STRENGTHS - Solidly built with good height, Lemon looks the part of an NFL receiver "on the hoof." Smart and aware finding open space/hole in zone, sits down in it and makes him self a good target. Consistently runs route past yard marker in key situations. When he reaches out and catches the ball away from body he catches the ball well. His hands, concentration and coordination combine to help him adjust to catch off-target passes with surprising ease. A reliable target, Lemon is aggressive catching passes as he heads into traffic, gets the ball secured quickly so that he holds onto it when he gets hit hard right after the ball arrives. In addition, he is quick getting started up the field after the catch, gets to full speed quickly and has the size, strength and balance to consistently run through arm/grab tackles and hits to gain yards after contact.
WEAKNESSES - Quicker than fast, Lemon lacks the speed to get separation deep and cannot out-run angles to turn short plays into long TD's. Although he is sharp and precise to run route at correct distance, he really has to throttle down and takes a lot of short steps making sharp cuts, which will keep him from being able to get separation versus man coverage in the NFL. For a player with good natural hands, too often he lets passes within his frame get into body and drops some easy passes.
SUMMARY - Catching passes from Ryan Nassib definitely gave Lemon the chance to show his skills as Syracuse threw a ton of passes because of Nassib's passing skills. Although he was productive catching many passes at Syracuse, he will need to greatly improve his route running to make it in the NFL. For a player who is smooth and fluid twisting and adjusting to catch off-target passes, he is surprisingly not so getting into and out of his cuts. He must get quicker in and out of cuts to be effective versus man coverage in the NFL. Although many seem to take shots at Lemon for dropping passes, the reality is that he has good hands and drops some passes he should catch because he allows the ball to get into his body. If he can improve that and catch the easy passes as well as the off-target ones he would have a much better chance of sticking in the NFL as backup receiver. Overall, I would not draft Lemon early because of his lack of speed and route running issues, but late in the draft he has excellent value because of his size, strength, natural hands and good run after catch ability. .