Building the 2020 Prototype: Wide Receiver

Photo: USA TODAY Sports - Kevin Jairaj

Throughout the month of July, I’m going to take a much closer look at some of the 2020 NFL draft’s top prospects. In doing this, I’m creating a new series called “Building the Prototype.” Breaking down each position into five traits I specifically look for, I’m going to match 2020 prospects to those traits. Thus, I am essentially building the perfect draft prospect at each position in this upcoming class. In the third installment of this series, I’m going to dive deeper into this incredibly talented wide receiver group. I have links to the other position groups of this series at the bottom of the page.

Vertical Speed: Henry Ruggs, Alabama

With legit 4.2 speed, Henry Ruggs is one of the fastest players in all of college football. He instantly accelerates out of the blocks and is impossible to chase down because of his long strides. Ruggs is more than just a speed guy though. He has excellent hands and is one of the toughest receivers in the class. If he takes the next step in adding more nuance to his release package, his potential will be unlimited.

Route Running: Jerry Jeudy, Alabama

Jerry Jeudy is my top receiver heading into college football for a reason. There isn't a weakness in his game that is evident on tape. He has great play speed, hands, and is one of the most dynamic players in the nation with the ball in his hands. But Jeudy's best and most translatable trait to the next level is his prowess as a route runner. He has an expansive release package and consistently deceives defensive backs with timing and quickness. Jeudy processes the game like an NFL veteran, reminding me a ton of Amari Cooper coming out of Alabama.

Body Control/Fluidity: CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma

Everything Oklahoma wide receiver CeeDee Lamb does is just smooth. He moves around without any stiffness, whether that is at the LOS, in his routes, or at the catch point. Lamb has uncanny lower-body flexibility for his size that allows him to change direction on a dime. With the body control and flexibility to make crazy one-handed catches like this, it just shows how special of an athlete Lamb is.

Catch Point Consistency: Tee Higgins, Clemson

There isn't a better contested-catch wide receiver in the country than Clemson's Tee Higgins. At 6'4, you can just throw the ball his way and he is likely coming down with it. His combination of hand strength, timing, and catch radius makes 50-50 jump balls look more like 90-10 jump balls. Higgins may not be as polished as other receivers on this list in terms of route running, but at the very least, he will be an instant red-zone weapon at the next level.

Run after Catch: Jalen Reagor, TCU

Explosive. Sudden. Playmaker. These are the words I'd use to describe TCU wide receiver Jalen Reagor's game. His combination of elusiveness and burner speed makes him one of the most dangerous players in all of college football. Reagor is not just incredibly hard to bring down because of his athletic ability, as his play strength also pops on tape. He isn't the biggest, but he runs hard, consistently gets yards after contact, and brings a physical edge every time he touches the ball. There are Tyreek Hill flashes on Reagor's film.

2020 Prototype Series:


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