2011 NFL Draft Player Profile: Jeff Maehl
After a solid junior season at Oregon that had Maehl on the 2011 NFL Draft radar, the senior receiver broke-out in 2010, hauling in 77 receptions for 1,076 yards and 12 touchdowns. The under-rated Maehl capped off a stellar season with nine receptions and 133 yards, including an 81-yard catch and run, in the 2011 BCS title game.
Player Name: Jeff Maehl
Position: Wide Receiver
Hand: 9 1/8
40 Time: 4.62
Maehl is a fiery competitor and an offensive leader, stepping up in the moments when his team needs him the most, and performing in the clutch when asked. These traits were perfectly on display in Oregon’s loss to Auburn in the 2011 BCS title game, where he was a focal point of the offense, and caught the game-tying two-point conversion near the end of the game.
Maehl doesn’t possess elite speed, but he’s not far off. Regardless, he has great speed with the pads on, and is a threat to break a big play anytime the ball is in his hands. In addition to his solid speed, Maehl is a natural, fluid athlete, and can work the seams for any pass, while possessing excellent route-running ability and the understanding of angles and defensive coverage.
While shifty and athletic, Maehl also provides his team with reliable hands and a knack for the tough catch, while never showing fear in going over the middle, or going up for a ball. Maehl won’t leave his quarterback hanging, and rarely drops even the toughest of passes. Maehl excels on screen passes and intermediate routes, while also displaying an ability to reel in deep passes and fight for passes in the air. Maehl is also a stellar blocker at the college level.
Maehl shows flashes of big-play speed and ability, but when timed, it just hasn’t matched up. He benefited from playing in a weak Pac-10 conference, but still came up big against a tough SEC team in Auburn on college’s biggest stage. Regardless, as a skill player at the next level, he’ll have to prove he can separate against NFL corners, while possessing enough speed to make the same plays in the pro’s as he did in college.
With speed in question, Maehl will also have to face size and durability concerns, as he doesn’t have a huge frame and at first glance is a tad wiry. His frame actually suits the slot position at the next level, but he’ll still need to bulk up to handle the rigors of the beating slot receivers experience at the next level. Not going up against elite competition on a consistent basis in his career may also hinder his draft stock, although his impressive BCS title game showing should curb some of those concerns.
Maehl has inconsistent 40 times when timed, so how he performs at the 2011 NFL Combine will largely impact his draft stock. He has the field speed and hands of an NFL slot receiver, with the ability to make big plays. He definitely has a place at the next level, but still doesn’t quiet match up with many of the more explosive receivers ahead of him. Look for Maehl to be plucked by a team looking for a well-rounded receiver somewhere in the third or fourth round.
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