It’s always hard to gauge where these Yellow Jacket wide receivers are valued because of the flex-bone offense they run at Georgia Tech.
You could either get Calvin “Megatron” Johnson, Demaryius Thomas or NFL journeyman Stephen Hill, and in the Acworth, Ga. native Darren Waller’s case, he’s stuck somewhere in between.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
WR Darren Waller is a huge athletic freak who led all Georgia Tech wide receivers with 17 receptions for 367 yards and 3 TDs in 2013.
In 2014 he caught 26 passes for 442 yards and 6 touchdowns including an Orange Bowl upset over Mississippi State where he totaled five catches for 114 yards. Then the NFL Scouting Combine happen and he blew the darn thing up posting a 4.46 second 40-yard dash and had a 37-inch vertical.
Pros: Waller could be converted to a tight end down the road especially with his blocking skills and that’s what makes him even more valuable then he already is.
There were 31 NFL teams in attendance for Georgia Tech’s pro day and he has already have private meetings with the 49ers, Packers, Lions and Falcons just to name a few and there is nothing more the NFL likes than athletic freaks that can fill roster spots in multiple ways.
Teams will fall in love with the measurables but he brings much more like his ability to be almost unstoppable on back shoulder fades and he can be a monster in the red zone.
Cons: Sparq ranking is only 22 overall at his position even though his numbers are similar to top rookie wide-out from 2014′ Kelvin Benjamin.
Waller is a poor man’s version of Benjamin because of the offense he played in and the lack of top end skills (route running, vision and targets).
Besides his obvious limited production, Waller is inconsistent in route running, I noticed from watching his ACC play tape over the past two years that he breaks off routes and also doesn’t use his leverage to his advantage.
NFL Combine Results
40 yard dash- 4.46
Bench Press Reps- 12
Broad Jump- 125.0
3 Cone- 7.07
20 yd shuttle- 4.25
60 yd shuttle- 11.35
Route Running- 5
Ball Adjustment- 7
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Overall Grade- 7.3
Darren Waller’s draft projection is late 3rd or 4th round and a team that already has a set core at WR will be the perfect fit for Waller.
Waller is a bit of a project but could eventually be your number one wide out down the road.
He’s a late bloomer and a workout warrior that you have to be aware of with his speed and TE/WR combination threat.
Lookout for Waller to make a big impact two years down the road.
For more on all things NFL Draft follow me on twitter @donjamessports
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