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Dynasty & Redraft: WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, Steelers

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CBS Sports draft analyst Rob Rang wrote that USC junior WR JuJu Smith-Schuster's "frame and game" remind him of Terrell Owens.

Owens (6-foot-3, 223 pounds) and Smith-Schuster (6-foot-2, 215 pounds) do, indeed, share similar body types. While we're in the comparison market, ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. believes that Dez Bryant comps for JuJu will run rampant over the countryside in the coming months. Last season, Smith-Schuster caught 89 passes for 1,454 yards and 10 touchdowns. He underwent surgery to repair a broken right hand in early November, but even that did not force him to miss a game. 

May 19 - 10:45 PM

Source: CBS Sports

 

 

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USC junior WR JuJu Smith-Schuster checks in at No. 17 on Mel Kiper's Big Board.
 
"A prolific producer over two years at USC (143 catches) with a coveted combination of size and speed, Smith-Schuster isn't shy when it comes to delivering a blow or playing through contact. He is a fiery competitor," he wrote. "You'll get some Dez Bryant comparisons here." The 6-foot-2, 210-pounder will help to break in USC's new quarterback, whether that's Max Browne, Sam Darnold or Jalen Green. 
 
May 16 - 7:59 PM
Source: ESPN.com

 

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it's so hard to get excited for the pro prospects for any usc wr.  they have just so historically underperformed.  crazy to think curtis conway is the most prolific wr from usc in the nfl in the last 20 years.

juju seems to have the tools but so did a lot of others.

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50 minutes ago, bagger said:

it's so hard to get excited for the pro prospects for any usc wr.  they have just so historically underperformed.  crazy to think curtis conway is the most prolific wr from usc in the nfl in the last 20 years.

juju seems to have the tools but so did a lot of others.

JuJu is in a completely different mold than the recent USC WR's you're talking  about. Not drafting a talented player because of the school he went to doesn't seem logical.

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1 hour ago, bagger said:

it's so hard to get excited for the pro prospects for any usc wr.  they have just so historically underperformed.  crazy to think curtis conway is the most prolific wr from usc in the nfl in the last 20 years.

juju seems to have the tools but so did a lot of others.

Keyshawn Johnson

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6 hours ago, dipandglide said:

JuJu is in a completely different mold than the recent USC WR's you're talking  about. Not drafting a talented player because of the school he went to doesn't seem logical.

marqise lee was better than juju at sc.

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5 hours ago, LBH said:

Keyshawn Johnson

that's close.  pro football referense ranks conway 61 for AV and johnson 78, johnson played an extra year and has some higher stats.  conway also was more impactful being a punt returner but we're splitting hairs at this point.  good call though.  i thought of key when i was typing that.

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7 hours ago, bagger said:

it's so hard to get excited for the pro prospects for any usc wr.  they have just so historically underperformed.  crazy to think curtis conway is the most prolific wr from usc in the nfl in the last 20 years.

juju seems to have the tools but so did a lot of others.

 

I can never get on board with the "this guy went to X school, so he must be like other players who went to X school" line of thinking. It's just such a blatantly terrible way of evaluating players. There aren't a lot of great players in the NFL in the first place, so it makes sense why most colleges don't produce many NFL greats at any given position. Have you seen any great Arizona TEs in the past decade besides Gronk? Any great Stanford QBs besides Luck? Any great Wisconsin DEs besides JJ Watt? Does that mean anything? No. Nothing at all.

 

You can look at ANY school (not just USC) and you'll find that they don't pump out Pro Bowl caliber players anywhere. 

