The wide receiver class at the 2017 NFL Draft is an interesting one.
It isn’t weak, per se, though it does lack the usual star power at the top that we’ve come to expect from draft classes. But where it is lacking for big names from powerhouse schools and football factories, it makes up for it in smaller-school players who have taken the opportunity to shine.
The New York Giants added Brandon Mashall in free agency, but he is unlikely to be a long-term addition. They might decide that they could use a similarly sized receiver to develop behind him. If so, Kenny Golladay of Northern Illinois could be worth a look later in the draft.
- Very long frame. 6’4” tall, with good length arms, and big-enough (9 ¾ inches) hands make for a big catch radius.
- Surprising speed for a tall player. Ran a 4.50s 40 yard dash at the combine and that speed shows up on the field.
- Uses his hands well to fight off press coverage.
- Looks like a hands catcher.
- Shows competitiveness, and has improved with each step up in competition. Has had consecutive 1,000 yard seasons since transferring to Northern Illinois.
- Quick off the line and shows good agility for a bigger receiver.
- Played against a lower level of competition in the MAC
- Big frame, but a somewhat slight build. Could stand to add muscle at the next level
- Isn’t as consistently physical as you’d like to see from a bigger receiver. Waits for blockers to come to him and can get knocked around in his routes or as a ball carrier
- Route running could use some work. Breaks look rounded.
Does He Fit With The Giants?
If the Giants are looking for a big-bodied receiver to give Darius Powe competition and groom behind Brandon Marshall, Golladay is a good fit.
He has the raw tools to be successful in the NFL, but he looks as though he is still learning how to use them on tape. He looks competitive, but sometimes tentative about locking in and really throwing down with defenders. But at other times he plays like a bulldog, refusing to give up.
His size and speed have to be respected by defenses -- his big frame makes for an inviting target and his long legs gobble up yardage in the open field. Golladay should turn the heads of teams looking for a big vertical target a la Martavis Bryant or Jordy Nelson.
Big Board Rankings
Big Blue View - Not in Top 100
CBS Sports - 143rd overall
Draft Countdown - 263rd overall
Draft Tek - 135th overall
Likely a Day-3 pick, Golladay is an under-the-radar player who could wind up paying nice dividends for a team that invests in him. He certainly has his flaws and a year in an NFL strength and conditioning program would likely do him a world of good. But that being said, there is a lot of raw potential there for teams to work with.
This year’s draft looks to be one of the deepest in recent memory, and part of that is players who have taken advantage of their opportunities to raise their stock. Golladay was on scouts’ radar, but he took advantage of the Scouting Combine to emphatically check the boxes with his size and speed. He might not get drafted highly, but he is on the track to hearing his name called at some point in the draft.