Tagged: Wide Receiver

WR TY MONTGOMERY, STANFORD

WR #7 TY MONTGOMERY, STANFORD

6’2” – 220 lbs. – 4.45e

Started four of thirteen games played in 2011, handling primary kick-return responsibilities as well. Started four of eleven games in 2012 while dealing with an injury, then appeared in all fourteen games as a junior. Has lined up all over the formation, including in the slot; plays both on and off the line of scrimmage. Size presents a physical mismatch for cornerbacks; should be able to release at the line. A bit straight-linish but boasts impressive top-end speed; capable of hitting the home run. Has done some work on reverses. Exhibits good vision with the ball in his hands. Tough player, both as a ballcarrier and as a blocker; capable of running through arm tackles. Currently more of an effort blocker than a dominant one, but has the motor and physical attributes to become a quality player in that facet. Long arms give him an impressive catch radius; however, this advantage is somewhat negated by inconsistent hands. Not the sharpest route runner at this point; needs to improve his footwork, his balance, and his explosiveness out of breaks. Also has trouble making contested catches, which could become an issue if he doesn’t gain more consistent separation by improving his route-running and diversifying his route tree. Currently, his repertoire involves a high percentage of routes in which he’s asked to come back to the quarterback (hooks, curls, comebacks), using his body to shield defenders. Also does a lot of work on screens, one aspect of his game which should translate to the next level; however, needs to come back to the ball more consistently rather than taking a passive approach. Has the speed to threaten defenses downfield; a logical option for clearing routes. Underwent shoulder surgery prior to his senior season, which will require further medical investigation. Has a desirable combination of size, length, speed, and strength which give him starting upside, but will have to be eased into the pro game given his lack of seasoning. Fortunately, his value as a ballcarrier provides an avenue by which to make contributions early in his career, whether through kick returns, reverses, or screens. Could hear his name called on the second day depending on not only the success of his senior season, but also how comfortable a team is with their ability to develop wide receivers.

Games watched: California (’13), Oregon (’13), Utah (’13)

WR DeVANTE PARKER, LOUISVILLE

WR #9 DeVANTE PARKER, LOUISVILLE

6’3” – 208 lbs. – 4.55e

Possesses prototypical size and bulk for an outside receiver, but also has some experience lining up in the slot. Has become more productive in each season with the Cardinals. Capable of controlling his body down the sidelines. Can do some damage on intermediate routes, specifically comebacks; also did some work over the middle on short curls and comebacks. Presents a threat after the catch in terms of being able to make the first man miss; not supremely agile, but has some shake and an above-average stiff-arm. Lacks explosiveness but has the deep speed to turn short throws into big gains. Can get off the line against press coverage, with the type of frame which should allow that skill to translate to the pro level. Exhibits good awareness as a route-runner by settling down into zones rather than running himself into coverage. Runs smooth routes but doesn’t generate much explosion out of his breaks, which could pose problems against tighter pro coverage. Tracks the ball well over his shoulder on downfield throws and is capable of making catches away from his frame. Not a particularly physical blocker, but does give a decent effort. Was something of a deep threat in college, but may not be fast enough to threaten pro defenses as consistently with his speed. Struggled to gain consistent separation against man coverage and looks much more comfortable when lining up against the soft zone shells he saw often in college. Leaves a lot of plays on the field because of his inconsistent hands; drops some routine throws and doesn’t always bring in passes on his first try, double-catching at times. Also tends to let a lot of throws get into his pads on curls. Needs to be more aggressive in attacking the ball; waits for it to come to him rather than coming back. May never become a dependable receiver, but is a fairly big target who runs clean routes and has been able to get open down the field in college; because much of his production came on deeper throws, his timed speed at the Combine will go a long way toward determining whether or not pro teams will view him as being able to do the same thing in the NFL.

