IU wide receiver Cody Latimer has been screaming up the draft boards recently. Apparently his game tape didn’t make its way to the draft experts until recently, which isn’t surprising since he played for the perpetually awful Hoosiers.
Anyone who has watched IU for the past few years (alumni, Purdue fans who like to see the Hoosiers fail, masochists, and me), will know that Latimer has been the lone talent with NFL ability written all over him.
Latimer is meeting with a number of NFL teams this month where he’ll be interviewed and put through a private workout. He’s already met with the Bills, and will be visiting the Eagles, Lions, Raiders, Seahawks, Chargers, and Panthers.
Latimer is a prototypical possession receiver in the NFL. He checks in at 6-2 and 215-pounds. He had the best bench press of all the wide receivers, repping 225-pounds 23 times at the NFL Scouting Combine. Latimer didn’t do any other drills as he was recovering from foot surgery.
At his Pro Day, Latimer ran a sub-4.4 40-yard dash and recorded a 39-inch vertical jump.
In his junior year, Latimer had 72 receptions for 1,096 yards and nine touchdowns.
With his size, Latimer represents a solid possession receiver. He has reliable hands and can make the difficult circus catches while breaking tackles after the catch. Latimer was used primarily as a deep threat with the Hoosiers and has the speed to burn his man off the line.
He isn’t an easy receiver to jam and one misstep by the corner at the snap is often fatal. Latimer was also extremely effective as a run blocker on the outside or in the slot.
Its clear that a lot of his ratings were given to him due to being a player for IU, which is completely unfair. Scouts have clearly just recently watched his tape against solid teams in the Big Ten. Latimer’s games against Penn State and Illinois were things of beauty.
With all the recent attention Latimer has jumped up the draft boards from a fifth rounder to possibly being drafted at the end of the first. Sources indicated that teams have told him that they would consider taking him on day one.
ESPN Draft analyst Todd McShay had Latimer going 23rd to the Chiefs in his most recent mock draft. McShay was thoroughly impressed with his game tape and believes that he would be a perfect fit for a West Coast-style offense. He also admits that this might be a big swing on his part, but that the potential is certainly there.
I have long felt that Latimer would be a perfect fit for the Colts. He wouldn’t have to start right away and could benefit from watching Reggie Wayne for a year or so. With Hakeem Nicks only signing a one year deal, it would let Latimer naturally take over that position in 2015.
But that was when he was listed as a fifth rounder. I don’t think the Colts should, or would, take him in the second round, even if he does fall to 59th. They have far more pressing needs on defense to address. But if he is the best player available, then it is certainly something to consider.
This is an incredibly deep class for wide receivers. There are excellent players who will be drafted in the second and third rounds. For Latimer to jump this high is a testament to his abilities. Couple that with the fact that he’s spent time working on his few flaws and you have the makings of a future No. 1 wide out.
I would bet on Latimer being an early second round pick.