WR Player Evals: Slot/Z

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There is some no-doubt talent in this group. These guys are all very multiple, they have the speed and quickness to play Z but do most of their dirty work out of the Slot. Good results come either way. As these are the players that earn their money in the middle catching 3rd down balls in heavy traffic or on the boundary in contested situations. They have compact power, toughness, incredible concentration skills and the ability to get open or “make” themselves open. Creators make you money.

GOOD: Samuel has elite field vision which translates to YAC. He has great measurables in the areas that equal explosion. Tapping into that explosion he shows urgency but not really suddenness. He is at his best when in the open and running through traffic. Will break tackles and run for daylight in a flash. His hands are ideally sized and very strong. His 40 time was excellent and SPARQ score was very high which sort of sums up his parts. Incredible vertical for a guy his height. Aggressive in all aspects of his game.

BAD: Not sudden, sometimes bursty but still must build up speed to help him break free and gain chunks. Had trouble uncovering against press in college so the NFL will add another level of difficulty he must overcome. Not considered a great inside blocker. Needs more refinement in his routes. Had a long medical history and 2018 was first healthy season ever but stats from 2018 show he can produce. Excellent TD total, has a nose for the endzone.

BOTTOM LINE: Samuel is a gamer. He does everything with urgency and aggressiveness. He is always looking to help his QB by coming back to present himself when plays break down. He runs to contact and can handle it thanks to excellent contact balance. Short area speed is iffy and can result in him going down quickly after the catch in traffic situations. Needs more upper body strength but has good lower body power. WR2 ceiling, WR3 likely by Year 2. Great value in Round 3 but more likely to get a shot in late 2nd Round.

Stats courtesy of Sports Reference

GOOD: A straight up bully out of the slot according to Lance Zierlein. Simply out runs, out works and punishes everyone. Amazingly advanced and nuanced route running that results in his ability to uncover and be available at all levels. Quickness is especially valuable and seen in his elite stop/starts. He gets very physical with press coverage and zone alike in order to own his stem and break when necessary with real suddenness. Brown plays with a warrior’s mentality and wants to win every rep. Quite an advanced and effective blocker.

BAD: Was drafted by the Padres and took part in extended spring practices last 3 years, so football commitment could be questionable if he starts off slowly in the NFL. Lacks length for the position and will need to rely on his vertical ability in contested catch situations at pro level.

Seems to let the ball into his body a lot, when not necessary to make the catch. It’s as if he doesn’t trust his hands. Sometimes fights the ball a little when he’s not quite ready for it to arrive. Will be tested by NFL speed and physicality but likely up to the task. Has been protected from press most of the time and will need to use more than just his active hands if he is asked to run the boundaries beyond the flats. TD production dropped majorly in his final season, likely due to DK Metcalf coming on.

BOTTOM LINE: Overall a tremendous athlete and explosive player who wins with aggression and quickness. Has advanced route skills and change of direction skills most players would kill for. He is going to be a winner, it just is not in his DNA to have a mediocre career. Will adjust, adapt and learn as needed to excel in the pros. His best is yet to come most likely. WR2 ceiling with WR3 easily attainable in his rookie year. With advanced blocking and route running he already sends the message that he wants to be on the field and won’t disappoint. Round 2 is absolutely good value.

Stats courtesy of Sports Reference

GOOD: Shows very good body control, concentration and strong hands. Some quickness in and out of his breaks. Makes ridiculous catches look easy and makes easy catches too hard at times. Has enough overall power to push through contact and hold his stem. Game speed seems ok but not a burner and no 40 time from the Combine for comparison.

BAD: Has trouble uncovering. Not especially sudden or bursty so he allows the DB into his body a lot. Lazy route running and poor hand positioning deep balls results in catchable drops.

BOTTOM LINE: Not a huge fan of this kid. He’s had a sketchy history since high school of getting into trouble and moving on to another school. Production was only average, not a lot of TD’s in any year. For his measurables would expect a better overall production history. No truly outstanding traits. WR3 ceiling. Somebody will swing at him in the 5th or 6th round, but I say buyer beware!

Stats courtesy of Sports Reference

GOOD: Dude is a baller. Converted from QB and brought with it an incredible football IQ. He shows entirely natural receiving skills, with nuanced route running and awesome ability to get open. Coverage diagnostics are excellent and results in getting open where he should be. Finds those soft spots in zone to run through and make himself available.

Simply incredible hands and catch radius. Makes some of the most difficult catches in traffic you can imagine and has so much confidence he is going to win those catches. Really effective in the flats and simple out routes, drags and posts. Being multiple, he will often come out of the Slot position on posts or go routes and get downfield for a catch. Excellent bubble and lower body power.

BAD: Lacks burst and explosion in his routes. Uncovers mostly due to his ability to read the field not because of suddenness. Won’t get you much in way of YAC, he gets tied up pretty quickly unless he’s got a head of steam. But often will run to contact when he doesn’t need to in the open field instead of just turning on the jets. Despite clear high-point skill set, he was not asked to be a red zone guy very often.

BOTTOM LINE: Jakobi is one of my 3 Musketeers (Jalen Hurd and Lil Jordan Humphrey are the others..). A converted QB, he brings an incredibly cerebral approach to WR. He is that highly multiple grinder type we can ask to get bloody and dirty and he will always do it with a smile. Wants to be great.

Wants to win more than the guys he is playing against. Look at how average he is in all those Combine categories. Doesn’t matter for shit. Look at his stats. First year as a WR he put up 700+ yards. Second year over 1,000. Notice the lack of TD’s? He is out there getting you tough yards so your prima donna X receivers can score freaking touchdowns. You’re welcome.

Legit upside in the red zone and on returns. Is going to quickly become a fan favorite in the classic possession receiver mold. Old school mentality to go with his fearlessness. WR2 ceiling, WR3 possible as a rookie if used properly. Best part is he will be incredible value starting in the 5th Round.

Stats courtesy of Sports Reference