Games watched: Cincinnati (’12), Connecticut (’12), Cincinnati (’13), Miami (’13)

WR JUSTIN HARDY, EAST CAROLINA

WR #2 JUSTIN HARDY, EAST CAROLINA

6’0” – 188 lbs. – 4.50e

Played in a spread offense which called for him to line up both on and off the line of scrimmage, on the outside and, more frequently, in the slot. Highly-productive three-year starter with escalating numbers. Has the size to play either in the slot or as a flanker in a pro offense. Fluid movement skills with adequate top-end speed. Has the leaping ability and body control to make acrobatic catches; could offer value on fade routes in the end zone. Runs a diverse route tree, including some whip routes and other patterns including double moves; however, much of his production came on short, quick throws such as out routes and screens. Generally a reliable receiver, with the occasional drop; capable of making highlight-reel grabs. Has a wide catch radius and adjusts well to poorly-thrown balls. Tough, energetic player who is not afraid to work the middle of the field; can come down with contested catches. Has enough shake to make the first man miss, but doesn’t do so on a consistent basis; hard runner who sacrifices his body to make a catch. Has been effective as a punt returner. Gets good leverage and demonstrates active footwork as a blocker, which should enhance his value as a potential slot option; on occasion, flashes the killer instinct to dominate opponents. Blocking ability appears as though it will translate to the next level, but looks a bit thinner than his listed weight and may need to add some additional bulk, especially in order to stay healthy working over the middle. Production has been somewhat inflated by playing in the slot in a spread offense. May not be a true deep threat at the next level; won’t necessarily be limited to short and intermediate routes, but didn’t gain much separation downfield in college and appears best-suited to run the same types of routes he has executed at East Carolina. The type of prospect whose passionate play, football intelligence, and versatility should endear him to a coaching staff; may never develop into a team’s top option but has adequate height, bulk, and speed, long arms, soft hands, and impressive body control and could realistically project as a potential outside or inside receiver.

Games watched: North Carolina (’13), Southern Mississippi (’13), Virginia Tech (’13)

WR DRES ANDERSON, UTAH

WR #6 DRES ANDERSON, UTAH

6’2” – 190 lbs. – 4.55e

Looks bigger than his listed weight; possesses prototypical height and length for a boundary receiver. Has pro bloodlines. Was productive as a junior, but could have been even more prolific with quality quarterback play. Has experience lining up both on and off the line of scrimmage. Strong enough to release against press coverage; also does a good job of using his physicality to make contested catches. Could give more consistent effort as a blocker, but is generally effective. Comfortable running routes over the middle, with the build to stay healthy while doing so at the pro level. Complements his underneath routes with deep posts and go routes. Frequently utilized in catch-and-run situations: coming off of screens, running shallow crosses and drags, etc. Length gives him a considerable catch radius and the ability to bring in balls away from his frame. Has also worked as a kick returner. Receives the occasional reverse after going in motion, but is most commonly employed as a decoy in those situations. Powerful, but an unimaginative, straight-line runner with the ball in his hands. Double-catches too many balls; doesn’t routinely stop throws on initial contact. Also commits plenty of concentration drops. Lacks refinement as a route-runner, with a very basic tree in which shallow crosses and go routes predominate. Smooth, but may struggle to separate downfield as often at the next level as he did in college due to what appears to be a lack of elite top-end speed; is he a deceptively-fast long strider, or someone who will be limited to underneath routes? Must improve his awareness versus zone in order to avoid running himself into coverage. An effortless mover who possesses obvious physical gifts, but someone who currently leans too heavily on natural advantages and must develop his game in all facets before he can be considered a complete receiver; without diversifying his route tree, it will be easy for opponents to anticipate his responsibilities on a snap-to-snap basis, as defenses haven’t had to respect the possibility of many intermediate routes. Perhaps more disconcerting, his hands don’t inspire much confidence. By paying more attention to detail as a senior, teams could feel they have a starter on their hands, but plenty of work remains to be done.

Games watched: Arizona St. (’13), Stanford (’13), UCLA (’13)

