This is a deep year for wide receivers in the NFL Draft. In fact, this might be one of the deepest receiver drafts of all time. Which is good for the New York Giants, because they need receivers. They only have three on the roster, and two of them [Victor Cruz and Jerrel Jernigan] do their best work in the slot.
Given the depth of this draft, it's possible that the Giants could draft multiple pass-catchers. With that in mind, let's use today's 2014 NFL Draft prospect profile take a look at a mid-round receiver who projects well to the outside at the next level, Donte Moncrief of Ole' Miss.
- Prototypical build for an outside receiver
- Excellent leaping ability makes for a big catch radius
- Physical finishing plays
- Experienced downfield blocker
- Normally soft hands
- Adjusts well to the ball
- Sharp cuts, good ability to stop and start
- Good speed
- Physical finishing plays, but he needs to get better at using his physical gifts to go get the ball or fight through jams
- Routes need to be polished up
- Bo Wallace started looking elsewhere in 2013. Scouts will need to figure out why
- Hands can be inconsistent, also are a bit small (9 1/8")
- Inconsistent QB play can make evaluating him difficult.
Does He Fit With The Giants?
Absolutely. The Giants need receivers and Moncrief is one, isn't that enough? It's not? Okay. Moncrief has a very JR-like blend of height, weight, and speed, measuring 6-foot-3, 220 pounds, and running a 4.40 40-yard dash. He also led all wide receivers in the broad jump and tied for third in the vertical and 40.
On the field, Moncrief shows a combination of deep speed and start/stop ability that is rare in receivers his size. Add that to generally reliable hands and an ability to adjust to the ball, and he can be a dangerous mismatch on the outside.
He still has developing to do, needing to sharpen his route running, further improve his concentration, and get generally get better at using his physical gifts.
Donte Moncrief vs Mississippi State (2012) (via Aaron Aloysius)
Big Board Rankings
Big Blue View - 54
Mocking The Draft - 51
CBS Sports - 100
Draft Countdown - N/A (not in top 32)
Draft Tek - 130
Moncrief is one of the guys I really enjoy watching. He can create separation a variety of ways, either through speed, agility, or boxing defenders out. He just feels like a "Giants" pick to me. He's young (21), very high upside, and came from a smaller school (ie: produced without a lot of NFL-level talent around him).
If we're looking for comparisons, I would have to go with Dez Bryant, with a slightly smaller catch radius. Moncrief has an almost identical build, he's faster, similar lower body explosion, and even better short-area quickness.
Of course as much fun as he is to watch, the tape is frustrating as well. Moncrief will occasionally make a frustrating drop, or Wallace will lose all accuracy.
He still has to grow into himself as a receiver; it looks like he has the attitude and edge to make use of his abilities, but just hasn't quite figured out HOW to. If or when he does, Moncrief could make some offensive coordinator and quarterback very happy, and a lot of defensive coordinators very frustrated.
Right now Moncrief isn't being looked at as a first-rounder, or even a second-rounder. However, if he is there in the third round onward, the Giants need to take a good, long look at him. He has some developing to do, but players with his physical gifts are (normally) few and far between. Moncrief's talents will be on display Monday during the Ole Miss Pro Day.