Name: Antoine Wesley
SCHOOL: Texas Tech
CONFERENCE: Big 12
POSITION: Wide Receiver
JERSEY: No. 4
RECRUITMENT RATING: 3-star
WT: 200 lbs
Separation Quickness – More reliant on technical savvy in order to separate from defensive backs. Efficient in his breaks considering his size, but at his best when he’s allowed to build up his speed with his length, then snap his routes off. Due to vertical ability and size, defensive backs generally shy away from press coverage against Wesley. He’s adapted as this trend has continued, and does a good job separating in shallow and intermediate routes due to his ability to sell the vertical route.
Ball Skills – Ball skills can come in go in flashes. When he needs to extend his arms in order to high point passes, his length is a serious weapon. However, there are cases when Wesley prefers to catch the ball over the shoulder, relying on his long arms in order to create clean catch points. Doesn’t consistently high point in these situations, and the ball can get played as a result. Nonetheless, strong hands and few drops. If he naturally extends and plucks the ball out of the air with more regularity, defensive backs will struggle to ever get their hands on it.
Speed/Burst – Does not possess the most burst among wide receivers due to his stride length. More than enough long speed to survive in the NFL as he can separate vertically and defensive backs fail to gain ground on him in the open field. Open strides with knee lift that pick up yardage in a hurry.
Route-Running – While Wesley does not have the most nuanced double moves that turn defensive backs, he offers nice ability as a route runner with his technical prowess. As he closes the cushion of defensive backs, he does a nice job gliding past them and stacking. Consistently able to have efficient horizontal breaks that are not normally seen in wide receivers with his length. While many of his routes come on the vertical plane, he is adept at selling the go route before snapping off his route to create windows on curls routes. Has shown fluidity in all types of cuts. When asked to make double moves, uses his eyes to sell them and create space towards his break, the Sluggo route in the low redzone against Houston being the prime example.
Contested Catch – An area where Wesley thrives, as he stacks and tracks balls with ease. Easily adjusts to passes, and when needed he can use seamless body control in order to position his frame at an optimal angle. Solid leaper who can rise at nearly every angle from different platforms. Length makes it difficult for defensive backs. Wesley has incredible concentration on the ball in flight, and will fight through contact in order to bring the ball into his frame. When timing is on with the quarterback, defensive backs playing with their back to the ball stand no chance. Wesley does a solid job of staying upright after winning contested situation, able to pick up extra yardage on occasion.
Ball Carrier – Where you would think Wesley would struggle is actually something of a strength. In open space, players struggle to close on him and get into his frame in order to bring him to the ground. Wesley’s body control along the sideline and stride length make it difficult for smaller defensive backs to close him down out of bounds. Impressive change of direction for his size, showing a juke move that abuses pursuit defenders. Long run after the catch touchdowns against Houston and Texas being examples of this. Shiftiness not normally seen in players 6’5. Well-balanced frame allows him to fight through arm tackles.
— Brad Kelly (@BradKelly17) November 11, 2018
Releases – Wesley has yet to develop an array of hand usage at the line of scrimmage in order to dominate press coverage. Lacks experience playing against press in college. Though a solid enough lateral mover in space, coming from a stationary position Wesley struggles in this area. However, he has the frame that suggests he could dominate in this area. Will likely take experience and coaching and isn’t a huge concern.
Blocking – High energy, confident player who is a willing blocker. When he approaches with proper technique against off cornerbacks, he collapses on them and latches on. His long arms make it difficult for defensive backs to disengage. Can close and clear space well as a stalk blocker. When he does get beat, it’s usually on defensive backs knifing in towards the box early in the play, suggesting that Wesley could do a better job with his initial angle to cut off their angle. However, when he does get beaten inside, he does an excellent job of working immediately to the next most dangerous defender.
Strength and Toughness – Does not lack strength, as he is well-balanced despite a bit of a wiry frame. If and when he fills out, this could turn into a major upgrade. Has the frame to suggest he could add muscle without sacrificing any speed or shiftiness. Plays hard, rarely if ever taking plays off. Energy and leadership is contagious.