WR KASEN WILLIAMS, WASHINGTON

WR #2 KASEN WILLIAMS, WASHINGTON

6’3” – 221 lbs. – 4.50e

Has a prototypical build for a pro split end prospect, with long arms and impressive strength. Adjusts well to balls thrown away from his frame, with an outstanding catch radius and graceful body control; high-points the ball and works hard to come back to throws rather than waiting for the ball to arrive. Does an excellent job of locating and adjusting to the ball on back-shoulder throws. Was utilized extensively on screens and is an imposing runner for most defensive backs to bring down, with a repertoire which includes shoulder tackles, stiff-arms, and spins. Uses his size well to shield defenders from the ball, both on inside routes and in jump-ball situations; routinely comes down with the contested catch. Despite his bulk, is agile enough to make the first defender miss. Doesn’t run many routes down the field, preferring to gain his yardage after the catch on shorter passes, but gallops in the open field and has the deep speed to turn short throws into long touchdowns. Aware of the sideline and routinely gets his foot down inbounds, even in congested spaces on comebacks or wheel routes. Sets good picks from the slot on route combinations. Contributed as a punt returner during his senior season. Has dropped some accurate passes in traffic; questionable hands result in him double-catching some passes and fumbling the ball away on contact. Can be a bit frustrating to watch because of his tendency to make beautiful catches while dropping routine curls and slants. Runs a few different routes at the intermediate level, but doesn’t sell double-moves particularly well at this point and is forced to make more contested catches than he would otherwise. Could become a deep threat but hasn’t been one with the Huskies. Has the size to develop into a quality blocker, but doesn’t sustain on a consistent basis at this point; needs to be more assiduous in assuming an aggressive demeanor through the whistle. Received a misdemeanor citation in July, then saw his production drop as a junior before a broken bone in his leg brought his season to a premature end in October. Will need to eliminate some of the frustrating concentration drops and lazy routes which plague his game, but can physically overwhelm defensive backs and has the skillset to develop into a number-one receiver.

Games watched: Stanford (’12), Oregon (’13), Stanford (’13)

WR RASHAD GREENE, FLORIDA ST.

WR #80 RASHAD GREENE, FLORIDA ST.

6’0” – 178 lbs. – 4.50e

Lanky boundary receiver who enjoyed a highly-productive season opposite Kelvin Benjamin in the Seminoles’ passing attack last season; could have been even more productive had Jameis Winston noticed him more consistently. Long arms give him an impressive catch radius; is capable of securing throws placed away from his frame. Tracks the ball well over his shoulder. Runs routes to all three levels of the field and over the middle; at the next level, should function best on intermediate/deep routes, including posts, curls, and comebacks. Looks sharp and explosive enough to create separation out of his breaks. Capable of getting open down the field, but mostly because of the way he sets up defensive backs with double-moves; more of a nuanced 4.5 guy than someone whose speed alone creates a threat for opposing secondaries. Exhibits good body control on the sidelines; doesn’t always get the second foot in, but wasn’t required to at the college level. Has some shake after the catch, with his running ability also having been highlighted on occasional reverses. Offers additional value as a quality punt returner. Will need to add some bulk to successfully fight off press coverage at the next level. Gives impressive effort as a blocker, but shouldn’t give pro cornerbacks much trouble until he adds strength. Despite being asked to execute shallow crosses and other routes with inside breaks, doesn’t do a great job of making catches when a hit is imminent; looks more comfortable catching a shallow cross in the open field. Nonetheless, is capable of coming down with catches when a defender is in his hip pocket. Commits the occasional concentration drop. Could do a better job of improvising when the play breaks down rather than continuing his route. Doesn’t look like he’ll be able to handle slot responsibilities without getting injured. Production may have been inflated by playing with an incredible supporting cast. A smart, fluid, reliable receiver with a diverse route-tree and underrated blocking skills, Greene may lack the physical attributes of a true number-one target, but should be able to compete for a number-two job as soon as he fills out his frame, which as of now looks painfully thin.

Games watched: Boston College (’13), North Carolina St. (’13), Pittsburgh (’13)

WR KELVIN BENJAMIN, FLORIDA ST.**

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6’5” – 234 lbs. – 4.55e

STATISTICAL PROFILE:

2011: Redshirt
2012: 30 – 495 – 4 (16.5)
2013: 54 – 1,011 – 15 (18.7)

OVERVIEW:

Redshirted in 2011, then finished fourth on the team in receptions as a redshirt freshman. Took over as one of the team’s starters in 2013, replacing Rodney Smith. Appeared in every game over the past two seasons.

POSITIVES:

•    Enjoyed a highly-productive redshirt sophomore season, his first in the starting role.
•    Massive prospect who offers an ideal combination of height and bulk for the position.
•    Capable of coming away with contested catches, threatening weapon in the red zone.
•    Powerful runner with the ball in his hands, can break tackles to gain yards after catch.
•    Unafraid of contact over the middle, frequently runs slants and crosses from the slot.
•    Athletic enough to gain some separation down the field, impressive 18.7 YPC in 2013.
•    Appears to track the ball pretty well over his shoulder on deeper routes, can adjust.
•    Has been sent in motion to block, eventually ending up in almost an H-Back position.
•    Quality blocker overall, does a nice job of sealing defenders off, powerful crackbacks.

