We’re getting close to finding out what players draft stocks are going up for the 2017 NFL Draft. Is Florida State’s number one receiving option, Travis Rudolph, going to surge up draft boards?
One thing you need to do about the 2017 NFL Draft, is to never sit on the fence about a player. Let’s be honest, not every player is going to be the greatest. Some players have limited upside and others are who they are. Travis Rudolph, WR from Florida State, is intriguing to say the least.
His upside is there because of his playmaking ability. However, he’s a 6’1 wide receiver, running vertical routes and dropping passes. Against Florida, he dropped two catchable passes, despite the tight coverage. In the NFL, you have to make those catches or you don’t last in the league for long.
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Going vertically up the field, Travis Rudolph might be one of the best players in the class. Across the middle, he’s dangerous as well because of how quick he is. Slipping behind the coverage of linebackers and getting in front of the safeties is something he does very well. Normally, he’ll line up in the slot, run across the field and towards the sideline. No matter where the pass is thrown, he’ll catch it with some great footwork along the sideline.
Not only does he go vertical and across the middle well, he also runs corner routes well. The best route that Travis Rudolph runs are hitch routes on second and third down. Constantly, he ran that route against Houston in 2015, and was a thorn in their side.
With some good news, there’s always bad news. Like I mentioned before, Rudolph has had some trouble with drops. Every now and again, you’ll see a player drop passes, it happens. With him, it seems as if he’s trying to do too much when the ball is thrown his way.
Certainly, he’s made something out of nothing but at the next level, he won’t be able to do that every time. That being said, his position coach will have to remind him about just possessing the catch and focus on making something happen on the next play.
Throughout his career at Florida State, Travis Rudolph wasn’t spectacular from a statical perspective. He has been consistent with having three different quarterbacks every year. From Jameis Winston, Sean Maquire and Deondre Francois.
During the last two years he’s totaled 115 receptions, 1,756 yards and 14 touchdowns. In 2016, he was the number one option in the passing game with 101 targets. But with those targets, he only had 56 receptions for 840 yards and 7 touchdowns.
Overall, Travis Rudolph is a good vertical receiver who makes his money in the middle of the field. Most of the time, he’s getting yards after the catch (YAC) and does a great job along the sideline. Out of the nine possible routes in the route tree, four out of those routes had a grade of B or higher. Will need to show some consistency with his hands, improve his ball skills and his release off the line of scrimmage. Often times, he struggles with physical cornerbacks. I’ve got a late third round grade on Travis Rudolph and think it will take him time to develop into a slot receiver.