 

USC is one of the top programs in the country in terms of recruiting and attracting talent, so they tend to put more guys in the league than other big programs. This makes it seem like they produce a lot of busts. Everyone can remember players like Dwayne Jarrett, Mike Williams, Keary Colbert, Robert Woods, and Marqise Lee. The problem here is this: most players who are drafted are busts, regardless of where they came from. So...any school that produces a lot of NFL draft picks is going to produce more busts than success stories by default. You only notice it with schools like Oklahoma, USC, and Florida because they produce so much talent. If the hit rate for 2nd round WRs is only ~33% in general then the fact that Colbert, Woods, Lee, and Jarrett busted means almost nothing. If you expect to get maybe 1 good player out of 3 picked in that round, going 4 players without getting one hit isn't a statistically significant trend. It's like trying to look at a single baseball game and saying Tony Gwynn can't hit because he happened to go 0-for-4 that day. It's just a horribly flawed interpretation of the data.

 

You have to look at each player as an individual. When you do that, you'll see that JuJu has very little in common with most of USC's recent star WRs. His body type is totally different from Jarrett/Woods/Lee, who were all very lean and light relative to their height. JuJu is a big guy. Much stronger and more physical than Woods/LeeJarrett/Agholor. He's quite a bit more explosive than Mike Williams ever was. For that matter, he might be more explosive than any recent USC WR. He averaged 16.3 yards per catch last season on quite a bit of volume. Woods, Lee, Williams, and Jarrett never hit that mark. Agholor did it in his sophomore year, but on a lot fewer catches.

 

Anyway, JuJu is a great prospect and anyone who thinks Lee/Woods/Agholor/etc have any real relevance with regards to that is sorely mistaken. Evaluate him on his own merits, not on players who happened to attend the same college.

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There is something to be said for players being a product of a system that works in college football but does not translate to the NFL.

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9 minutes ago, bagger said:

There is something to be said for players being a product of a system that works in college football but does not translate to the NFL.

Except you are going back 20 years, how many different systems and coaches have they had in that time?

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3 hours ago, bagger said:

marqise lee was better than juju at sc.

No he wasn't. Lee was one of those "overaged" prospects. He was 20 as a Freshman. JuJu will be 20 in November as a Junior.

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2 hours ago, bagger said:

There is something to be said for players being a product of a system that works in college football but does not translate to the NFL.

If it says anything about anyone, it's the recruiting department, not the coaching department.

 

USC gets the best high school recruits from California and the west coast.  Unfortunately, the best WRs aren't from California. 

The top 20 career leaders in receiving yards since 2000 are pre-dominantly from Florida and mostly from SEC/ACC territory.

http://www.pro-football-reference.com/tiny/LNaah

The highest ranked California WR is Steve Smith, who didn't even play in the PAC10/12.  The second highest is DeSean Jackson, who went to the same high school as JuJu.

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that's a good point.  look i love juju.  i hope he is a 1st ballot hall of famer.  i also think people can't just ignore multiple top prospects coming from one source and overwhelmingly not panning out.  it is something to consider.  how much merit one wants to put into it is up to them.

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24 minutes ago, Xue said:

No he wasn't. Lee was one of those "overaged" prospects. He was 20 as a Freshman. JuJu will be 20 in November as a Junior.

as someone who has watched every game of both, yes he was at least to date.  now juju's career is not done, let's see how he ends up and i may change that opinion.

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11 minutes ago, bagger said:

as someone who has watched every game of both, yes he was at least to date.  now juju's career is not done, let's see how he ends up and i may change that opinion.

Lee was so overrated.  Just compare JuJu's age 19 season to Lee's age 19 season.  Oh wait, Lee was still in high school at that age.

 

Lee had horrible hands and wasn't a downfield threat.  He was a "catch and run" receiver.

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4 minutes ago, Xue said:

Lee was so overrated.  Just compare JuJu's age 19 season to Lee's age 19 season.  Oh wait, Lee was still in high school at that age.

 

Lee had horrible hands and wasn't a downfield threat.  He was a "catch and run" receiver.

he wasnt a downfield threat because kessler had no accuracy beyond 5 yards.

 

it will be fun watching juju and max brown this year though.  brown was better than kessler last year.

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ESPN's Todd McShay notes that USC junior WR JuJu Smith-Schuster "does a great job of creating late separation when the ball is in the air, but his route running needs some work."

