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There is NFL hope for a few former Arkansas State University players this year, but whether they are drafted is the question.

Wide receivers Omar Bayless and Kirk Merritt are the Red Wolves' top prospects.

Each played in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl in January at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., and each caught a touchdown pass. Bayless went on to work out in the NFL Draft Combine in Indianapolis in February, the lone ASU player who was invited.

Bayless -- who measured 6-1, 212 pounds, at the combine -- exploded onto the scene in 2019, tallying 1,653 receiving yards, which ranked second nationally; 17 receiving touchdowns, which was third nationally; and 93 receptions. He was named the Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year.

Questions remain about his speed -- he clocked a 4.62 in the 40-yard dash at the combine -- and route-running ability.

Merritt -- who tallied 70 catches for 806 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2019 -- possesses more speed, can play in the slot and has kick return experience. Earlier this month, the 6-0, 215-pounder reportedly ran a 4.33 in the 40-yard dash and put up 23 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press, which was 12 more reps than what Bayless recorded at the combine.

CBS Sports has Bayless rated as the No. 37 wide receiver and No. 224 overall prospect in the draft, while Merritt is the No. 61 receiver and No. 411 prospect.

Sports on 04/23/2020

Print Headline: ASU receivers hope to hear their name


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