns. Abbrederis also returned punts and averaged 16 yards per return.
Abbrederis missed some time with a concussion as a junior, and Wisconsin felt his absence. He totaled 49 receptions for 837 yards and five touchdowns in 2012.
As a senior, Abbrederis was excellent for Wisconsin. He had 78 catches for 1,081 yards with seven touchdowns. He produced despite spotty quarterback play from Joel Stave and the Badgers’ inclination to run the ball. There were many plays where Abbrederis was wide open for long touchdowns, but Stave was unable to deliver the ball. If Abbrederis had a decent quarterback, he would have had double-digit touchdowns and about 1,500 yards. Abbrederis torched Bradley Roby and Ohio State for 10 receptions, 207 yards and a touchdown.
There is a lot to like about Abbrederis as a receiver. He constantly gets open for his quarterback, as he is sudden out of his breaks with quickness to get separation from cornerbacks. Abbrederis is in the running for the best route-runner in this draft class. He has reliable hands and is fast enough to challenge defenses in the deep part of the field. He had deep speed in college and should be fast enough to be dangerous in the NFL.
Abbrederis would fit best as a slot receiver who also can line up outside in some packages. Abbrederis will have some size over many nickel corners and should give them a lot of trouble on underneath routes along with going deep. Abbrederis will also be a special-teams contributor and could return punts.
There will probably be many receivers selected ahead of Abbrederis, but it wouldn’t be surprising if he ends up being a steal. Abbrederis looks like a second-day pick and most likely a third-rounder.
Player Comparison: Harry Douglas. I could see Abbrederis being a receiver similar to Douglas, but better. Both Abbrederis and Douglas are fast enough to make plays downfield. Douglas (6-0, 183) is similar size to Abbrederis and has developed into being a good slot receiver. Douglas topped 1,000 yards for the first time in his career last year after being a third-round pick. Abbrederis also could be a third-rounder. Abbrederis easily end up being better than Douglas, but his floor could be a player similar to Douglas.
NFL Matches: Detroit, New York Jets, Baltimore, Tampa Bay, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Carolina, San Francisco, Indianapolis
There are a lot of teams that could consider Abbrederis in the second or third round. The 49ers could use Abbrederis to help build up their receiving corps. San Francisco has a lot of extra picks, so it could target Abbrederis with one of its second-day picks.
Philadelphia could snatch Abbrederis. Chip Kelly likes intelligent receivers who have some size and run-after-the-catch ability.
Detroit and Tampa Bay are two teams early in the second round in need of receivers. Abbrederis would be a nice complement to Calvin Johnson, and the Lions could consider Abbrederis in the third even if they take a receiver in the first round. The Bucs need a third receiver, plus Vincent Jackson is aging. However, Tampa Bay is without their third-round pick, and early in the second round could be too rich for Abbrederis.
Cleveland also could target Abbrederis on Day 2 as a No. 2 receiver to go with Josh Gordon.
Both the Jets and Ravens need some receiving weapons for their quarterbacks. The Ravens never replaced Anquan Boldin adequately, while New York is lacking receiving weapons for Geno Smith.
Both the Panthers and Colts are in need of some long-term wideouts for their franchise quarterbacks. Carolina needs an upgrade at receiver, and Steve Smith may not be around much longer. Ditto for Reggie Wayne. Indianapolis could use a young receiver with size to pair with T.Y. Hilton. Abbrederis would be a good fit in Carolina or Indianapolis.
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