A closer Look at Alex Neutz' best fits in the NFL.
And at last we've reached one of the most decorated receivers to ever put on a Buffalo uniform: Alex Neutz. To say Neutz has dominated at UB would be a massive understatement. By having back-to-back 60+ reception and 1,000+ yard seasons, and by breaking the school record for touchdown receptions Neutz has cemented himself firmly in the history books here at UB.
Neutz is a lean receiver with a great skill set for an "X" receiver. However, due to the shear volume of receivers declaring for the NFL draft Neutz may be an undrafted free agent, which may not be the worst case scenario, much like with Branden Oliver. The biggest knock against Neutz may be his speed. He doesn't have lightning-fast breakaway speed like a Mike Wallace so he doesn't separate as well from quicker defensive backs, which can be an issue in the NFL where many 50/50 balls can end up as interceptions. What Neutz lacks in speed he makes up for in his crisp route-running and his amazing knack for catching nearly anything thrown his way. Neutz may not be a No. 1 receiver in the NFL, but his skill set makes him an interesting No. 2 or No. 3 receiver in the right system. Without further ado, here are four fits for Alex Neutz in the NFL:
Now, with the NFL's best receiver in Calvin Johnson, how could the Detroit Lions possibly need receiver help? The answer is simple, watch the Lions' season finale game against the Minnesota Vikings. Without Johnson the Lions' offense sputtered and the Lions were upset by the Vikings. Also, behind Johnson, the Lions' leading receivers were running backs Joique Bell and Reggie Bush with 547, and 506 yards. respectively. The Lions are in dire need for a reliable No. 2 receiver behind Calvin Johnson, especially given Johnson's recent knee injuries. Neutz can be that receiver for quarterback Matthew Stafford. Stafford loves to throw the long ball, and Neutz is adept at going up and catching the deep ball as we've seen the past few years here at UB. Neutz can also help keep defenses honest over the middle as a possession receiver while Calvin Johnson can stretch defenses deep. Neutz could be the type of receiver to turn the Lions' offense from a good one, to one of the NFL's best with the right coaching staff in place.
New York Jets
When your leading receivers are Jeremy Kerley, David Nelson, and Blial Powell, you know your offense is in trouble. The Jets have an outstanding defense, with not a lot on offense outside of Geno Smith. The Jets drafted Stephen Hill out of Georgia Tech in the 2nd round of the 2012 NFL Draft with the hopes that he would be the next "Megatron". While Hill provides great measurables in his size and speed, he's lacking in his route-running skills, and has a severe problem with drops. Neutz can step in for Gang Green and provide Geno Smith a reliable safety valve on the outside. Given the severe lack of talent at the receiver position for the Jets, it wouldn't surprise me if Neutz could go right in and establish a starting role. The Jets need stability at wide receiver and Neutz is one of the more reliable and consistent receivers in this year's draft class.
After Reggie Wayne tore his ACL playing against the Denver Broncos, Andrew Luck lost one of his favorite targets, and the offense had to rely heavily on T.Y. Hilton, Coby Fleener, and free agent signee Darrius Heyward-Bey. As seen in their stunning comeback victory against the Chiefs, Hilton and Fleener have not disappointed' Heyward-Bey, has. It was thought that the former first round pick would flourish in Indianapolis with a star quarterback, and competent offense, something he did not have in Oakland. However, Heyward-Bey was plagued by drops and inconsistency throughout the season. Heyward-Bey ended the regular season with 29 receptions, 309 yards and one touchdown. Neutz could fit in as a No. 3 possession receiver behind both Wayne, and Hilton next season giving Indianapolis a dangerous trio at wide receiver. The Indianapolis aerial attack would be a matchup nightmare with Wayne who is one of the NFL's best, Hilton who can go the distance on any play, and with Coby Fleener down the seam, with so much to gameplan for Neutz could quietly come in and take advantage of all the talent on the Colts' roster and he could carve a nice niche role on the offense.
The defending Super Bowl Champions struggled on offense after the injury to Tight End Dennis Pitta; coordinators keyed on Torrey Smith and it showed. Beyond Smith, who the led the Ravens in receiving with 1,128 yards, there wasn't a receiver who took advantage of the focus on Smith. Jacoby Jones is a nice slot receiver, but he struggles with drops. Relative unknown Marlon Brown did an admirable job catching 49 balls for 524 yards and 7 touchdowns. But, Neutz could come in and provide Super Bowl MVP quarterback Joe Flacco with a solid No. 3 target. Neutz has more reliable hands than Smith, and Jones and could quickly develop a rapport with Flacco, especially given defenses needing to key on Smith and Jones deep, leaving the middle of the field open for Neutz and the Ravens' tight ends.
While the wide receiver position is very tricky to predict for given the numerous different offensive schemes in the NFL that utilize 4, and 5 receiver sets; I am certain that Neutz will find a home on an NFL team and will be playing on Sundays. He has the hands and route running skills that are very desirable for coaches looking for a possession receiver, meaning he could land on just about any NFL team given the NFL is very much a passing league. Where do you think Alex will be playing on Sundays?