There is no doubt about it. Jeremy Maclin is definitely on the NFL's most-wanted list.
Scout.com has learned that Maclin has already visited with the Cincinnati Bengals, and he is scheduled
for official visits with the Detroit Lions, the New York Jets, the St. Louis Rams and the Cleveland Browns so far. He's also scheduled for a private workout
with the Oakland Raiders this week.
The multi-talented wide receiver out of Missouri is the third player in NCAA
history to average over 200 all-purpose yards per game during a career, posting
an incredible 5,609 all-purpose yards in just 28 games. He averaged 82.6 yards
per game receiving, 73.1 yards per game gained on kickoff returns, 20.6 yards on
punt returns and 23.8 yards rushing. As a kickoff returner, he fell just two
yards short of setting a single-season record in 2007 with 1,346 yards.
"It's definitely a special category to be in," Maclin told
Scout.com during an exclusive interview. "It's an honor, and I'm thankful
that Mizzou put the ball in my hands."
AP Photo/Jeff Roberson
Over the span of his two seasons at Missouri, Maclin caught 182 passes for
2,315 yards and scored 22 touchdowns. Thirteen of those touchdowns were scored
during his sophomore year, setting a school record. From the line of scrimmage
Maclin also tacked-on 668 rushing yards, scoring six more touchdowns on the
ground. And while he always had to be accounted for before the snap of every play
when the Tigers had the ball, the two-time First-Team All-American was simply
electrifying on punt and kickoff returns.
"I'm always getting positive yards. I'm always creating that
spark," he explained when asked about his skills as a punt returner.
"I break through that first wave and get you 10 or 15 yards. And a lot of
times, if I can get that much, I'll break it."
The Tigers took full advantage of Maclin's speed and change-of-direction
skills by implementing special teams schemes that were similar to what the
Chicago Bears had been using to get Devin Hester out into open field. And it
paid off handsomely as Maclin rolled for 577 yards on punt returns and 2,049
yards on kickoff returns, scoring a combined five touchdowns as a return
specialist by end of his sophomore season.
Since making his decision to enter the NFL Draft early, the 6-foot tall, 198-pound
jack-of-all-trades is clearly ready to get his professional career rolling, even though he doesn't turn 21 until the end of August. When
asked which of his skills were going to help him make a successful leap into the
pro ranks as a receiver, Maclin's answer was as quick and decisive as his moves on the
"My playmaking ability. I can take a short pass and turn it into a long
gain," he said. "I'm sure-handed, I'll catch anything you throw my
way. I feel like I can be a very reliable receiver at the next level."
Maclin's expected to come off the board quickly during the first-round of the
NFL Draft at the end of this month. And while only a handful of teams may pass
up the opportunity to add him to their roster before his name is called out from the podium in New York City, one
thing is for certain—those teams will be seeing Jeremy Maclin running all over
the field for years to come, trying to figure out how to minimize the damage
he's capable of inflicting.
Read more about Jeremy Maclin through the links on his Scout.com
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A member of the Pro Football Writers of America, Ed Thompson's player interviews and NFL features are published across the Scout.com network and at FOXSports.com. You can follow him on Twitter or Facebook. Or contact him by email
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