Doug Mouton / Eyewitness News
NEW ORLEANS -- For the eight LSU Tigers heading to the NFL Scouting Combine, the seven days in Indianapolis may be the most important for LSU Wide Receiver Rueben Randle.
"Justin Blackmon (of Oklahoma State) is the best wide receiver in this draft class," NFL Draft Analyst Mike Detillier said. "The question mark is, who is 2? It is a close race between a king sized Michael Floyd from Notre Dame, a fleet but small Kendall Wright from Baylor and Rueben Randle."
LSU's lack of a big time passing game showed in Randle's numbers. In his junior season in Baton Rouge, Randle caught 53 passes for 917 yards and eight touchdowns. Most impressive in his stat line, 17.3 yards per catch.
But despite his big time tools, too often, Randle was a forgotten man in the LSU offense. In the BCS National Championship Game, Rueben Randle caught three passes for 13 yards.
The question for Randle became whether he would be better off coming back to Baton Rouge for his senior season, and possibly reap the benefits of a stepped up passing attack led by Zach Mettenberger.
"Can you guarantee me he would have had a legitimate passing attack?" Mike Detillier asked. "Have you seen anything from LSU to make you believe that that would be there? Rueben made the right decision to come out early. He is going to be a first round pick."
Detillier is not the only draft analyst to hold that opinion. In his latest mock draft, ESPN Draft Analyst Mel Kiper, Jr. predicts the San Francisco 49ers will select Rueben Randle with the 30th pick of the first round.
The key to his rise in the wide receiver rankings, according to Detillier, will be at the combine and individual workouts, when scouts truly measure Rueben Randle's physical skills.
"He is going to be a guy that once you get him on the track and see how good of an athlete he is," Detillier said, "everybody's going to be surprised. He's going to be the guy that shocks you come combine time, how well he can run, how well he can jump. It shouldn't. We've all seen it when he's had that opportunity."
Which is why Detillier said, the 6'4", 220 pound Bastrop native will be selected in the first 22 picks of the draft.