NEGATIVES:

•    Was only a starter for one year, where he benefited from playing with Jameis Winston.
•    Drops more than his fair share of passes, seemingly because of concentration lapses.
•    Often pushes off from defenders to gain separation before throws, may be flagged.
•    Runs a few different routes but isn’t particularly sharp in his patterns, rounds routes.
•    Not a very sudden player, more of a long-strider who separates deeper down the field.
•    Despite declaring after his redshirt sophomore season, will still be a 23 year-old rookie.

SUMMARY:

One of the biggest targets in this year’s class, Benjamin’s first season as a starter was productive enough to convince him to declare for the draft. At this point, he lacks refinement in his routes, doing most of his work on posts, slants, and crossing routes, but makes up for his lack of suddenness by demonstrating the ability to come down with catches in traffic, as well as a knack for separating on deeper routes downfield. With the ball in his hands, he is a powerful runner, a quality which also carries over into his blocking, making him one of the most effective blocking receivers in the class. However, it must also be said that Benjamin has some of the draft’s worst hands, often letting multiple passes get away from him in each game. His impact on games is still considerable, but the frequency with which he drops throws is frustrating.

WR DONTE MONCRIEF, MISSISSIPPI*

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6’3” – 226 lbs. – 4.50e

STATISTICAL PROFILE:

2011: 31 – 454 – 4 (14.6)
2012: 66 – 979 – 10 (14.8)
2013: 59 – 938 – 6 (15.9)

OVERVIEW:

Started all twelve games as a true freshman in 2011, leading the team in all three major receiving categories. Started all twelve games again as a sophomore in 2012. Has a daughter.

POSITIVES:

•  Started all three seasons in college, with his last two years being his most productive.
•  Has been tested against a slew of quality cornerbacks during his time in the SEC.
•  A bit taller than the average starting receiver, with considerable bulk packed onto frame.
•  Probably won’t time much faster than 4.5 but is able to get behind defenders downfield.
•  Physical enough to come away with contested catches, including in jump-ball situations.
•  Despite his lack of elite top-end speed, has been extensively utilized on deep routes.
•  Can control his body on the sidelines, allowing him to contribute on comeback routes.
•  Runs some interesting routes, including an uncommon, effective stop-and-go pattern.
•  Explosive out of his breaks, can gain additional separation via route-running nuances.
•  Doesn’t rely on body catches, is capable of plucking the ball away from his frame.

NEGATIVES:

•  Listed at 226 pounds, but doesn’t look particularly muscular, a bit of unnecessary weight.
•  It remains to be seen how well his contributions as a deep receiver would translate.
•  Not an outstanding blocker; doesn’t perform nearly as well as size would indicate.
•  Doesn’t do too much work over the middle or in terms of running shorter patterns.
•  Occasionally drops some catchable balls adjusting to throws which are a bit behind him.
•  Looks big enough to release vs. press coverage but hasn’t been tested by it much.

SUMMARY:

Moncrief is a relatively tall, thickly-built receiver who runs much better than his slightly pudgy frame would suggest, being utilized most successfully as a downfield receiver who is capable of coming down with difficult contested catches or catches through contact. He is an effective receiver down the sidelines, with a good understanding of the nuances of route-running which helps him gain separation. Despite his physicality as a receiver, he is not a particularly effective blocker, and has not been tested very much in press coverage, two things which could cause him to have a slightly longer learning curve than some other receivers. Because his game is so predicated upon getting open downfield, he will have to time well at the Combine in order to confirm his speed, otherwise teams may wonder how his game will translate to the next level.

WR ODELL BECKHAM JR., LOUISIANA ST.*

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6’0” – 193 lbs. – 4.45e

STATISTICAL PROFILE:

2011: 41 – 475 – 2 (11.6)
2012: 43 – 713 – 2 (16.6)
2013: 59 – 1,152 – 8 (19.5)

OVERVIEW:

Started nine of fourteen games as a true freshman, finishing second on the team in receptions and receiving yards. Started twelve of thirteen games played in 2012, leading the team in receiving yards and finishing second in catches. Also contributes as a punt returner.

