Eric Decker, Minnesota. 6’3”, 217 pounds, 4.52 40.
Summary: Big, sure-handed former baseball player and highly respected team leader. Polished route runner with good feet and shoulder balance, looks smooth despite being pretty crisp. Catches the ball very well in traffic and almost likes getting hit right away. Tough and strong, though not real elusive, as a runner. Exceptional run blocker when he attacks, better than many tight ends, and he gives great effort down the field. Missed several games with a foot injury that has limited his ability to workout pre-draft, and he has had other ailments that have sidelined him in the past; durability is a big question. Doesn’t always ratchet up the intensity in his blocking and has the rep of being able to be taken off his game (ask Jack Ikegwuono). Lacks deep speed and has only one gear. Not real quick off the line and can be troubled with press coverage.
NFL Comparison: A less lithe young Muhsin Muhammad,
Brandon LaFell, LSU-- Big, physical, long-limbed receiver with good strength and body control. Can make the tough catch in traffic. Uses his hands well to get separation and overpowers corners. Very tough to tackle after the catch. Does not get off the line real quickly, and his speed is not sudden. Takes long strides out of his cuts and often slows to catch the ball. Coming off an injury and his production was all over the map at LSU. Reminds me a great deal of Dwayne Jarrett, both the potential that made Jarrett a 2nd round pick and the disappointment that followed because he can’t get separation and his bullying of DBs that dominated in college doesn’t work in the NFL. LaFell is a better worker, however. Will be drafted in the 50-75 overall range.
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