INDIANAPOLIS – More than 100 of the top players in the nation participated June 10 in the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge presented by adidas at the Indianapolis Colts practice facility. The Rivals analyst team is breaking down the status of each player at the marquee event based on his performance against elite competition. Today, we look at the wide receivers.
Austin’s size has always been an asset but he’s getting better at using it. He was one of the standouts in a good wide receiver group and proved that he has solid acceleration to go with his strong frame and hands.
Chase already made a move up in the last edition of the Rivals250, but he showed this weekend that he might belong a little bit higher. Chase is a terrific all-around athlete and his consistent hands and sharp route-running ability make him perfect for this type of showcase. LSU, TCU and Tennessee are Chase’s final three schools.
The class of 2019 wide receiver is currently ranked as a 5.8 four-star but after another impressive performance, it’s hard not to see him making a move when the first numerical Rivals100 is released for the 2019 class later this summer. Ohio State, Florida, Tennessee and several other programs are among the early favorites for Knox.
Wease is actually far more nimble than most guys with his sort of length. Several times in open-field tackling drills he juked defenders out of their shoes and in 7-on-7 play, did a great job of finding gaps in the defense and looking for yards after the catch.
A 2019 prospect, Dunmore is ranked as a four-star and looked the part on Saturday. To borrow a phrase, he is what we thought he was … and, in this case, that’s not a bad thing. It will be interesting to see how the young receiver develops in the future.
Eagles didn’t really do much to change the book on him. He’s got great size, is a powerful runner, and even though he made some very nice catches, he didn’t always make the tough catches. Consistently creating separation on longer routes is also something that he needs to do a little more of.
Haselwood is a five-star prospect with not a lot of room to move up. All he did was solidify himself as one of the best in the country for 2019. He was one of the top two wideouts here.
Jackson was moved around a lot working at wide receiver, slot and at running back. He just has a great feel for the position and he knows how to sit down in zone coverage and make the tough catches in traffic. He had one of the best catches of the 7-on-7 play for a touchdown between two defenders. Jackson will be a difficult match-up on the inside on the next level.
The newly minted five-star wide receiver showed his typical impressive abilities while pairing with five-star quarterback Trevor Lawrence in 7-on-7. The question about Jason is always going to be his speed and ability to get separation, but for now he validated his five-star status.
Jones was quietly impressive in Indianapolis and contributed to the winning 7-on-7 team with a couple touchdown catches. Physically, the Notre Dame commit was one of the most impressive-looking wide receivers at the event. He does not possess the big-play characteristics of others, but he is extremely sure-handed and polished.
One could make the case that Lee belongs in the stock up category, especially after excelling as both a wide receiver and defensive back at the event. But Lee is already ranked as a 6.0 and he didn’t quite do enough this weekend to earn the elusive five-star status. LSU, Alabama and several others are involved in Lee’s recruitment.
After a strong spring, Marshall was upgraded to a five-star and over the weekend he more than validated that move. Marshall is a smooth wide receiver who makes getting open look effortless, despite his size. The only problem for him is there’s not much room to move upward as he is already in very elite class. Texas A&M, Texas, LSU, TCU and Miami are Marshall’s five favorites.
Initially ranked as a safety, Palmer earned his invitation to the event as a wide receiver and didn’t disappoint. His speed and athleticism help him get open against most defensive backs and he has knack for making big plays. LSU, Alabama and several others are in the early mix for Palmer.
Shivers played out of position on Saturday. He dropped some passes, sure, but he’s not a natural wide receiver. The speedy Shivers remains a versatile player. And while he may see am ever-so-tiny slide downward, his standing as a four-star prospect with a bright future remains in tact.
Complete and total domination. The five-star had the event-ending Hail Mary grab to win the 7-on-7 portion of the Five-Star Challenge, caught a diving touchdown where he ran into some signage on the sidelines and was completely unstoppable all day. In one-on-ones, he ran by people for the deep ball. During 7on7, St. Brown caught short passes, went across the middle and was electric deep. He’s so smooth, his double move is tough to handle and he has excellent hands. No one can bully him, either, since he’s so strong. Already the top-rated receiver and No. 4 in the class, there’s not much room to go higher for him. USC, Stanford, Notre Dame and others are involved.
One of the bigger receivers at the event, Watt is versatile. He could play defense at the next level but will likely remain at wideout. On Saturday, he eliminated at least one doubter on the Rivals.com national staff and proved his top-250 ranking to be accurate.
With other receivers having a nice camp, Woodard perhaps didn’t finish as one of the more memorable ones there. Had the passes thrown his way in one-on-one reps not been behind him on two nice deep routes where he beat his defender, he could have been one of the most talked about receivers.
Moore will be able to help his stock this season, as he’ll be a featured part of the offense for the first time. That said, he remains an explosive slot wide receiver that can help a team in a number of ways. He was up and down on Saturday, which isn’t consistent with his current ranking of 88 overall. Moore had a decent weekend. He won’t free fall, but 88 is lofty.
Taylor is an exciting playmaker but he went through long stretches without making plays on Saturday, something that a player ranked in the nation’s top 80 can’t do. The Tennessee commit is still learning how to be a full-time wide receiver and establishing a consistent effort is a big part of excelling at the position.
Williams, who gets separation rather routinely, continues to struggle catching the football. This is not a one or two-camp trend at this juncture. Williams is still an explosive elite athlete, but catching the ball is a crucial skill for a receiver.