There is one thing I am sure of regarding the 2019 NFL Draft class of wide receivers; the talent of the group is incredibly deep. With a slew of declarations from players with remaining eligibility, the depth of the class widened even further than initially expected.
An event like the East-West Shrine Game becomes that much more intriguing given the sheer number of pro-caliber receivers coming out of college football this season. Many of the wide receivers headed to the event are names I expected to see at the more publicized Senior Bowl.
Let’s get into the accepted invites on both rosters:
One of my favorite wide receiver prospects in the entire class is KeeSean Johnson from Fresno State. Coming from the same high school as former Fresno State Bulldog and current Packers pro-bowl receiver Davante Adams, KeeSean had an incredibly productive collegiate career.
With technical savvy, glue for hands and contact balance as a ball carrier, Johnson projects beautifully as a complimentary receiver at the next level.
Keelan Doss is slated to make the trip to the East-West Shine Game and Senior Bowl, as the UC Davis graduate has intriguing traits. A two-time FCS all-american at 6’3 and 210 pounds, Doss has 233 receptions, 2,833 yards and 16 touchdowns over the last two seasons. He promises to be a tough cover for the defensive backs at the event with his combination of size and raw athleticism.
Jonathan Duhart entered the season as a relative unknown, but he was apart of an exciting wide receiver duo at Old Dominion (along with Senior Bowl bound Travis Fulgham). Another 6’3 and 210-pounder, Duhart posted over 1,000 yards and 9 touchdowns this season.
Also on the East Roster: Cody Thompson (Toledo), Shawn Poindexter (Arizona), Xavier Ubosi (UAB)
In my opinion, the star of the position at the entire event is Damarkus Lodge from Ole Miss. With good size, bendy route breaks, dominating traits against press coverage and acrobatic body control, Lodge is likely to be one of the top 5 wide receivers in the entire class.
I was shocked when Lodge didn’t receive an invite to the Senior Bowl, but I’m expecting him to more than make up for it in St. Petersburg.
Ryan Davis is undersized, but has the single-season record for receptions at Auburn because of his underneath route running and soft hands. While his vertical ability and redzone prowess remain to be seen, Davis has a likely role in the NFL with his quick transitions and route breaks. At the East-West Shrine event, the Auburn team captain will likely take advantage of anything thrown his way in the slot.
Jamal Custis had nearly no buzz in the preseason, as he entered the year with just 13 career receptions. However, he’s now firmly entrenched on NFL radars after leading the Syracuse Orange in receiving yards and touchdowns. At a towering 6’5, Custis is an intriguing physical profile for the next level, despite his lack of production before this season.
Also on the West Roster: Terry Godwin II (Georgia), Terry Wright (Purdue), Jesper Horsted (Princeton)