McShay writes that while Smith-Schusterdoesn't necessarily have jets-to-the max, he is "silky smooth in the open field and does a very good job of weaving through traffic." The 6-foot-2, 215-pounder is an out-and-out fantasy behemoth for the coming season after catching 89 passes for 1,454 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2015. McShay ranks him as the No. 1 draft-eligible wideout in all of the land.

Source: ESPN Insider

 

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USC junior WR JuJu Smith-Schuster "looks to be in first round form," writes TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline.

 

"During the first month of the season many had Smith-Schuster falling down draft boards after a few bad outings, something I never bought into," Pauline wrote. Good thing, that, because Smith-Schuster has three impressive games in a row on his resume, including his 5-113-0 (22.6 ypr) line against Colorado on Saturday. "I’d like to see Smith-Schuster become more of a red-zone threat considering his size but the naysayers have been proven wrong as the junior looks to be in first round form," Pauline wrote.
 

 

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USC junior WR JuJu Smith-Schuster "looks to be in first round form," writes TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline.

 

"During the first month of the season many had Smith-Schuster falling down draft boards after a few bad outings, something I never bought into," Pauline wrote. Good thing, that, because Smith-Schuster has three impressive games in a row on his resume, including his 5-113-0 (22.6 ypr) line against Colorado on Saturday. "I’d like to see Smith-Schuster become more of a red-zone threat considering his size but the naysayers have been proven wrong as the junior looks to be in first round form," Pauline wrote.
 

 

TDs are actually Smith-Schuster's biggest strength so far this year. He has 4 red zone TDs so far this year (only 4 receivers have more), he has accounted for 50% (5/10) of his team's passing TDs (more than 73% of first-round receivers), and he has accounted for 28% (5/18) of his team's offensive TDs (more than 83% of first rounders). Those numbers are actually up from last year. His yardage and efficiency are what's down this year - only 72 yards per game, 8.3 yards per target, 27% of his team's receiving yards (where last year he had 104, 10.3, and 39%).

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USC junior WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (back) is expected to be able to play against Washington on Saturday.

 

Smith-Schuster's back has been acting up on him on and off since the middle of October. He has not yet missed a game, though, and should be able to play on Saturday. The 6-foot-2, 215-pounder is working to a 48-641-8 receiving line through nine games.
 
 

 

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Draft Analyst's Tony Pauline hears that USC junior WR JuJu Smith-Schuster "may be hedging" on entering the 2017 NFL Draft.

 

"USC is putting in an all out blitz to keep their top underclassmen," Pauline writes, "promising insurance policies to protect against loss of value. Program officials hope this may reel JuJu Smith-Schuster back in and the belief is he’s rethinking his options." His return in 2017 would allow him a chance to put his best foot forward for the draft -- something he hasn't done in 2016. After exploding for an 89-1454-10 line in 14 games last season, the 6-foot-2, 215-pounder has been among the more disappointing players in the country this time around, managing just 63 catches for 781 yards and nine touchdowns through 12 games.
 
 
Source: Draft Analyst 
Dec 31 - 4:30 PM

 

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USC junior WR JuJu Smith-Schuster is dealing with an illness, but was able to practice on Friday.

 

It sounds like this is just a cold. Unless he takes a sharp downturn, Smith-Schuster should be able to play in the Rose Bowl Game against Penn State on Monday. He could declare for the draft following that game, though Draft Analyst's Tony Pauline has relayed that Smith-Schuster is waffling on a jump to the pros.
 
 
Dec 31 - 5:40 PM

 

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Seen him outside the first in some mocks, but I think he goes top 32 when all is said and done

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Just traded him in a devy league straight up for Chubb. I also have both WR Corey Davis and Mike Williams. I wanted a share of Chubb before he blows up in 2017. ?

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USC junior WR JuJu Smith-Schuster declared for the NFL Draft.

