July 17, 2014 in Scouting Reports
By Staff Writer Justin Partlow:
With the NFL now more than ever a passing league, teams are looking to find that next wide receiver that can provide a spark and be someone that other teams don’t have. With last year’s class, we saw an overall effort that was unmatched in previous years. Never before have we seen so many talented players get drafted that in most years go earlier than they did. With the 2015 class though it’ll be another strong class, but it’ll be tough to ever see another class as we did in 2014. With talented top end guys, teams will be looking to add them earlier than later this year and take advantage of the skill that is there. Below I’ll take a look at three guys who I think will be the ones to watch in the 2015 class.
WR Devante Parker Louisville
For my money, Parker was one of the premier WR’s in all of college football and I was personally surprised when he decided to return to school. Parker though was smart, in 2015 he has the chance to be the top WR drafted and in 2014 he was going to be competing with 2-3 other guys in that same range. Parker is a freak athlete who has the vertical jump that can make WR coaches drool. Many times on film I watched Parker make a catch that was unreal, yet he just made it look like it was nothing. Parker with another strong year as is expected by him in the Bobby Petrino offense, then he could cement himself as the top overall WR. Teams will want him for all of his qualities he possesses, and it’s obvious the potential is really high with Parker.
WR Jaelen Strong Arizona State
Strong was the newcomer onto the scene that blew up and made everyone take notice of him. What separates Strong from many others in this class is the catch radius that he possesses. Many times Strong makes the almost impossible catches look like they are nothing more than normal. What makes Strong a viable target in the NFL is his ability to make the back shoulder catches that are almost as money of a play in the NFL as there is. Strong needs to refine his route running as he does look sloppy at the top of his routes at times, but as is the case with many of the top guys they all have their own warts in ways that need to be improved upon. Look for Strong to have another “strong” year and cement himself into that first round discussion.
WR Stefon Diggs Maryland
A bit of a wildcard pick here, but I’ve always been one to look for that guy who could have the breakout year before it truly does happen. Stefon Diggs for me will be that guy this year. A former 5-star recruit out of HS, Diggs burst onto the scene with a solid first year, and was on his way to a dynamic year last year until an injury sidelined him. Diggs isn’t the biggest player, but at the same time he’s also a dynamic threat when he has the ball in his hands. Diggs has shown ability to be a jackknife at WR and will play as a slot WR, split out wide and be used all over the field. The injury concerns haven’t left with Diggs, but at the same time he’s been someone who’s more of a durable guy instead of constantly injured. Look for Diggs to really breakout onto the national scene this year and get people to notice just how good of a player he is. Diggs with a strong year could go into the last first round, but also could be a very solid and effective 2nd round pick.
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