Texas A&M’s Josh Reynolds has the size and college production that you look for, but has he done enough to separate himself from the pack of mid round receivers?
Reynolds’ lack of an elite trait has kept him somewhat under the radar this draft season, but he could be a guy that surprises in his rookie year. With another crop of solid receivers in this draft, it’s easy for someone to get lost in the shuffle.
He wrapped up his productive Texas A&M career with 164 catches, 2788 yards, and 30 TD. He saved his best season for last, totaling 61 catches, 1039 yards, and 12 touchdowns. This is especially impressive due to the presence of 3 other NFL quality receivers, including Speedy Noil, Ricky Seals-Jones, and Christian Kirk.
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Weight: 194 lbs
Arm Length: 31 1/2″
Hands: 9 3/8″
40 time: 4.52
Reynolds is a very well rounded receiver who does just about everything well. He didn’t run the biggest route tree for the Aggies but showed that he could run an array of routes. He does particularly well with slants and comeback routes. Press man coverage rarely posed a problem for him in college.
He also has the speed to take the top off the defense. Quarterback Trevor Knight threw it up to Reynolds frequently when he had a one on one. He also showed the ability to take a short throw or a screen and run for the first down after the catch.
Reynolds’ size clearly gives him an advantage in the red zone, where he made all kinds of contested catches over smaller defensive backs. He made quite a few ridiculous catches all over the field and isn’t afraid of throwing his body around.
I wasn’t expecting Reynolds to be as good of a blocker as he was. He sparked some huge runs and scores while blocking downfield relentlessly. He and Zay Jones both put on a clinic with contributing to the run game. This will be an advantage for him right away as he shows all the signs of being able to excel on special teams in the NFL.
There are a few things that Reynolds will need to work on before he’s a starting caliber receiver. He didn’t drop many passes in the tapes I watched, but the ones he did drop were in crucial moments. The first is a drive ending drop on third down and the second clip is a catch that would have given his team a shot at points before halftime:
These things are correctable, but the pressure to make the catch is heightened on third down, and concentration drops can not happen.
The main knock on Reynolds is his thin frame, and lack of functional strength. The biggest effect of this may be struggling with more physical corners in the NFL in press coverage. His blocking may not be as impressive as it was in college as there will be fewer small corners that he can manhandle.
I also didn’t see much short area burst or tackle-breaking ability on tape. He won’t be featured on slants and screens like in college. He needs more room to get up to top speed.
There is a place for Reynolds in today’s NFL, with a growing number of taller defensive backs entering the league. I think that he’s the kind of guy who can step in and be very effective as a 3rd or 4th receiving option. I like the idea of spreading the defense out and isolating him on a cornerback.
When watching him, I couldn’t help but think that he seems like a receiver that the Chargers would like. He has a similar frame as breakout sophomore Tyrell Williams and would work best with a big armed QB who likes to throw a lot of intermediate and deep routes.
If he goes to the right team, I fully expect him to have some splash plays as a rookie, probably inside the red zone. He could probably be drafted anywhere from the 3rd to the 5th round, depending on teams’ evaluations of other receivers.