Category: Wide Receiver

WR Braxton Berrios, Miami (FL)

5’9” – 184 lbs. – 4.44

Profile:

  • Started four of twelve games as a freshman, enjoying modest production (21-232-3), then saw his output drop off the following year. Started three games as a junior, with a season somewhat similar to his first, also serving as a punt returner. His final season was his only one with significant output (55-679-9), and came playing in the slot. Team captain.

Positives:

  • Despite his small stature, has adequate hand size for a pro receiver. Route tree is pretty standard for a slot receiver, with a lot of slants, ins and outs, drags, and screens, but is able to execute them pretty well. Gets up to speed quickly, with good burst off the line of scrimmage. Runs a lot of routes over the middle of the field; willing to take a hit in order to catch a ball. Uses what size he has to shield defenders. Not just a short-area receiver; has the speed to threaten the seams against zone coverage. Exhibits plus body control to adjust to passes. High-percentage target with reliable hands. Gives good effort as a stalk blocker in the run game; works hard to stick with opponents through the snap. Has experience returning punts and ran one back for a touchdown as a junior.

Negatives:

  • Short with 28” arms; physical profile will limit him to a slot-only role on offense. Can catch passes away from his frame, but probably needs to play with an accurate quarterback because of his lack of length. Might struggle to release at the line of scrimmage against bump-and-run coverage at the next level. A bit of a one-speed player. Doesn’t always exhibit enough snap at the route stem; relied a little too much on his natural athleticism. Had only one productive season at the college level. Tore his ACL in 2014.

 Summary:

  • An undersized slot receiver and punt returner with impressive burst and speed, and who offers reliable hands and the ability to contort his body and adjust to poorly-thrown balls. He gets up to speed in a hurry and unlike some of the pros he’s been compared to, does a good job of threatening the seam against zone coverage. A relatively known quantity with a high floor and the ceiling of an effective number three receiver, he looks like a mid-round pick who would thrive if paired with an accurate quarterback who could mitigate his lack of size and length.
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WR Tre’Quan Smith, Central Florida

6’2” – 203 lbs. – 4.49

Misc:

  • Well-built receiver with good height and a strong frame. Does some work on the outside but is often lined up in the slot.

Positives:

  • Able to use a swim move to release at the line of scrimmage, and is strong enough to continue his routes through some contact. Has the toughness to come down with contested passes in traffic, important considering that he wasn’t able to get consistent separation each week. Flashes the ability to lull defensive backs into a false sense of security by changing speeds when working downfield; looked like a serious deep threat out of the slot at times. Does a good job of positioning himself to win 50-50 passes, and his quarterback clearly had confidence in him in those types of situations. Climbs the ladder and wins over the top. Can track and adjust to poorly thrown balls; has the length and hands to pluck away from his frame. Some ability to improvise and create opportunities for his quarterback when the play breaks down. Has some shake and enough power to run through tackles with the ball in his hands; fights for additional yardage after the contact. Physical blocker who extends his arms, keeps defenders out of his frame, and works to stick with them through the whistle. Some ability to improvise when the play breaks down.

Negatives:

  • A lot of his production is manufactured on short throws which take advantage of generous cushions; gets a lot of touches on short digs two or three yards down the field. Beyond those patterns and go routes, tree is simple at this point. Has a tendency to take it easy on routes in which he’s not the primary target; doesn’t always go full speed. Ran well at the Combine, but looks better when he’s able to settle into soft spots against zone coverage; flashes the ability to put defenders in his hip pocket in some games and really struggles to threaten defenses in others. Will need to play with a quarterback who trusts him to catch passes in tight coverage. Makes some

 Summary:

 A prospect who looks like a dangerous deep threat out of the slot in some games, and who struggles to distinguish himself in others. Size, athleticism, and potential to make acrobatic catches away from his frame should attract teams looking for a high-upside receiver in the third or fourth round.

