WR Calvin Ridley, Alabama*

6’0” – 189 lbs. – 4.43

Five-star recruit who started eleven of fifteen games played as a true freshman, leading the team in receiving. Reprised his starting role in each of the two subsequent seasons before declaring for the draft; production dipped in his subsequent two seasons, but appeared to be limited by poor quarterback play. Has solid height and long limbs, but bulk is just adequate. Projects as a flanker at the next level, but took snaps all over at Alabama. Runs a pro-style route tree with patterns over the middle and on the boundaries at all three levels of the field; runs a lot of curls, stop routes, slants, posts, and go routes. Very sudden player who does a good job of using his feet to release at the line of scrimmage. Able to use his hands to release against bump-and-run. Explosive long-strider who can eat up a defensive back’s cushion and who looks silky-smooth when making breaks at the route stem. Can create separation with quick breaks to beat man coverage. Has the deep speed to uncover down the field, which also allows him to create separation underneath as defensive backs are forced to respect his speed. Offers a wide catch radius and impressive body control to adjust to poorly-thrown passes, although he struggled to bring in some difficult but catchable balls in tight coverage; reliable on accurately-thrown balls. Has plenty of wiggle with the ball in his hands; isn’t the type of receiver with the strength to break tackles on a consistent basis, but can often make the first man miss and get upfield quickly when targeted on screens, drags, slants, and curls. Consequently, picks up a lot of yards after the catch. Gives decent effort as a blocker but doesn’t really have the physicality or frame to bully opposing defensive backs when blocking for screens and outside rushing attempts. Has the type of athletic traits which could make him a punt returner, but handled only two punts over the course of his collegiate career. Not quite the prospect former Tide receiver Amari Cooper was, but is an excellent prospect in his own right, a legitimate deep threat who can take the top off of defenses and use his deep speed to set up targets underneath as well. Explosiveness, flexibility, and polish are likely to make him a first-round pick, potentially the top receiver selected.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: