2017 NFL Draft

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Eddie Royal, WR

Height: 5-10 | Weight: 184 | College: Virginia Tech
Copyright NFLDraftScout.com, distributed by The Sports Xchange

An electrifying athlete, Eddie Royal wasn't able to fully display his ability as a wide receiver at Virginia Tech.

The Hokies were limited for much of the season by inconsistent quarterback play. Royal did get to show off his skills in other areas and established himself as the premier punt returner in the Atlantic Coast Conference. He also excelled as a kickoff returner and proved to be a dangerous threat running out of the backfield.

Royal holds the rare distinction of throwing a touchdown, catching 12 scoring passes, rushing for a touchdown and returning three punts for scores during his career. It was also rare to see a receiver become a school's career leader in all-purpose yards, but Royal is one of the few -- amassing 4,698 yards. His 1,296 punt returns established a new Atlantic Coast Conference career-record.

At Westfield High School, Royal earned All-State honors as both a receiver and kick returner. He was named the Mid-Atlantic Offensive Player of the Year by Super Prep .and selected the Group AAA Player of the Year by the Associated Press. He was the Washington Post All-Metro Offensive Player of the Year and earned both Super Prep and Prep Star All-American honors following his senior season.

Royal was rated the best player in Virginia by Super Prep and the second-best player by The Roanoke Times, in addition to ranking 13th in the nation among wide receivers, according to Rivals.com. He teamed with fellow Virginia Tech signee, QB Sean Glennon to lead his team to the Group AAA Division 6 championship with a 14-0 record as a senior.

That year, he had 41 receptions for 875 yards and 11 touchdowns. He added a 47-yard punt return for a touchdown and a 1-yard scoring run on a reverse in the state title game. As a junior, he hauled in 48 passes as a junior for 905 yards and 11 touchdowns. For his career, he returned 10 kicks for touchdowns.

Royal arrived at Virginia Tech and quickly established himself, both on the field and in the training room. The Freshman All-American started 11 games at flanker, leading the team with 28 receptions for 470 yards (16.8-yard average) and three touchdowns. He averaged 11.0 yards on 25 punt returns and had the eighth-best kickoff-return average (28.8) in the country, gaining 346 yards on 12 tries, finishing with 1,101 all-purpose yards. He also set a position record with a 365-pound bench press.

As a sophomore, Royal missed spring drills with a left leg compartment syndrome, but went on to start all thirteen games. He ranked third on the team with 27 catches for 315 yards (11.7 avg) and two touchdowns. He rushed ten times for 79 yards and gained 263 yards on 32 punt returns (8.2-yard average). He also piled up 293 yards on 14 kickoff returns, despite being hampered late in the year by hamstring issues.

In 2006, Royal earned All-Atlantic Coast Conference second-team and All-American honorable mention. He led the ACC and ranked 12th nationally with a 13.2-yard average on 23 punt returns, adding 431 yards on 19 kickoff returns (22.7-yard average). He gained 24 yards on five carries and finished third on the squad with 31 catches for 497 yards (16-yard average) and three touchdowns while starting nine of 13 games.

Royal was a second-team All-American and first-team All-ACC punt returner in 2007, ranking 10th in the nation as he led the league with 31 punt returns for 455 yards (14.7-yard average) and two scores. He gained 316 yards on 14 kickoff returns, 496 yards and four scores on 33 receptions (15.0 avg) and 112 yards on eight rushing attempts (14.0 avg).

In 51 games at Virginia Tech, Royal started 44 contests. He ranks fourth in school annals with 119 receptions, sixth with 1,778 yards (14.9-yard average) and fifth with 12 touchdown catches. He rushed 24 times for 226 yards (9.4 avg) and a score, as he also completed 1-of-5 passes for 53 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. He returned 111 punts for a school career-record 1,296 yards (11.7 avg) and three scores. He added 1,386 yards on 59 kickoff returns (24.5 avg) and holds the Tech record with 4,686 all-purpose yards.