WR Michael Gallup, Colorado St.*

6’1” – 205 lbs. – 4.51

Profile: 

  • Originally attended Butler Community College, then transferred to Colorado St. and enjoyed two highly productive seasons before declaring for the draft. Solidly built receiver who lines up on the outside, splitting snaps pretty evenly between the left and right sides of the field.

Positives: 

  • Very productive at the college level. Good route-runner who had enough speed to challenge defenses deep at the college level but was at his best when working underneath or catching screens. Does a lot of his work over the middle of the field, running slants and other short patterns, and has the concentration and toughness to hang on through contact. Knows how to keep defenders in his hip pocket. Plays bigger and stronger than his size would suggest. Able to get physical with opposing defensive backs when playing against press coverage; might create a little bit too much contact at the route stem at times, creating the possibility of drawing offensive pass interference penalties, but can hold his own when matched up against chippy opponents. Has good awareness and footwork near the sideline, with plus flexibility/body control to adjust to poorly-thrown balls. Has very reliable hands and maximizes his length. Dangerous with the ball in his hands; very good burst in the screen game. Works hard to stick with opponents when stalking for screens.

Negatives: 

  • At times, can be pinned to the sideline effectively and driven out of the field of play by bigger opponents. Runs what routes he has well, but didn’t appear to have a particularly diverse repertoire of intermediate patterns in college and may not be quite fast enough to qualify as a deep threat at the pro level, either, although as mentioned previously, was able to beat opposing corners off the line in school. Can be a little bit passive in 50-50 situations, letting the ball come to him instead of working back and using his body to shield defenders from the ball. Seemed to have some chemistry issues with his quarterback when targeted downfield this past season.

Summary: 

  • Volume receiver who has a pretty good set of physical and athletic tools and few if any major weaknesses in his game; not the biggest, fastest, or strongest receiver, but runs good routes, has plus body control and flexibility, and is a reliable target who has the burst to rack up yards after the catch. Doesn’t quite have a full route tree at this point, running a lot of screens, slants, curls, and go routes, and may have to diversify into the intermediate routes more to stay on the outside.

WR DaeSean Hamilton, Penn St.

6’1” – 205 lbs. – 4.52

Profile: 

  • Redshirted, then immediately had a major impact for the Nittany Lions, enjoying his most productive season as a redshirt freshman and putting up decent numbers in the three subsequent seasons as well. Despite being a relatively tall, well-built wide receiver, did most of his work out of the slot in college. Ran routes to all three levels of the field, but most of his production is at the short-to-intermediate level on digs, curls, drags, tunnel screens, and other patterns designed to get him the ball with some room to work. Best when he’s making an inside release from the slot, carrying defenders on his outside shoulder, and then breaking patterns over the middle.

 Positives: 

  • Has pretty good footwork to release at the line of scrimmage against press coverage. Runs a lot of patterns which take him over the middle of the field and does a good job of creating separation at the route stem. Technician who runs routes with nuance and can sink his hips and use head fakes to get open. Aware of where he is on the field and able to settle into soft spots underneath the defense. Has very reliable hands. Able to catch the ball away from his frame and hold onto passes through contact. Not a particularly dynamic runner after the catch but is willing to get physical and doesn’t waste time before getting upfield. Gives good effort to stick with his opponents when stalking in the run game.

 Negatives: 

  • Not a particularly fast or explosive receiver; relies on technique to separate and produce. May lack the speed to stretch defenses on the outside, but was given a lot of opportunities to win on 50-50 balls downfield from the slot, often with outside releases that took him toward the boundary. Is able to track and adjust to downfield throws, with good body control to come down with catches. Runs some good wheel routes from the slot, and was often targeted on those sorts of throws when working in the red zone. Able to use his body to shield defenders from the ball, although he could be more aggressive about working back to throws when targeted.

Summary: 

  • A polished, reliable slot target whose speed was a question going into the pre-draft process, but who ran well at his pro day and consequently stands a pretty good shot of coming off the board on the second day. As one of the most pro-ready receivers in this year’s class, stands a good chance of being able to win a slot job sooner rather than later, although his lack of snaps on the outside raises the question of whether or not he’ll be able to do that at the next level.

