Scouting Report: Jared Abbrederis, WR, Wisconsin
I call him Jared Abracadabra
I feel like one of the old radio disc jockeys, using the same tired lines over and over, but this draft has so many good receivers that it’s simply ridiculous. Today's case study, Wisconsin’s Jared Abbrederis, is a NFL-ready receiver who grades out very highly overall with a few caveats. Abbrederis is yet another one of those players who you need to judge by what he can do versus what he cannot do. Because, what he can do is going to get it done. Abbrederis is not very big or fast. He’s not strong at all and he’s not very explosive in terms of speed. What he does have is a seemingly innate understanding of the game. Abbrederis runs outstanding routes and uses impeccable technique. It’s really something to watch.
Abbrederis was, without question, one of the smartest kids we encountered at the Combine. Here’s what he had to say when asked what his best asset was. “I think a couple different things. I think the main one would be my route-running. I take pride in that, getting in and out of breaks; that’s where the DB can really gain the ground. At the top of a route, trying to be quick in and out of your cut. Also catching the football and just being smart, knowing where to be at the right time, understanding coverages, understanding the offense, concepts. When you understand a whole play, it helps you play a lot faster, so that’s kind of what I pride myself on.”
Oh yeah, I should mention that this kid also has a tendency to write your article for you. Abbrederis just gave an exact account of what you will see on tape.
Abbrederis was also asked what receivers he patterned himself after. “Being a Packer fan growing up, always watching them, there’s a couple guys. One guy who’s out of the league now, Donald Driver. I love the way he played the game. The fearlessness going over the middle, kind of his underdog story as well, and how he grew up and then being drafted later and just the career that he had. Good route-runner, good player. And then also Jordy Nelson, too. I love watching him, how he high-points the ball, saves room for the quarterback to throw and just takes pride in his route-running, as well. So there’s a couple different guys like that that I see and try to play like.”
The key part of the quote was how Jordy Nelson saves room for the quarterback. It’s an under-appreciated part of route running and not only does Abbrederis get it, and he executes it as well. That’s probably because he was a quarterback himself until he switched positions at Wisconsin.
Let's take a look at Jared's Combine numbers.
- Height - 6’1”
- Weight - 195
- 40 - 4.50
- Bench - 4
- Vertical Jump - 30.5”
- Broad Jump - 117”
- 3-Cone - 6.80
- 20 YD Shuttle - 4.08
- 60 YD Shuttle - 11.39
He did all the drills, which is not all that common these days. Clearly skipping the bench would have been a good idea and it makes you worry about him against good press corners, but he has shown a capacity to deal with physical play as we’ll see on his film.
Things we like about Abbrederis.
- Routes - He’s an advanced polished route runner who is unpredictable at the top of the stem. He can run all the routes. He sees all the holes in zone defense and works back to his quarterback well. You’ve heard us downgrade several players this year for rounding off their routes. Abbrederis is a shining example of why you don’t want to do that.
- Hands - He’s a good hands catcher and displays extraordinary concentration at times. He’s a lot like LSU’s Jarvis Landry in that regard. He has the ability to make grabs in traffic and in tight coverage.
- Intelligence - As he said himself, he understands the coverages and the offense and concepts. He’s a quarterback’s dream.
- Quickness - While he’s a mediocre overall athlete in comparison to the bulk of his peers, Jared does possess good quickness and makes sudden cuts. In combination with his outstanding technique, it’s enough to get the job done.
- Ball skills - He tracks the ball very well and gets his head turned very early. As I already mentioned, he can make outstanding catches in tight coverage due to high-level concentration.
- Vision - Abbrederis has great eyes and awareness. He sees things in zone coverage that other receivers miss and he’s very smart with the ball in his hands. Notice how he employs the correct tactic for a given situation. He knows when to jump for a ball and when not to, because he has outstanding feel for where the primary defender is in relation to the ball and himself.
- Speed - He’s not fast, but at 4.50, he has just enough speed to make his skill set work. He’s fast enough.
- Versatility - As a receiver, he can do multiple things from multiple positions. He can also help you as a punt returner, where his sure hands can come in handy. He’s a good guy to have around.
- Competitiveness - This class is loaded with receivers who play hard and to the whistle. Abbrederis is one of them. He’s a relentless player.
- Production - Abbrederis was productive throughout his career. His sophomore surge was certainly aided by playing with Russell Wilson, and he closed strong with a big senior season in a conservative offense.
Here’s a look at Abbrederis versus Ohio State and CB Bradley Roby, a cornerback projected to go early in this year’s draft.
Some will say that Roby had a bad day, but this is a corner who will very likely get taken in round one. This film certainly legitimizes what Abbrederis can do. You might ask yourself, what would Jared look like if he was playing with a legit NFL quarterback? Here’s some film from his sophomore year playing with the last year’s Super Bowl winner.
First of all, as we said back then, how does Wilson get to the third round? Second, how does Abbrederis keep getting behind defenses? In this case, Chip Kelly’s defense. Abbrederis does commit a rare turnover at the end, but it’s a very good punch-out by the defender.
Lastly, have some fun and take in Abbrederis’ highlight reel.
You see it over and over again on film. This player has great route running technique and a feel for the game that you can teach. He’s going to be a factor at the next level, though I do have a few concerns and they are not minor ones.
The first is strength. Combine numbers are never where the rubber meets the road with our evaluations, but four reps is a bit troubling. Getting stronger up top could become something that he’ll need to do, and he may have a limited capacity to do so. Because of this, defeating press coverage could become an issue against the better cornerbacks, though he did hold up well in the Big Ten. This is my biggest concern for Abbrederis as a player, though it's fair to point out that there are things his team can do to keep him out of press situations.
The other big issue for Abbrederis is his history with concussions. He’s got a clean bill of health right now, but there are reports that have him with 3-4 concussions in college. Given his style of play, and his slight frame, the concerns only grow at the next level. The same goes for injury in general. This is a player who will have to prove he can withstand the pounding. That’s just the way it is. Having said that, we don’t have much doubt about his ability to play, though we could see him slipping to about the fifth round on draft day in such a deep class.
Abbrederis, if he hits, will be more of a factor in PPR formats. He’s not likely to be in a lead role, but he could rack up some nice catch numbers in the right offense with the right quarterback. We’ll update his fantasy value after the draft.
Other 2014 Scouting Reports:
- Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
- Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A & M
- Dustin Vaughan, QB, West Texas A & M
- Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
- Odell Beckham, Jr., WR, LSU
- Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State
- Allen Robinson, WR, Penn State
- Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt
- L'Damian Washington, WR, Missouri
- Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State
- Robert Herron, WR, Wyoming
- Carlos Hyde, RB, Ohio State
- Lache Seastrunk, RB, Baylor
- Dri Archer, RB, Kent State
- Terrance West, RB, Towson
- Jerick McKinnon, RB, Georgia Southern
- Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina
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