Positives: Has a well-built upper body with a tight abdomen, good muscle thickness in his chest, back, shoulders and arms and valid timed speed to threaten the deep secondary … Best on controlled routes, as he is slippery getting under defenders and finding the soft areas on the field … Does a nice job of working back when the quarterback is pressured … Relies a lot on his quickness in and out of his breaks to gain separation … Will trap the ball at times, but shows soft hands and good vision to look the ball in over his outside shoulder … Despite his explosive speed, he is patient letting blocks develop on returns … Does a good job of moving laterally to avoid tackles and has a short pitter-patter running style to elude in space … Will lose his concentration at times, but is a tough, fearless receiver combating for the ball in a crowd … Likes to get the ball in pressure situations and has a keen knowledge of defensive coverage … Can sneak up on a cornerback to gobble up the cushion and get behind the defender in an instant … Hard worker in the weight room and has a good grasp of the playbook … The staff feels his knowledge and love for the game will make him a coaching candidate one day … Shows good body tilt and lean, along with the burst and acceleration to surprise a lethargic defender, showing good stutter-step moves with above-average balance in attempts to escape after the catch … Has the ability to eat up the cushion with his speed and does a nice job of dropping his pads and exploding out of his cuts (will drift on long patterns) … Can generate power in his running stride, using effective head-and-shoulder fakes while stemming and stabbing to set up the defenders … Has a nice set of gears that he uses to change the pace of his running stride … Makes good body adjustments to get under the ball and is quick to find the soft spot in coverage … Will go vertical and lay out to haul in the ball near the sideline … Adjusts well underneath and can take a shot and hold on to the ball when working in traffic … Makes a good effort to snatch the ball at his shoestrings or extend to reach and pluck at its high point … Has natural hands and while he will trap at times, he shows ease of movement with his arm extension … Has the body control to adjust to off-target tosses and shows good vision and run instincts … Times his leaps well and has the quick burst to separate … Good pester-type blocker in the open, doing a nice job of taking defenders off their feet with cut blocks (needs more bulk to sustain when blocking in-line, though) … Shows a good wiggle and quick feet to get past the initial tackler and when he maintains focus on the ball, he will come up with some spectacular aerial grabs … Has the leaping ability to explode in his jumps to reach the high point … Has the vision to locate defenders, making his an efficient runner on screens and reverses … Has the upper-body strength to break arm tackles … Also shows a decent arm to throw the option pass.

Negatives: Has a strong build, but his frame is at maximum growth potential, leaving no room for needed additional bulk … Has a muscular upper body, but possesses a small bubble and just adequate thickness in his thighs and hamstrings … Has very good timed speed, but is inconsistent getting a sudden burst off the snap … Despite his upper-body strength, he struggles to avoid getting a clean release vs. press coverage, which causes him to get redirected in his routes too often for a player with his power … An inconsistent route-runner who will drift on deep routes and takes soft-angle cuts when going long distances … Is more effective on controlled and short-area routes, but needs to be more consistent when attempting to plant and drive to gain separation … Tough player, but will have some concentration lapses, along with a penchant for trapping the ball, leading to a share of dropped balls … Can make the initial tackler miss when working in space, but is not a very shifty route runner and needs to be more crisp in his turns coming out of his breaks … Scrappy cut blocker with a good concept for taking angles to stalk second level defenders, but because of size issues, he can be walked back into the pocket when trying to block in-line … Has had some minor injury problems, leading to some durability concerns … Must do a better job extending for the ball, as he likes to let it into his body too often (has just adequate hands) … Good competitor, but will get frustrated when he can't escape the jam to get into his route (lets that affect him for several plays, getting take out of his game).

Compares To: ROSCOE PARRISH-Buffalo … Royal is much stronger than Parrish, but both are excellent speed merchants who will have great success as returners. Royal has the ability to be a good vertical threat, but needs to refine his route running. He is a good cut blocker, but despite his upper-body strength, he struggles vs. a strong press and will get frustrated when he can't get a clean release. Still, he is a playmaker who will be a nice fit as a slot receiver while handling return chores.

