|Class:||RS Senior||40 time:||4.50 (proj.)|
Though the wide receiver position is not considered by many to be a huge area of talent in the 2014 NFL Draft class, Wisconsin‘s Jared Abbrederis is a player who has a very good chance of contributing on Sundays in the near future.
Like many other Wisconsin football alumni, most notably J.J. Watt, Abbrederis came to the Badgers’ program as a walk-on. He initially worked as a scout team quarterback. After being converted to wide receiver, he quickly moved up the ranks of the program, and was starting by the end of his freshman year. Now a redshirt senior, Abbrederis has done a good job of establishing himself as a consistent threat in multiple facets of the game.
While Abbrederis would be classified by most as a possession receiver, he’s not the type of player who’s just going to catch short passes and help move the chains. Despite his lack of elite speed, Abbrederis is a serious deep threat and gets downfield easily. He’s a very good red zone target as well.
Another interesting aspect to his game is his exceptional elusiveness. His running style is rather unique, and he’s very good at faking out defenders with it. Abbrederis has also used this elusiveness to return punts and kicks at times during his career at Wisconsin.
While Abbrederis has plenty of skills that could make him marketable as a first-rounder, there are a few things that could get in the way of him being one of the top receivers taken. First of all, he doesn’t have fantastic straight-line speed. He’s projected to run a 4.5 40-yard dash, which will probably worry NFL scouts who are concerned about his ability to get open quickly.
In addition, Abbrederis has had some issues with hanging onto the ball at times, which makes him a bit less desirable than players like Sammy Watkins and Marqise Lee.
Abbrederis will probably have to settle for being a second or third round pick due to his perceived lack of intangibles, but whatever team gets him will likely be getting a great value, as he has shown throughout his college career that he’s a consistent pass-catcher who has multiple elements to his playing style.
- Crisp route-runner and always knows where to position himself; moves his feet flawlessly
- Does a great job of stretching the field and getting open to make big catches
- A real weapon near the sidelines, as he is able to get to the ball and get out of bounds when necessary
- Runs with a hectic, shifty upright style and is difficult to take down; exceptionally elusive for a player of his size
- Exhibits a good amount of effort on run blocks
- Has returned kicks and punts; his shiftiness gives him the potential to be a dynamic punt returner as a pro
- Seems to get worked up when defensive backs stick to him downfield, and it looks like it affects his confidence as a receiver
- Potential fumbling issues
- Straight-line speed is questionable
Abbrederis has been great in 2013, and he ranks among the best receivers in the nation. As the focal point of Wisconsin’s passing game, he’s often been heavily covered, so he’s only made 54 catches. He has also been limited by head and rib injuries. Abbrederis has made the most of his opportunities, though, and has 849 yards with six touchdowns. He dominated Ohio State cornerback Bradley Roby earlier this year, putting Roby’s status as a first-round pick into doubt.
2014 Draft Projection: Second Round