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NFL Draft

2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: WR Tarik Black

  • The Draft Network
  • February 1, 2021
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PROSPECT SUMMARY – TARIK BLACK

Originally starting his career at Michigan, Tarik Black spent three seasons in Ann Arbor prior to transferring to Texas. Battling previous injuries but wanting a fresh start elsewhere, he was in search of a new beginning. At Texas, he only recorded 10 catches for 240 yards and a touchdown. Black is a big-body receiver that has spent time both in the slot and on the perimeter. A one-speed target, he runs routes at his own pace. That tempo doesn’t pose much of a threat consistently to defensive backs and he often wants to turn routes into a physical matchup. Knowing that he has a chance to win in that fashion, he can high point passes and win. Displaying physicality in route stems, he’s been able to generate production that way, but the lack of separation factor is an area that could always be a constant issue for him in the long run. Black’s injury history is also one that is notable as he’s suffered a cracked bone in his left foot (2017) and a fractured right foot (2018). 

Ideal Role: Developmental big slot receiver that will need to spend time on the practice squad or an outside league.

Scheme Fit: Outside/boundary WR or Big Slot in a West Coast system.

FILM EVALUATION

Written by Jordan Reid

Games watched: Middle Tennessee State (2019), Wisconsin (2019), Baylor (2020), Iowa State (2020), UTEP(2020)

Best Game Studied: UTEP (2020)

Worst Game Studied: Baylor (2020)

Route Running: A flat-footed and moderate tempo runner, Black excels at running quick routes that he can snap off quickly. His most consistent routes have been under 10 yards, as he has shown the most comfort with quick hitches, outs, and slants. There also has been an occasional deep out and post route mixed in with those concepts. Running routes at the same pace is evident in his game, as he doesn’t contain much acceleration or higher gear shifts to reach another level of speed. 

Hands: His hands have been a bit inconsistent as he has some concentration drops on his resume. With six over the past two seasons combined, he had some hand-eye coordination areas that will need to be improved upon. The plays that were classified as drops aren’t alarming, but the high number will need to be reduced in order for Black to eventually have a chance of playing on the next level.

Separation: An area that will always prove to be challenging for Black is his ability to consistently create operating room. He isn’t the twitchiest wideout prospect and it carries over into his route-running. Matchups are often able to remain by his side due to a lack of threatening ability from him. Learning added nuance and details to his game overall could help him generate more space at the top of routes and in route stems. 

Release Package: Picks and chooses when he wants to use his hands in releases, which will need to become more consistent. There isn’t much creativity overall with his releases at the line. He deploys violent jab steps directly after the snap in hopes that forces the defensive back to panic and open his hips. Otherwise, he takes his desired path and elects to fight through with his natural strength instead of creating clear lanes with releases. 

Run After Catch: Black isn’t much of a threat to pick up yards after the catch. He doesn’t contain the dynamic attributes necessary in order to make defenders miss in space or create new opportunities that weren’t previously there. The yards that he gains after the catch are from his strength and breaking tackles. For the betterment of his career, he’s been a “catch-tackle” receiver that’s immediately tackled down to the ground quickly following receptions.

Ball Skills: Black has the capabilities of being a “go up and get it” type of receiver that can win at the catch point when he’s allowed those types of opportunities. Possessing strong hands and a solid build for a wideout, he uses it to his advantage in spots. When driving back to the ball, Black proves to have strong hands to snatch it out of the air. He also can adjust to the ball in certain situations in order to reel it in.

Football IQ: Aware of how to attack zone coverage, he’s had success with finding open areas and knowing when/where to settle within them. Black has examples in the passing game where he’s able to show off his football intelligence. Many of his brightest moments have come in the red zone, where he can increase his physicality levels and how often he uses his hands in route stems. 

Versatility: While at Michigan and Texas, Black spent time cross-training as both an outside target and slot option. The versatility could help him in the long run as he’s had plenty of reps in both areas, but also projects best as a big slot at the next level.

Competitive Toughness: A high-intensity competitor in route stems, Black isn’t afraid to make it a physical battle. Knowing that he has some limitations with his explosiveness, he turns it into a physical battle, which is more down his alley of positives. Knowing that he potentially has the advantage in that area, he attempts to outmuscle the opposition in many areas of the field. 

Big-Play Ability: This is an area that he will be non-existent in is his ability to generate big plays down the field. Even dating back to his time in Ann Arbor, consistency has been the biggest knock for Black. Only once recording more than one catch in a game during his lone season at Texas, he has struggled mightily with being a consistent option. Injuries have also contributed to this as well.

SCOUT GRADES

TDN Consensus: To Be Determined

Jordan Reid: 62/100

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The Draft Network