As we prepare for another college season full of hype during spring games and scrimmages, it is important to note a few of those names that stick out. Below are two players that have excelled in high school and were no lower than four-star recruits via 247 Sports coming out. There are many players that could be on this list, but I wanted to keep this article to just two players I feel you should get to know. I will give you a top pick as well as a steal for your devy drafts.
Jadon Haselwood, WR, Oklahoma
In his senior year of high school, he caught 53 passes for 1,032 yards and 11 touchdowns. It’s important to note that he was able to put up these numbers in a run-first offense. Haselwood also played safety and returned kicks and punts. A true athlete, he was used in every phase of the game. Not only is he a great wide receiver, but his game translates to the NFL in two main ways:
- Players that can perform well on special teams give themselves an instant chance to be on a roster as a rookie in the NFL.
- He doesn’t shy away from blocking. This trait will allow him to make a statement at Oklahoma as well as in the NFL.
If there is a weakness in his game, it is due to the run-first offense that his team played. After watching his film, many of his great plays were in single coverage with no high safety. This lack of coverage allowed him to easily beat his man in coverage with no other players to stop him. Below is a video of his highlights. In the first play, Haselwood goes up to get the ball against double coverage in the end zone. He does well to high point the ball and catches it above the defenders for the touchdown. If you enjoy watching good wide receivers as much as I do, watch the rest of the clips a well. (He even has a few highlights as a safety as well.)
For a player that has never played in a pass-happy offense before, it will be interesting to see what happens in his freshman year at Oklahoma. If you aren’t high on him now in devy leagues, it could be too late. He will be an immediate impact player at both Oklahoma and in the NFL.
Graham Mertz, QB, Wisconsin
As a high school player that totaled over 7,500 yards and 96 touchdowns, he signed with a Wisconsin team that will allow him to put his talents on full display. Wisconsin runs a pro-style offense. This will allow Mertz time in the pocket as well as a protection scheme that will allow him to go through his reads without much pass rush. With a height of 6-3, he will be a perfect candidate to add some weight when he gets in his strength program at Wisconsin.
He does well in the pocket and makes quick decisions to his first or second read. Mertz will fit into the stereotypical “game manager” in his first couple years at college. Below are a series of clips of Mertz making beautiful throws and continually hitting the open man. It is easy, in these clips, to see his success when having an open man after finishing his drop.
It is important to note that he was only a four-star recruit because he did not command the field as well as he should have against some weak defenses or he could have been a five-star recruit. Additionally, if his first two reads are covered, he has a tough time finding the open receiver. While he does have some flaws, he will do well on a team that always has had a good run game. While teams are focusing on the run, he will be able to got to work diagnosing the defense and make the correct read. Don’t let his weaknesses scare you from drafting him. He has a strong arm and can make every throw on the field. Mertz will be a late find in devy drafts, but there is a chance that he turns into something spectacular.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. Let me know what you think @DFF_Kane and talk about your favorite incoming recruits.