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Jake Bobo
NFL Draft

Jake Bobo Demanding Your Attention As NFL Draft Season Nears

  • Ryan Fowler
  • October 4, 2022
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The owner of one of the best names in college football, UCLA wideout Jake Bobo can flat-out play ball. The Bruins’ top target on the outside and the straw that stirs the drink through the air for an undefeated UCLA program, Bobo has raised eyebrows with his play early this fall.

Following four years at Duke where Bobo totaled 1,441 receiving yards, his progression into quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson’s favorite target on the outside has come in rapid fashion. The 6-foot-5, 215-pound talent that could very well gain mass and earn snaps at tight end on Sundays, his skill set on the perimeter has introduced another talent to watch in a deep pass-catching class in 2023.

It hasn’t mattered who UCLA and Bobo faced early in the campaign. The now No. 18-ranked program in the country, while their toughest tests remain in the next few weeks against Utah and Oregon, Bobo’s play against a top-25-ranked Washington unit showcased his talents on the brightest stage at the perfect time. With six catches, 142 yards, and two touchdowns, the Huskies had no answer for his combination of size and route-running ability. Whether he was aligned to the boundary or in the slot, Bobo’s ability to separate at the onset of his routes presented clear throwing windows for Thompson-Robinson all evening long.

It’s what scouts tend to rely heavily upon when evaluating talent—can you separate? It doesn’t matter if you’re a fleet-footed prospect at 5-foot-9 who wins with footwork or a larger talent like Bobo who teams key on just because he is 6-foot-5, being able to create distance between defenders is a trait that has always translated to the highest level of the game and why Bobo has become a name to get familiar with.

No, he won’t be a 4.3 or 4.4 runner in the 40, nor will he blow anyone away when it comes time to test other athletic measurables at the combine, but it’s not hard to understand why evaluators have begun to bold his name when it comes time for players they want to see more of—either at the Senior Bowl in Mobile or the East-West Shrine Game in Las Vegas. While the laundry list of wideouts to become familiar with will continue to grow as we trudge through the fall months, Bobo has become a player that deserves attention. 

With the No. 11-ranked Utes coming to town this week and a trip up to Oregon the following Saturday, Bobo’s stock could enjoy a lofty rise if he’s able to produce against the likes of Clark Phillips III (Utah) and Christian Gonzalez (Oregon) in consecutive games.

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Ryan Fowler