Stephen is one of the most improved wide receivers in this draft from his sophomore year to his junior year. He has that long, lanky body with deceiving strength and long legs that make you think he is not that fast -- but, oh he is. He shows on film good hands and the ability to adjust to the ball in the air and make the hard catch. He shows good feet, balance and strong effort on every play. He has the showboat gene in his system: he wants the ball and wants to be a #1 wide receiver for the team that drafts him. Stephen shows good run after the catch ability and will break tackles, but his strength is going down the field and making the catch that makes the highlight reel. Stephen still has a lot to learn, but he has shown me the tremendous work ethic and athletic talent needed to keep improving and to eventually be a top wide receiver in the NFL.
Georgia Tech is a running offense and I think they only run about 4 different routes. Stephen will have to learn the route tree first and then pick up how to run those routes to get open. In the meantime, he will have to memorize a playbook the size of a Volkswagen Beetle, which will just be all the passing plays. Then he will have to learn to read blitzes and run routes consistently so that he is on the same page as the QB and offense coordinator. Next, he'll have to know how to play more than one position. Stephen will have to do all of this plus improve his strength and hands. This is a tough task for a senior to do and an even tougher task for a junior coming out early. Stephen will also be expected to block better if he wants to stay on the field for all three downs. I suspect this should not be much of a problem. To Stephen's credit, he has shown that work ethic in his improvement as a wide receiver from his sophomore year to his junior year which shows me that he has reached maturity in his work habits
Stephen is bigger, stronger and better at catching the ball than he was last year. His biggest improvement is his upper body strength and his hands. He is not letting the ball get into his body like he did last year which is a big improvement. He is much more aggressive when catching the ball. There is no doubt in my mind that Stephen wants to be a star #1 wide receiver in the NFL and he wants it now. As long as he realizes the work ahead of him and does not quit, he can be as good as Plaxico Burress. He has that type of talent. He might not be as fast but he is a better run after the catch player than Plaxico. I like this kid; he is a little bit of a showboat but looks like a good teammate. Give him a year or two and I think you will see a #1 WR if everyone is patient and he doesn't go to a team that changes offenses after his first year in the league. That will set him back a bit.
The BS Detector
Drew Boylhart Feb /12