As the NFL Combine continues, fans and analysts alike are eagerly anticipating the chance to see some of the nation’s most promising wide receivers put their skills on display. Among those players are five standouts who are expected to make an impact at the next level.
1. Josh Downs, North Carolina
Although Downs is on the smaller side, his confidence and production over the last two seasons have made him a player to watch. His acceleration and change of direction are particularly noteworthy, and he could very well lead receivers in the 3-cone and short shuttle drills. Downs’ speed, footwork, and athleticism allow him to elude defenders and make impressive catches.
Josh Downs’ game is built on his athleticism and elusiveness. His quick acceleration and change of direction are his most notable traits, making him a nightmare for defensive backs to cover. Downs’ ability to create separation through tempo changes and sharp cuts is impressive, and his footwork is sudden and precise. He’s also a reliable receiver, with impressive catch toughness for his size, and he’s slippery when asked to return punts. Downs’ agility and speed make him a threat to turn any short reception into a big gain, and his ability to create yards after the catch is something that NFL scouts will surely take notice of at the
2. Jalin Hyatt, Tennessee
Hyatt had a standout season at Tennessee, winning the Biletnikoff Award as the nation’s best receiver. His top-end speed creates tension for defensive coordinators, and he is able to rocket past off-man coverage with ease. Hyatt’s willingness to block and ability to maintain spacing from physical coverage make him an all-around threat.
Jalin Hyatt’s speed is his biggest asset, as he can run past defensive backs with ease. His top-end speed creates tension for defensive coordinators, and his run game will see lighter boxes out of defense’s respect for his explosiveness. Hyatt also has excellent ball-tracking ability, which allows him to make catches downfield in traffic. His ability to tear into cushions and rocket past off-man coverage is impressive, and his focus on vertical routes at crisp angles allows him to separate from defenders with ease. Hyatt’s willingness to be a perimeter blocker is also a positive trait, as it shows that he’s willing to do the dirty work to help his team win.
3. Kayshon Boutte, LSU
Boutte’s run-after-the-catch ability is his strongest trait, and LSU found creative ways to get him the ball. His speed and ability to run past defensive backs make him a vertical threat, and his catch-and-run talent allows him to turn short throws into big gains. Boutte’s size and speed make him a versatile weapon who rises to the occasion in big games.
He’s a dangerous weapon in the open field, with the ability to make defenders miss or run through arm tackles. Boutte’s speed is also a major asset, as he can run past defensive backs and become an instant vertical threat. He has the ability to snap off routes and create separation, and his catch-and-run talent allows him to turn short throws into chunk plays. Boutte’s ability to threaten defensive backs vertically is something that NFL teams will surely take notice of at the combine, and his potential as a playmaker in the NFL is significant.
4. Elijah Higgins, Stanford
Higgins is a big slot receiver with potential to become a pass-catching tight end. He runs routes with rhythmic feet and well-timed breaks, consistently creating room to throw for quarterbacks. Higgins’ balance and lower-body strength allow him to power through arm tackles, and his strong hands and timing make him an effective high-pointing receiver.
Elijah Higgins’ size and strength make him a matchup nightmare for defensive backs. He’s able to power through arm tackles and use his impressive run-after-the-catch ability to gain extra yards. Higgins’ coordination and hand-eye coordination are also impressive, as he’s able to track the ball downfield and make contested catches. His ability to rough up crowding coverage at the top of the route is also noteworthy, as it shows that he’s able to use his size and strength to his advantage. Higgins’ versatility is also something that NFL scouts will take notice of, as he’s proven to be effective both inside in the slot and outside on the perimeter.
5. Rashee Rice, SMU
Rice’s size, length, and speed make him a promising prospect, and his hands and physicality are reminiscent of Pro Bowl receiver Chris Godwin. He works hard to keep cornerbacks stacked and is effective at ball-tracking and altering his trip to the football. Rice’s leap-and-lean on jump-ball challenges and play strength to snatch with extended hands make him a formidable receiver.
Rashee Rice’s athleticism is impressive, as he has good speed and acceleration that allows him to create separation downfield. His ball-tracking ability and play strength are also noteworthy, as he’s able to make contested catches in traffic. Rice’s ability to scramble with his quarterback and work his way back to the ball is also impressive. It shows that he’s able to adjust his route on the fly. His leap-and-lean on jump-ball challenges is also noteworthy, as it shows that he’s able to use his size and length to his advantage. Overall, Rice’s combination of size, speed, and strength make him an intriguing prospect. And his ability to make plays at all levels of the field will surely catch the eye of NFL scouts at the combine.
Preparing for the Drills
As these five wide receivers prepare for the NFL Combine drills on Saturday, their athleticism are sure to be on full display. Fans and scouts alike will be eagerly watching to see how they perform on the national stage.
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