WR #1 De’Runnya Wilson, Mississippi St.*

6’5” – 215 lbs. – 4.65e

Was an accomplished basketball player in high school and also played some collegiate ball for the Bulldogs. Worked into the wide receiver rotation as a freshman, then became a starter the following season, reprising his role as a junior before declaring for the draft. Very tall, long-limbed wide receiver with good bulk, although he looks to have some bad weight as well; nonetheless, presents a size mismatch for many cornerbacks. Lines up all over the field, including in the middle of spacious trips formations; in more traditional sets, serves as a split end on either side of the formation. Not really targeted as frequently as most top picks are; goes for long stretches without being looked at much. Often worked into the game via screens, with the wide receivers to either side of him responsible for blocking. Also runs a variety of other routes, typically shorter patterns such as shallow crosses, slants, or in-routes; however, lacks suddenness and doesn’t create a ton of separation on his own. Instead, uses his frame to shield defenders from the ball, albeit inconsistently; needs to do a better job of coming back to the ball rather than allowing defenders to outwork him. Length gives him a pretty wide catch radius; can pluck the ball out of the air away from his frame, although he’s occasionally prone to cradling the ball against his body. Body control is impressive; capable of making the occasional highlight grab while twisting in the air (see early third quarter catch in Louisiana St. game.) Has just average speed and suddenness, but can be a handful to bring down when he’s built up a head of steam and will end many of runs falling forward, lowering his shoulder into contact. A little bit dirty as a blocker, but doesn’t give very consistent effort or drive his feet; prone to shoving defenders in the back and after the snap, even headbutting an opponent at one point. Still has some success because his sheer size and length make him difficult to get around. Also used as an obstacle on some pick plays. Despite his frame, has had some minor injuries which could call his toughness into question. Production has increased each season, but isn’t really a consistent factor like you’d expect from a potential second-day pick; some teams may be willing to gamble on his size and length, but his lack of speed and explosiveness may make him nothing more than a possession receiver with red-zone potential. Pretty raw and would represent a gamble.

Games watched: Mississippi (’14), Louisiana St. (’15), Mississippi (’15)

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