Jaydon Mickens, WR, Washington: Early Scouting Report


Jan 2, 2015; Tempe, AZ, USA; Washington Huskies wide receiver Jaydon Mickens (4) warms up prior to the game against the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the 2015 Cactus Bowl at Sun Devil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Scouting season never stops for NFL Mocks as I am transitioning back to the other side of the ball on offense! As of late, the wide receivers that college football is pumping out each year is phenomenal, and 2015/2016 should be no different. I have already released my Early Top Five WR Rankings for the 2016 NFL Draft, but one of the players that I did not mention in that article is the dynamic, lightning-quick, Jaydon Mickens from Washington University. Just remember the word “playmaker” because it will be said a lot.


Senior who sits 6th all-time on the Washington career receptions list with 145. He has attained over 1400 yards in his career as well as 10 touchdowns as the starting slot receiver at Washington. Standing at 5’11, 171 lbs, he has an extra burst of quickness, which makes him one of the best kick/punt returners in all of the Pac 12.


+ One of the best traits of Jaydon Mickens is his shiftiness and “make people miss” mentality with the ball in his hands. He is a true playmaker in the slot as well as in the return game. As I look at this deep wide receiver class in 2016, I am having a tough time finding a better slot receiver and playmaker than Jaydon Mickens. Whether it is a bubble screen, a slant, a dig, or even a jet sweep, the guy just finds a way to be slippery with the ball in his hands. If I was the offensive coordinator for the Huskies, Mickens should be touching the ball every play, that simple. Here is a clip where he put this on display.

+ I already talked about his game after the catch, so why not before the catch? Before the catch, he is hands down one of the smoothest, most natural route runners in college football today. Mickens’ quickness and lateral agility off the snap as well as in his feet allows him to find the open area seamlessly as he puts nickel corners on skates. His shiftiness that I alluded to earlier after the catch is just as good before the catch as he will create separation once he plants his foot in the ground. Let me put it this way, he is a cornerback’s nightmare.

+ Although he plays mostly in the slot, he can be a dynamic deep threat with excellent tracking ability as well. As he creates separation off the snap he will blow by the defender and make the big play. Despite his size, his ball skills go a long way as he will makes contested catches in traffic because of his excellent tracking ability. Again, this all goes back to one word, “playmaker”. Here is a clip of his deep threat ability.


– Possibly the biggest knock on Mickens is his lack of size and frame to play on the outside. He is most likely going to be exclusively a slot receiver unless he becomes stronger in 2015. To be perfectly honest, I wouldn’t move him from where he is right now, but NFL personnel will be wary to draft someone who is one-dimensional.

– Another problem I have with Mickens is that he doesn’t natural catch the ball with his hands. Instead, he has a bad habit of being a body catcher. As much as he gets open on his routes and of how dynamic he is with the ball in his hands, it is a necessity for him to work on bringing the ball in through his hands and not his body to put him in even more advantageous position.

– This next knock on Mickens actually shows his elite work ethic and competitive toughness for the game of football. With that being said, he sometimes does not know when to go down. Mickens will always try to get extra yardage any way he can, even if that means going backwards on some occasions to make an unnecessary play. Once he does this, he will lose track of the first down markers, and even sometimes, will fumble like on this play.

 NFL Comparison

Brandin Cooks

* I just compared a PAC 12 dynamo on offense to another PAC 12 dynamo on offense that entered the draft two years ago in Brandin Cooks. They are both similar in stature as well as top-end route runners with world class athleticism. The only two differences I see between the two is that Cooks is stronger, so he can play on the outside, and he had more production in college. Other than that, they are clones. Their shiftiness before and after the catch is scary similar and I would not be surprised one bit if Mickens becomes the weapon that Cooks is today.

Projection for ’15/’16

* I expect Mickens to breakout this college football season and cement his draft status as a top senior wide receiver for 2016. That simple. He will show the flashes and burst he has as a playmaker this year like always. I also expect him to come into this season stronger and prove that he can play outside as a wide receiver, and not just the slot. Overall, he is going to be rising on draft boards pretty soon and I would be shocked if he didn’t land in the early rounds if healthy.

Next: Karl Joseph Early Scouting Report