While there is no official rule about drafting a receiver late in the draft I believe it is a valuable tool that many teams have done well as of late. Some of the best receivers in the NFL were drafted in the 6th and 7th rounds, and some even weren't drafted.

Possibly the best example of a recent late round receiver steal would be Marques Colston,who was drafted 252nd overall (forth from last). Colston was from a small school and many thought that he would be a tight end, but the Saint took all 6'4 of him and have loved their move.

This year we saw Steve Johnson of the Buffalo Bills become a major play maker for the despite the fact that he was drafted in the 7th. Johnson went unnoticed some out of Kentucky but had some major stats and good height (6'2). Miles Austin went undrafted and Pierre Garcon was drafted in the late 6th rounds and both players have become top-20 receivers in the league as of late, and these are just a few of the examples in the NFL today.

 There is no perfect formula for picking a future steal, but I like to think of these four rules in consideration:

1) Height:

This is the one consistent rule that I believe in. Colston, Garcon, Austin and Johnson are all over 6'0 and the average of the four is 6-foot-2. You can draft somebody short but for the most part the receiver steals  are tall while the short guys that deserve to be drafted (Wes Welker is an exception) will be drafted.

2) Stats:

Many people will say that stats don't matter in drafting, but the fact of the matter is that most players who didn't catch a ton in college won't have the ability to catch a ton in the NFL. The four examples that I listed all had good stats in college and many of them excelled as the top play maker on their team.

3) Speed:

40-time speed is not what I mean here. Marques Colston did not run a top speed, but he does have good speed. It is his ability to break away from the defenders, and his ability to get far enough down the field to produce.

4) School:

This is where I don't believe it matters. Colston went to Hofstra, Johnson went to Kentucky, Austin went to Monmouth, and Garcon went to Mount Union. And for that matter, Jerry Rice went to Mississippi Valley State, Randy Moss went to Marshall, and T.O went to Tennessee-Chattanooga. The school a receiver goes to does not matter and with the exception of a few teams (like LSU) there really aren't many schools that make a ton of NFL stud receivers.

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With that said I have three players that I have seen this year so far that I think could excel in the pros despite a late round selection. These guys are:

A) Kris Adams, UTEP:

Adams is a 6'3 stud that should run about a 4.5 40 time. He needs to add some bulk but is a huge play maker that had 5 catches for 150 yards and a score against Arkansas. He also had a career day in the New Mexico Bowl when he had three catches for three touchdowns and 153 yards. I love Adams and I wonder what he could do in an offense that had others around him.

B) Chris Matthews, Kentucky

Matthews is 6'5 and it shows. He isn't overly fast but will likely finish the season with 900 yards and ten scores through SEC play. He needs to work on his breakaway speed and might need a little time to develop but he could become a huge down the field threat over the next few years.

C) Lester Jean, FAU

Haven't hear of Lester Jean? That's ok. He is a 6'3 receiver that could easily run a sub 4.5 40-time. Lester is a four year player that had nearly doubled his stats each year through college. He hasn't been an absolute stud through college but in 7 games against bowl quality teams this year he caught 42 balls for 600 yards and four scores. Not too shabby at all.