Demarcus Ayers was a big-time playmaker at Houston, but did he leave college a year too early?
Wide receiver Demarcus Ayers had an impressive junior campaign during Houston’s magical season under first-year head coach Tom Herman. After producing two mediocre seasons, Ayers exploded for 1,222 yards on 98 receptions, along with six touchdowns.
Many think he would’ve benefited from staying another year. Ayers obviously disagreed.
In any case, Ayers remains an intriguing prospect with a ton of potential, so let’s analyze his draft stock.
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Wt: 190 pounds
Hometown: Lancaster, TX
Ayers is a versatile speedster and can line up both on the outside and as a slot-receiver. He’s not afraid to go over the middle and did so often during his breakout junior year. Aside from his blazing 4.3 speed, Ayers has soft hands and only committed two drops this past season. Once the ball is secured, the former Cougar is explosive, and has the ability to take any short pass straight to the house.
This is something that really shows in Ayers’ play as a returner, earning him the AAC Special Teams Players of the Year award in 2013. As far as injuries go, Ayers has never had a problem with them, having never missed a game throughout his three-year college career.
Like many fellow underclassmen, Ayers is widely thought of as a project-type of player who left school a year too early. He’s undersized and needs to work on himself physically a little more before he can step into any meaningful role on the professional level.
Prior to the arrival of offensive guru Tom Herman, Ayers didn’t exactly do too much prior to his junior campaign, either (a combined 44 catches for 465 yards and three touchdowns during his freshman and sophomore seasons). His biggest year coinciding with Herman’s hiring doesn’t help Ayers’ cause.
Ayers fits the profile of a player that simply left school just a bit too early. He’ll need to bulk up and work on his game a little more if he’s to see any sort of playing time in the NFL.
One thing that sets Ayers apart from many wideouts in the bottom half of the draft is his prowess as a return man, which can’t be undervalued. It could be what earns him a spot on a 53-man roster as a special teams player. Look for Ayers to be taken in the fifth to sixth-round range.