Fred is a smooth as silk style of receiver who can play inside or outside. He
catches the ball effortlessly. He has a large catch radius but because of his
‘smooth as silk” style of running short routes he makes it easy for his
quarterback to throw to him with accuracy. Fred is instinctive catching the ball
knowing when to go after the ball reaching out with his hands limiting contested
passes. He has good speed and will give you some run after the catch yardage and
when he goes deep he will fight for the ball limiting possible interceptions.
Fred could become an excellent touchdown maker inside the red zone because of
his ability to get open quickly on short routes. His smooth gate and the fact he
shoulders do not move make it very hard to know when he is about to make a cut.
As soon as Fred learns how to run deep routes he could become a complete
receiver for the team that selects him.
The key improvement that will help Fred to become a starting and complete
receiver will be improving his deep routes. It’s very easy to defend him on deep
routes because he telegraphs them coming off the line. Most if not all of his
contested pass catching is done on his deep routes because he tries to use
quickness and speed to get free and not techniques. He doesn’t change gears very
well and comes off the line on deep routes at full speed and that signals to the
defender that he’s running a deep route. He also wants to wait to make moves
until he is right on top of a defender allowing the defender to push and be
physical with him disturbing the rhythm and making it easy for a defender to
anticipate flipping his hips and stay with Fred all the way down the field.
Fred reminds me a little of former Steelers receiver John Stallworth. He has
that same smooth gate and ability to get open on those short routes. He catches
the ball the same way also, going to get the ball before it gets to him with his
hands, snatching the ball out of the air. Fred has to learn to use better route
running techniques and smarter techniques because he lacks quickness, although
he does have good enough speed. He gets open so easy running short routes that
he really doesn’t understand why he gets open. I think…that he thinks it’s
because he is fast and quick and that’s not the reason, the reason is because he
keeps the defender guessing when and what breaks he is going to make because his
natural gate (and never moving up or down shoulders) never give away when he
will make his break when running his routes. His breaks are so sudden that
unless his defender is guessing Fred will separate easily because his opponent
is on their heels and slow to react. When he runs on his deep routes he comes
off at a different level with more speed and doesn’t change speeds and allows
his cushion to be extinguished thinking that he can beat his defender with speed
alone. Of course that doesn’t happen and then Fred has to try and catch or knock
down a contested pass. Fred can learn to run deep routes very easily he just has
to get it through his thick skull that he is not faster or quicker than most
cornerbacks he is going up against.