With the Senior Bowl coming up, the Pittsburgh Steelers will most certainly be looking for some wide receivers here, as Mike Tomlin has dispatched the entire assistant coaching staff, including Keith Butler, Randy Fichtner, and Teryl Austin to Mobile. So, the first group is one to pay attention to with Antonio Brown’s future in Pittsburgh being a question mark.
How is the Senior Bowl WR group? Here is a short breakdown them all.
Note: This is the initial group, void of all dropouts, thus no Penny Hart or Gary Jennings
Marshall WR Tyre Brady
Let’s talk about the sleeper of the entire group. Tyre Brady is a legitimately awesome player to watch, as he is 6’3” and can go up and grab just about anything he wants to. Add in strong hands and fantastic body control and the man has a future in the NFL. He is not a great route runner, but is quick and great after the catch. My main issue is that he really is putrid at blocking and needs to become more nuanced at the position, otherwise, this guy has the legit potential to become a dang good NFL WR.
Tyre Brady with his 2nd TD of the game. pic.twitter.com/oPUzeHegJu— Greg Brandt (@devywarehouse) September 30, 2018
Old Dominion WR Travis Fulgham
This young man is the best blocking WR in the draft. He is full of grit and can pound DBs straight into the dirt. In addition to that, he is actually a pretty nuanced WR. He is fantastic in jump ball situations, physical with his large frame, and can grab run just about any route well. He has the versatility and ability to be a decent WR for years. He sure does give off some good vibes with his play.
Travis Fulgham (ODU WR)— Taylor Moser (@TaylorMoser_NFL) December 27, 2018
Uses nuanced release work at the LOS to create enough separation to have a clean frame/ puts himself into a spot to make a play on a 50/50 ball with body control. Shows good positioning to leverage the Cb away from the catch point. Sleeper WR. pic.twitter.com/D6zh8Gc2Ye
Baylor WR Jalen Hurd
The ultimate redemption story is here in Jalen Hurd. He has changed to WR just as of recent and is incredibly polished for where he is. He could be a better handfighter or more subtle, but that will come with time. Quick, great with route running, and a pure deep threat, Hurd might just fit the Steelers as well as he ever could. Look out for a visit at the Senior Bowl, because he is an intriguing mid-rounder for sure.
Clemson WR Hunter Renfrow
My precious! Renfrow has about no shot of becoming a Steeler because he is an exclusive slot guy, but man is he ever nuanced in his route running and quick. He is one of those pesky Patriot type of WRs that no one wants to be face because of how polished and savvy he is. He can make any play and outsmart you on any as well. He might not be a super athlete, but he sure is a super smart player.
Quickly Eats up Cushion.— Carter Donnick (@CDonScouting) December 25, 2018
Varied Speed makes Defender Over-adjust.
Subtle head movement indicates “Go” Route.
Stops on a dime right as the Defender flips his hips.
YAC picks up an additional 10 yards.
Hunter Renfrow is pretty good at this football thing. pic.twitter.com/tOofe9ehqD
South Carolina WR Deebo Samuel
A monster. Samuel is easily the best of the crop of WRs at the Senior Bowl and is a dynamic chess piece. He is not a great contested catch guy, but it does not matter since Samuel is an extremely polished route runner and gets separation easily. His strength also comes in his ability to break the big play and gain huge amounts of YAC. He should be the first of the receivers at the Senior Bowl drafted for his versatility.
Deebo Samuel shouldn’t get lost in the shuffle of all these WRs. A YAC monster and deep threat who can be an ultimate chess piece type for an offense. Fantastic post route here to burn the DB deep. Samuel continues to show he’s just a dynamic player. #DraftTwitter pic.twitter.com/Pbvhv1YIo3— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) December 29, 2018
West Virginia WR David Sills V
Sills is an extremely limited play who can be a decent vertical threat as a big slot type of receiver. He is a good route runner but has a limited route tree, meaning the transition to the NFL will not be easy for the guy at all. His speed is nothing to write home about and press can certainly get him reeling at times. All in all, a raw guy who could be a good 4 but not much else.
David Sills V is an intriguing prospect. I currently have a 4th round grade on him, but he does have potential. He is good deep threat with good lateral agility and an underrated ability of route deception. However, this dude has a super limited route tree. #DraftTwitter pic.twitter.com/6caJ3MGVlH— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) November 27, 2018
Louisville WR Jaylen Smith
Fast and big, big deep threat who can break anything for a TD at 6’4”. Smith is still raw as heck with limited route running ability and inconsistency across the board. He has incredible potential but I absolutely do worry about his floor, as it is low. He reminds me a ton of Justin Hunter, so there is that for you. Could be a lot better if he does pan out though.
