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Indiana WR Cody Latimer rising fast on NFL draft boards

There is a deep pool of wide receivers in this year's draft, and Indiana's Cody Latimer appears to be one of the fastest-rising prospects at the position.

NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt said Latimer already has met with Buffalo, is visiting with Philadelphia on Monday and has meetings set up with Carolina (Tuesday), Detroit (Friday), Oakland (April 14), Seattle (April 15) and San Diego (April 16). Brandt tweeted that Carolina wide receiver coach Ricky Proehl and Panthers director of college scouting Don Gregory will have dinner with Latimer on Tuesday and have a classroom exercise for him Wednesday.

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Latimer (6-foot-2 1/2, 215 pounds) had foot surgery in January and was not able to work out at February's NFL Scouting Combine. He also was not able to do any position drills at Indiana's pro day March 26, but did run the 40-yard dash in 4.44 seconds and turned in an impressive 39-inch vertical jump. Those numbers and his size -- coupled with his production in a pass-happy attack in college -- has led some draft analysts to speculate that Latimer could go late in the first round or early in the second.

Philadelphia, which picks 22nd, and Carolina, which picks 28th, definitely have a need for a wide receiver, and Latimer could entice both, though taking him with the No. 22 pick seems like a reach. Carolina, in particular, would seem to be desperate for a receiver. San Diego (25th pick) and Seattle (32nd) also could be interested in taking a receiver in the first round.

Oakland (fourth pick in the second round) and Detroit (13th pick in second round) probably see a need for a wide receiver, whereas Buffalo (ninth pick in the second round) would seem to be a stretch at that point after acquiring Mike Williams from Tampa Bay late last week.

Latimer left Indiana after his junior season, and he had 123 receptions for 1,901 yards (15.5 yards per reception) and 15 TDs in his final two seasons with the Hoosiers, who attempted a combined 1,007 passes in 2012 and '13.

Latimer didn't play football until his junior season of high school in Dayton, Ohio, and he didn't redshirt at Indiana, which means he has played just five seasons of organized football. He still is learning the nuances of the position -- his route-running, in particular, can be sloppy -- but in his final 1 1/2 seasons with the Hoosiers, he began to use his big body to his advantage.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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