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Dynasty: WR Donovan Peoples-Jones, Browns

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Michigan junior WR Donovan Peoples-Jones declared for the 2020 NFL Draft.

What a strange career. Peoples-Jones arrived in Ann Arbor as a ballyhooed five-star recruit, the No. 1 WR recruit in the nation. But in three years on campus, DPJ combined to post a cumulative receiving line of just 103-1,327-14. For context, Texas WR Devin Duvernay posted a 106-1,386-9 receiving line in 2019 alone. But it's fair to say that Peoples-Jones (6'2/208) still has a tantalizing combo of size and athleticism, and that he was done no favors by either Michigan's offensive fuddling around the past three years nor a lower-body injury earlier this fall that cost him a few games. His draft stock is hard to peg at the moment with so many unknown variables -- athletic testing will be big for him, as will his entire pre-draft process in general due to the underwhelming career -- but we'd say late Day 2/early Day 3 at the moment.

SOURCE: Sports Illustrated

Jan 4, 2020, 4:59 PM ET

 

 

Michigan WR Donovan Peoples-Jones explains decision to enter NFL draft

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In his latest mock draft, Bleacher Report's Matt Miller pegged Michigan junior WR Donovan Peoples-Jones to the Buffalo Bills with the No. 26 overall pick.

"A 6'2", 215-pounder with power after the catch and an ability to win as a vertical threat, plus an excellent jump-ball player in the red zone, Peoples-Jones will open up the entire Buffalo passing game," Miller writes. The analyst also addresses DPJ's lack of college production, noting that "scouts will look at the quarterback talent he was working with in college and understand that his best football is ahead of him." While we understand Miller's argument, here, color us weary on Peoples-Jones as a first-rounder. It's a dangerous game to gamble on players who lack a real body of work, and that goes doubly so in a loaded receivers class.

SOURCE: Bleacher Report

Dec 4, 2019, 3:33 PM ET

 

 

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As a Michigan fan, I will say he was electric with the ball. The last 2-3 years have been so frustrating watch the team run FB dives out of  3 TE set and instead of getting the ball to their 3 big athletic WRs. 

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4 hours ago, Ilov80s said:

As a Michigan fan, I will say he was electric with the ball. The last 2-3 years have been so frustrating watch the team run FB dives out of  3 TE set and instead of getting the ball to their 3 big athletic WRs. 

Agree. Patterson didn't help much either. 

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10 hours ago, Ilov80s said:

As a Michigan fan, I will say he was electric with the ball. The last 2-3 years have been so frustrating watch the team run FB dives out of  3 TE set and instead of getting the ball to their 3 big athletic WRs. 

Still a first round prediction seems bold. As a Michigan state fan, I’ll agree that Harbaugh and MI have made some decisions that didn’t pan out on offense, and Harbaugh can’t seem to figure out his qb situation. People’s Jones is an intriguing project, but is he a refined enough wr to warrant a 1st (projected above?) 

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Peoples-Jones had 7.6 YPT this year. Michigan averaged more yards per attempt when they threw elsewhere than they did when they threw to Peoples-Jones. One of their 2 main TEs, Sean McKeon, had a higher YPT than he did.

To be fair, in 2018 he did manage to have 8.6 YPT, which was higher than Michigan's YPA when throwing elsewhere by almost 0.7 yards (though still less than TE Zach Gentry).

So it wasn't just lack of volume that held his numbers down.

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1 hour ago, Snorkelson said:

Still a first round prediction seems bold. As a Michigan state fan, I’ll agree that Harbaugh and MI have made some decisions that didn’t pan out on offense, and Harbaugh can’t seem to figure out his qb situation. People’s Jones is an intriguing project, but is he a refined enough wr to warrant a 1st (projected above?) 

I agree that 1st round is very ambitious. I would think more like 3rd.

46 minutes ago, ZWK said:

Peoples-Jones had 7.6 YPT this year. Michigan averaged more yards per attempt when they threw elsewhere than they did when they threw to Peoples-Jones. One of their 2 main TEs, Sean McKeon, had a higher YPT than he did.

To be fair, in 2018 he did manage to have 8.6 YPT, which was higher than Michigan's YPA when throwing elsewhere by almost 0.7 yards (though still less than TE Zach Gentry).

So it wasn't just lack of volume that held his numbers down.

That’s not all on him, it’s about usage as well. They didn’t throw downfield to him.

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On 3/3/2020 at 4:46 AM, Snorkelson said:

Still a first round prediction seems bold. As a Michigan state fan, I’ll agree that Harbaugh and MI have made some decisions that didn’t pan out on offense, and Harbaugh can’t seem to figure out his qb situation. People’s Jones is an intriguing project, but is he a refined enough wr to warrant a 1st (projected above?) 

