The Under-the-Radar series continues today with the always needed wide receiver position. This is yet another position that Chris Ballard likes to take shots at, as he has drafted five receivers in four drafts with the Colts. You can read all about the typical Chris Ballard WR mold in my Build-A-Ballard on the position but, in summary, he likes explosive players who are above 6’0” and over 200 pounds.
With those loose guidelines set, which players fit the Colts on day three?
It is no secret that I am a huge fan of Josh Imatorbhebhe this draft season. A former USC recruit, Imatorbhebhe transferred to Illinois and put together a solid Big 10 career, the highlight being his nine touchdown campaign in 2019. For his career, he finished with 57 catches for 942 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Imatorbhebhe is an athletic freak, as he measured at 6’0” 218 pounds and jumped a would be record 46.5 inch vertical. He also ran a solid 4.53 forty yard dash and put up 24 reps on the bench. On film, he is an explosive receiver who definitely needs some refinement in his game (especially when trying to beat press). He does, however, run two routes at an elite level; the fly route and the Bang 8 (essentially a quick slant). He is also a terrific blocker which should have the Colts’ coaches happy. Imatorbhebhe is a raw receiver prospect but his baseline traits are super intriguing.
It's no secret that I love Illinois WR Josh Imatorbhebhe. 46.5 inch vertical at his Pro Day. Excels at running fly routes and Bang 8's. Also a stout blocker. Needs some refinement but fits a lot of the Colts' WR criteria pic.twitter.com/7LFCiD2lxz— Zach Hicks (@ZachHicks2) April 13, 2021
Trevon Grimes, WR, Florida
Trevon Grimes is a talented day three wide receiver that I see fitting the Ballard mold perfectly. Despite playing in an offense where he was oftentimes the third or fourth option, he was able to put together a really solid career with Florida. He finished with career totals of 100 catches for 1,464 yards and 14 touchdowns.
The first thing that stood out to me when researching Trevon Grimes was how similarly he tested to Michael Pittman Jr. The numbers are nearly identical when looking at them side by side.
On film, Grimes plays a lot like the last couple of receivers that the Colts have selected. He is a big bodied player that wins vertically down the field. He may not be the greatest separator as a route runner but he turns 50/50 situations into 80/20. His powerful hands allow him to catch tough passes over the middle of the field and in traffic. Florida also gave him opportunities to run after the catch in the screen game, where he looked powerful and fast with the ball in his hands. Ballard certainly likes a certain type of receiver and Grimes fits it perfectly (Grimes was also at the Senior Bowl this year).
Florida WR Trevon Grimes checks so many Chris Ballard boxes. 6'4" 220 pound WR who can win vertically and go up and get the ball. Tested similarly to Michael Pittman Jr and is a Senior Bowl player. Keep an eye on him on day three. pic.twitter.com/TsXpw63gyQ— Zach Hicks (@ZachHicks2) April 13, 2021
Jalen Camp, WR, Georgia Tech
Getting into more athletic project territory, Camp is a super interesting prospect. He had his struggles at Georgia Tech, as he dealt with injuries and poor quarterback play throughout his career. He did, however, have a productive and healthy senior season, where he put up 27 catches for 417 yards and 4 touchdowns.
Camp tested as an elite athlete at his Pro Day, as he weighed in at 6’1” 227 pounds and ran a 4.48 while having a vertical jump of 39.5 inches. The most impressive measurement may be his bench press, as he hit 30 reps (an all time record for receivers). For comparison sake, Colts’ offensive tackles Sam Tevi and Julie’n Davenport didn’t even sniff that number. On film, Camp is a raw player but he flashes some outstanding ability. He has excellent hands that he uses to pluck the ball out of the air in contested situations. He has the ability to win vertically against any defender with his size and speed. He is a work in progress but certainly the type to look at on day three.
Georgia Tech WR Jalen Camp is an interesting day three player. Limited college production (due to QB play and injuries) but has a ton of talent. 6'1" 226 pound WR who put up 30 reps on the bench and jumped 39.5 inches. Freak athlete with high upside. pic.twitter.com/9nLwmVvJ5t— Zach Hicks (@ZachHicks2) April 13, 2021
Dillon Stoner is one of those players who sticks in this league for much longer than many analysts expect. Overshadowed at Oklahoma State by NFL receivers in Tylan Wallace and James Washington, Stoner still had a productive career. He finished his four year career with 191 catches for 2,378 yards and 17 touchdowns.
Stoner may not be the flashiest player on film, but he always got the job done when called. He had a solid Pro Day where he ran a 4.57 forty yard dash and had a 37 inch vertical. He is a nuanced player who can win at all three levels of the defense. He is a polished route runner, excellent run blocker, and excels on special teams. He may be a bit smaller than Chris Ballard typically likes, but he fits so many of the smaller details that this Colts’ coaching staff likes in their receivers.
Really fun conversation with Oklahoma State WR Dillon Stoner tonight. Loved this convo about beating press.— Zach Hicks (@ZachHicks2) January 22, 2021
"We categorized corners in three different ways. Either a motor guy, a mirror guy, or a bully guy."
Great wide receiver conversation with this talented player: pic.twitter.com/SwYXK9Vism
- Josh Palmer, Tennessee: My favorite day three receiver in this class. Outstanding vertical threat who is much better than the stats suggest. I think he is this class’ Darius Slayton.
- Michael Strachan, Charleston: 6’5” receiver who tested out of his mind this offseason. A bit of project coming from such a small school but I’m sold on the athletic upside.
- Tim Jones, Southern Miss: Explosive vertical threat. Overshadowed a bit by other NFL players on that roster (DeMichael Harris last year) but he has a chance to get drafted.
- Brennan Eagles, Texas: Big, explosive jump ball receiver. Will likely never be a big time separator but he is a very similar prospect to Dezmon Patmon from last year.
- Frank Darby, Arizona State: Testing was bad but he plays fast on film. Vertical receiver who wins with great leverage and ball tracking. Senior Bowl player too.