From now until the 2017 NFL Draft takes place, we hope to showcase as many prospects as possible and examine both their strengths and weaknesses. Most of these profiles will feature individuals that the Pittsburgh Steelers are likely to have an interest in, while a few others will be top-ranked players. If there is a player you would like us to analyze, let us know in the comments below.
Ishmael Zamora/Baylor WR – 6’4” 215 lbs.
–Lines up on the outside, in the slot, and got used as a wildcat QB a few times
–Tracks the ball well in the air, contorts himself to match where the pigskin is traveling and snare it at the highest point
–Has bouncy feet, uses double moves, spins, stiff-arms, or simply swats defenders out of his way with his strong upper body
–Seems to enjoy running routes in the middle of the field, takes the hits, then bounces right back up
–Fights for contested balls while using his body well to shield defenders away
–Effort varied greatly from play to play, if he was involved or on playside or not
–Not much of a blocker, just gets in the way of a defender for 1 or 2 seconds
–Limited experience against press coverage, usually got free release
–As a redshirt sophomore, he has only started 10 games and appeared in 13 others as mainly a kick returner/4th wideout
–Doesn’t always attack the ball, lets it come to him which allows DBs the opportunity to step in front of the pass
–Most known for a June 2016 snapchat video of him kicking and striking his dog with a belt multiple times
–Charged with a Class C misdemeanor and suspended 3 games by Baylor for incident
–Two sport high school athlete: football and track (won 110 meter-hurdles state title in 2013)
–Finished his college career with 23 games played, 72 receptions for 941 yards and 10 touchdowns, 5 kickoff returns for 142 yards (28.4 yard average)
The receiver gets a clean release off the line of scrimmage due to his defensive back retreating and breaking on the ball. When Baylor’s #7 tips the ball up in the air, Zamora’s defender was breaking on the inside receiver. This allows Zamora to find the ball, stopping for a second to secure the pigskin and then accelerate down the sidelines with multiple defensive backs giving chase to score a 37-yard touchdown.
After getting off the line quickly with a strong outside move, Zamora creates about two feet of separation between himself and #4. The wide out tracks the pigskin well in the air, twists his body to snare the ball at its highest point and keeps contorting to avoid the defender. He is mindful of the sidelines, keeping himself in bounds and fights through a closing safety to twist across the stripe for another score.
Zamora lines up outside with a huge cushion from his coverage. The receiver almost walks out of his stance across the line of scrimmage. He watches his quarterback’s pocket deteriorate, then he sees the signal caller rolling right. Zamora watches the entire play with his DB, doing absolutely nothing to assist his quarterback or any other Baylor teammate on that play.
The athlete lines up as the wildcat QB. He starts leaning left trying to follow his blocks, but sees that hole is collapsing and uses his bouncy feet to cut back inside. Zamora twists and turns his way from a zero gain into a hard-fought 4-yard run by twisting and falling forward.
Zamora is a unique, special athlete without taking into consideration his huge character concerns that came out during his June 2016 snapchat video of him abusing his dog. He can get off the line against physical coverage, tracks the ball well in the air, contorts himself to make the difficult receptions. There are some reports that state Baylor doesn’t ask for a full effort from their receivers when it is a run play or when they are playing backside in passing situations, so maybe it is unfair for me to judge his efforts from play to play. I think he is talented and could be a major player in the NFL. Zamora just reminds me too much of Martavis Bryant in skill set and general buffoonery for me to think the Steelers would want to take a chance on him when they are already married to Bryant for a little longer.
Projection: Late rounder/free agent (3rd or 4th rounder without baggage)
Games Watched: vs. Oklahoma State, @Texas, @West Virginia