Athleticism/Size – Obviously his size can be a major weapon, as he is an accuracy fixer because of his length. As he progresses as a player, his size will become an ever bigger strength. NFL-level athleticism, though not the most explosive or quickest player on the field. Will likely be relied upon on the outside in the NFL, where his combination of physical profile and athleticism is best suited.
BEST TRAIT – Tracking + Adjusting
WORST TRAIT – Releases
RED FLAGS – Just a one-year starter in college, with minimal production prior to his true junior season.
Intriguing prospect who only has one year of serious collegiate production. Was stuck behind Dylan Cantrell, Keke Coutee and Cameron Batson as a true sophomore, who are all on NFL active rosters. Has yet to reach his ceiling and needs to continue adding bulk in order to get there. His speed at the NFL Scouting Combine may not be blazing, but expect his agility drills to be better than average for his length. Confidence and love for his teammates is obvious upon watching live viewings and would be a welcome addition to an NFL locker room.
TTU JR WR Antoine Wesley is 6’5 200, and last week broke the school single-game record for receiving yards with 261.
Wesley’s hip drop and COD is elite for a longer WR, and he has the body control to match his size.
song: Thugz Mansion – Mozzy pic.twitter.com/eYMpVTVB7K
— Brad Kelly (@BradKelly17) September 20, 2018
Routes – Rapidly eats away at cushion with his long stride length. Ability to sell vertical routes enables him to snap off and generate separation out of his breaks. Quicker and cleaner ability to throttle down and change directions than expected of his build. Runs routes with good pace and tempo. Must adapt to a more expansive route tree at the next level but traits are present to work more on a horizontal plane.
Hands – Would love to see him take make advantage of his length and extend when addressing the football at the catch point. Flashes the ability to pluck it firmly in contested situations but is not immune to dropping the football or double catching it.
Ball Skills – Can be too patient and wait for the ball to get to him. Does well to locate, track and adjust to the football over the shoulder. Has a massive catch radius but he doesn’t always maximize it by elevating, high pointing and extending. Makes some circus grabs in contested situations but there is room for growth.
YAC Ability – Shows more ability than expected for his build and has found ways to win post-catch despite not necessarily running routes that are favorable for opportunities to create. Tucks and turns quickly and sees the field well. Has proven to be slippery for ball carriers as a tackler and he sets them up favorably in space. Long strides eat away turf.
Release – Eats up coverage with long strides and good vertical push. Will have issues with aggressive corners that are willing to crowd his frame and jam at the line of scrimmage. Has good lateral agility but more effective hand technique and setting up angles with his release are needed for him to consistently clear contact in press coverage. Flashes are present but more consistency is needed.
Play Speed – Would not call him a burner but he is smooth with easy acceleration skills. Can pick up chunks of yards after the catch and can challenge defenses vertically. Does well to alter speeds and work tempo in his routes.
Blocking – I love his approach and willingness. Has some issues leveraging blocks but he fights hard to get his hands fit and stay square. Is the aggressor on the perimeter and he takes good angles to win. Keeps blocking down the field as plays extend.
Play Strength – I like his effort but getting stronger and playing more assertively will help maximize his frame. Can do more to establish leverage and the catch point and win in the contact window. Contact balance is adequate.
Versatility – Has playmaking upside at levels of the field. Profiles well to an outside role but must become more consistent clearing press coverage. Was not tasked with return duties in college.
BEST TRAIT – Over the shoulder tracking
WORST TRAIT – Releases
RED FLAGS – None
Wesley went from an unknown during his first two seasons at Texas Tech to a star as a junior. His 1,491 receiving yards in 2018 was third in the nation. Wesley’s fluidity relative to his size and ball skills making him a highly intriguing prospect. With that said, there is room and need for growth in terms of developing his route running, adding play strength and cleaning up some technique at the catch point. Wesley has an exciting ceiling and the upside to become a featured option in an NFL passing game with continued development.