Draft preview: What is Jared Abbrederis’ stock?

It’s certain that Jared Abbrederis will be selected in the 2014 NFL draft. What isn’t certain is when.

The former walk-on joined the University of Wisconsin in 2009 as a to-be quarterback. Now Abbrederis looks to make a splash into the NFL.

At this point, Abbrederis is expected to be selected between the third and the fifth round. In five years at Wisconsin, Abbrederis has grown into a solid technical receiver. Abbrederis is sure handed and possesses some of the best route running skills in the entire draft.

Abbrederis’s 10 catches, 207 yards, and a touchdown against OSU’s Bradley Roby

What teams are scared of is Abbrederis’ size. Abbrederis’ 6-foot-1, 195-pound frame isn’t what you normally find in an NFL receiver. His four bench presses of 225 pounds during the combine ranked last among all wide receivers.

Abbrederis’ lack of size and strength has raised questions whether he can withstand the brutal 16-game NFL schedule. Abbrederis routinely found himself injured as a Badger. A few broken bones is nothing to worry about. The real concern comes from three or four concussions he sustained. With the growing knowledge of long-lasting affects from brain trauma, players have begun to call it quits early.

So where does Abbrederis fall?

The obvious factor to examine is what teams are in need of a wide receiver. Then, look at which of the teams need a possession receiver. Abbrederis isn’t going to burn anybody downfield. Abbrederis clocked in an average  4.50 40 time in Indianapolis.

AbbrederisI first imagine Abbrederis in a Dolphins, Bears, or Panthers jersey. All these teams have downfield threats that draw coverage from both safeties and corners. Abbrederis could flourish if given any room. His ability to separate himself from defenders will make throws easy.

For that same reason I see Abbrederis being selected by team with an older, less mobile quarterback. One who wants the ball in his hand no longer than three or four seconds. I know Peyton Manning or Tom Brady would enjoy working with Abbrederis. Jared’s crisp route running along with his awareness make for simple, effortless passes.

At best comparison

There’s your jump ball, deep threat, and possession receivers. Abbrederis can shape into a fine go-to possession threat. Abbrederis can also step in on special teams. His utility type game reminds me of a Wes Welker, Antonio Brown, or even Greg Jennings. Abbrederis doesn’t posses much flash but he knows how to get the job done. If slept on, Abbrederis can make plays 30 to 40 yards down the field.

Ultimate Factor

The NFL’s shift to a passing league leaves a spot for Abbrederis. What will determine Abbrederis’ future is whether or not he stays healthy. Defenders are going to get bigger and the hits a whole lot harder. According to the NFL Players Association, in 2011, the average career span of an NFL receiver is 2.81 years, the second shortest of all positions. If Abbrederis increases his overall strength over the next few years he should have himself a fine career. If Abbrederis’ medical history continues, he’ll fall right into the average.