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2020-01-27 14:58:191 Oct 2018 01:53 AM EST
-by Daniel Mogollon, Staff Writer; Image: Penn State wide receiver K.J. Hamler. (Image Source: Matthew Pearce/Getty Images)
Ninety-nine players were granted special eligibility for the 2020 NFL Draft, 19 coming out of the Big Ten. Four of the B1G’s early entry prospects are wide receivers. Here’s how they rank early in the draft process:
1. K.J. Hamler, Penn State (5’9”/176)
The Nittany Lion quickly established himself as one of the most dangerous players in the Big Ten as a redshirt freshman in 2018. Despite inconsistent play at quarterback, Hamler put up impressive numbers this past season as PSU’s No. 1 target. He has top-notch straight-line speed and is just as a dangerous after the catch. An all-purpose dynamo who can also make an impact as a kick and punt returner. Could go in the second round and should hear name called on Day 2.
2019 Stats: 56 receptions, 904 yards, 16.1 YPC, 8 receiving TDs
2. Donovan Peoples-Jones, Michigan (6’2”/208)
A five-star recruit coming out of Detroit, Peoples-Jones didn’t have the career many envisioned when he arrived in Ann Arbor. There were flashes. The question many will have to ask, is did DPJ underachieve or was he underutilized? He has a ton of talent and many would say his ceiling is higher than Hamler’s. Peoples-Jones has excellent size and is expected to test very well at the NFL Scouting Combine. Dangerous in the red zone, on special teams, and after the catch, with deep speed.
2019 Stats: 34 receptions, 438 yards, 12.9 YPC, 6 receiving TDs
3. Quintez Cephus, Wisconsin (6’1”/207)
After missing the final five games of 2017 with an injury (broken right leg) and all of last season (expelled due to sexual assault charges), Cephus wasn’t on the radar of many draft analysts heading into the season. He was reinstated by Wisconsin in August, which was a big boom to the Badgers offense, as well as his draft stock. Cephus emerged as their No. 1 target and put up good numbers in a run-first offense. He runs well for his size and is blessed with very reliable hands.
2019 Stats: 52 receptions, 842 yards, 16.1 YPC, 6 receiving TDs
4. Cody White, Michigan State (6’3”/215)
The son of a former NFL player (Sheldon White), the younger White improved throughout his career at Michigan State and finished 2019 as their leading receiver. This early in the draft process it’s unclear where White stands in what is one of the deepest receiver classes we’ve ever seen. He definitely is an intriguing prospect with his combination of size and speed. Like Hamler and Peoples-Jones, White has experience as a punt returner. Could be a fast riser if he performs well in Indy.
2019 Stats: 66 receptions, 922 yards, 14.0 YPC, 6 receiving TDs
Daniel Mogollon is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America. He is also a voter for the Thorpe, Maxwell, Bednarik, and the Rotary Lombardi Awards, as well as the Latino Sports MVP Awards. You can reach him via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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