Saturday, March 28, 2009

Player Profile: Missouri WR Jeremy Maclin

Pros: Maclin is a game-changer and is much faster than his 4.4 forty shows. He has great acceleration and with his straight line speed, he won’t be caught in the open field. He is a threat receiving, rushing, and returning. When cutting, he loses no speed and can shoot through small creases for big gains. He breaks tackles with a nice spin move and a good stiff arm. He showed nice hands over the middle and often makes catches that look out of his range. Maclin is strong and won’t be brought down by weak arm tackles. He is a team first guy and is dedicated to making plays when his team needs a boost. In a very strong receiver class, Maclin stands out due to his mix of speed, and knack for making big plays. The former Tiger calls himself a playmaker and is as dangerous as any prospect in the 2009 Draft with the pigskin in his hands.

Maclin is not a polished route runner. He did most of his damage when left alone on drags, screens, and quick slants. He is fast but doesn’t create a lot of separation without the ball in his hands. He will struggle in the NFL against physical corners in man and press coverage early on. He is still raw due to only playing two college seasons. He is not extremely physical and looks to jump out of bounds instead of turning up field for the extra yards. Maclin will need to get stronger. He was not able to show his ability on the deep ball very much due to the offense Mizzou ran and Chase Daniel's inability to throw the deep ball. Ball security and durability are also issues. He missed the entire 2006 season with a torn ACL and injured his knee at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Scouts take: Maclin was the definition of a game-breaker at Mizzou. Time and time again he turned what looked to be a short gain into a huge play or a touchdown. He could be a top ten pick due to his college production and blazing open field speed. Don’t be surprised if he is selected before Michael Crabtree. He is a reliable receiver with big play potential each time he touches the ball. He is the type of guy that will need the ball at the next level, and one whom opposing defenses must be aware of. Since he can run the long routes, short routes, screens, reverses and handle punts and kicks, he should touch the ball six to ten times a game. There are two areas Maclin must improve on can and will be addressed by his NFL coaches. First, he will need to learn to run routes against man coverage. He needs to take advantage of his speed against corners that try to jam him at the line. Also, he needs to learn to protect the ball before the hit. Despite those two weaknesses, he should still be a big contributor on offense and in the return game in his rookie season. He should have a long, exciting, and productive career in the NFL. Think of DeSean Jackson or Ted Ginn with more strength.

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