It's hard to get a good feel for prospects when they're in these spread offenses that have become so popular in college. Especially when they're asked to do things that don't necessarily translate to the NFL. That said, when you break down individual parts, and take into account the work he did at the Senior Bowl, Josh Huff is a player that has the skill set to be very good in the NFL. For those that haven't watched him, think Randall Cobb.
Where He'll Excel
Body Control/Catching in Traffic
Ability to get/win Vertical
Winning at the top of his routes
It's one thing just to be fast, which Huff is(4.45 unofficial 40), it's another thing to use your explosiveness to your advantage. Huff's ability to win at the top of his route stood out when watching him. Whether it was on a pivot route(the Antonio Gates route), or giving little head fakes on post routes, Huff has consistently proven that he can win at the top of his route and create separation.
Nothing groundbreaking here, but by Huff pressing the outside shoulder of the cornerback, he buys himself the two steps that allowed him to get open over the middle of the field.
Huff on a linebacker in the slot is what we call "free yards." He showed versus UCLA that he can beat the slot corner just as easily.
When Huff has a 2-way go, he's nearly impossible to guard. His ability to win at the top of his route puts him in a position to do the next trait he excels at: Catching in traffic.
Huff shows off good ball skills & body control as he adjusts to passes behind him as well as catches the ball away from his body. He's consistently done this to the point where even if the ball is poorly thrown, you expect him to catch it. Knowing you're going to get smacked by a linebacker over the middle and still having the concentration to catch it away from your frame speaks volumes to the player Huff is. This was on display against Texas during the Alamo Bowl.
It's almost synonymous to expect an Oregon player to be explosive and be able to get down-field. Huff is one of these players. It's an effortless stride and he gets to top end speed in a matter of steps. In a 1-on-1 situation, the defensive back is at a disadvantage due to the skill set Huff presents.
This is exactly the type of speed Telesco was referring to when he mentioned he wanted to get faster at the wide receiver position.
One trait that can't be overlooked is Huff's ability to block. He's a bulldog. He's 5'11, 206 pounds, but blocks like he's 6'5 240. He drives defenders back, or when it comes to oncoming safeties, he levels them off of their feet. It's fun to watch. Many times in the NFL 7 yard runs get turned into 20 yard runs because the receiver simply blocks. That's something Huff does very well and something he's very willing to do.
What'll Get Him in Trouble
Re-Routed at the line of scrimmage/in his route
Lack of Elusiveness
There were a few times were Huff would drop the easy pass throughout his career. Knowing how well he catches the ball in traffic, or makes the difficult catch, this is a focus issue. Still, it's an issue that needs to be addressed.
Another issue I have with Huff is how easily he was re-routed. While Huff wins at the top of his route, I would be slightly worried, especially on the outside, of him being re-routed at the line of scrimmage. He wasn't pressed very much(if at all) at Oregon when he lined up outside, so the question remains. But the below GIF happened enough to where I noticed it was an issue.
This is an easy scheme fix, but he has shown he can get knocked off his route at times. Lastly, for a guy who can break tackles, and has the balance he has, Huff isn't overly elusive. He doesn't really make defenders miss.
Multiple Pro Bowl Player, Top 10
8.5 – 9.0
Highly Productive Starter, 1st Round
8.0 – 8.4
Very Good Starter, Early 2nd Round
7.8 – 7.9
Reliable Starter, 2nd Round
7.5 – 7.7
Potential Starter in Year 2, 3rd Round
7.0 – 7.4
Backup/Spot Starter, 4th Round
6.5 – 6.9
Productive Backup, 5th Round
6.0 – 6.4
Very Good Backup/STs, 6th Round
5.5 – 5.9
Quality Backup/Good STs, 7th Round
5.0 – 5.4
Backup/STs/Project Player, 7th Round
4.5 – 4.9
Priority Free Agent w/ Limitations
4.0 – 4.4
I have Huff graded out to a 7.81. That's high. It makes Huff a high 2nd round talent, and when he comes off the board as expected in the 3rd-4th range he'll be an absolute steal. I'm confident he'll be successful at the next level because of the skill set he presents. There's a lot of "untapped potential" that Huff didn't get a chance to fully display at Oregon. I believe he'll be better at the next level.
How He Fits as a Charger
Huff is built like a running back, and played one at times at Oregon. The Chargers could use him in the slot on screens and let him get the easy yards. They could also do several things with him, like put him in motion and create mismatches with Huff. As noted above, he has the speed to get vertical on the defense, so he would definitely help in that regard. Huff would be a reliable target and another receiver that fits the Chargers offense. If the Chargers are to wait until Day 3 to pick a receiver, Huff would be the ideal pick.
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