Strengths: Size, speed, physicality, route-running, leaping ability, blocking.
Weaknesses: Goes east-west too often?
Alright, I’ve got a hot take incoming. But first, let’s think back to the running back class of 2016 that Jim Harbaugh brought in. Before the season started, everybody’s eyes were on Kareem Walker. I myself really liked Kingston Davis. And it turns out it was Chris Evans who separated from the pack.
Now, that doesn’t mean all that much in the long term. The other guys are still talented, and they’re going to be getting a long, hard look in 2017 because De’Veon and potentially Ty Isaac are moving on. But my point here is, always keep your eye peeled for the underdog. Rankings aren’t everything.
So, here’s my hot take: I like Tarik Black to make a bigger impact in 2017 than Donovan Peoples-Jones.
Why? I love his physicality, first off. He has plenty of clips of tackles and pass break-ups that he’s made on defense in the video above. There are a lot of indications, from the form tackles of other athletes to his leaping grabs of fade routes in the end zone, that he just simply knows how to use his body, and embraces the grind of getting dinged up along the way.
As for his receiving skills, he’s got that, too. He can get perfect separation (2:15, 3:55) whether it’s for a catch or yards after the catch. He knows where to be and when to be there. I’d be curious to know how long he’s played with that quarterback, because he shows a lot of trust that the ball will be exactly where it needs to be, or else he can tell the trajectory of it right after it’s been released.
So, he’s a natural. I think he’ll make an impact in Year 1, and all the years after that, barring an injury. I don’t watch an exhaustive number of prospect highlights, but in my memory I haven’t seen someone as well-rounded or physical from the wide receiver position.