For all those that do not know my name is Owl and I am working on hopefully one day becoming a sports writer or lucky enough to land a job as a NFL scout. The first guy I wanted to talk about is Wisconsin wide receiver Jared Abbrederis. More than likely a guy you had never heard of before, until the draft season started. We will all be hearing his name a lot so I figured we could look into him a bit more closely. Here are some notes I took on him while watching tape.
The Good: Solid frame and decent length (6’ 7/8" 185lbs, 9 5/8" hands, 75 1/8" wingspan), experienced (3 years), incredible agility and overall Quickness, deceptive overall speed, Highly productive despite being in run-first offense, excellent body control and ball-in-flight adjustments, excellent flexibility (combined with long legs, gives him ability to manipulate DBs and change direction incredibly fast), professional and exceptional work ethic (redshirt walk on qb, film junkie, 2013 Burlsworth Trophy winner- most outstanding college walk-on, didn’t earn scholarship until January 2012), plays with chip on shoulder, leader (encourages younger players to work on routes and how to setup DBs), former QB (understands coverages, defenses), focus and hand-eye coordination to win at catch point, excellent hands catcher, wide catch radius, aggressive when ball is in the air (works back to ball as opposed to waiting for it), soft and reliable hands, able to make acrobatic catches, high points ball well and decent leaping ability, good on STs – PR and KR, quick and precise in and out of breaks – creates separation in man coverage, dependable and savvy technician as a route runner that understands positioning and he works so well to get cornerbacks outside the framework of their body as he sets up deep breaking routes, incredibly consistent (testament to focus and work ethic), able to consistently make catches in traffic (focus, hands to keep defenders away from body, body control), advanced route tree (especially on intermediate routes), runs entire route tree, efficient and active feet (sinks hips low and bursts in and out of cuts with no wasted movement – creates constant separation, extremely elusive, breaks ankles and arm tackles), versatile skillset (receiver, returner, as well as a runner out of the backfield, reverses), excellent at tracking ball on short and intermediate routes, superb ball carrier vision, excellent open field running vision (effective on screens), high ypr (16.6 career), excellent balance, enough speed to get behind secondary and be viable downfield threat that stretches the field, sells routes well (can run same route with several variations), incredible stutter-and-go double move, sets up moves and knows how to deceive DBs, adept with fakes (head and chest), shakes, and hesitations, excellent field awareness/instincts (knack for getting open in any area of the field and putting himself in a place where it makes it easy for the QB to get him the ball), good footwork along the sideline, excellent identifying and settling into holes against zone, good out-and-up receiver against man (necessary to be boundary receiver), decent blocker (good angles, body positioning, good effort, doesn’t telegraph blocking plays when he comes off of line of scrimmage), can play anywhere (X, Y, Z, slot) but excels outside the hashes, long strides on deep routes (compensates for lack of explosion), shown ability to beat press (excellent hand use and defender contact management), productive regardless of qb, fearless over the middle (especially on short slants and deep crosses), advanced at using body to shield defenders from making plays on the ball, aggressive ball carrier with good stiff arm, good stance that allows momentum to go forward cleanly, arguably the best receiver at the Senior Bowl (lit up every North side defensive back (Dontae Johnson, Pierre Desir, Deone Buchanan, Stanley Jean-Baptiste, Jimmie Ward, Ahmad Dixon, Isaiah Lewis, Marqueston Huff, Nevin Lawson, Dez Southward) in getting open and catching balls),
The Bad: Fearless but takes big hits and susceptible to injuries (2012 missed 1 game and parts of 2 others), has enough speed to make downfield plays but lacks elite top-end speed to outrun DBs, no transcendent physical traits (average size, speed, athleticism, muscle definition), needs to become stronger overall(injuries, concerns regarding separation against press as boundary receiver, break tackles, blocker, mediocre hand and arm strength and gets ball ripped out), periodically body catches, potential ball security issues, confidence effected when defenders stick to him downfield, may not be productive in red zone (jump balls and fades), sometimes loses balance out of breaks, sometimes too much wasted movement at LOS (throws off timing and tips off routes), inconsistent deep ball tracking, not explosive (limited big play ability), inconsistent on underneath routes (doesn’t turn shoulders consistently to LOS enough to give a big catch radius), Wisconsin system (hasn’t produced viable NFL receivers).
The way that I see it Abbrederis is a long possession style receiver. He needs to put some bulk on him to prevent injury and take advantage of his aggressiveness. He is expected to be a third round pick which is reasonable for the production he will accumulate in the NFL.
Do not expect him to become a #1 receiver and maybe not even a #2. This guy is a perfect #3 though that can use is great route running ability to get by weaker NFL DB's. He can be a great possession receiver that will make plays when you need him. He reminds me of the Packers Jordy Nelson, or the Panthers Brandon LaFell, I expect the same level of production as well.