WR D.J. Moore, Maryland*

6’0” – 210 lbs. – 4.42

Profile:

  • Started ten of twelve games played as a freshman, and was the team’s leading receiver in his sophomore and junior campaigns, the latter much more productive, before declaring for the draft. Ran all of his routes from the left side of the formation; is that because he has trouble running routes from the other side, or because his offense called for it? Did take some snaps over the middle. Also took some snaps out of the slot and showed some willingness to work the middle of the field.

Positives:

  • Has a clear speed advantage which should translate to the next level. Projects as a deep threat who can stretch opposing defenses. Able to use his speed to create opportunities to come back to the ball and pick up first downs. Works some head fakes into his routes and can be difficult to cover when running double moves; does a lot of post-corner stuff. Flashes the ability to make inside releases against cushions and create over the middle of the field on intermediate routes. Lines up on the line of scrimmage and is comfortable getting physical with opponents when facing press/bump-and-run. Doesn’t have the longest arms or softest hands but flashes the ability to make catches away from his frame. Willing to get pretty physical with opposing defensive backs as a blocker; some experience lining up tight to the formation and cracking opponents. Some ability to run through arm tackles and pick up yards after the catch.

Negatives:

  • Upright into his breaks, doesn’t do a good job of sinking his hips. Some of the separation he generates comes as a result of pushing off; needs to do a better job of creating with his actual patterns to avoid penalties. Doesn’t make a lot of contested catches, and can have trouble locating the ball when dealing with physical opponents. Could be more aggressive in terms of working back to the ball and using his frame to work back to defenders. Tends to double-catch a lot of passes and may not be the most reliable receiver out there. Got fed the ball on some shorter routes and plays designed to get the ball into his hands, but wasn’t particularly creative or elusive. Struggles to adjust to some passes; doesn’t always put himself in the best position to make a play on the ball, leading to missed opportunities.

 Summary:

  • A physically gifted receiver with the speed to threaten defenses downfield, a trait which opens things up on shorter routes; does a lot of his work at the intermediate level. Not the most natural receiver, either in terms of his route-running or his ball skills, but could still stick in a starting lineup even if he doesn’t make many strides because the threat of his deep speed is good for offensive spacing. Not quite as explosive as previous Maryland receivers such as Darrius Heyward-Bey and Torrey Smith.

WR Dante Pettis, Washington*

6’1” – 186 lbs. – 4.50e

 Profile: 

  • Cousin is former pro receiver Austin Pettis. Started five of thirteen games as a true freshman, also returning punts. Retained his return job and started eight games the followin year, then became more of a full-time starter before declaring for the draft. Wiry wide receiver who’s tall enough to potentially stay on the outside, although many teams may view him as more of a slot option because his frame lacks bulk; at Washington, played extensively both inside and outside.

 Positives:

  • Game is predicated on using his speed to run routes down the field. Bread and butter is essentially a deep out, sometimes from a slot release, which lets him create separation against opponents playing in off-coverage. Teams respected his speed and generally played off of him in college, although he didn’t run at either the Combine or his pro day. Quick feet to release at the line versus press. Appears to have enough juice to beat defenders over the top, especially because he does a pretty good job of working in head fakes and adding some nuance to his routes. Off the line of scrimmage, is a long-strider who gets up to full speed relatively quickly. Able to track the ball over his shoulder when going deep. Flashes the ability to pluck the ball away from his frame. Dynamic punt returner who has the vision and elusiveness to recognize cutback opportunities and make opponents miss in order to create big gains with the ball in his hands.

 Negatives: 

  • Production was inconsistent on a game-to-game basis, and fell off as a senior. Wasn’t asked to do much work which took him over the middle of the field. Route tree is a little bit simple at this point and didn’t run many shorter patterns, so how he’d transition to a full-time slot job in some offenses is a question mark. Because his speed is good but not great, will need to polish his game. Could sink his hips more consistently at the route stem. Struggles to make contested catches; doesn’t really have the frame to shield defenders from the ball, and isn’t particularly aggressive in working back. Does he have the strength to release at the line against bump and run coverage in the pros? Has some struggles with positioning as a blocker, although he generally gives good effort and has a chippy on-field temperament.

