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2019 NFL Draft prospect profile: Antoine Wesley, WR, Texas Tech

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Could Antoine Wesley, a 6’5” receiver, appeal to Dave Gettleman?

NCAA Football: Texas Tech at Iowa State Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants have some excellent receiving options already on their roster. Odell Beckham Jr. is one of the very best receivers in the NFL, and Sterling Shepard is one of the best slot receivers -- and we might not have seen his best yet. When used correctly, Evan Engram is a match-up nightmare who is capable of ripping pages out of defensive playbooks and Saquon Barkley is a big play waiting to happen any time he touches the ball.

However, the Giants depth of receiving options is much more limited. They have no sure things behind Beckham and Shepard, and Rhett Ellison is a reliable target -- but hardly intimidating.

The idea of having a “big receiver” gets over-played in the draft process, but the Giants could use a player with the frame and speed to truly stretch the field and force defenses to decide between defending deep or flooding the short and intermediate area to contain Beckham, Shepard, and Barkley.

Texas Tech’s Antoine Wesley could be the player to fill that role for the Giants.

Measurables

Pros

  • Long receiver with long arms and a huge catch radius.
  • Great concentration and ball skills.
  • Long strides eat up yardage in the open field.
  • Surprisingly quick and agile.
  • Legitimate threat to pick up yards after the catch.
  • Tough player. Plays hard every snap and a willing blocker for his teammates.

Cons

  • Limited route tree.
  • Slightly built.
  • Releases against press coverage need work.
  • Only one year of starting experience.

Numbers of note

Statistics from Dan Pizzuta

Wesley is seventh among this draft class in Target Yards Added. Among 58 wide receivers with at least 100 targets in the NCAA last season, he was one of nine players to average over 100 receiving yards per game (117.0). However, per Sports Info Solutions, his 55.7 percent first down rate only ranked 42nd among that group.

Prospect Video

What They’re Saying

Intriguing prospect who only has one year of serious collegiate production. Was stuck behind Dylan Cantrell, Keke Coutee and Cameron Batson as a true sophomore, who are all on NFL active rosters. Has yet to reach his ceiling and needs to continue adding bulk in order to get there. His speed at the NFL Scouting Combine may not be blazing, but expect his agility drills to be better than average for his length. Confidence and love for his teammates is obvious upon watching live viewings and would be a welcome addition to an NFL locker room.

- Brad Kelly (The Draft Network - Scouting Report)

Does He Fit The Giants?

Wesley offers a skill set which the Giants do not have on their roster. He is tall, long, and a long-strider with the deep speed to stretch the field and blow the top off of defenses.

If the Giants want to add size to their receiving corps as well as deep speed, Wesley could be an intriguing pick-up.

He is tall and long, but also whip-thin with a narrow frame and how much he could fill out at the next level is a definite question. However, he is good in contested catch situations, using his length to create separation and he has legitimately excellent ball skills. His ability to concentrate on the ball in flight and haul it in despite (or around) defenders leads to highlight reel plays. He isn’t explosive off the line of scrimmage, with a rolling or skipping release keeping him from hitting top speed right away, but once he opens his strides up, defensive backs quickly learned to give him a cushion or be left in the dust. There are instances when the lanky receiver hits his top gear and resembles Randy Moss with his natural “pulling” style of running.

Wesley also has a surprising ability to sink his hips and contort his body to change direction remarkably quickly for such a tall receiver. Combined with his long speed, he is a much more dangerous after the catch than one might expect by looking at him.

Playing for Texas Tech, and only starting for one year, his route tree is limited and he needs coaching up on the finer points of being a receiver (such as running his routes to set up defenders, or getting off the line against press coverage).

But if he can learn how to be a more precise route runner, and is available on the third day of the draft, Wesley could be a Martavis Bryant-like addition to the Giants receiving corps.