Evaluating the Wide Receiver Position

Every season NFL teams turn to the draft to try and select their next star wide receiver. However, it is far from certain that even first round draft picks will pan out. Matt Caraccio uses these four Inside the Pylon First Sound videos to discuss how to evaluate the wide receiver position in order to identify the traits needed in a success wide receiver. These videos can be used to assist in evaluating both NFL and college prospects. 

Athleticism and Hands

Matt turns to former University of Pittsburgh, and current Cincinnati Bengal, wide out Tyler Boyd to discuss the traits of athleticism and hands. Athleticism involves the key qualities of quickness, explosiveness, and most importantly, balance. What does it mean to have good hands? Matt explains that qualities such as manual dexterity and concentration. This video provides an in depth explanation of each trait and shows how Tyler Boyd excels at them.

Separation Quickness and Route Running

The second video in this series on how to evaluate the wide receiver position, Matt uses former University of Minnesota, and current New York Giants, receiver KJ Maye, who exemplifies the traits of separation quickness and route running. As Matt explains, separation quickness is evidenced by what the receiver does at the top of his route. And with route running, Matt breaks down the different skills needed for certain positions (outside vs. slot receiver) in addition to discussing the route tree the unique qualities of certain kinds of routes.

Release and Body Control

Washington’s new wide receiver, Josh Doctson, is the subject of Matt’s discussion of the importance of release and body control. Release is the receiver’s ability to handle the initial part of his route, and this differs depending on the kind of coverage the wide receiver faces. When discussing body control, the evaluator needs to ask what kind of technique does the player display at the catch point. Josh Doctson is a perfect study for this trait.

Play Strength and Competitive Toughness

The new San Francisco 49er wideout is the subject of Matt’s final video on evaluating the wide receiver position. The former Michigan State receiver provides many examples of these two traits. As Matt explains, play strength is how the WR wins his one-on-one matchups, while competitive toughness is the measure of a players physical and mental desire to leave it all out on the field play after play. This video breakdown gives viewers great examples of how to evaluate these two qualities.

Follow Matt on Twitter @Matty_OS.

Inside The Pylon covers the NFL and college football, reviewing the film, breaking down matchups, and looking at the issues, on and off the field.

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