In response to John’s (@johndavogel) piece on hating good football players, centering on Tee Higgins, I thought it only fitting to put out my scouting report on Higgins to balance the scales here on DraftRite. Higgins, who recorded 25 touchdowns over his final two seasons at Clemson, measured in at 6’4 216lbs with 34 1/8″ arms. He recorded a 40 yard dash of 4.54 at his Pro Day, and a disappointing 31″ vertical. Higgins is a polarizing prospect, with a wide ranging opinion on his ability to be successful at the next level. Well, here’s mine.
Strengths: Body control is elite from Higgins on the sideline and in the air tracking the ball. Has a ridiculous amount of contested catch wins and consistently high points the ball using his frame and wingspan. Reminds me of Allen Robinson in his strengths. While he has a limited route tree and isn’t the crispest route runner, he does have routes he wins with on a regular basis and is very good at using his frame to create natural separation in the breaks of his routes. Does a nice job of completing catches in traffic. 20% of Higgins’ receptions went for touchdowns, he has a penchant for big plays and will be very productive in the red zone.
Weaknesses: Can let smaller corners bully him if they play physically, and has a hard time releasing against good press coverage. Production at times was a little feast or famine. Definitely needs to improve as a route runner to consistently separate against NFL caliber corners. His effort as a run blocker is lacking at times. Limited role is likely early on in his career.
Overall Outlook: I am bullishly high on Tee Higgins. He is my WR4 and has a first round grade from me. I get the questions and concerns, I really do. I think he’ll be successful despite those concerns. At worst you are getting an excellent possession receiver who will always be a high percentage completion throw on the boundary and going across the middle with excellent red zone capability. At best you are getting a player with many of the same strengths as Allen Robinson, except he is faster than ARob. Higgins is a bit of a hill for me in this draft class, as I would have no problems seeing him get drafted as high as 20. Similarly to DK Metcalf in Seattle, guys don’t have to be good at everything, just use them to their strengths and watch them prosper. Tee Higgins is in fact, a good football player folks.