Career Notes

Royal ranks fourth school history with 119 receptions, topped by Ernest Wilford (126, 2000-03), Josh Morgan (122, 2004-07) and Antonio Freeman (121, 1991-94) … His 1,778 yards receiving rank behind Ricky Scales (2,272 yards, 1972-74), Antonio Freeman (2,207), Ernest Wilford (2,052), Andre Davis (1,986, 1998-2001) and Josh Morgan (1,817) on Tech's all-time record chart … His twelve touchdown catches are surpassed by Antonio Freeman (22), Rocky Scales (18), Andre Davis (18) and Josh Morgan (16) on the school's career-record list … Holds the school career-records with 111 punt returns for 1,296 yards, topping the old marks of 56 returns by DeAngelo Hall (2001-03) and 872 yards by Andre Davis (198-2001) … .Only Steve Suter of Maryland (121, 2001-04), Ledel George of North Carolina State (125, 1990-93) and Kelley Rhino of Georgia Tech (112, 1999-2002) had more punt returns in Atlantic Coast Conference annals … His 1,296 punt return yards broke the old ACC all-time record of 1,271 yards by Steve Suter … Royal's 1,386 yards on kickoff returns are topped only by Jon Jeffries (1,447 yards, 1987-91) in school history … His 455 punt return yards in 2007 are the fourth-most in a season by a Tech player, topped by Ricky Hall (510 in 1999), DeAngelo Hall (487 in 2003) and Antonio Freeman (467 in 1994).

2007 Season

All-American second-team selection as an all-purpose back by The NFL Draft Report … All-Atlantic Coast Conference first-team choice by the league's coaches … Started 11 games at flanker, coming off the bench vs. Louisiana State and Kansas … Sat out the Florida State game and part of the Georgia Tech clash with a calf bruise … Finished third on the team with 33 receptions for 496 yards (15.0-yard average) and four touchdowns … Rushed eight times for 112 yards (14.0 avg) and returned 14 kickoffs for 316 yards (22.6 avg) … Led the ACC and ranked tenth in the nation with 455 yards and two touchdowns on 31 punt returns (14.7 avg) … Attempted two passes, one that resulted in an interception and recorded a solo tackle … Gained 1,379 all-purpose yards, an average of 106.08 yards per game.

2007 Game Analysis

East Carolina … Opened the season with two catches for 16 yards and five punt returns for 63 yards, as he also had a 16-yard kickoff return.

Louisiana State … Gained 137 yards on five kickoff returns, including 41 & 37-yarders, but did not catch any passes and was tackled for a 4-yard loss on a reverse and a 1-yard loss on a punt return, as he also had one fumble.

Ohio University … Snared three passes for 30 yards and had three punt returns for 13 yards, turning the ball over once on a fumble.

William & Mary … Hauled in four punts for 120 yards in returns, including a 60-yard touchdown, as his second quarter 39-yarder set up QB Tyrod Taylor's 34-yard scoring toss to tailback Branden Ore.

North Carolina … Royal added 60 yards on two reverses, including a 53-yarder on the game's first play from scrimmage that set up a 5-yard touchdown run by QB Tyrod Taylor … Also caught four passes for 14 yards and had a 21-yard punt return.

Clemson … The Tech flanker did not catch any passes for the third time in six games, but returned three punts for 117 yards, including an 82-yard touchdown in the first quarter … His 33-yarder later in the opening frame set up a Tech 32-yard field goal.

Duke … Royal made six catches for 90 yards, including a 25-yard touchdown on a post pattern … He also returned three punts for 38 yards and gained 11 yards on a reverse …

His 22-yard catch in the first quarter set up a Tech 42-yard field goal and his 11-yard rushing attempt set up another field goal of 44 yards.

Boston College … Followed with four receptions for 77 yards and an 8-yard touchdown that ended a 91-yard, 16-play second quarter series … His third quarter 44-yard grab set up a Tech 44-yard field goal … Added 27 yards on four punt returns.

Georgia Tech … Had just two catches for 45 yards, but his third-&-8 11-yard grab led to a Tech 28-yard first quarter field goal … His 34-yarder late in the opening frame produced a 2-yard touchdown run by QB Sean Glennon … Left the game with a calf contusion that would force him to sit out vs. Florida State.

Miami … Fumbled a kickoff return for a 4-yard loss upon his return, but settled down to return four punts for 45 yards and gain 44 yards on two carries … His 19-yard run off left end set up a 4-yard touchdown run by Branden Ore to end a 61-yard, 8-play drive.

Virginia … Finally had a break-out game as a receiver, totaling 147 yards on six receptions, including a 39-yard touchdown with 0:12 left in the first half, making up for an option pass that he threw earlier in the quarter that was picked off by Virginia's Chris Cook to set up an 8-yard touchdown run by Cavaliers QB Jameel Sewell … Earlier in the first quarter, his 16-yard catch set up a 9-yard touchdown run by Tyrod Taylor and his 56-yard catch set up a Tech 37-yard field goal.

Boston College (ACC Championship) … Gained 63 yards on four catches and 41 yards on two kickoff returns … Had 18 & 11-yard grabs late in the second quarter that were followed by Sean Glennon's 13-yard scoring strike to Josh Hyman that ended a 10-play, 80-yard series with 0:43 left in the first half … Glennon later found Royal on a fourth quarter post pattern for a 24-yard score that capped an 8-play, 84-yard drive.

Kansas (Orange Bowl) … Closed out his career with an 11-yard catch, two kickoff returns for 88 yards, including a 59-yarder on the first play of the game, a 1-yard punt return and a 1-yard gain on a reverse.

2006 Season

All-American honorable mention by Sports Illustrated … All-Atlantic Coast Conference second-team choice … Led the league and ranked 12th nationally with 23 punt returns for 304 yards (13.2-yard average) and a touchdown … Started nine games at flanker, ranking third on the team with 31 catches for 497 yards (16.0 avg) and three scores … Rushed five times for 24 yards (4.8 avg) … Gained 431 yards on 19 kickoff returns (22.7 avg) … Gained 1,256 all-purpose yards … Completed 1-of-3 passes for a 53-yard touchdown and one interception … Had a fumble vs. Boston College and another fumble that the Kent State defense recovered.

2006 Game Analysis

Caught two passes for eight yards vs. Northeastern, as he also returned three punts for 24 yards, had a 16-yard kickoff return and rushed once for a 9-yard gain, but he sprained a big toe in that game and played sparingly the following week vs. North Carolina … Had two kickoff returns vs. the Tar Heels for 47 yards … Picked up his first touchdown on a punt return with a 58-yarder vs. Duke, finishing with six returns for 138 yards, as he added two receptions for 55 yards … Had a catch for 44 yards in the Cincinnati game and also returned four kickoffs for 72 yards … Added seven catches and 102 yards receiving in the Georgia Tech game, scoring on a 21-yard pass … Caught five passes for 44 yards vs. Boston College and had a 40-yard catch in the Southern Mississippi clash … Returned a kickoff for 27 yards at Miami … Posted three catches for 24 yards and three punt returns for 49 yards vs. Kent State … Hauled in a 49-yard touchdown pass on Tech's first series at Wake Forest and added a 55-yard kickoff return … The Virginia game marked his second-straight game with a 49-yard touchdown catch, as he finished the contest with four grabs for 72 yards … Had a huge Chick Fil-a Bowl game for the Hokies vs. Georgia, as he caught four passes for 45 yards with a long of 28 yards, had a 53-yard punt return that set up a touchdown and took a lateral pass and completed a 53-yard strike to tight end Sam Wheeler for a touch-down in the second quarter, becoming the first non-quarterback in Tech history to throw a touchdown pass in a bowl game.

2005 Season

Started all 13 games at flanker, ranking third on the team with 27 receptions for 315 yards (11.7-yard average) and two touchdowns … Rushed 10 times for 79 yards (7.9 avg) and a score … Returned 32 punts for 263 yards (8.2 avg) and 14 kickoffs for 293 yards (20.9 avg) … Piled up 950 all-purpose yards, but also fumbled once vs. Duke.

2005 Game Analysis

Posted two catches for 44 yards vs. Georgia Tech, as he also had a 36-yard kickoff return and four punt returns for 35 yards … Made six catches for 71 yards vs. West Virginia, including a 15-yarder for a touchdown, as he also had 20 yards rushing on a pair of reverses … Caught three passes for 34 yards vs. Marshall and had two punt returns for 38 yards and two kickoff returns for 43 at Maryland, as he also had three receptions for 33 yards and a rush for 8 yards … Scored on a 15-yard reverse in the Boston College game … Returned the opening kickoff 15 yards vs. Miami, but was sidelined the rest of the game by a hamstring injury … Caught three passes at Virginia for 47 yards and a touchdown … Hauled in four passes for 43 yards vs. Florida State … Caught two passes for just a 1-yard gain and returned two kickoffs for 33 yards to go with a 13-yard punt return vs. Louisville in the Gator Bowl.

