2020 NFL Draft Wide Receivers Watch: Minnesota's Tyler Johnson rising, keep an eye on Penn State's KJ Hamler
The two Big 10 wideouts are piecing together fantastic season on their undefeated teams.
The Big 10 currently has three teams without a loss, and Minnesota's Tyler Johnson and Penn State's K.J. Hamler look like serious 2020 NFL Draft prospects at the receiver position.
Johnson's been a productive mainstay of the Gophers offense. Hamler is only a redshirt sophomore but has been one of the most explosive wideouts during the first half of the college football season.
Where do these wideouts currently stack up in the loaded 2020 class of receivers?
Here's the eighth edition of Wide Receivers Watch.
1. Jerry Jeudy, Alabama: Stock Down
Jeudy caught a slant on the first play for Alabama in this one and was found wide open on a shallow cross in the red zone in the first quarter. After that? Not much of anything production-wise from him. His explosiveness in route and after the catch really pops on film, but it's been a while since Jeudy had a big game. He had three catches for 41 yards against Tennessee.
It will be fascinating to watch the wideout production in Alabama's offense while Tagovailoa misses time due to an ankle injury.
2. Tee Higgins, Clemson: Stock Down
Higgins had only one catch for three yards against Louisville but is dealing with a hamstring injury, an ailment that will certainly be worth monitoring.
3. CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma: Stock Steady
West Virginia was no match for Oklahoma in Norman, and Lamb had three snags for 71 yards in Oklahoma's win, two were in-breaking routes and one of those he was totally wide open as he ran across the field.
4. Henry Ruggs, Alabama: Stock Steady
Ruggs was held on a post on a route into the end zone early in the game and had a 48-yard gain on what looked like a busted coverage down the field. He finished four receptions for 72 yards in the win over the Volunteers
5. Laviska Shenault, Colorado: Stock Steady
In a rainy night game in Pullman, Shenault had some flashes, especially early. He made an impressive, toe-tapping sideline grab in which he had to snag the football over his head. He also pieced together a nifty run from the Wildcat. In the third quarter, he was wide open down the field but was slightly overthrown by Steven Montez, although the ball did glance off Shenault's hands. The junior wideout had four receptions for 46 in the loss to Washington State.
6. Jalen Reagor, TCU: Stock Up, Slightly
Reagor had a nice statistical output against Kansas State given the state of his quarterback play. He went for 85 yards on eight catches, three of which came on TCU's final drive of the game. One of those receptions was a ridiculous snag in which he took the ball away from an underneath defender who leaped for the interception. Reagor is as twitchy as they come and has plus ball skills.
7. Ty Johnson, Minnesota: Stock Up
Poof! Gone is Johnson's slow start to the season. He's now had consecutive 100-plus yard receiving games, although the most recent came against Rutgers, a program with no business being in the Big 10 and only a part of it because it's located in the New York City media market. But that is neither here nor there and is a topic for another time with Tom Fornelli.
Johnson caught a simple drag route and made about five Scarlet Knights miss for a huge gain down the sideline. A defender fell on his long touchdown. He finished the day with the score on six catches for 130 yards.
8. Tylan Wallace, Oklahoma State: Stock Steady
Oklahoma State peppered Wallace with contested-catch opportunities in this one, and most of those throws from quarterback Spencer Sanders were errant and knocked away. Wallace was missed open down the field early in the game and did have a drop on a comeback in the second. In the third, he hauled in a back-shoulder fade down the sideline. On that same drive, he was pulled down in the end zone after hitting a nice double move. While not a gaudy statistical effort -- six snags for 69 yards -- Wallace played well.
9. Bryan Edwards, South Carolina: Stock Steady
The Gamecocks started the game with a flea-flicker to Edwards, and despite good coverage, he came down with the football. What else is new. Late in the second, the surprisingly fast, big-bodied receiver had a step down the sideline but was overthrown. Edwards finished with seven receptions for 78 yards.
10. Justin Jefferson, LSU: Stock Steady
LSU's offensive eruption continued against Mississippi State, and Jefferson reeled in eight passes for 89 yards with a touchdown. He showed off his stop-and-start skills often in this game, with a variety of jerk routes in the short range, and his score was a post pattern from the slot.
11. Antonio Gandy Golden, Liberty:
AGG had nine catches for 149 yards against Maine, including a stupid one-handed grab in which he had to throttle down to make the catch. The 6-4, 220-pound Georgia native is up to 43 catches for 877 yards and five scores in his senior season.
Honorable Mention: KJ Hamler, Penn State
Among the most "sudden" and speedy wideouts in the entire country, I get vibes of DeSean Jackson while watching Hamler, Penn State's dynamic 20-year-old redshirt sophomore. He had six grabs for 108 yards and two scores in the Nittany Lions' seven-point win over Michigan, and his burst and sustained long speed were on full display on both touchdowns. He has the makings of being a big riser during the pre-draft process.
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