Matt Waldman’s RSP NFL Lens: WR Juju Smith-Schuster (Steelers) Always Has A Plan

Matt Waldman’s RSP Boiler Room showcases three plays from WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (Steelers) to demonstrate why an important facet of scouting talent is unearthing themes from a player’s film that “connect” the plays.

Lately, I’ve been writing posts that reveal how some players have games that speak in simple words and short phrases and others with games that speak in sentences, paragraphs, and short stories. When scouting talent, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the individual facets of the player’s game, but it’s the connective tissue of a player’s game that incorporates multiple skills that are often the most revealing.

I have spent this month analyzing the loss of Antonio Brown in Pittsburgh and the potential impact it could have on Juju Smith-Schuster’s production. It’s a form of scouting where the emphasis is on the units and schemes and how they will work against a specific player.

Although I have concerns that Smith-Schuster’s production could dip in 2019, I still value his overall game as an excellent big-slot receiver capable of success when used in specific ways on the perimeter. Smith-Schuster is an excellent starting wide receiver and there’s an underlying thread that runs through is game.

Some call it fluidity. Others say he processes the game fast. You might say it comes down to high effort or he’s playing one-step ahead of each process. In this context, I say Smith-Schuster always has a plan but it’s essentially all of these things.

The three plays shown below are all illustrative of Smith-Schuster having a plan that spans longer than the simple task:

  • He’s connecting one process to one that may potentially occur after (fluidity).
  • He’s identifying problems and finding solutions beyond the scope of one task (processing).
  • He’s seeing potential outcomes that aren’t within his immediate scope and he’s working to be in a position to exploit them (effort and having a plan).

These are insights about Smith-Schuster; not just a list of traits. The more insights you can derive from the player’s game, the better the scouting report will be.

For the most in-depth analysis of offensive skill players available (QB, RB, WR, and TE), get the 2019  Rookie Scouting Portfolio. If you’re a fantasy owner the Post-Draft Add-on comes with the 2012 – 2018 RSPs at no additional charge.

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