Report: Colts Work Out Tennessee Wide Receiver Marquez North

Sep 19, 2015; Knoxville, TN, USA; Tennessee Volunteers wide receiver Marquez North (8) runs the ball against the Western Carolina Catamounts during the first half at Neyland Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 19, 2015; Knoxville, TN, USA; Tennessee Volunteers wide receiver Marquez North (8) runs the ball against the Western Carolina Catamounts during the first half at Neyland Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports /
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According to the Baltimore Sun’s Aaron Wilson, the Indianapolis Colts privately worked out Tennessee wide receiver Marquez North on Thursday:

The 6’4″, 224 pound junior wide receiver tore his labrum in November this past season. As a result, injuries negatively impacted his play, as he managed only 6 receptions for 58 receiving yards in 5 games. North was named to the 2015 SEC Academic Honor Roll before declaring for the NFL Draft.

Sep 27, 2014; Athens, GA, USA; Tennessee Volunteers wide receiver Marquez North (8) catches a touchdown pass against the Georgia Bulldogs during the second half at Sanford Stadium. Georgia defeated Tennessee 35-32. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 27, 2014; Athens, GA, USA; Tennessee Volunteers wide receiver Marquez North (8) catches a touchdown pass against the Georgia Bulldogs during the second half at Sanford Stadium. Georgia defeated Tennessee 35-32. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /

Despite his later struggles, North showed initial promise in his Volunteers career, as he caught 38 receptions for 496 receiving yards (which led the team) and 1 touchdown in 2013–being named Freshman All-SEC.

The talented wide receiver’s athleticism has never been in question, as he was one of the top wide receiver recruits coming out of North Carolina and is the son of Ramando North, who played in the NFL, NFL Europe, and CFL. Not to mention, the younger North participated in the USA Track and Field Olympics for 110-meter hurdles at the age of 12.

North has size and soft hands and from a physical standpoint, certainly looks the part of an NFL wide receiver. However, he lacks great separation speed (despite a 4.48 forty time) and was largely injured–perhaps directly attributing to a somewhat underwhelming collegiate career in terms of overall production (via his NFL.com draft profile):

"STRENGTHSLooks the part when he steps off the bus. Has NFL size and reliable, soft hands. Snatches ball away from his frame and gets upfield quickly after the catch. Extended catch radius with ability to adjust high, low or behind him to make the catch. Capable blocker to help spring running game on the perimeter."

"WEAKNESSESDisappointing career with unimpressive production. Dealt with injuries every year in school including knee and back problems in 2015 limiting him to just seven games and six catches. Slow. Doesn’t have feet to clear aggressive press coverage or the burst to get over the top. Uninspired route runner with average separation talent. Needs to work back to the ball.BOTTOM LINEHighly regarded coming out of high school, North put together a solid freshman campaign but saw his production dwindle in each of the last two seasons. North has great size and hands, but his lack of speed and history of injuries could make him a camp project rather than a draftable talent."

However, North’s lack of production and durability concerns likely will make him a late round draft pick or undrafted priority free agent–even though there’s considerable physical ability there: