Monday, April 23, 2007

Get to Know 'Em: Robert Meachem

Rather than add my voice to the legion of bloggers speculating on the Vikings' first round pick, I'm going to take the draft analysis a step further and preview players the Vikings might take with the 41st overall pick. And in case you're wondering, I'm getting the ideas for players from NFL Draft Countdown, Draft Tek and FF Tool Box. So for all I know, these guys will all be gone in the first round, or will still be available when the Vikings draft in the third round. If it's the latter, let's all pretend this was a third round preview, ok? Thanks.
April 3: Anthony Gonzalez, WR, Ohio St.
April 4: Sidney Rice, WR, South Carolina

April 5: Charles Johnson, DE, Georgia
April 8: Steve Smith, WR, USC
April 10: Brandon Meriweather, S, Miami

April 18: Jason Hill, WR, Washington St.
April 19: Tim Crowder, DE, Texas

April 20: Justin Blalock: OG, Texas
April 23: Robert Meachem: WR, Tennessee

Robert Meachem
, a junior wide receiver out of Tennessee, is one of the few players that the Vikings invited to visit Winter Park. And it's not hard to see why: he has good hands, a wide receivers' body (6'3, 210lbs), he's fast and he uses his speed on the football field. Of course, all of those qualities should be enough to convince a team to take him in the latter half of the first round, but there are enough questions that it's not unreasonable for the Vikings to think he might still be available in the second round.

And if he's available there, he'll be a steal for the Vikings. Meachem turned in a breakout performance as a junior, and he has all the tools to have similar seasons in the NFL. His 4.4 forty speed was a huge factor at Tennessee, as he was able to use it as a deep threat and after making the catch, especially after using his strength to break tackles. He also utilized a great vertical leap, long arms and good hands while leading the SEC in receiving. The fact he was able to put up those stats against that caliber of competition, facing every kind of coverage from bump and run to zone makes it all the more impressive.

With all of that going for him, it makes it hard to see him still being on the board at #41. His drawbacks, however, are serious enough (and Troy Williamson-y enough) that teams with late first round picks may go elsewhere. The biggest question about Meachem is about his focus. He had a tendency to drop catchable passes due to a lack of concentration. His routes aren't anything to write home about either, and he is still pretty raw.

Are those question marks enough to drop Meachem all the way to #41? It doesn't look like it, seeing as how most mock drafts have him going somewhere in the 20s. There's a reason the Vikings brought him to Winter Park though, so don't be surprised if the questions about his focus and technique, combined with contending teams looking to fill other needs, might just be enough to allow the Vikings to pick up a first round receiver in the second round.


Blue Viking Devil said...

I think the Vikes brought in Meachem because (1) the outside outside chance that he dropped to them at 41, but more than likely (2) knowing the players they might be able to get if they were to trade down in the 1st round.

TBird41 said...

I think your second point has a lot of merit. I honestly wasn't planning on writing about Meachem until I read the Access Vikings' post on Receivers and they referred to him as a likely 2nd rounder:

twins15 said...

I've heard Meachem is a mid first rounder, and might be the 2nd WR off the board. He'll be long gone by pick 41... he'll probably be gone by pick 20 or 25.