 Summary:

  • The type of competitive – if slightly undersized – inside/outside target who would fit well with a team like the Lions or Seahawks. At the least, should be able to serve as a primary punt returner who can threaten defenses downfield from the slot, and could conceivably end up playing some flanker as well.

WR Equanimeous St. Brown, Notre Dame*

6’5” – 214 lbs. – 4.48

Profile:

  • Played very sparingly over seven games as a freshman, working on offense and special teams, then led the team in receiving the following season, catching 58-961-9. Production plummeted to 33-515-4 this past season, but nonetheless decided to forego his senior season in order to declare for the draft.

Positives:

  • Physical specimen who has above-average athleticism for his size. Very big, tall split end with arms which measured 33” in Indianapolis. Also has a little bit of experience playing in the slot. Long-strider who accelerates smoothly. Does a lot of his work on screens and shallow crosses over the middle of the field, and has enough shake in space to make defenders miss and pick up yards after the catch; able to create a lot more on short targets than most other big receivers. Has a little bit of snap to his routes and does a good job of finding spots in zone coverage when targeted on intermediate throws. Offers a wide catching radius and soft hands. Physical frame is well-suited to the red zone. Generally gives good effort as a blocker, especially when the play is coming his way.

Negatives:

  • Has a little bit of a finesse game for a big guy and plays a little bit smaller than he is. Does better against off or zone coverage and could be more consistent about working back to the ball. Physical attributes could eventually make him a good stalk blocker, but as it stands, struggles with positioning and has some trouble staying engaged; ended up being ragdolled by smaller cornerbacks during the games reviewed. At this point, a lot of his routes too him over the middle of the field and didn’t have as much tape working the sidelines during the games reviewed. Smoother than he is fast and may have some trouble uncovering downfield against pro cornerbacks. Route tree is a little bit simple, predominantly drags, curls, and screens, with some intermediate work. Really only put together one impressive season in college, and that was back in 2016.

Summary:

  • Looks like a pretty good bet to come off the board on the second day or early third day despite a forgettable junior campaign. Has the size and length teams look for in split ends, and demonstrates the ability to turn short throws into big gains with his ability to run after the catch.

 

WR D.J. Chark, Louisiana St.*

6’3” – 199 lbs. – 4.34

Profile:

  • Was used sparingly in his first two seasons, then finished second in receiving yards as a junior before enjoying a productive senior campaign. Tall, slightly thin wide receiver who typically lines up on the line of scrimmage as a split end, but will also take snaps in the slot or from tight to the formation in order to block.

Positives: 

  • Able to work under the defense and create opportunities for himself because of the threat of his speed. Was dangerous running wheel routes out of the slot. Has the long strides necessary to eat up cushions and threaten defenses over the top. Tracks the ball well over his shoulder and can come down with imperfect passes. Plus body control/footwork when working near the sidelines. Able to contort his body and come down with back shoulder throws. Gives good effort as a blocker; could do a better job of extending his arms, but is physical at the point of attack and can make crackback blocks or stalk a little bit down the field. Served as his team’s punt returner and flashed the ability to break big gains. With the ball in his hands, has some ability to run through or spin off of weak tackle attempts in order to pick up yards after the catch.

 Negatives: 

  • Route tree at this point is a little bit simple. A lot of his production was manufactured on curls and digs. May not have an ideal frame for working over the middle of the field; wasn’t really asked to venture much into areas occupied by opposing linebackers. Flashes the ability to uncover deep with double moves but wasn’t the type of consistent threat that his speed would indicate; more of an intermediate option. Could be more aggressive at the catch point; struggles to use his body to shield defenders from the ball because of his lack of strength/bulk. Prone to being undercut by defensive backs because he lets the ball come to him instead of working back. Seems to have reliable hands but lets a lot of throws into his body, especially on curls/digs/comebacks.

