Matt Waldman’s RSP NFL Lens showcases a reception from NFL wide receiver Devin Funchess that illustrates a facet of play that evaluators need to see from big athletes at the position.
Mobility is an important characteristic of receiver play. We emphasize the value of high-pointing the football to the degree that it is becoming over-celebrated among fans. The ability to get dig out low throw is also vital. Low throws can protect a receiver from punishment and they’re also valuable in compressed spaces like the end zone and the middle of the field.
The value NFL teams place on “tall receivers” may be changing as teams embrace spread concepts and evolve to recognize that height is not a skill, but height will remain a desirable quality for an athlete as long as that athlete as mobility. When I study receivers, how low they can go is as important as how high — especially tall receivers, because mobility is a good indicator of upside as a route runner.
Devin Funchess was a move-tight end at Michigan who made the transition to wide receiver in the NFL. Funchess emerged last year as a performer — especially as a route runner. One of the notable displays I saw was good mobility for a tall receiver.
When you study receivers with height, it’s important to learn how low they can go or else you may be overvaluing a prospect who lacks depth and versatility to his game.
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