Draft Review: Reggie Wayne

Wayne is a Pro Football Hall of Fame semifinalist for the fourth time

GOSSELIN DRAFT ANALYSIS: Wayne was a four-year starter for the University of Miami who set a school record for career catches with 173. His 42 starts were another school record for the position and his 20 touchdown receptions ranked third all-time at the U. He caught 43 passes for 755 yards and 10 touchdowns as a senior, averaging 17.5 yards per reception. He averaged 14.7 yards per career reception. His best game was a seven-catch, 127-yard, two-touchdown effort against West Virginia in 2000. He measured 6-0, 198 pounds at the NFL combine but chose not to work out there, opting to run on the lightning-fast grass on the Miami campus. But he only ran a 4.55 40-yard dash there. Gosselin placed him 42nd on his Top 100 draft board, the 10th wide receiver. The Indianapolis Colts drafted Wayne in the first round of the 2001 draft with the 30th overall selection.

Here are the pre-draft comments from nine NFL talent evaluators on Wayne:

Scout: Pure receiver, great hands and routes. Knows how to use his body and blocks well.

Scout II: A solid 2 (second round).

Wide receiver coach: I’d rather have Wayne than Chad Johnson.

Offensive coordinator: Great blocker and route runner. Can beat you deep regardless of his speed.

Offensive coordinator II: Complete package. Loved him at the Senior Bowl. He scored 11 touchdowns – what else do you want to know? As far as the best hands in this draft, I’d rate them (David) Terrell, Wayne, (Deuce) McAllister and (Alge) Crumpler.

Personnel director: Solid 2 but could be a late 1. You know what you’re getting. Catches so well. Good routes. Has quickness but no speed.

General manager: Could wind up being the best one of the bunch.

Head coach: He’s a 4.5 on grass. Everyone keeps talking about his speed, but he’s no different than the rest of them.

Head coach II: Best route runner. At or near the top of my WR draft board. He’s no mystery unlike a lot of the other receivers in this draft. He’s productive, healthy…the safest pick. Short-strider who competes like hell and makes plays. Reminds me of Mark Carrier.

HALL OF FAME RESUME: Wayne operated in the shadows of Hall-of-Famer Marvin Harrison for a large portion of his career with the Colts but didn’t stay there. He ranks 10th in NFL history in both receptions (1,070) and receiving yards (14,345) and 28th in receiving touchdowns (82). Wayne caught nine more touchdowns in the postseason, including A 53-yarder against Chicago in the Colts’ Super Bowl victory over the Bears in 2007. He posted seven consecutive 1,000-yard seasons (2004-10) and eight in his career. He also had four 100-catch seasons and was chosen for six Pro Bowls. Wayne was voted one of the 28 NFL semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2023. He has been a finalist three times.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Rick Gosselin spent 20 years as the NFL columnist for the Dallas Morning News, including 20 offseasons studying and researching prospects for the NFL draft. He didn’t watch any tape – he was a writer, not a scout – but he talked to the men who did watch tape. He built a network of NFL general managers, head coaches, personnel directors, scouts and assistant coaches from all 32 teams who would share with him their analyses of players. Gosselin used their insights to build his own draft board, Top 100 board and mock drafts. For 10 consecutive years he had the best Top 100 board in the country (2001-10), according to the Huddle Report, and three times he produced the best mock draft.

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