Wide Receiver: Donte Moncrief, Ole Miss

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Spor

Breaking down another potential Day 2/Day 3 prospect, combine hero Donte Moncrief

Before the combine, I would've told you Donte Moncrief was another receiver that would be available come Day 3 of the draft. That was until he blew up the combine. Moncrief measured in at 6'2, 221 pounds and ran a 4.4 flat, with a 39.5 vertical jump. He also had the longest broad jump, jumping a ridiculous 11 feet. The lower body explosion is definitely there.

Why He'll Succeed

  • Excellent at selling his routes
  • Very good athlete, great leaper
  • Plays the ball and adjusts to it well while it's in the air
  • Has speed to get/win vertical. Eats up defensive backs cushion with stride
  • Potential Play maker whose best ball is in front of him
I can't say Moncrief has "deceptive speed", because he ran so fast at the combine. But I'm not sure defensive backs are aware how fast he is. He eats up their cushion in a hurry. He certainly has the speed to get vertical.

Moncriefdeep_medium

The below GIF shows how easy Moncrief can separate.

Moncriefdeep2_medium

It's not just about the big play with Moncrief. He's excellent at selling his routes. Especially curls, and curl and go's.

Moncriefcurl_medium

This next GIF is impressive because Moncrief is able to get an inside release even though the cornerback has inside leverage.

Dm1_medium

He showed he was able to do this consistently throughout the game. He's a very smooth route runner.

Dm2_medium

The below GIF is why I included the 1st "selling his curl."

Dm3_medium

Against LSU, Moncrief was successful on this route 3 times. At Mississippi he ran a curl and go stop, so it was important he sell each curl route.

Where He'll Struggle

  • Not Physical for Size
  • Lackadaisical effort Blocking, just kind of "there."
  • "Dances too much with DB's at LOS"
  • Can do a better job at working back to the ball
  • Focus drops are a big issue
  • For how explosive his lower body is, you'd expect more wiggle
This might turn off any Charger fan from Moncrief. The drops Moncrief has are maddening. It plays into his lack of physicality. I've seen him adjust to passes in the air, so I know he can catch, but I've seen him drop multiple passes in games that were just killer to his team.

Moncriefdrop_medium

Here is a vine of a drop that'll drive you nuts. During the Missouri game I counted 3(maybe 4) drops, it was to the point where if Moncrief got hit, he was going to drop it.

Because of his lack of physicality, Moncrief dances at the line of scrimmage far too much, instead of using his hands to keep himself clean. Too many wasted movements. The lack of physicality ties into all of his game. He rarely shows full effort as a blocker. For a man his size, it's disappointing.

While I do think Moncrief is a very good route runner, on routes working back to the quarterback, he could do a much better job coming back to the quarterback. Too often he just waits for the pass. At the next level, that's how cornerbacks break up passes.

Grade/Final Thought

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
Non-Draftable < 4.0

Trait Weight Grade
Route Running 4 3.8
Speed 2.5 2.2
Hands 3 2.4
Ball Skills 3 2.8
YAC Ability 2 1.6
Elusiveness 2 1.3
Blocking 2 1.4
Separation Skills 2 1.7
Awareness 2.5 2
Athleticism 2 1.9

Moncrief grades out to a 7.60. He's one of the hardest receivers to figure out. He's big, incredibly athletic, but doesn't play with the physicality you'd expect from a receiver his size. Moncrief does the little things in his route running like get inside releases, and sell his routes to make me think he can be Jordy Nelson. Then he does things like round his out routes, not show awareness in zone coverage, and struggle with physical corners to make me think he could be "just another guy."

How He Fits with the Chargers

I do believe his best football is ahead of him, it's to be determined whether he develops into a #1 receiver at this point. At this point, he'd be an excellent #2 and compliment to another teams #1(Keenan Allen.) Moncrief could come in and start opposite Allen right away. He can stretch the field on early downs, so it doesn't just have to be on obvious passing downs. Even with the drops I've seen Moncrief hang onto the more difficult catches over the middle. He fits the offense because he can win early in his route, and as you've seen, can create after the catch, and fits the "jump ball" type of receiver that Philip Rivers loves. After a good combine receivers this big and fast don't fall too far. But if he's there on Day 3 for San Diego, it would be a smart pick.

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