Scouting Report: Cody Latimer, WR, Indiana

Scouting Report: Cody Latimer, WR, Indiana

A complete player
By: Pete Davidson : April 02, 2014 7:43am

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Another day, another outstanding receiving prospect. Today’s player, Cody Latimer, is solid as a rock. He has no weaknesses, only relative weaknesses. He grades out as a plus in all the big categories. And, when I say rock, the implication should not be that he lacks upside. He’s not just a solid guy. Cody Latimer has a nice ceiling too, which is why I’m surprised he’s not a bigger name. In fairness, he did sit out most of the Combine due to surgery on the fifth metatarsal in his right foot. That may have lessened his buzz somewhat. Of course, there was a nice surge of internet chatter for Cody after he ran a solid forty at his Pro Day.

Let’s take a quick look at Latimer’s Combine and Pro Day numbers.

Combine data.

  • Height - 6’2”
  • Weight - 215 lbs
  • Hands - 9 5/8”
  • Bench - 23

Pro Day data.

  • 40 - 4.38 (best reported time)
  • Vertical Jump - 39”

There were some slower times reported on his forty, but they were all in the 4.38 - 4.43 range. Latimer avoided cutting drills but does plan on doing that for teams in individual visits in a few weeks. It sounds like he’ll be a full go for Training Camp.

Latimer grew up as a basketball player at Jefferson High School in Dayton Ohio and was convinced, after being recruited by the football coach, to try out for football by his Mom.  Always trust Mom, folks. Cody took to the game. “I gave it a try and turned out to be good at it and just kept working at it and it was very fun. I liked the physicalness of it. Basketball, I had a couple offers, but they were smaller offers and I played big man in high school. I knew I couldn’t play that in college, so I figured football was my best fit.”

Now you might question Latimer’s passion for football after that quote, but I promise you that you’ll drop that line of thought when you watch his tape. The only wide receivers I’ve watched this year with comparable motors are Mike EvansPaul Richardson and Sammy Watkins. Latimer is an always-on player.

When asked if he had anything left to show the teams at the Combine, Latimer gave a response that reflected his confidence level and reality. “It’s all out there. Like the coaches say, your resume is out there. Your film is you. It’s what you’ve produced, what you’ve done. So here is just having fun, having a good time and getting to meet the coaches.”  Sounds like a kid about to ace the SATs doesn’t it? Cody comes off as a very nice, very relaxed kid. He was also candid when asked what he was told by the NFL Advisory Board. “It was a third round grade.”

I think they sold him short, and I think his Mom would agree.

Things we like about Latimer.

  • Size - Latimer is plenty big and he plays even bigger. He’ll have a decided advantage at the next level.
  • Blocking - I’m listing this early to leave an impression. Cody is one of the best blockers I have seen at the position this year. Not only does he use sound technique, but he comes after defenders and attacks as a blocker. Teams like Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, New England, Seattle and San Francisco will definitely be looking to add this player as they all place extra emphasis on blocking with their skill position players.
  • Hands- For a big receiver, Latimer displays soft trustworthy hands and makes all the catches. No issues here.
  • Ball skills - He's a talented basketball player and an ex-big man, so it shold be no surprise that he gets off the ground quickly and that he catches the ball at his peak often.  He brings that basketball rebounding ability that everybody talks about these days.  Against the smaller corners, it's borderline unfair.
  • Speed - While we’re skeptical of all pro days times as they relate to Combine times, Latimer’s 4.38 is impressive enough and it certainly validates the good speed we see on film. He’s got all the speed a receiver his size needs and then some.
  • Routes - Latimer shows promise as a route runner. He has the size, strength and footwork to defeat the jam. He can sink his hips and gets low into his breaks most of the time. He’s got a nice double-move and he runs the curl, fade and slant well. It’s a limited route tree like most college receivers, but we expect continued development.  He also gets the job done against zone coverage.
  • Versatility - Latimer is a threat whether he has the ball or not. He’s a threat near the goal line and he’s a potential home run anywhere on the gridiron. He also makes plays on special teams though I do not see him as a return guy.
  • Production - Latimer has the kind of growth curve you like to see. He was better each season both on film and on the stat sheet.

Here’s a look at Latimer against Penn State.

Here we see Latimer having a big day against Bowling Green with six grabs for 137 and a score.

If you want to scan through this footage, you'll see Latimer getting behind the defense time after time.

Let’s close it out with a highlight reel that devolves into a slam dunk contest. Cody can play above the rim for sure.

The tape rarely disappoints with this player. That is, unless you are looking for the next Julio Jones or Dez Bryant. Early on in his career, Latimer is going to be what a guy like Michael Jenkins was supposed to be. A weapon in the passing game and a high-end perimeter blocker, who helps you in all phases of your offense. He’s a weapon, and a glue guy at the same time. You don’t see too many of those. Hines Ward, Anquan Boldin and Julian Edelman come to mind.

Continued development is key for almost all young receivers. The curve in the NFL can be steep. One of the reasons I like Latimer’s chances so much is because he does the little effort things that keep you on the field.  That shortens the curve with routes, recognition and the speed of the game at the next level.

Due to the aforementioned foot injury, Latimer will probably go a bit later than he would if he’d been healthy. For what it’s worth, if Cody had stayed for his senior season, he’d have had an excellent chance of being a first rounder in 2015. Of course, he'd also risk more serious injury by staying, so he probably did the right thing. The point is, this is a player with first round upside.

As always, we’ll wait until after the draft to go all-in on Latimer’s value for long term formats and for redraft formats.  We want to know who his quarterback will be and we want to see his competition on the depth chart.  The offense he plays in and who coaches it are also big factors.

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