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Indiana WR Cody Latimer sees draft interest skyrocket

NEW YORK -- The Philadelphia Eagles, Carolina Panthers and Baltimore Ravens have shown the most pre-draft interest in Cody Latimer, one of the NFL draft's fastest risers, the former Indiana wide receiver told College Football 24/7 Tuesday.

But it took a dazzling pro-day performance to spark Latimer's late surge as one of the draft's top prospects.

The Eagles could look to the draft for a replacement for departed star receiver DeSean Jackson, and Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome indicated his club is likely good for a pick at that position, as well. Meanwhile, the Panthers are among the league's most receiver-depleted teams, so much so that NFL Media analyst Charles Davis suggested last month that the club could see fit to invest four draft picks in receivers alone.

If any of them want Latimer, they ought not wait too long.

In a draft pool that has been lauded for its depth at the receiver position, however, Latimer has managed to climb the ladder quickly in a short period of time. He is convinced his official pro-day times of 4.44 and 4.45 seconds in the 40-yard dash, even at a point where his recovery from a foot injury hadn't yet allowed him to participate fully, propelled him.

"It's been a blessing, coming off the injuries and pretty much missing the combine and not being able to run and train during the foot injury. It's a little setback," Latimer said. "Coaches didn't really get to see me in action, so I felt like on pro day, I had to prove what I can do. It helped me a lot, to shoot up the draft boards."

The result was 11 post-pro day visits with NFL clubs, and Latimer doesn't even recall visiting one team prior to the March 26 workout. Latimer is among 30 draft prospects who have been invited to attend the draft in person at Radio City Music Hall. Some of those are certain to be chosen in the first round of the draft on Thursday, though Latimer could be a second-day pick in Round 2 or 3 on Friday. Either way, he's thrilled.

"It still hasn't really hit me yet," he said.

If he's lucky, it will hit him on Thursday.

*Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter **@ChaseGoodbread.*

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