Rhema McKnight   WR   Notre Dame

 

STRENGTHS 

Rhema might be the most complete WR in this draft.  He is strong, runs good routes, blocks, is an excellent teammate and is always doing what he is supposed to do and more for every play on every down whether he is involved in the play or not.  He has mental toughness to go along with his excellent pass catching abilities.  Rhema reminds me a lot of Hines Ward (WR Pittsburgh Steelers.)  I think he will have a better pro career than a college career, which is saying a lot because his college career has not been too shabby.  Rhema is a very smart WR that is already reading defenses.  He has very good size and strength for his position and is as dependable a receiver as there is for his college team. 

 

NEEDS TO IMPROVE

Rhema is not the speediest of WR’s in this draft, but after a couple of knee injuries, you can see him getting quicker and faster every game he plays.  In my opinion, this is not an issue as to how successful he will be at the next level. 

 

TALENT BOARD ROUND: 2

Rhema has first round talent, but I have no doubt that he will be downgraded because of a lack of speed.  If he goes to the combine and runs in the 4.50 area, then he will be upgraded; however, I’m still not sure he will be taken in the first round.  The reason for this is that he is not flashy.  He doesn’t just show up for the big plays like his counterpart -– he shows up for all the plays.  He is a more complete WR than his teammate Samardzija, but for some reason, is rated lower than Jeff.  I guess since I actually look at film of these players, I will never understand the ratings of these players.  That’s why at THR, we started the talent board and made it separate from the draft value board.  Both Rhema and Jeff have first round talent, but to be honest, I would draft Rhema before I would draft Jeff.  There are too many questions in my mind about Jeff’s work ethic; I have no question at all about Rhema McKnight’s work effort.  If Jeff Samardzija has been Mr. Big Play for his college team, then Rhema has been Mr. Dependable.  Here is the difference between Samardzija and McKnight:  if you are dependable, then it stands to reason that you are also clutch.  Rhema is both; Jeff is just looking for the big play.  Who would you rather pick in a draft first -- a WR that is dependable and clutch or a WR who just shows up for the big play?

Drew Boylhart

December/2006