2004 Season

Freshman All-American selection by The NFL Draft Report … Came off the bench in the season opener vs. Southern California and sat out the Florida A&M clash with flu-like symptoms, but would start 11 games at flanker … Led the team with 28 receptions for 470 yards (16.8-yard average) and three touchdowns … Gained 11 yards on a reverse, 346 yards on 12 kickoff returns (28.8 avg) and 274 yards on 25 punt returns (11.0 avg) … Totaled 1,101 all-purpose yards.

2004 Game Analysis

Got his first collegiate start vs. Western Michigan, where he scored the game's first touchdown on an 11-yard reverse and later scored on a 35-yard touchdown pass … Had a big day returning punts vs. North Carolina State, with a long of 58 yards, as he finished with 107 yards on three returns and also caught two passes for 47 yards … Caught an 8-yard pass on Tech's first offensive possession vs. West Virginia, but suffered a slight concussion on that play and missed the rest of the first half, but returned in the second half to catch five passes for 37 yards, finishing with six receptions for 45 yards … Scored on a big 80-yard touchdown catch-and-run vs. Georgia Tech, as the 80-yarder was the longest by a Tech freshman since freshmen were eligible to play in 1972, finishing the game with three catches for 91 yards … Had four catches for 84 yards, as well as a 25-yard kickoff return vs. North Carolina … Caught two passes for 44 yards, including the game-winning, 39-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter vs. Miami, as he had an 18-yard punt return to set up that drive … Had a 48-yard kickoff return in the Sugar Bowl vs. Auburn.

Injury Report

2004: Missed most of the first half of the West Virginia game (10/02) with a slight concussion … Did not play vs. Florida A&M (10/16) due to flu-like symptoms.

2005: Sat out spring practices with compartment syndrome in his left leg … Sat out most of the Miami game (11/05) with a hamstring pull.

2006: Suffered a big toe sprain vs. Northeastern (9/02).

2007: Suffered a calf bruise that forced him to miss most of the Georgia Tech (11/01) clash and the entire Florida State game (11/10).

Agility Tests

Campus: 4.36 in the 40-yard dash (ran a personal best 4.22 during 2006 spring drills) … Holds the school position record with a 390-pound bench press … 450-pound squat … 270-pound power clean … 39-inch vertical jump … 31-inch arm length … 8 5/8-inch hands … Right-handed … 21/29 Wonderlic score.

Combine: 4.39 in the 40-yard dash … 1.48 10-yard dash … 2.55 20-yard dash … Bench pressed 225 pounds 24 times … 36-inch vertical jump … 11.66 60-yard shuttle … 10'4" broad jump.

High School

Attended Westfield (Chantilly, Va.) High School, playing football for head coach Tom Verbanic … Earned All-State honors as both a receiver and kick returner … Named the Mid-Atlantic Offensive Player of the Year by Super Prep and selected the Group AAA Player of the Year by the Associated Press … Washington Post All-Metro Offensive Player of the Year and earned both Super Prep and Prep Star All-American honors following his senior year … Rated the best player in Virginia by Super Prep and the second-best player by The Roanoke Times, in addition to ranking 13th in the nation among wide receivers, according to Rivals.com … Teamed with fellow Virginia Tech signee, QB Sean Glennon to lead his team to the Group AAA Division 6 championship with a 14-0 record as a senior … That year, he had 41 receptions for 875 yards and 11 touchdowns … Added a 47-yard punt return for a touchdown and a 1-yard scoring run on a reverse in the state title game … As a junior, he hauled in 48 passes as a junior for 905 yards and 11 touchdowns … For his career, he returned ten kicks for touchdowns.


Sociology major … Son of Pearl Royal … Born William Edward Royal on 5/21/86 in Alexandria, Virginia … Resides in Herndon, Virginia.


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