The other day, I asked an NFL coach how much he liked West Virginia wide receiver Tavon Austin. He said he liked him as a mid-first round pick, but quickly added "I like the other guy, No. 3, just as much."
Coaches often go to a school to watch tape and work out a marquee player, only to leave with a solid opinion of "the other guy" who plays the same position.
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The same thing happened when I asked the coach about Tennessee WR Cordarrelle Patterson. Patterson is the top wide receiver on many draft boards, but my coaching friend said, "I like Patterson, but I like the other guy, No. 11, just as much."
The other guy in this case is Justin Hunter, who has 106 receptions and 18 touchdowns during his college career. In 2012, the 6-foot-4 Hunter had 27 more receptions than Patterson and four more TDs.
I've included a few more "other guys" at the same position as top draft prospects. During the spring, they have not gone unnoticed and in some cases have moved ahead of the marquee player as we close in on the draft.
The intense interest in the touted player led to greater exposure for the "other guy" when NFL position coaches get involved.
There a number of other situations in this draft where there are two players at the same position from the same school, though these cover the situations where a coach or scout described the "other guy" in a favorable way in our discussions.
Let's see how it plays out in the draft.
|So just who is that 'other guy?'|
|Position||Marquee player (school)||'Other guy'|
|DE||Barkevious Mingo (Louisiana State)||Sam Montgomery|
|CB||Jonathan Banks (Mississippi State)||Darius Slay|
|DE||Bjoern Werner (Florida State)||Tank Carradine|
|DT||John Jenkins (Georgia)||Kwame Geathers|
|LB||Khaseem Greene (Rutgers)||Steve Beauharais|
|OLB||Jarvis Jones (Georgia)||Cornelius Washington|
|LB||John Bostic (Florida)||Lerentee McCray|
|TE||Zack Ertz (Stanford)||Levine Toilolo|
|CB||Blidi Wreh-Wilson (UConn)||Dwayne Gratz|