No way he goes in the 1st round, but I think he does have potential at the next level if he can get some decent coaching and get on a team with a good QB.

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49 minutes ago, Foosball God said:

No way he goes in the 1st round, but I think he does have potential at the next level if he can get some decent coaching and get on a team with a good QB.

Looks like round 3 talent that will probably need a year to develop.   

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Redskins should stick with Dwayne Haskins; NFL combine risers

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Back in 2015, Peoples-Jones became the first underclassmen to win the Nike Football Ratings Championship with a 149.49 SPARQ score. The five-star recruit was the No. 1 wide receiver in the Class of 2017, per 247Sports, with Tee Higgins and Jerry Jeudy at Nos. 2 and 3. DPJ impressed scouts with his size and explosive athleticism as a big-bodied playmaker at Cass Tech High School in Detroit.

At Michigan, Peoples-Jones didn't live up to the hype as a game changer at the position, but he did flash enough playmaking ability to intrigue scouts as a height-weight-speed prospect. The 6-foot-2, 212-pounder amassed over 2,100 all-purpose yards and 16 touchdowns in three years as a receiver/punt returner for the Wolverines. 

DPJ bullied smallish defenders on the outside with his size-strength combination, while exhibiting outstanding ball skills and hand-eye coordination. He routinely came down with acrobatic grabs on back-shoulder fades along the sideline and impressed evaluators with his sneaky running skills in the open field. He has a knack for breaking tackles in traffic while also flashing surprising breakaway speed and burst for a big receiver.

Peoples-Jones' combination of skills not only makes him an intriguing option as an outside receiver, but NFL coaches have also suggested a potential role as a big slot. 

"He was a big-time recruit coming out of high school with outstanding talent," an AFC wide receiver coach said. "He has all of the physical tools to be a top receiver, but he didn't put it together at Michigan. If he gets with the right program that allows him to play to his strengths as a player, there's no reason why he shouldn't be a solid starter in the league.

"He has the tools, but he needs to know how to use them."

Watching Peoples-Jones work out in Indy, it was easy to fall in love with his potential. He is an explosive athlete (4.48 40, 44.5-inch vertical leap, 11-foot-7 broad jump) with soft hands and outstanding ball skills. Although he isn't a polished route runner at this point, Peoples-Jones' potential as a vertical threat and red-zone weapon could make him an enticing option for a team looking to add size to its receiving corps.

 

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NFL Media's Lance Zierlein singled out "reliable" hands as one of Michigan WR Donovan Peoples-Jones' strengths.

Peoples-Jones (6'2/212) produced some very good athletic testing numbers at the NFL Scouting Combine, running the 40 in 4.48 seconds and performing well in the vertical and broad jumps as well. Those figures should improve the draft prospects of a player who at times lacked consistency when it came to his production. That being said, Peoples-Jones has good hands and could be a fit for some teams as a larger slot receiver. "His route tempo is sluggish, but he has some savvy and shortcuts footwork for out-breaking routes to the boundary," Zierlein wrote. "He doesn't run well enough to play outside in the pros but has decent tape as a big slot."

SOURCE: NFL.com

Mar 19, 2020, 11:15 AM ET

 

 

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Browns selected Michigan WR Donovan Peoples-Jones with the No. 187 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Peoples-Jones (6’2/212) was a five-star high school recruit and showcased 97th percentile Adjusted SPARQ athleticism at the NFL Combine, but his production at Michigan told another story. His career highs in receptions (47), receiving yards (612), and touchdowns (8) came as a sophomore, and he declared for the draft coming off a 34-438-6 season. He was inconsistent on tape, disappearing for most of the game only to make the occasional big play. Perhaps splitting his reps between the slot and out wide prevented him from excelling in either, but it is still a concern. His athleticism, particularly his burst (44.5-inch vertical and 139-inch broad), will be an asset on special teams as a potential punt returner and gunner, but he didn’t show enough to project him as a starting receiver early in his NFL career. The upside, of course, is there.

Apr 25, 2020, 4:02 PM ET

 

 

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Kevin Stefanski discusses Baker Mayfield, Donovan Peoples-Jones in conference call: Transcript

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On where WR Donovan Peoples-Jones has made his biggest strides this season:

“He has done a nice job at practice. He is always – I know this sounds simple – in the right place at the right time, and getting lined up is not sometimes an easy thing for young players at the wide receiver position. We are able to line him up at multiple positions. When he has had opportunities at practice, he has made a play on the ball. That is really going all the way back through training camp. He has done a nice job. He studies very hard. He does a great job in the meeting room. Obviously, provides us with some special teams value, as well.”

 

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