The next person in the FCS Spotlight series that I will be looking at is UC Davis’ insanely talented receiver, Keelan Doss.
The 6’3 209lb receiver from Alameda, California wasn’t highly recruited coming out of High School due to a foot injury in his junior year. But as a result of some hard work from his high school coaches and himself, he received an offer from the University of California. Since then he has never looked back.
Keelan Doss is exactly what NFL scouts look for in a wide receiver. He is extremely lean and muscular and would draw size comparisons to players such as DeVante Parker and Larry Fitzgerald. He uses his size brilliantly and has a really good catch radius. If a defensive back gives him anything near to a 50/50 chance of getting the ball, they will lose. His physicality works to his advantage when catching contested passes as he has a really good leap which enables him to high point the ball easily. Doss has really strong hands to enable him to bring the ball in with ease.
Doss has excellent speed and a really good burst that allows him to break into space leaving the window for the quarterback to hit him much wider. The foot injury he suffered during high school never seems to have bothered him despite him redshirting the 2015 season after a stellar freshman year at UC Davis.
It is always very easy to disparage wide receiver stats when they play in the FCS. But not in Keelan Doss’ case. During his college career, he has totaled 3,789 yards from 303 receptions, averaging 12.50 yards per reception and has managed to take 28 receptions to the house.
Not only does Keelan put up good stats against fellow FCS opposition, but he always steps up against FBS defenses. Just this season, he put up 85 yards from 11 receptions on the road at San Jose State and also managed a 100-yard game with 106 yards from 13 receptions on the road at Stanford.
He has been used sparingly in the running game as well. His first career rushing attempt came in the 2017/18 season went for a 42-yard touchdown after shaking off several tackles to run it into the end zone. This year he was used slightly more with nine carries for 77 yards, but I wouldn’t really use this as a selling point for him.
In his time at the Aggies, Keelan Doss has picked up an unbelievable list of accolades, ranging from being a Walter Payton Award finalist in 2017 and Big Sky conference offensive player of the year, to being named a captain in his senior year and being put on the ‘College Football performance awards: FCS National Performer of the year watch list.
Doss has started to pop up on my Twitter timeline more and more, which can only mean he is getting noticed more and more. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get a Senior Bowl invite and maybe even a Combine invite. Both (or either) of these would give him a great chance to really showcase himself in front of NFL scouts which would enable him to climb draft boards by next April.
Realistically, Doss has the potential to be a day two pick. Outside of about five receivers who are likely going to be in the draft (AJ Brown, N’Keal Harry, etc) it is a pretty level playing field at the wide receiver position which gives Doss the best possible chance of getting drafted in the middle rounds.
Along with Nehari Crawford, who I have already profiled Doss is a great addition to this year’s draft which could make this one a good year for FCS wide receivers.
Thanks for reading. Feel free to drop me a follow on Twitter @DFF_JamesH for any FCS or football related conversation!