2020 Deep Dive Rookie WR’s

2020 Deep Dive Rookie WR
4/1/20
David Reed https://twitter.com/Nfldraft_dwr
This might be one of the deepest WR class I have ever scouted. We can easily see 20 go in the first 3 rounds. Below are 25 of the best I was able to scout!
In case you missed it check out our NFL Rookie Mock Draft Series!
Lets take a deep dive into the wide receiver class in the 2020 NFL Draft!
Oklahoma WR CeeDee Lamb

CeeDee Lamb – Oklahoma  6’2 190

Pros:
– Great Ball Skills
– Adjusts and tracks the ball
– He wins 50/50 balls
– Natural WR at the position
– Blocks
– Good vision after the catch
– Shows a variety if ways to beat press coverage
– Good breaks out of routes
– Works to get open
Cons:
– Lacks elite speed
– Narrow Frame
– Can he work across the middle if needed? Most work was done on the outsideOverall:
Lamb has a chance to be the first WR selected in the 2020 draft. He has the makeup a team wants in a true #1 WR. He has great hands and the ability to beat any corner for any ball. A team needing a WR will have Lamb high on there boards.

Alabama WR Jerry Jeudy

Jerry Jeudy – Alabama  6-1 192

Pros:
– Amazing route runner
– Gets separation
– Good athlete
– Shows ability to beat man coverage at the line
– Great body control and body adjustments
– Vision/after catch ability
– Blocks
– Worked outside and in the slot
Cons:
– Few concentration drops
– Catches with his body more than you would like to see
– Can be more physical on the top of his routes or while fighting for the ball

Overall:
Jeudy has a strong case as well to be the first WR taken. His ability to separate with his amazing route running ability to me is key.  He shows he can work at any spot on the team at WR and will find a way to get open.

Alabama WR Henry Ruggs

Henry Ruggs III – Alabama 6-0 190

Pros:
– Speed (4.2 speed)
– Dangerous in open space
– Acceleration is amazing
– Good body control
– Showed ability to fight and win 50/50 balls
– Adjusts well to the ball
– Showed ability to beat press
– Willingness to block
Cons:
– Has some drop ball issues
– Not the biggest catch radius
– Lean frame
– Needs to improve overall as a route runner
– Has ability to beat man at line but continue to learn more moves to always beat it.

Overall:
SPEED KILLS, and we have seen that with the likes of Tyreek Hill. Well Ruggs is that type of weapon. Corners will have a heck of a time keeping up with Ruggs.  He can stretch the field and fight for the under thrown balls.  If he continues to grow in his route trees he could become the best WR in this class.

LSU WR Justin Jefferson

Justin Jefferson – LSU  6-3 192

Pros:
– Runs good smooth routes
– Use different tempos in his routes to keep defenders thrown off
– Adjusts well to throws
– Amazing on option routes
– Strong hands
– Body control
– Tracks the ball well
– Can produce yards after the catch
– Blocks
– Good 40 at combine to erase speed question
Cons:
– Show he can beat coverage on outside (worked slot a lot and had a lot if free releases)
– Improve his cuts out of routes to be even more crisp to be the most effective route runner

Overall:
Before the combine some questioned his speed but he came out and ran in the 4.4 range. That is no longer much of a concern. Jefferson biggest knock is can he prove the ability to play on the outside and consistently beat press coverage and make things happen without the easy free releases he had in the slot.  I believe he has this ability and should he a strong option for a WR need team between the 15 to 25 range in the first round.

Colorado WR Laviska Shenault

Laviska Shenault Jr – Colorado 6-2 220

Pros:
– Thick strong build
– Turns into a running back with the ball in his hands
– YAC ability
– Swiss army knife at Colorado
– Good natural hand catcher of the ball
– Big catch radius
– Explosive athlete
Cons:
– Improve route running
– Learn more moves to beat man coverage
– Block better
– Injuries

Overall:
Shenault is a great weapon that brings a lot to a team. He has the ability to run jet sweeps, go across the middle or make big plays down the field.  My biggest concerns are some of the small injuries he has suffered.  Current dealing with an abdominal injury that required surgery.  This may have him slip to early 2nd round but grades as a mid to late 1st WR prospect.

