Wide Receiver - Texas
Combine Height: 6-4
Combine Weight: 215
Combine 40 Time: 4.46
Caught 124 balls for 1,915 yards and 20 touchdowns in 50 games, including 12 touchdowns in his junior season.
Sweed looks as if he came straight off the “prototypical NFL wide receiver” assembly line, with good size and speed as well as quality hands and jumping ability. In fact, Sweed’s athleticism may actually hold him back initially, as he’s been able to rely on his physical skills at the expense of grasping some of the nuances of his position. A wrist injury hampered him throughout his senior season and bumped him from the Senior Bowl, but his Combine performance may have been enough to return him to the first round.
Working in Sweed’s favor is the fact that he’s not afraid of hard work; there’s no reason not to expect him to learn the aforementioned nuances and apply his elite athleticism to the NFL game. Playing through a fracture and ligament damage in his wrist speaks to his toughness, though it certainly put a crimp in his productivity. Some scouts worry that Sweed doesn’t play to his measurables, comparing him more to a Muhsin Muhammad type than, say, Andre Johnson. Either result would be at minimum a solid pro receiver and hardly a disappointment to the team that calls Sweed’s name on Draft Day.
While Sweed has all the measurables, the work ethic, and evidence of production at a big-time football school, he’s unlikely to have answered enough questions to warrant consideration by the Bills with the 11th overall pick. He would make sense going to the Eagles at 19 or possibly the Buccaneers at 20, but the most likely destination might be a reunion with fellow Longhorn Vince Young in Tennessee. The Cowboys are another possibility, especially with their pair of first round selections; it’s not difficult to envision him as the heir to Terrell Owens. If he’s still on the board at the end of the first round the Giants might view him as a complement to and eventual replacement for Plaxico Burress.
Wide receivers by and large don’t announce their presence with authority in their inaugural season, and given that Sweed’s development may be slowed by recuperation from his wrist injury it’s tough to project big things for him in 2008. We’d need to see him at full go from minicamp on, learning the offense and demonstrating a healthy wrist, before looking to him for much more than pedestrian contributions as a rookie. Long-term, there are numerous situations (Dallas, for one; the Giants, for another) that would lend itself well to Sweed following the typical third-year breakout curve for receivers and ultimately establishing himself as a quality No. 1 receiver. Dynasty leaguers should view him as a borderline contributor this season with significant upside down the road.