Continuing the evaluation of the wide receiver class for the 2020 NFL Draft, we have Notre Dame wideout Chase Claypool.
As the 2019 NFL regular season comes to a close some fans are forced to look ahead to how their favorite team can improve in the offseason. Which means looking ahead at the 2020 NFL Draft. From now until April, you will hear a bunch of names that will come up and where certain guys will land. One of those names will be Chase Claypool.
The Canadian product was a four-star recruit for Notre Dame who has come on strong in his senior year. Claypool put up his best season in 2019 where he caught 66 passes for 1,037 yards and 13 touchdowns.
The wide receiver class for the 2020 NFL Draft is probably the deepest class in terms of talent in a really long time. Most people will look at the 2014 class where Sammy Watkins, Mike Evans, Odell Beckham and Brandin Cooks were all taken in the first round. But there were also hidden gems like Davante Adams, Allen Robinson and Jarvis Landry who were all taken in the second round.
However, I believe the 2020 wide receiver class has a chance to top them. The 2020 NFL Draft is littered with talented receivers who can be taken anywhere from round one or in the late rounds.
Chase Claypool is a receiver that has been getting mixed reviews from armchair scouts like myself, but a constant theme for the NFL Draft is the internet and actual NFL team scouts have a difference of opinions. So a prospect as polarizing as Claypool can literally go anywhere in the draft and I wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest.
At 6-foot-4 and 229 pounds, Chase Claypool is a big and physical receiver. He knows how to use his size well to box out defenders where only he has a chance for the catch. His hands are strong and reliable, especially in the red zone. He probably should have been more productive for the Irish, but that’s more of a knock on the offense not getting him the ball.
Claypool wasn’t asked to run the full route tree at Notre Dame so he must work on this area of his game to prove he can be more than just a big body. His speed is certainly a question that he will have to answer at the scouting combine. Quickness is also a common concern in bigger receivers like Claypool. Teams will question whether a lack of speed and quickness will allow him to get any separation in the NFL.
Chase Claypool has a very specific trait that teams love and that’s size. Everyone in the NFL loves big physical players because football is a physical sport. When you put the tape on Claypool’s physicality jumps off the screen instantly. He’s a solid run blocker on the outside as well. There are obvious flaws in his game that he will need to clean up before the draft, but Claypool can be a real asset for any of the 32 teams.
Round Projection: Early Day 3
NFL Comp: Mike Williams
Any team would want a receiver like Claypool that can go up and get the ball, but I decided to narrow it down to four specific teams.
Washington’s first order of business is to find a new head coach who will develop their quarterback, Dwayne Haskins, but they’ll need to also find him some weapons. Terry McLaurin has burst onto the scene in his rookie year as a receiver that can stretch the field, but they do not have a big physical receiver with the capabilities of Chase Claypool. They can use a mid-round pick to get him and focus on their other needs in the earlier rounds.
New York Jets
The Jets have big holes to fill on the offensive line which means they may need to address that in the first couple rounds. The Jets offense has been putrid in the red zone mostly due to the talent around Sam Darnold. They already have Crowder who isn’t a red zone threat and Robby Anderson looks to be heading for a big payday. Chase Claypool can become a big weapon in the end zone for Darnold and the Jets.
New York Giants
Who knows what will happen with head coach Pat Shurmur and GM Dave Gettleman after the season, but Daniel Jones looks to be the future for the G-Men. They may have struck gold with rookie Darius Slayton however it looks bleak after that.
Sterling Shepard is signed through 2024 but has some concussion issues which is a serious concern in today’s game. Golden Tate signed a four-year deal last offseason but will be 32 to start the 2020 season. The Giants should address the wide receiver position and Chase Claypool can be a great mid-round addition for Daniel Jones.
San Francisco 49ers
Not that the Niners need much help, but it seems like their offense consists more of running the ball and some George Kittle. Chase Claypool can fit in nicely in this run-heavy scheme. San Fran also seems to have an abundance of smaller receivers so they’ll get some much-needed physicality at the position if they bring in Claypool during the 2020 NFL Draft.