SI.com 2003 NFL Draft 2003 NFL Draft


Grading System
SAM AIKEN
Sam Aiken - WR Position: WR
Class: Sr
School: North Carolina
Conference: ACC
Ht., Wt.: 6'2, 209
40 Time: 4.64
Grade: 3.81

Selected by Buffalo Bills
Round 4, pick 30 (127 overall)
BIO: First-team All-Conference selection last year and North Carolina's leading receiver the previous two seasons. Set school single season records in 2002 with 68 receptions for 990 yards, also recording four TDs. Junior totals were 46-789-8 after 29-410-3 the prior year coming off the bench. Used to return both kicks and punts early in his Tar Heel career.

POSITIVES: Sure-handed wide out that progressively improved the past three seasons. Strong receiver who goes over the middle, shields away opponents with his frame and makes the difficult catch in traffic. Gets vertical, extends his hands and pulls the ball out of the air. Beats jams at the line of scrimmage or out muscles defenders down the sidelines. Adjusts well to the errant throw, displays focus, eye-hand coordination and makes the tough grab running full tilt. Grabs the ball at its high point then keeps the play inbounds, picking up positive yardage running after the catch. Always working to get open and make himself an available target.

NEGATIVES: Lacks long speed and cannot run to the deep ball. Choppy route runner and lacks quickness in or out of his breaks.

ANALYSIS: Performed well at both the Senior Bowl and Combine displaying consistent hands at both events. Does not stand out physically but deceptively strong and could develop into a solid number two receiver at the next level.

PROJECTION: Late Second Round


Photo: Craig Jones/Getty Images

2002 Receiving Statistics
Receptions Receiving Yards Yards Per Reception Touchdowns
68 990 14.56 4

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