Clemson WR Tee Higgins

Tee Higgins – Clemson 6-4 215

Pros:
– Tall with a huge catch radius
– Amazing ball skills/wins 50/50 balls
– Blocks
– Over the shoulder catch ability
– Tracks and adjusts to the ball well
– Endzone threat
– Body control
Cons:
– Lacks elite speed/long strider
– Not going to wow you with his after the catch ability

Overall:
Higgins did not run his 40 at the combine which was the main things scouts wanted to see. He ran am unofficial 4.43 at his pro day by one scout but most had him in the 4.5 range.  Which isn’t bad for him.  He isn’t going to wow you with amazing break away speed but will wow you with his ability to catch almost anything his way. Combine that with his size you could be finding your QB his new favorite Red-zone target with this late 1st round WR.

Penn State WR KJ Hamler

KJ Hamler – Penn State  5-9 175

Pros:
– Electric player with great burst
– Quick twitch athlete
– Explosive with great cuts
– Hard runner
– Tough player for size
– Tracks ball well over the shoulder
– Controls his speed well/knows when to hit the next gear or slow it down
– Return ability
Cons:
– Injury concerns for his size and his aggressive play
– Small catch radius
– Some drop concerns/natural hands?
– Blocking

Overall:
Hamler is an explosive athlete who we did not get to see fast due to this virus and cancelled pro days.  Hamler rumored to be timing 4.27 at his training facility but would wager he is in the 4.3 range of speed which is fast has heck. Biggest complaint on him come from Ohio State corner Okudah (#1 CB in this class and potential top 10 pick) who said he has unlimited speed and unlimited quickness. Also Antoine Winfield of Minnesota (top 5 safety in this class) said he is the most difficult match up he faced.  Hamler has to prove he can catch the ball without drops and he can be a dangerous slot weapon for teams. Hes a borderline 1st rounder right now.

TCU WR Jalen Reagor

Jalen Reagor– TCU 5-11 195

Pros:
– Explosive and dynamic athlete
– Creates space in tight quarters
– Quick in and out of cuts
– Adjusts to the ball well
– YAC ability
– Return ability
Cons:
– Ran a simple route tree
– To many body catches
– Can’t win many 50/50 balls
– Poor blocker
– Disappointing 40 at combine (4.47, talks of high 4.2 low 4.3 speed)

Overall:
Reagor tape plays faster than his 40 and probably just tested bad. His tape shows he is one of the fastest players on the field on any give game. He can beat your and take it to the house in one big highlight play.  He isn’t big and will not win many contested balls and should work out of the slot mostly at the next level.

Baylor WR Denzel Mims

Denzel Mims – Baylor  6-3 206

Pros:
– Great back shoulder catcher
– Big hands and catch radius
– Run after the catch/ explosive lower half
– Natural ball skills
– Fast
– Tough and blocks
– Huge senior bowl showing off his ability (steady riser)
Cons:
– Needs better burst out of his cuts
– Improve as an overall route runner
– Improve release against press

Overall:
Mims keeps rising up boards and has a great shot being selected mid to late 1st round now. He shows he can be effective with his speed and size. His natural hands and catch radius are making teams fall in love with him.  Watch for his name to be called in the 20 range in April.

Arizona State WR Brandon Aiyuk

Brandon Aiyuk – Arizona State  6-0 200

Pros:
– Big play threat
– Twitchy athlete
– Hard to tackle (slippery)
– Smooth hips in his cuts
– Fights for every yard
– Adjust to ball well and keeps his speed
– Body control
Cons:
– Struggles against press coverage
– Improve routes
– Not a natural hand catcher
– Will not win many 50 50 balls
– 1 year of meaningful production
– Often waits for the ball than attack the ball

Overall:
Aiyuk has good ability as an athlete to be a threat on the field, especially if he improves his routes. He has a chance to go late 1st but should more than likely be selected round 2.

South Carolina WR Brandon Edwards

Brandon Edwards – South Carolina  6-3 215

Pros:
– Great size and fairly athletic for the size
– Strong after the catch
– Strong hands to pluck ball out of the air
– Excels at short and intermediate routes, allowing him to use his size to box defenders and win
– Wins contested routes and balls
– Great red-zone threat
– Blocks
Cons:
– Not the most elusive player in the open space
– Needs to improve route running to get more separation
– Needs to find more ways to beat man coverage

Overall:
Edwards is a big WR that has been able to beat college coverage by his sheer size and able to box out most defenders.  He will have to work on getting some more separation in his routes to get the most production out of him in the long run.  If you need a big physical WR though Edwards is a perfect option on day 2 of the draft.

USC WR Michael Pittman Jr.