Summary: 

  • A very physically and athletically gifted receiver with good body control and pretty reliable hands. While he will need to diversify his route tree and add additional bulk, he has the ability to develop into a future starter at split end for a team, using his speed to create opportunities underneath the defense.

WR James Washington, Oklahoma St.

5’11” – 213 lbs. – 4.54

Was a big part of the offense as a freshman, catching 28-456-6, then spent the next three seasons in the starting lineup, finishing his career with four seasons of impressive production, culminating in being this past season’s recipient of the Biletnikoff Award. Very thickly-built wide receiver who looks more like a running back. Almost always lines up split out wide to the right side of the offense. Played in a spread offense and ran a lot of his routes against generous cushions, but also has the strength and physicality to handle bump-and-run coverage at the line. Good inside release against press-man. A deep threat who has the speed to uncover down the field, even against opponents who give him a lot of respect; averaged roughly twenty yards per reception over the past three seasons. Does a good job of tracking the ball over his shoulder down the field, with what look like reliable hands (if somewhat constrained by a catch radius which appears to be just average). Speed also creates opportunities for him to run shorter routes; tree is a little bit sparse at this point, but in addition to the fly and post routes which are his bread and butter, also runs some stops, curls, ins/outs, screens, and slants. Has some nuance in terms of head-fakes and speed changes when running down the field, but underneath routes aren’t very crisp. Not very good at improvising when the play breaks down; tends to idle around in coverage. Offense also didn’t call for him to make adjustments to different coverages and may have a transition period if drafted into an option offense. Was trusted to make catches in tight coverage and did a pretty good job of coming down with passes in traffic. Pretty good with the ball in his hands; demonstrates good balance, some elusiveness, and a physical running style. Very good blocker; gives good effort, working to sustain through the whistle, and has the type of bulk and strength to drive opposing defensive backs off of their spot. As a deep threat whose game was predicated on running past defensive backs on posts and fly routes, will need to run well at the Combine to solidify his draft status, but appears to offer an intriguing combination of speed and strength, with the ability to make tough catches in traffic down the field.

WR Deon Cain, Clemson*

6’2” – 202 lbs. – 4.43

Spent most of his high school career playing quarterback, but played wide receiver throughout college. Started one of thirteen games played as a freshman but rotated heavily into the offense, then played 449 snaps as a sophomore. Started thirteen of fourteen games played this past year and enjoyed his most productive season before declaring for the draft. Has very good footwork to release at the line of scrimmage. Runs patterns to all three levels of the field. Likes to use a head fake to set up the slant on shorter throws, and at the intermediate level draws targets on some deep digs, outs, and back-shoulder throws. Does a good job of sinking his hips and creating some separation at the route stem. Not a true burner, but has enough speed to use the threat of going deep to set up his intermediate patterns. Plus flexibility, body control, and leaping ability make him a frequent target of back-shoulder throws down the sidelines. Does a good job of tracking the ball over his shoulder. Also offers a wide catch radius. However, isn’t a very reliable receiver; usage in college was primarily as a low-percentage receiver on 50-50 throws which he is athletically suited to but didn’t do a great job of coming down with on a consistent basis. May not really have the strong hands or physicality to assert his will against opposing defensive backs; seems to have trouble making catches in traffic, which could be an issue given his lack of explosiveness to separate from opposing corners. Made some concentration drops by getting his head around before he’d secured the ball; seems like he may hear footsteps at times when working over the middle of the field. With the ball in his hands, has the shake to make the first man miss, and works in some stiff-arms to help set the tone offensively. A surprisingly good blocker who flashes the ability to use his footwork to get his opponent off-balance and then use his physicality and length to take out of the play. Has the length, flexibility, and body control of a pro receiver, with good footwork at the line of scrimmage and some ability to create separation out of his routes, but struggles to come down with catches in tight coverage and is also guilty of some concentration drops. Could have used another year of seasoning but has some starting traits.