 

The Trojans tried valiantly to convince Smith-Schuster to stay, but in the end the allure of being a possible first-rounder proved too great. Smith-Schuster snagged 213 catches for 3,092 yards and 25 touchdowns across his three seasons on campus. His production dropped a bit this season, however, from 89 catches for 1,454 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2015 to 70 catches for 914 yards and 10 touchdowns (due to double-teams, a back injury and QB Sam Darnold’s preference to spread the ball). ESPN NFL analyst Mel Kiper Jr. pegs Smith-Schuster as the No. 4-ranked draft-eligible receiver. His colleague, ESPN's Todd McShay, projected Smith-Schuster as the No. 22 overall pick in a recent mock draft. Smith-Schuster's star teammate CB Adoree' Jackson is also considering a jump, but has not yet announced his NFL intentions.

 

Source: ESPN

 

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2 hours ago, spider321 said:

A USC receiver has to be good eventually, RIGHT?!

I hope so!

Tex

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CBS Sports' Dane Brugler would be surprised if USC WR JuJu Smith-Schuster is selected in the top 32 picks of April's draft.

 

Specifically, Brugler points to Smith-Schuster's inability to handle press coverage, something that pops up with a number of receiver prospects. Smith-Schuster is awesome after the catch, picking up yards in the small game, but it is certainly fair to question if he can create separation in the NFL if he can't at the college level.
 
 
Jan 13 - 9:28 AM
 

 

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The Numbers

Age: 20.0, Draft Eligibility: 2017, Projected Draft Age: 20.3

Size: 6-2/220

Speed (Projected): 4.52 sec. (40 time)

College Yard per Reception: 13.4 YPR

Efficiency: 65.4% Catch Rate

Team Receiving Total: 29.4%, 16th of 30 ranked WRs

Impact Age: 18.9

QB Impact: 7/10

Competition: Pac-12, 4th ranked Conference

Production History: 8/10. One season with over 1,400 yards receiving and ten touchdowns, and one other solid season

 

The Tape

Pros: Electric with the ball in his hands. Good combination of size and speed. Next level speed on deep routes. Great ball skills. Physical and aggressive player that doesn’t shy away from contact. Tracks the ball naturally and is a hands catcher. Looks to be an imposing x-receiver with good speed at the next level

Cons: Route-running needs refinement, especially at the top of his routes. Doesn’t win enough on contested catches. Can look disinterested when he knows ball isn’t being thrown his way his way. Needs to minimize drops, as concentration appears to lack sometimes.

 

Overview

Comments: Juju Smith is a very popular name in the devy community, and he represents the ultimate upside wide receiver prospect. Smith has prototypical NFL wide receiver one size being 6-2/220. Smith’s speed is above average, but if he can run a sub 4.5 second forty at the combine, his NFL draft value will sky rocket. The impressive thing about Smith is his college impact age, and his projected NFL draft age. They are both very young. Wide receiver prospects have statistically been proven to have more successful NFL careers when drafted at a younger age. Juju Smith had a tremendous 2015 season, but his production this season has been underwhelming. His 29.4% team receiving total is only ranked 16th of the 30 evaluated wide receivers. On top of this, Smith has a low yards per reception. Smith’s catch rate has been very good at 65.4%, while his below average quarterback play this season can help explain the low yards per reception. From a production standpoint, many other college wide receivers have excelled more than Juju Smith this season, but what we saw last year from Smith, at such a young age, is the upside of an NFL wide receiver that can have a huge impact.

I see more Torrey Smith in his game than Dez Bryant. 

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The more I watch him the better he's looked. Although the tape I watch are highlights and not lowlights. Interested to see his inconsistencies and where he needs to improve. Sitting at 6&7 I'm sure he'll be there and I need a WR to pair with Fournette, Cook and Henry ?

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Torrey Smith comparison is terrible.

 

I would go with Demaryius Thomas for a comp player. Both are big with rare agility and movement for their size.

 

I see most mocks have him out of the first right now. To me he's definitely a first round talent, so it will be interesting to see where he goes.

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I am in love with him as a player but I just really want a guy named JuJu on my team.
I have never moved up a player in rankings because of his name, until now.

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