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.
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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.

QB Lamar Jackson, Louisville*

6’2” – 216 lbs. – 4.40e

Profile:

  • Started nine games as a freshman. Won the Heisman Trophy as a sophomore, totaling over five thousand combined yards and fifty-one touchdowns. Went over five thousand yards again as a junior, totaling forty-five touchdowns but finishing behind Baker Mayfield in Heisman voting. Decided to forego his senior season in order to declare for the draft.

Positives:

  • Has a reasonable combination of height and bulk for a pro quarterback. A true dual threat who dominated college football over the past two seasons as both a passer and a runner. Electric athlete with outstanding elusiveness and speed; can often escape from pressure and create something out of nothing. Was able to create with his legs on designed draws and read options, plays which constituted a major part of his offense. Has some experience going through progressions. Has a quick release, throwing darts with a three-quarters delivery. Excellent raw arm talent; possesses effortless arm strength to flick the ball downfield with velocity using his wrist. Deep balls can sail on the outside but exhibits the ability to drop in some passes with touch down the field. Considered to be very humble off the field.

Negatives:

  • Frame looks a little bit thin. Does his work from the pistol and shotgun and will have to adjust to taking snaps from under center at the next level. Accuracy is the major question mark about his game, however; really suffers to throw the ball outside the hashes, spraying it around. Could take something off of his shorter throws. Forces receivers to adjust to his throws, limiting opportunities to generate yards after the catch. Doesn’t always open up and step into throws, passing from a narrow base at times. Has a tendency to stare down targets and makes some questionable decisions to throw the ball into tight coverage. A tougher runner than anticipated, but has a thin frame and subjects it to a lot of big hits, which could create question marks about his ability to withstand the punishment of the pro game. Wonderlic score of 13. Teams will probably need to tailor an offense around his particular strengths and limitations, rather than inserting him into a traditional pro-style offense.

Summary:

  • Sure to be a polarizing prospect because he doesn’t fit the traditional mold of a pro quarterback. Has a highly intriguing combination of athleticism and arm strength which made him one of the most exciting college quarterbacks in recent memory, but also has accuracy struggles and scheme fit questions which make him a significant gamble. Will probably go in the first round for a team willing to roll the dice.

QB Josh Rosen, UCLA*

6’4” – 226 lbs. – 4.92

Profile:

  • First UCLA quarterback to start the first game of his career. Enjoyed a highly productive freshman campaign, but sophomore season ended after six games due to a throwing-shoulder injury. Missed two games as a junior due to separate concussions, but put together his most productive season overall. Decided to forego his senior season to declare for the draft.

Positives:

  • Tall, confident quarterback with three years of starting experience for a major program. Very good mechanics. Has experience working from under center, and exhibits pretty clean footwork when dropping back, and shows the ability to transfer weight and drive into throws. Was asked to go through progressions in college, which should smooth his transition to the NFL; shows the ability to look off safeties in order to enable downfield shots. Has a quick delivery and the ball really jumps out of his hands. Possesses very good arm strength and gets plenty of zip on the ball. Is very confident in his arm, making a lot of impressive throws into tight windows. Pretty accurate ball placement from within the pocket. Demonstrates the ability to climb the pocket and buy time for his receivers, keeping his eyes downfield. Throws a lot of screen passes and gets the ball out quickly in order to facilitate yards after the catch.

Negatives:

  • Decision making and mechanics evaporate under pressure too frequently. Has a tendency to bird-dog his receivers, leading to turnovers. Favors throws over the middle of the field, even when doing so calls for him to try and squeeze balls into dangerously tight coverage. Tends to miss high rather than low, with intermittent ball placement issues cropping up. Hangs some of his receivers out to dry over the middle of the field. Not very accurate once he’s fled the pocket, and doesn’t have much athleticism to challenge defenses with his legs. Character will require further investigation, as it’s been rumored that he is not very popular with teammates, and there are some questions about how much he loves football. Throwing-shoulder injury sustained as a sophomore and two concussions sustained last season raise medical flags.

