INDIANAPOLIS — Most NFL Draft fans can identify many of the players who will be taken in the first couple of days of the draft, but where teams and analysts alike really shine is when they can identify the late-round gems.
One of those people is longtime ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay, whose battle with COVID-19 forced him to miss covering the NFL Draft for ESPN this year for the first time since 2006. However, now he's back and he's got some thoughts on this year's class.
Last week, McShay put out a list of some of the NFL teams who improved immediately, as well as some teams who found some late-round steals who could instantly contribute to their new teams.
One of the players who made McShay's list was wide receiver Dezmon Patmon, the Indianapolis Colts' sixth-round (212th-overall pick) out of Washington State.
Here's what McShay had to say:
"Getting Michael Pittman Jr. in the second round was fantastic, but let's not discount this sixth-round pick. Chris Ballard continues to show why he's one of the league's top GMs with moves like this. For a team lacking at receiver behind the oft-injured T.Y. Hilton, Patmon is the type of player you gamble on late in Round 6. He has 6-4, 225-pound size and good speed, and he found the end zone eight times in 2019 for Washington State."
Over the last couple of years, the Colts have made it a mission to add receivers who have plenty of size and athleticism, and that's what they've found in Patmon.
At the Combine, he had a very solid showing. He measured at 6'3-3/4" and 225 pounds, coupled with good arm length (32-3/4") and hand size (10-1/4"), which are all above-average measurements for the wide receiver position.
Among all players at the Combine — regardless of position — who measured at least 6-3 and 225 pounds, Patmon's 132-inch broad jump was tied for first, his 4.48-second 40-yard dash ranked third, and his 36-inch vertical jump tied for eighth.
In four years at Washington State, Patmon started 12 of 43 games, catching 156 passes for 1,976 yards (12.7 avg.) and 13 touchdowns, including a streak in which he logged a reception in 33 consecutive games. As a senior in 2019, 40 of his 58 receptions resulted in either a first down or touchdown.
Patmon uses his size and speed to get downfield in a hurry, and he's able to high-point and come down with jump balls that quarterbacks send his way.
He could carve out a role right away with the Colts if he shows out in training camp and puts that playmaking ability on display at the next level, but it becomes even more likely if he can make a good impression on special teams.
The bottom of the Colts' wide receiver depth chart may be pretty open behind T.Y. Hilton, Zach Pascal, Parris Campbell and Michael Pittman Jr., so if Patmon can develop some more physicality against cornerbacks and refine his route running , then he could grab one of the last spots in the Colts' receiving corps.
Get your first look at wide receiver Dezmon Patmon as he is picked 212th overall by the Indianapolis Colts