Calvin Ridley 2018 NFL Draft Profile

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Overview
Position: Wide receiver
Height: 6’1″
Weight: 190 pounds
School: Alabama Crimson Tide

Combine Performance Data
40-yard dash
: 4.43 seconds
Bench press: 15 reps
Vertical jump: 31 inches
Broad jump: 9 feet, 2 inches
Three-cone drill: 6.88 seconds
20-yard shuttle: 4.41 seconds

Calvin Ridley 2018 NFL Draft Profile

A consensus number one receiving prospect out of high school, Calvin Ridley was a fairly early addition to Nick Saban‘s 2015 recruiting class. He certainly didn’t disappoint once he got on campus. The Coconut Creek, FL native finished his maiden campaign in Tuscaloosa with a freshman school record 1,045 receiving yards. The previous mark of 1,000 was set by Amari Cooper three years earlier. Ridley eclipsed 100 receiving yards four times for the eventual national champs, including in Bama’s 38-0 win over Michigan State in the College Football Playoff semifinals.

Though his numbers went down in 2016 and 2017, it’s hard to attribute that to any shortcomings on his part. Bama relied much more heavily on their run game, as evidenced by the fact they averaged just under 200 yards per game in 2015 compared to 247.8 over the next two seasons. But he still figured prominently in the offense, finishing tied for second in the SEC with 72 receptions as a sophomore and third in the conference with 967 receiving yards a year later.

Ridley declared for the draft two days after winning his second national title. Not only did he earn all-conference honors (including First Team All-SEC in 2017) in all three of his seasons with the Tide. But he also made quite the impact on Bama’s receiving record book. His 224 receptions and 19 touchdown catches rank second in school history behind Cooper. And only Cooper and D.J. Hall finished with more than his 2,781 career receiving yards.

Strengths

  • route-running is a good combination of crisp, sharp and efficient;
  • explosive back-end speed makes him a legit deep threat;
  • comfortable running the entirety of the route tree;
  • fantastic initial jab step enables him to release from press man;
  • extremely dynamic in space – gets yards after catch with regularity;
  • should have no problem adapting to pro-style concepts;
  • comes to play when it matters – scored a touchdown in both of Bama’s CFP games last year;
  • no real injury red flags.

Weaknesses

  • could use some extra bulk to absorb the physicality he’ll experience at the next level;
  • a willing but below-average blocker;
  • needs to work on his ability to win contested balls in the air;
  • can get thrown off routes by physical, press corners;
  • ranked 146th among draft-eligible receivers in Pro Football Focus’ drop rate signature stat;
  • doesn’t elude tacklers particularly well after initial contact.

NFL Comparison: Jeremy Maclin

Teams With Need at Position: Atlanta Falcons, Buffalo Bills, Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars, San Francisco 49ers, Washington Redskins

Projection: Early to mid first round

Bottom Line

Ridley might be the most polished route-runner among this year’s crop of pass-catching prospects. He also boasts plus athleticism and freakish acceleration ability both down the field and laterally. The two biggest concerns about his viability at the next level surround his propensity for drops and whether or not he can consistently separate from press coverage at the line of scrimmage. But there’s no doubting his ability and he’ll have an opportunity to replicate the instant impact exploits of his fellow Bama alum in Cooper. It’s why teams in need of starting-caliber talent at the wide receiver position have him high on their draft board.

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