Calvin Ridley   WR   Alabama


Calvin is a smooth, gliding type receiver with the speed and cunningness of a red fox. He has a high football IQ and runs excellent routes using his quickness and suddenness to shock his defender on just about any route he runs. He can set up his defender for the big play and beat double teams because of his intelligence and route running skills. Calvin runs with a smooth gate and this allows for his head and hands to be still when running deep routes making him a sure handed threat to score at any point on the field. He is an impact receiver who can play on the inside or outside because of his quickness in getting off the line and beating bump and run coverage. Calvin is definitely one of the top offensive players in this draft and any team needing an impact receiver for their passing game should be ready to select Calvin in this draft early.

Calvin is smart and is smooth with good quickness but like any receiver he struggles to handle physical play. He can be moved off his routes if he is up against a corner back with his size and speed and there are a lot of those at the next level. Calvin lacks the leg strength to break tackles and gain yardage after the catch for needed third down yardage against zone defenses. Nevertheless, in the open field or against single coverage this is not an issue, he can gain plenty of yardage after the catch.

Calvin is an impact receiver but he might not be a franchise receiver. On third and short Calvin can make plays but his body type will struggle to stay healthy if he has to take a lot pounding. If coaches and teammates and fans can accept Calvin catching the ball and going down to the ground quickly on third downs against zone coverage’s than Calvin can be as good as any receiver who has played the game. Of course that will take smart coaching and smart play calling and we all know… those two criteria are not easy to find on most NFL teams. The Colts had a receiver they kept healthy for years because the coaching staff was smart to design most of his routes from the inside to the outside keeping him away from big hits and hits by more than one defender when playing against zone coverage’s. Of course years ago team’s defenses did not play and change defensive looks in the back field as much as they do now. Peyton Manning took care of Marvin Harrison throwing to him on routes specifically set up to keep Marvin healthy and he was very productive. Calvin reminds me a lot of Marvin and has the potential to be as productive. So don’t hesitate in selecting Calvin but remember, he is not the type to be able to take multiple hits on every route he runs like bigger receivers with more bulk can. Calvin is not Dez Bryant…he is Marvin Harrison and there is a BIG difference in these types of receiver’s who don’t have the bulk to handle physical play in the red zone but can score from any other place on the field. At least that’s how I see it. Adding Calvin to already good passing team situation would be a hell of an impact for sure. Nevertheless it would not surprise me to see Calvin slip into the 2nd round of this draft and if that happens some lucky team will be getting 1st round talent in the 2nd round and that’s what we call @The Huddle, value.

Drew Boylhart   JAN. 2018