Summary:

  • Among the quarterback prospects in this year’s draft, is possibly the most pro-ready option by virtue of having played for three years under former pro head coach Jim Mora. He has all of the tools teams look for, experience in a pro-style offense, and sound throwing mechanics. A first-round lock who may fall behind some of the other passers because of questions about his character and durability.

 

RB Saquon Barkley, Penn St.

6’0” – 233 lbs. – 4.40

Profile:

  • Made an immediate impact as a freshman, starting six of eleven games played and touching the ball over two hundred times. Had a highly productive sophomore campaign, with three hundred touches on offense and nearly 1,900 total yards, then had a similar total as a junior before declaring for the draft.

Positives:

  • Physical and athletic specimen with elite tools. Swiss army knife who can do everything. Takes a lot of his carries from the shotgun, and some from the wildcat as well. Has good burst to run between the tackles, getting behind his pads, slipping through gaps in the line, and falling forward for solid gains. Picks up yards after contact and can take defenders along for the ride. Greatest asset as a pure runner is his ability to create big plays where not much seemed possible; highly elusive, with the ability to juke defenders out of their shoes and bounce runs outside for big gains. Nearly impossible to tackle one on one in space. Very good balance. Has the vision and long speed to hit home runs. Used extensively as a receiver, including on snaps in which he lines up as a receiver and runs a variety of different routes. Able to work the middle of the field or threaten defenses downfield on wheel routes and other patterns. Ran back a couple of kickoffs for touchdowns this year as well. Was able to handle a heavy workload as his team’s workhorse. Has an outstanding character and work ethic by all accounts.

Negatives:

  • A little bit of a feast-or-famine back who can break big gains but also get caught in the backfield for losses more often than is usual for a high-end back. Looks for the big gain when solid gains would do. Production on a game-to-game basis was also a little bit inconsistent; rushed for over one hundred yards in just five games last year, and had three games under fifty rushing yards. Occasional focus drops in the passing game. Could be more consistent about staying upright when taking on rushers in pass protection; tends to duck his head and try to take out oncoming rushers low.

Summary:

  • One of the most complete running backs in recent memory; projects as a true feature back who can play every down and be the focal point of a team’s offense for years to come. A comparable prospect to the likes of Reggie Bush and Ezekiel Elliott and looks like a lock to be one of the top four picks.

LB Davin Bellamy, Georgia

6’5” – 255 lbs. – 4.80e

Profile:

  • Redshirted, then rotated into the defense over ten games the following season. Started two of ten games played the following year, but injured his knee and missed the remainder of the season. Started eleven of thirteen games played as a junior, then fourteen of fifteen as a senior to conclude his career.

Positives:

  • Very tall, well-built outside linebacker with good length. Has experience playing out of both two- and three-point stances and could potentially project to either spot at the next level. Has the size and natural power to develop into a two-gapping edge-setter. Stays patient in backside contain when left uncovered. Has some pop as a hitter. Pretty high-motor player. Not the most explosive or creative pass-rusher but had decent production there at the SEC level over the past two seasons. Flashes a slap move that has some effectiveness. Gets his hands up to contest passing lanes. Predominantly a pass-rusher, but also took snaps in zone coverage and will occasionally line up over slot receivers. Size may convince teams he can be groomed into a coverage option for less athletic inline tight ends.

Negatives:

  • Athleticism is just average overall; doesn’t really have an explosive element to his game. Needs to play with more discipline when setting the edge. Doesn’t get the most of his length; should be able to lock opposing blockers out of his frame but lets them into his body too frequently. Instincts are very raw, especially in coverage. Often loses track of his man when playing in zone, or gets sucked in and is caught out of position, creating easy completions for opposing quarterbacks. Struggles to bend the edge when rushing. Doesn’t always have a clear plan and has too much wasted motion to his game. Hand use is marginal. Not as physical as expected for a player with his size.

Summary:

  • Essentially a player who will be drafted by a team that’s willing to take a chance on his size, and length; as it stands right now, instincts and technique leave a lot to be desired. However, ceiling will be constrained by his athleticism, which is nothing special. Consequently, might be more of a late-round pick who could potentially develop into an “elephant” linebacker in a two-gap odd front similar to the scheme he played in at Georgia, or potentially a left end in an even front.