Whew if we aren't sleeping on Louisville WR Jaylen Smith. @TonyG_DFFscout when he said I would be floored watching him. Smith is fluid, a sharp route runner, and has some of the best body control I have seen in the draft. With bad QB play, he did his best with it. #DraftTwitter pic.twitter.com/Jn6p68xNd2— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) December 27, 2018
UC Davis WR Keelan Doss
A technical route runner that has a knack for all routes, Doss is a versatile player that can beat you to the sidelines or up the seam. He is not that dynamic after the catch, but the biggest thing is that he makes every catch that is within reach. He is a contested catch king and has dominated his competition every time he has stepped onto the field. Watch out for him folks.
Keelan Doss out of UC Davis is one of my favorite small school guys this year. 6’3” and has great fluidity in and out breaks. Great body control on the sideline and can go up and get the ball too. Intriguing guy who could climb boards. #DraftTwitter pic.twitter.com/NW0bKBsZ4i— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) October 29, 2018
Missouri WR Emanuel Hall
Vertical speed and YAC for days, Hall is a raw route runner but with all the tools and progression each year, it looks like he is destined for significant success at the next level. He has flashed some combat catch ability this year and expanded his route tree tenfold to accommodate the new, changing NFL he will enter soon. Either way, some team is going to get a special deep threat and player.
Umass WR Andy Isabella
Perhaps the most polished route runner out of any of these receivers, Isabella has the ideal slot traits while still having the release skills and physicality to move outside. With how feisty, fast, and physical he plays, Isabella is going to be more than just a slot guy. The quick passing game is made for him as he has legitimate track star speed. In other words, you wanna quick WR that’ll blow past you? Isabella is it, guys.
Andy Isabella forever. WR out of UMASS is so underrated and should be picked by the end of day 2. So nuanced and fluid in route running. The stutter step is so subtle here but it makes the DB bite. Beautiful job to then get vertical #DraftTwitter pic.twitter.com/cqzOFH6xkb— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) November 20, 2018
Buffalo WR Anthony Johnson
Johnson is a whole lot of meh. He is a guy who goes out all the time, and is a versatile player. In the screen game and passing game he is a beast due to incredible contact balance, but his route running is subpar and being 6’3” he should be able to win more jump balls, but fails to do so often. Thus, I have a lot of questions about Johnson, he needs to show improvement at practices.
Anthony Johnson might be the weirdest evaluation of the 2019 receiver class. Diverse route tree, good size, and great hands, but lackluster athleticism, route running, and flexibility. He screams average, but if he can refine himself, he could be more than that. #DraftTwitter pic.twitter.com/1knU4wkbr3— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) December 9, 2018
Ohio State WR Terry McLaurin
Another meh from me here. While McLaurin has all the athleticism you would want and more, other than that, I don’t know what else there is other than decent route running. He can actually block pretty well, but he fails to be a great contested catch guy and has pretty bad tracking skills. He needs to high point the ball but he often fails to do so.
NC State WR Jakobi Myers
This one is intriguing. Myers is a versatile guy who is a refined route runner that fits perfectly into a scheme that loves to make its receivers do a lot. The Steelers fit that bill to a tee, and he has just about everything you would want in a WR but great YAC ability. His game has improved greatly and he is going to be a fantastic #3 with #2 potential in the NFL.
NC State WR Jakobi Meyers is going to be a fantastic big slot WR at the next level. Smooth in and out of breaks, smooth in his routes, and smooth after the catch, Myers screams a very good 3rd WR in an offense, and if used correctly, could be even more. #DraftTwitter pic.twitter.com/VARG0fL9um— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) January 10, 2019
Northern Colorado WR Alex Wesley
He is the new version of Will Fuller, and that means a deep threat with legitimate 4.3 speed. Wesley will stretch the defense and come on the screen game to burn you too. He is a fantastic player with all the motion going around the in the NFL right now, and while he does need to become a better route runner, Wesley is a fantastic receiver who will make an impact from Day 1.
I’m here for WR Alex Wesley. I’ve been hearing a ton about him and man he’s impressive and I’m glad he got a senior bowl invite. The FCS has a good crop of receivers this year, and Wesley might just be the best one I’ve seen. Dude is a blur on the screen. #DraftTwitter pic.twitter.com/BBURtIBg4p— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) December 7, 2018
Ranking the crop
- Deebo Samuel
- Alex Wesley
- Andy Isabella
- Jakobi Myers
- Emanuel Hall
- Hunter Renfrow
- Keelan Doss
- Jalen Hurd
- Tyre Brady
- Travis Fulgham
- Anthony Johnson
- David Sills
- Jaylen Smith
- Terry McLaurin