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Scouting Report: Ryan Lankford, WR, Illinois

Scouting Report: Ryan Lankford, WR, Illinois

A sleeper with speed to spare
By: Pete Davidson : April 06, 2014 8:53am

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I’ve gotten a few e-mails from our regulars bemoaning the lack of sleepers in our 2014 reports. First of all, we do have a few under-the-radar guys posted. Secondly, we have more coming, starting with today’s prospect Ryan Lankford, who lacks positive press because of injury and lack of size. Still, we see enough to like with Ryan to give him some publicity. He can really run and he’s a playmaker with the ball in his hands.

Lankford suffered a season-ending shoulder injury due to a hit from Michigan State DE Shaquille Calhoun. The injury knocked Lankford out of the Combine and limited what he could do at his Pro Day.

Ryan's Pro Day results.

  • Height - 6’0”
  • Weight - 163
  • 40 - 4.36
  • 3-Cone - 6.76
Broad Jump - 10’ 7”
  • Vertical Jump - 32”
  • 60 YD Shuttle - 11.00

Obviously, the speed is huge and that’s not just fast. As we see on tape, this kid has legit jets.  We're talking about high-end speed here.  His 3-Cone time is also outstanding and you can see that agility in some of his routes and cuts in the open field.

Things we like about Lankford.

  • Speed - Obviously it starts here. The film shows it and the 40 time confirms it. This kid can fly.
  • Versatility - You have to love a player who can come in and punt and crush it on the move, as you see on his film. That and his return ability are the kind of additional talents that help you stick as a rookie.
  • Open field ability - You can see the ability to make people miss and he's got the vision to run to daylight.
  • Routes - We like the way he runs his routes and you get a nice look at his out route on the film. He has the ability to get in and out of breaks and he sinks his hips effectively.
  • Hands - We’ve liked what we’ve seen of Lankford over the years and he makes most of the catches. He got solid reports on his hands at his Pro Day, but he can certainly improve in this area.
  • Production - Lankford was probably headed for his best season as a senior.  He's shown growth and improvement year-to-year.

This is the best reel of footage I can find to show you. It gives you a little bit of everything, but the multiple angles may be a bit tiresome for some of you.

It’s pretty clear that Lankford is a late-rounder or a UDFA in this year’s insanely deep receiver pool, but he’s a name to know about, because he could be a factor at some point if he lands in a productive offense. He’s a big play guy if he develops. We’ve see a few players his size excel in recent years, like T.Y. Hilton and DeSean Jackson.  Obviously, the lack of size is an issue in terms of durability and that issue is underscored by Lankford's 2013 season, which ended prematurely due to a broken bone in his shoulder.

I’ll update Lankford’s status after the draft assuming he finds a new home. I think he will. 

 

Other 2014 Scouting Reports:

 

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