Gil Brandt doesn’t think the German receiver’s tape is worth studying. I took that as a challenge and found 12 things about Moritz Boehringer’s game that reveal a viable NFL receiving prospect.
Let’s get this straight: I’m not touting Moritz Boehringer as a first or second-day prospect. Physically and athletically, he’s a first-round athlete. From the perspective of risk management, Boehringer is a third-day prospect, at best.
Level of competition is the issue. There is no precedent of the NFL making a successful projection from European club football to American professional football. It’s why former Cowboys’ personnel man Gil Brandt thinks Boehringer’s tape is practically useless.
Traditional NFL scouting believes more in level of competition than I. No doubt, I’d feel better if Boehringer’s tape was from the ACC or even Division-II football. But if a player displays the athletic ability on the field that matches workouts off the field and the techniques and behaviors are present in game conditions, that’s enough for me.
I studied Boehringer’s 9-minute package of catches from his 2015-2016 season this weekend and found at least 12 meaningful plays from his 40+ receptions. It’s far from an ideal situation to study a player and there’s a lot more I’d like to see: Targets he dropped, targets that weren’t catch-able, and whether the routes were the cause of these uncaught passes more than the accuracy. I also wanted to see Boehringer as a blocker.
Even so, here are 12 things I learned about Boehringer that I profile in this 20-minute RSP Boiler Room:
Here’s a brief list of what I learned about Boehringer:
- He’s consistent at snapping his head around at the break to locate the ball.
- He’s skilled at using his eyes and head position to bait defenders at the top of his stems.
- His 6.65-second three-cone drill shows up on the field when he flips his hips to change direction as a ballcarrier. This projects well for him as a developing route runner.
- He hasn’t learned to bend his hips to make hard breaks.
- He hasn’t learned to execute speed breaks.
- He can carry the ball under either arm, but he rarely secures the ball under his right arm regardless of the situation.
- He displays a rip and chop at the line of scrimmage against press.
- He integrates multiple skills on the field as a route runner, receiver, and runner.
- He works back to the quarterback when the play breaks down.
- He can high-point or low-point the football.
- He can run through arm tackles and push a pile.
- He can take hard contact to his back and catch the ball in tight coverage.
One of the biggest questions teams will have is how well Boehringer will hold up to the speed and physical play of his opponents. He’s used to being the best athlete on the field and it’s not uncommon for dominant athletes to lose confidence when they can no longer bully their opponents so easily.
This is where I agree with traditionalists that level of competition matters. It’s a question that’s more difficult to project with limited tape and no interaction with him in practice or workouts.
As it stands, Boehringer’s athletic ability, hands, routes, and skill to integrate what he knows, makes him a top-35 receiver on my board and this is without seeing him as a blocker. If I saw him block, he’d be closer to my top-25 a t the position.
The starter upside is there and I won’t be shocked if he’s drafted on the third day.
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