Buckner was a first-team all-state receiver in Allen, Texas, so naturally it was expected he would have similar success after signing with Mack Brown and the Longhorns. He got on the field as a true freshman (5 catches, 84 yards, two touchdowns) and took a step forward in his progression the following year (45-442, but an arrest for misdemeanor trespassing and resisting arrest cost him his scholarship at UT.
He moved on to Arizona shortly afterwards, and won the team's Scout Team Offensive MVP while redshirting the 2010 season per NCAA transfer rules. Though he only started one game as a junior, he was still a regular target (42-606, 2 TD) for quarterback Nick Foles. He switched jersey numbers before 2012, from 15 to 4, to honor his grandfather, who wore 44 as a high school basketball player in Mississippi.
Tall outside target with good upper-body strength. Obvious red zone target and vertical route threat due to his height and length. Big body makes him difficult for corners to get around on interior routes. Flashes agility after the catch, used on quick throws and can leave closing corners behind by spinning inside after the comeback or hitch. Also bulls through poor tackle attempts to continue downfield. Snatches passes near his head and above the belt with his hands. Comes off the stem on his routes, creating separation. Uses his long arms to separate downfield, extend for high throws. Shows potential as a run-blocker, using his strength, length and agility to take cornerbacks out of play.
Possesses build-up speed off the line. Throttles down into his cuts, takes time to cut in on crossers. Has difficulty adjusting to low throws. Could use his hands more consistently to beat corners off the line, relies on hesitation, which won't be effective against NFL defenders. Effort on run-blocking could be amped up. A bit top-heavy and long-legged, gets tripped up in traffic and will lose his balance trying to make a quick move.
Buckner possesses the size, strong hands, and ability to win jump balls downfield as a outside vertical threat, but average straight-line speed, inconsistent play, and off-field issues that caused him to transfer from Texas to UA might keep him a mid-round selection.
Future Hall of Famer
A once-in-a-generation type prospect who could change how his position is played
An impact player with the ability/intangibles to become a Pro Bowl player. Expect to start immediately except in a unique situation (i.e. behind a veteran starter).
A quality player who will contribute to the team early on and is expected to develop into a starter. A reliable player who brings value to the position.
A prospect with the ability to make team as a backup/role player. Needs to be a special teams contributor at applicable positions. Players in the high range of this category might have long-term potential.
A player with solid measurables, intangibles, college achievements, or a developing skill that warrants an opportunity in an NFL camp. In the right situation, he could earn a place on a 53-man roster, but most likely will be a practice squad player or a camp body.