POSITIVES:

• Possesses adequate height, weight, and speed for a pro wide receiver prospect.
• Would be leaving school with three years of starting experience in a major conference.
• Yards-per-catch have increased each year in college, up to nearly twenty in 2013.
• Fast enough to avoid being chased down from behind once he’s in the open field.
• Experienced return specialist who offers more than just offensive value (two PR TDs.)
• Effective with the ball in his hands, whether on punts, after the catch, or on reverses.
• Settles into soft spots in zone coverage rather than running himself out of position.
• Has had a lot of success running comebacks on the boundaries for the Tigers.
• Is a legitimate option on back-shoulder throws, can adjust to balls thrown behind him.

NEGATIVES:

• Probably lacks the physical tools to become a team’s number one receiving option.
• Inconsistent hands, has dropped his fair share of targets, including some easy ones.
• Arms look a little bit shorter than average, leading to a somewhat limited catch radius.
• Doesn’t seem to track the ball very well downfield, has some trouble with positioning.
• Hasn’t done too much work as a short-yardage receiver, generally intermediate/deep.
• Operates almost exclusively outside the hashes, not asked to go over the middle much.
• High-effort blocker, but overall effectiveness is limited by poor angles/technique.

SUMMARY:

Beckham’s overall movement skills help him overcome his lack of ideal size for a boundary receiver; he is fast enough to gain separation in the open field, generally runs good routes, and doubles as a solid return specialist, whether on punts or kicks. His hands and catch radius leave something to be desired, but the different ways in which he can threaten an opponent should help him earn some consideration in the draft’s second day. Certainly not as physical or effective on shorter routes as his teammate Jarvis Landry, but is the more dynamic of the two options overall. His escalating production over each of the three seasons he’s been at LSU are also a positive.

WR DAVANTE ADAMS, FRESNO ST.**

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6’2” – 216 lbs. – 4.55e

STATISTICAL PROFILE:

2011: Redshirt
2012: 102 – 1,313 – 14 (12.9)
2013: 131 – 1,718 – 24 (13.1)

OVERVIEW:

Redshirted in 2011, then was named an All-Mountain West First Team selection as a redshirt freshman, leading the conference in receptions, yards, and touchdowns. Led the FBS in receptions and touchdowns as a redshirt sophomore, earning all-conference honors again.

POSITIVES:

•    Incredibly productive player; enjoyed a standout 2012 season, then improved this year.
•    Statistical production is complemented by being bigger and taller than most receivers.
•    Hands catcher who doesn’t let throws get into his body; displays a solid catch radius.
•    Demonstrates good awareness of the play area, whether down sideline or in end zone.
•    Capable of going up and winning jump-ball situations in the end zone due to his size.
•    Frequently utilized on the fade routes characteristic of Fresno State’s red zone offense.
•    Has some shake with the ball in his hands, does a good job of following his blocks.
•    Size suggests that he may have the strength necessary to handle NFL press coverage.

NEGATIVES:

•    Statistical production considerably padded by screens, inflated by weak competition.
•    Hasn’t been asked to run many different routes due to Fresno State’s simple offense.
•    When he does run something out of the ordinary, gets lazy and rounds off his patterns.
•    Despite his size, is not an effective blocker, gives the least amount of effort necessary.
•    Not a very explosive player, has some build-up speed but is more of a possession guy.
•    Doesn’t come down with too many catches in traffic, seems distracted by physicality.

SUMMARY:

Adams’ blend of outstanding production and impressive size are suggestive of a top prospect, but closer inspection reveals several worrisome flaws in his game. In Fresno State’s offense, Adams relied on simple routes such as screens, shallow crosses, and fades for the majority of his production, without being asked to run many routes common to pro offenses; on rare occasions where he was asked to deviate from the patterns listed above, he often looked lazy in his breaks, a concern which also extends to his effort (and consequently, effectiveness) as a blocker. The absence of polished route-running in his game, combined with a lack of speed and explosion, may limit his ability to gain separation at the next level, especially given the inconsistency with which he caught contested passes in college. Would have benefited from further development before declaring, but may not have had much of an opportunity for growth given the simplicity of his offense; losing Derek Carr may have also hurt his production.