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NFL Prospect Focus: Jared Abbrederis and Bruce Ellington

These two under-the-radar receivers could make a splash in the NFL. Greg Gabriel

March 17, 2014
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Jared Abbrederis – Wide Receiver – Wisconsin
Size –
6010 – 195 – 4.49
Strong Points – Very productive, release, hands, pass routes, run after catch, catch in traffic, has been used to return punts
Weak Points – Not explosive (30.5 LJ, 9’9” VJ), lacks upper body strength (4 reps of 225), average receiving radius
2013 Stats: 78 catches – 1081 yards – 13.9 avg. – seven TD’s. 11 punt returns for 94 yards
Summation – Abbrederis is a fifth-year senior and a three-year starter. He is a former walk-on who earned his scholarship. He is a very productive guy who got better every year culminating in a breakout year in 2013 with 78 catches for 1081 yards.
Abbrederis has good size at 6010 – 195 with good overall speed and athleticism. He is more fast than quick, but he has quick feet and very good overall body control. He is not the most explosive guy, as shown by his very average jumps of 30.5 and 9’9”, but he makes up for that with his body control
He has a good release and is able to fight through jams. He gets into his routes quickly and can break down and get in and out of cuts quickly to gain separation. He is very good with double moves and multi-cut routes.
Abbrederis is consistent as both a short and deep receiver. He catches the ball in his hands and shows he can adjust to make the difficult catch. On longer routes, he shows deceptive speed and has a burst to the ball. After the catch, he is a good runner with instincts but lacks top power. He is very willing as a blocker and can be effective.
There is a lot to like about Abbrederis game. He has size and speed and is very competitive. He should be able to play either X or Z at the next level. I see him coming into the league and being a third or fourth receiver who will develop into a starter by his second year. Though he does some punt returning at Wisconsin, I don’t see him as more than a backup returner at the next level. He is not a special player but a good one.
Grade B 6.6

Bruce Ellington – Wide Receiver – South Carolina
Size – 5093 – 197 – 4.45
Strong Points – Speed, athlete, body control, hands, run after catch, returns kickoffs, production, also plays college basketball for USC, outstanding combine workout, has already graduated
Weak Points – Size, only played two years of college football, still needs to develop his route running skills
2014 Stats: 49 catches – 779 yards – eight TD’s, 18 kickoff returns for 22.6 yard average
Summation – Ellington is a rare two-sport star in that he excels in both sports. He enrolled at South Carolina in 2010 and did not play football, as he was on a basketball scholarship. He was the starting point guard and averaged 12.8 points per game.
He was a running quarterback in high school and decided to also play football at USC, joining the team for the 2011 season. He played in a rotation with some starts in 2011 and played very well. He returned to basketball when the football season was over. Despite playing two time-consuming college sports, he graduated in three-and-a-half years!
In 2013, he decided that football was his best oppotunity on the professional level, and devoted himself full-time to football. It was a smart decision, as he had his best season with 49 catches for 779 yards and seven touchdowns. He also returned 17 kickoffs for a 22.6 yard average. He only played in three basketball games this year after the football season was over. He left the basketball team to get ready for the Combine.
Ellington lacks great size at 5093 – 197, but he is an excellent athlete. He may have had the best overall receiver workout at the Combine, running 4.45, with jumps of 39.5 and 10’ and a 6.69 three-cone. He also did 15 reps of 225.
While not tall, he has long arms and is well built. His lower body is thick and muscular. He looks more like a running back than a receiver.
Ellington is very quick off the line. He easily avoids or fights through jams and gets into his routes quickly. He is still raw as a route runner, but with his great body control and quickness, he is able to get separation on short and long routes. He has very good hands and shows top ability to adjust to the ball. He is effective as both a short and long receiver, and with his top run skills, he can consistently turn a short reception into a long gain. As a kick returner, he shows top instincts and doesn’t dance.
When you factor in that Ellington has only played two years of college football and never really devoted all his time to the sport, you have to say he has unlimited potential. He still has to develop his route running skills, but he can be a special player in time. I see him more as a role player his rookie year who will gain playtime as he learns. He should be a starter in the slot by year two. He will also be a very effective return man. I see him going anywhere from the late second to early third round in this year’s draft.
Grade B 6.6

Follow Greg on Twitter @greggabe

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