Michael Pittman Jr. – USC  6-4 219

Pros:
– Big hands
– Huge catch radius
– Adjust and tracks the ball well
– Reads his QB well to find holes and gets open
– Strong and competed for the ball
– Wins 50/50 balls
– Blocks
Cons:
– Lacks elite speed and quickness
– Acceleration of the line isnt ideal
– Needs more moves to beat man coverage

Overall:
Pittman Jr could easily be the best WR in this class. He catches what feels like everything and has a massive catch radius. His main knock is his speed and quickness.  He will need to just keep working on his hurts in and out of cuts for separation and has a chance to be a steal on the 2nd day of the draft.

University of Michigan WR Donovan Peoples-Jones

Donovan Peoples-Jones – Michigan  6-2 208

Pros:
– Good blend of size, hands, Ball skills and athletic ability
– Shows ability to adjust to off target throws
– Tracks the ball naturally
– Body control and balance
– Big catch radius
– Easy acceleration
– Creates good leverage on routes
– Ability to break tackles for YAC
Cons:
– Lacks twitch and quickness in short yardage area
– Improve beating man coverage
– Used in the slot for easy free releases

Overall:
I like Peoples-Jones a lot. He is one of my favorite WR prospects in this class. He was hurt by poor QB play but think he has a chance to prove to coaches he can be a teams #1 WR.

Notre Dame WR Brandon Claypool

Chase Claypool – Notre Dame 6-4 230

Pros:
– Height, weight, speed and Strength
– Corners will struggle to knock him off his route
– Wins contested catches
– Competes hard after the catch and tries to bully defenders with his size
– Works space well against zone coverage
– Adjust to off placed balls well
Cons:
– Lacks agility in and out of cuts to create separation
– At times he seems unready for the ball to be at him already
– Before combine and his 4.42 40. Teams thought he may be best transitioned to a TE

Overall:
I think he would be best fit into a more TE role on a team. His size and working against linebackers more with his straight line speed would make him excel more at the next level.  He is a massive man with great straight line speed but raw when it comes to being a true WR for the next level.

Florida WR Van Jefferson

Van Jefferson – Florida 6-2 197

Pros:
– Route running technician
– Deceptive footwork
– Varies his releases out of routes
– Adjusts on the fly
– Great hands
– Tracks the ball well
– Works for YAC (yards after catch)
– Body control and Balance
Cons:
– 24 year old rookie
– Lacks elite college production
– Blocking
– Quicker than Fast (lacks elite speed)

Overall:
Jefferson had a chance to excel early on because of how good he is at route running and has good hands. His main knock is that his lack of production while at Florida. Part of that is the lack of a good passing game there and QB play. His age as a rookie is a small knock on him.  He can be a productive weapon for a team waiting to address WR late day 2 or maybe day 3.

Minnesota WR Tyler Johnson

Tyler Johnson – Minnesota  6-2 205

Pros:
– Quick feet and smooth hips
– Gears down and changes direction well
– Runs the whole route tree
– Strong hands
– Can catch contested balls
– Works the sideline well
– Tracks the ball
Cons:
– Not the strongest and can win more 50/50 if he got stronger
– Lacks elite vertical speed
– Blocking is only okay

Overall:
Johnson is very good WR prospect and was a key reason for Minnesota’s amazing 2019 season. He can anything thrown his way and runs a full route tree.  His biggest knock is he is not the fastest but he can make up for his ability to catch everything and run every route.

Texas A&M WR Quartney Davis

Quatney Davis – Texas A &M  6-1 199

Pros:
– Route running technicians
– Excellent footwork
– Set up breaks out of cuts well
– Doesn’t tip his routes
– Easy acceleration
– Work the middle of the field
– Balance body control
Cons:
– Hands and ball skills are disappointing
– Double catches to much
– Does not always find the ball or adjust as well as you want
– Adjust to zone better and aware of the side lines.
– Physical corners can beat him up

Overall:
Davis route running ability is amazing and teams will love it but they see how he struggles at time to locate the ball or make secure catches. Because of this he will drop. If a team feels he can improve as a catcher, combined with his route running he could he a great possession WR.

Liberty WR Antonio Gandy-Golden

Antonio Gandy-Golden – Liberty  6-4 222

Pros:
– Finds spots in zones and works back to his QB
– Massive catch radius
– Makes catches above the rim
– Big and physical
– Great hands
– Body control
– Runs routes with good timing
– Tracks the ball well
– Good field vision
Cons:
– Gradual acceleration
– Good physical corner will have no trouble keeping with him
– Lacks speed and not a twitchy athlete

Overall:
If Gandy-Golden was a better overall athlete in terms of speed and acceleration he could be in the running as one of the top WR prospects in this class.  He has amazing hands, size and catch radius.  He will have to learn to beat man coverage and create separation to excel at the next level.

