NFL Draft Sleeper: Could Colorado State’s Rashard Higgins Develop Into A Viable WR2?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

There are a lot of productive college wide receivers, though you can argue that Colorado State’s Rashard Higgins (nicknamed “Hollywood”) has been among the most productive over the past three seasons.  Just look at the gaudy numbers he’s produced:

  • 2013 – 68 receptions, 837 yards, 6 TD
  • 2014 – 96 receptions, 1,750 yards, 17 TD
  • 2015 – 75 receptions, 1,062 yards, 8 TD

Couple those with a 6’1” frame and you would think that NFL scouts would be drooling over the potential.  Of course there are concerns, but there’s also reasons for a lot of the “issues” hovering over him:

Drops
While they were an issue in college, especially early on, he worked hard to correct the issue over the course of his career.  Just look at this little tidbit from ESPN:

“Career drop percentage (5.3%) isn’t ideal but clearly made strides in this area last year as 2015 drop percentage (0.9%) was the best out of the top 15 receivers on our board.”

Slow 40-yard Dash
His 4.64 was tied for the eighth slowest among wide receivers at the Combine.  However, take a look at this note from Walter Football:

He’s a polished receiver, but was extremely thin, and that had teams grading him as an early rounder for Day 3. Higgins gained a lot of weight for the combine, so maybe that was why he ran much slower than expected.”

That certainly makes sense, especially as NFL.com said in their description of him that his “lack of strength and average release quickness is a concern against NFL press coverage”.

Where he fits in an NFL offense remains to be seen, though if the two questions that are hanging over him have been answered there’s little doubt that he can find a role.  He may not be a WR1, though there’s no question about his ability to run solid routes and to catch the football.   It wouldn’t be shocking to see him emerge as a solid WR2 and a productive option, as opposing defenses focus on the “top” option on the team.

Sources – ESPN, Walter Football, NFL.com

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