NAME: Stanley Morgan Jr.
CONFERENCE: Big 10
POSITION: Wide receiver
JERSEY: No. 8
RECRUITMENT RATING: 3-stars
D.O.B.: Not Available
Route Running –Is at best when afforded a clean release off the line of scrimmage and able to build speed to pressure DBs. Sharp snap off of his route stem to uncover into the field. Has shown flashes of good hand usage to manipulate DBs at contact and establish more space.
Hands –Softness of the hands is effective, showing full capability to reach and extend to catch the football away from frame. Issues with drops seem to center around playing in traffic and moving onto run after catch opportunities prematurely.
Contested Catch Ability –Concentration along the boundary is excellent, has flashed numerous strong plays on the ball when not having to worry about pursuit from all angles. Shows good timing on leaps to target under-thrown vertical balls. Does not play with a lot of lower body strength to box out.
Run After Catch Ability –Scrappy with his free arm, has stiff-armed several tacklers in the open field and made them look foolish trying to bring him down. Field vision is enough to make the first arriving defender miss. Usage on slip screens has developed patience to turn up the field on short passes.
Football IQ –Impressive development as a receiver, given usage of head, hips and feet to manipulate defenders. Runs a diverse set of routes, including post/slant/comeback/corner/tunnel screens/etc. Has a head for adjusting routes based on defensive leverage and coverage.
Vertical Receiving –Secondary speed is effective to stack DBs playing in phase and can roll into another gear vs. squatting corners in zone coverage. Ability to key the ball in the air is effective and allows for high point receptions, does well to come back to the football in that regard.
Change of Direction Skills –Carries speed through breaks effectively, will get longer striding defenders on their heels trying to stay leveraged over-top of him in space. Rolls off of the outside foot on slant/post patterns well. Shifty gearing down after the catch to shake a closing tackler.
Speed –Rarely caught from behind once given the chance to get up to top speed and open up strides. Initial acceleration off the line can be tempered by a false step at times but is able to shine when given a free run within the first five yards.
Competitive Toughness –Team leader who plays tough and sets a positive example. Scrappy effort to get out in front of teammates as a blocker. Doesn’t consistently shed tackles, particularly when traffic gets around his feet. Physicality on his stem and against press coverage are limiting factors.
Blocking Ability –Does not have any exceptional level of power or ability to collapse/wash out defensive backs as a blocker but shows a great effort to set his hands and try to ride a defender out of position. Effort is strong.
BEST TRAIT – Route Running
WORST TRAIT – Play Strength
BEST FILM – Penn State (2017)
WORST FILM – Ohio State (2018)
RED FLAGS – May of 2017 marijuana arrest
Stanley Morgan Jr. projects most favorably as a Z-receiver in the NFL. There, Morgan can get more frequent free releases off of the line of scrimmage and utilize his open field athleticism to threaten defenses on deeper developing routes. Morgan Jr. needs to develop more physicality to beat press for consistent separation against fast-footed CBs in the NFL.
Route Running – Possibly the most refined and nuanced route runner in entire 2019 NFL Draft class. Morgan was used as the solo receiver as a junior, but apart of a more spread based system as a senior under head coach Scott Frost. Morgan has an above average get-off, but dynamic agility and hip flexibility. He effortlessly glides past defensive backs and immediately stacks them vertically. With proper anticipation of contact, he has an innate ability to move laterally and while simultaneously hand fighting. At the top of his route he uses unique, open footwork and head fakes to freeze defensive backs. Consistently uncovers down the field due to his seamless vertical cuts. Uses contact when crowded, but this is a rare necessity. Operated within a full route tree and showed positive traits in all level of the field.
The only negative with Morgan is that he can coast through some in-breaking routes, and as a result it can take him an extra moment to work through traffic and find open space.
Athleticism / Speed – Above-average athlete for the position, but not dynamic in his speed or quickness. Frame is solid, and he has distributed strength. His game is mostly predicated off of shiftiness, flexibility and technique, so a lack of truly elite athleticism is less of a concern. Still, his ceiling will be a bit capped.
Hands / Ball Skills – Morgan prefers to catch the ball over his shoulder, using his body to box-out the catch point from defensive backs. His tracking adept, and he can adjust when down the field. Showed a few too many concentration drops on film, which are nearly always a result of awkward hand placement. The discouraging aspect is that they would show up after Morgan created separation and wasn’t being contested. If this can get cleaned up, the space he generates will become even more valuable.
Body Control – Morgan has fluidity in his body control, and has a unique understanding of positioning. He processes the space and defensive back well, and places himself where only he can make a play on the ball. Occasionally, he’d be better off rising and attacking the catch point, but this rarely prevents him from making a play on the ball.
Ball Carrier – Morgan has shown a stiff-arm and proper balance to either discard the defender or pick up yards through the contact. He has proper field vision, and after he turns up field he has that shiftiness to escape the initial defender. Has never shown dominant strength, and when defenders are able to get into his body, Morgan struggles to remain upright.
Stalk Blocking – Morgan shows consistently positive effort, as he plays the game with a bit of an edge. While he rarely displaces defensive backs, he will extend his hands and work to wash them downhill. Scrappy blocker who works to keep his defenders upright, he could benefit from more initial pop and violence.
Versatility – Morgan has some experience as a kick returner, and was moved into multiple alignments for the Cornhuskers. With a solid build, he will be a candidate to work through multiple alignments and motions at the next level. Showed the ability to work in all levels of the field, as well as the screen-game.
BEST TRAIT – Route Running
WORST TRAIT – Hands
RED FLAGS – May of 2017 marijuana arrest
Stanley Morgan Jr.’s route running makes him a high-floor prospect. He will uncover against most defensive backs or coverages, and through a full route tree. He projects as a Z-receiver with slot potential, as his frame, shiftiness and knowledge of route running gives him proper versatility. Morgan is a well-rounded prospect with no true weaknesses, but his hands and strength could improve for the next level. With just a shade under 2,000 yards and 17 touchdowns over the last two seasons in the Big 10, he’s a reliable and consistent performer. With that in mind, he will fill a complimentary role at the next level, likely that of a WR3, but offers a decent ceiling as well.