Texas WR Devin Duvernay

Devin Duvernay – Texas 5-11 200

Pros:
– Amazing speed
– Great hands/catches everything
– Thicker build making him harder to tackle
– Can make people miss in open field
– Plays through contact
– He demands touches in space
Cons:
– Tight hipped, hinders his cuts some
– Rounds his cuts because of his hips
– Relies on space and his speed to much at times
– Needs to present himself to the QB better.

Overall:
Duvernay present as a great slot option in this draft.  His track speed, thicker build to handle working inside  and amazing hands teams will fall in love with this kid. He needs to get better on his routes and make them more crisp to continue to excel at the next level.

Ohio State WR K.J. Hill

K.J. Hill – Ohio State 6-0 192

Pros:
– Smooth and slippery player
– Pressures off coverage with vertical ability
– Quick to turn his head to the QB and get open quick.
– Sits in zone well
– Nifty runner with good body control and make first man miss
Cons:
– Smaller player with lack of physical traits. Can he handle NFL hits
– Average speed out of cuts.
– Struggles at 50/50 balls
– Small catch radius
– Can be knocked off his route and timing

Overall:
Hill doesn’t profile as good as other option in this draft but as a later round option. Hill can be a good check down who tries to work to the QB and be an option when the primary options are not there.

UCF WR Gabriel Davis

Gabriel Davis – UCF  6-3 212

Pros:
– Good size
– Good straight line speed but not a true burner but excels on vertical routes
– Tracks the ball well
– High point skills
– Decent foot work to clear press coverage
– Timing and deceptive on double moves
Cons:
– Limited route tree
– Lacks separation quickness
– Not dynamic with the ball in his hand to create after a catch
– Hands are iffy at times

Overall:
Davis is a bigger WR that can help stretch the field. He can also be used to go up and catch a high point ball with his size.  He lacks as a complete WR prospect and will have to develop more to be a starting piece but can be utilized early in his career to stretch the field.

Oregon State WR Isaiah Hodgins

Isaiah Hodgins – Oregon State 6-4 210

Pros:
– Great  body control and balance
– Great ball skills and hands
– Natural ability to track the ball
– Finds space in the zone
– Makes acrobatic catches look easy
– Runs great routes
– Big catch radius
– Works sidelines well
– Argue he has the most natural hands in this class
Cons:
– Does not break tackles or provide much in terms of YAC
– Slow release
– Struggles to get off man coverage
– Lacks overall speed and quickness in cuts
– Needs to play more physical

Overall:
Another weapon that is gifted beyond belief at catching the football but struggles in the speed and quickness department to create separation. He will be a late rounder WR base off his ball skills and hoping he can develop more with speed and quicker cuts.

Texas WR Collin Johnson

Collin Johnson – Texas 6-6 221

Pros:
– Big catch radius and wins 50/50 balls
– Runs good routes
– Huge size
– Good football IQ
– Blocks
Cons:
– Can double catch ball to much
– Lacks separation speed
– Lacks acceleration off the line

Overall:
Collin will be selected due to his size and catch radius but his lack of speed will hurt him.

Kentucky WR Lynn Bowden

Lynn Bowden – Kentucky  6-1 200

Pros:
– Versatile (played QB,RB and wide reciever)
– Plays with an edge
– Physical with the ball
– Good hands
– Return ability
– Works the slot
– Shows flashes to adjust
Cons:
– Not polished as WR due to his versatility
– Not as explosive overall to he a home-run threat
– Learn the position. (Growing pains)

Overall:
Bowden is one of the best overall athletes in the draft. A smart offensive head coach will love this player late rounds as just a pure weapon. He could be the Taysom Hill the Saints have.

Wisconsin WR Quintez Cephus

Quintez Cephus – Wisconsin 6-1 207

Pros:
– Thick and muscular frame with play-style to match it
– Good technique to clear press coverage
– Creates leverage on routes
– Creates great throwing windows
– Body control
– Wins contested balls
– Finds football adjusts
– Strong hands
– Blocks
Cons:
– No 2nd gear
– Lacks great burst
– Tightness in his cuts at times
– No twitch
– Off field issue

Overall:
Has ability to be a great possession WR at the next level.  He has good technique to win routes minus having the speed.  Great frame and hands to be a productive player.  He had one off the field issue that he missed all of 2018 (case was dropped).

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