2014 NFL Draft: Donte Moncrief Scouting Report

Donte Moncrief

John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

Position: WR School: Ole Miss
Height: 6′ 3″ Weight: 230
Class: Junior 40 time: 4.49

Donte Moncrief went to Ole Miss as a highly recruited four-star wide receiver from tiny Raleigh, Mississippi and has done nothing but meet, if not surpass, all the high expectations.  In fact, you could very easily make the case that through two and a half seasons Moncrief is the best receiver in program history (sorry Mike Wallace).  Considering how erratic the QB play has been during Moncrief’s tenure, 130 career receptions for nearly 2,000 yards and 18 TDs is quite a feat.  Will he be the first receiver taken next May?  It’s too early to tell, and we don’t even know if Moncrief will be in the 2014 NFL Draft as he’s only a junior.  Whether he enters ‘The League’ this year or next, he’s going to be a good one.

Pros

  • Fantastic combination of size, speed and athleticism.
  • Has played at an elite level going against top SEC competition, despite usually being surrounded by less talent than opposing teams.
  • Excellent frame for the position at 6-foot-3, 230-pounds.  Big and strong.
  • Very durable.  Hasn’t missed a game yet in two-plus seasons.
  • Gets good separation off the line of scrimmage.  Very physical with corners trying to jam him.
  • Smooth route runner with good burst out of breaks.
  • Good leaping ability.  High-points the ball and uses frame well to box out defenders.
  • Good body control. Dances a tight-rope along the sideline.  Excellent on-field awareness.
  • Shows good concentration when ball is in the air.  Tracks the ball very well.
  • Makes the catch in traffic and isn’t afraid to go across the middle.  Doesn’t have alligator arms.
  • Overall seems to be a good kid.  Doesn’t get into trouble and is very well liked amongst teammates, coaches and the community.  A favorite of the student section.

Cons

  • Is fast, but isn’t a true burner.  Might have difficulty taking the top off a defense at the next level.
  • Doesn’t always stretch the field vertically.
  • Not an elite blocker yet. The skills to be a top-notch blocker at wide receiver are there though.
  • Needs to use hands better and more consistently.
  • Despite strong statistics, has disappeared at times with lackluster QB play.
  • Sometimes struggles breaking free of double-coverage.

2013 Season Outlook 

Moncrief entered the season with huge expectations and has played very well through little more than half a season (41 receptions for 647 yards and five TDs).  He’s really started to come on strong with the emergence of other receiving options like Laquon Treadwell and Ja-Mes Logan taking away constant double-teams.  All-SEC accolades should be in store for Moncrief after the season.  Improved play from QB Bo Wallace has also helped.

In terms of pro outlook, I absolutely love Moncrief.  He’s big, strong, fast and physical, and has played very well against some of the best defenses in the country, all while constantly facing double-coverage and dealing with inconsistent quarterbacks.  He’s not elite at any one thing; he’s not the biggest, strongest, fastest nor has the best hands, but he’s very good at everything.  There’s not a tremendous amount of holes in his game, simply put.

The bottom line is he’s got the skill set to play outside receiver at a very high level in the NFL, and that’s a hard thing to come by.  He might not be the first receiver selected in the 2014 NFL Draft, as Sammy Watkins (Clemson), Marqise Lee (USC) and Mike Evans (Texas A&M) are also very highly viewed amongst personnel men, but I think Moncrief could be the best of the bunch long-term.

Draft Projection: Late 1st round.

Film Watched: Arkansas (2011, 2012, 2013), LSU (2012, 2013), Auburn (2013), Alabama (2012, 2013), Texas (2012), Mississippi State (2012).


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