WR John Hightower, Boise St.

6’1” – 189 lbs. – 4.43

Originally attended Hinds Community College, where he played two seasons before coming to Boise St. Started four of ten games played in his first year with the Broncos, finishing with a line of 31-504-6 (16.3), then became a full-time starter last year and went 51-943-8 (18.5) while returning kicks. Overall size is adequate for the outside, although he has a thin build, even after gaining bulk for the Combine; was listed at just 172 on his team’s official website. Tended to line up as a flanker off the line of scrimmage, taking snaps on both sides of the formation and often coming in motion pre-snap; however, would also take some snaps on the line as more of a split end.

Doesn’t look particularly explosive when running shorter patterns; more of a smooth accelerator who ran a fairly simple route tree consisting of your typical out routes, slants, screens, curls, and drags, with deeper shots thrown in. Some of his usage was built around getting him the ball with room to work with in the open field, and would also carry it on jet sweeps from motion. Can occasionally struggle to create separation with his release when working against physical coverage at the line. Does have some nuance to his routes, working in head fakes and making an effort to sink his hips into the stem, but looks more flexible than he is explosive and didn’t generate a ton of separation out of his breaks. Changes speeds and works in head fakes and jab steps when running go routes down the sidelines to freeze defenders and does a pretty good job of tracking over his shoulder; long speed is good enough to threaten downfield.

Doesn’t appear to have the most reliable set of hands, double-catching some passes and dropping two during the games reviewed; seems to struggle to adjust to balls away from his frame or come down with catches in traffic. With the ball in his hands, does a good job of weaving through traffic and has the long speed to break big gains if he’s able to find a lane. Also gives solid effort as a blocker, working hard to engage and sustain through the whistle despite below-average functional strength.

A thin receiver who essentially served as a deep threat and big-play specialist in college, but who is going to need to continue to polish his releases and route running and add functional strength in order to succeed at the next level. Will likely begin his career as a return specialist and fourth receiver but could eventually work his way further up the depth chart.

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