New Orleans Saints Draft Prospects: Devin Funchess, WR, Michigan


The New Orleans Saints will try to strengthen their defense early in the draft but sooner or later they will have to look on the offensive side of the ball too. Now that Jimmy Graham is with the Seahawks the Saints have lost their matchup nightmare. Can they find a new one in the upcoming draft?


Michigan wide receiver Devin Funchess (6’4″, 232) could be the next matchup nightmare of the Saints’ offense. Some experts like to call him a “hybrid” wide receiver. Others see him as a tight end in the NFL. Independently of the label you want to give him the only thing I care about is that Funchess is a football player and he has a skill set that translates well into Sean Payton’s scheme.

NFL scouting combine measurables:

Height: 6-foot-4

Weight: 232 LBS

Arm Length: 33 1/2″ inches

Hands: 9 3/4″ inches

40-yard dash: 4.70 secs

Bench press (225 LBS): 17 reps

Vertical jump: 38.5 inches

Broad jump: 122 inches

Pro day results:

40-yard dash: 4.47 / 4.53 secs

20-yard shuttle: 4.48 secs

3-cone drill: 6.98 secs


"Junior (2014) All-Big Ten second team (coaches), appeared in 11 games, making 11 starts … recorded 62 receptions for 733 yards and four touchdowns … has recorded at least one reception in 24 straight games, tied for the 9th-longest streak in program history … OHIO STATE (Nov. 29) … recorded seven receptions for 108 yards … MARYLAND (Nov. 22) … caught five passes for 30 yards … NORTHWESTERN (Nov. 8) … caught two passes for 23 yards … INDIANA (Nov. 1) … tallied 47 yards on seven catches … MICHIGAN STATE (Oct. 25) … caught five passes for 64 yards … PENN STATE (Oct. 11) … tallied a team-high seven receptions for 69 yards and a touchdown … RUTGERS (Oct. 4) … caught four passes for 71 yards … MINNESOTA (Sept. 27) … registered four receptions for 37 yards … UTAH (Sept. 20) … recorded four catches for 82 yards … NOTRE DAME (Sept. 6) … caught career-high nine passes for 107 yards …APPALACHIAN STATE (Aug. 30) … posted seven receptions for 95 yards and a career-high three touchdowns … became the first wide receiver in program history to post three touchdown receptions in a season opener … one of two players in the country with three receiving touchdowns in Week 1.At Michigan: three-year letterman, has appeared in 37 games, making 25 starts. Tied for 12th on U-M’s career 100-yard receiving games list (5)."

Funchess is a bit raw: he lacks great hands (had 20 drops over the past three seasons) and struggles to high-point the football. His speed is below-average but he moves well on the field, has fluid hips and uses his body to cut out defenders.

Even if Funchess was listed as a tight end in 2013 he did not play a lot of snaps in-line, like a traditional tight end. He was usually matched up against linebackers, a one-on-one battle he was often able to win. He matches up well against corner on the outside in man-to-man coverage too (see the deep ball against Ohio State in the highlight video), winning those contested balls using his body at his advantage.

I believe he would be a great fit for the Saints thanks to Sean Payton’s ability to maximize the strengths of each player on the roster by putting him in a position to succeed, doing what he does best. It wouldn’t shock me if the Saints decide to pick him as high as #44 since he’ll be probably gone by the time they’re on the clock in the third round.

Next: Saints draft prospects - Devin Smith, WR

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