From now until the 2021 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.
#1 Jalen Camp / WR Georgia Tech – 6’2” 226
- Great size and build
- Should be asked to run a very specific set of routes early on (will likely be depth early in his career) while developing as a more complete route runner. Go’s, slants, posts, curls, crossers, and drags should be amongst his most commonly run routes to start. Hopefully he will be able to expand his route tree with further development and polish of his route running ability/release
- Can be moved around the formation. Should spend the majority of his time as an X receiver, but his long speed allows him to line up in the slot to create mismatches against smaller DB’s (especially on deep balls and 50-50 throws)
- Long speed, decent quickness. Good body control for a guy his size, good contact balance. Shows strength with the ball in his hands
- Knows how to attack the leverage of his defender
- Fights physicality with physicality. Able to work against press coverage with his hands and strength, tough to outmuscle (30 225-lb bench press reps – NFL combine record for a wide receiver is 27)
- Great catch radius, solid hands. Able to box-out defenders, high point the football. Toughness to catch passes with defenders closing in and about to take a hit
- Willing, strong blocker. Can be isolated as a blocker play side to effectively remove a DB from the play
- Should be able to contribute on special teams
- Limited collegiate production. Best season was in 2020 with 29 catches for 439 yards (10 games)
- 2019 season cut short due to injury
- Raw but promising route runner (seems to have improved from his limited 2019 season to 2020). Can work on dropping/shifting his weight more urgently to better sell his cuts. Can further develop his release packages (showed some promise with releases like foot fire, jab, hop, speed, as well as hand usage to beat jams)
- More fast than quick/agile, possesses average foot speed in short areas. Lacks juice off the line on occasion. Stiff hips on occasion, can lack burst in his cuts at times
- Was unable to secure a few catchable passes
- Can work to achieve consistency as a blocker. He is a willing, strong blocker with a lot of great reps on tape, but there are also times where he misses his assignment due to the improper use of technique. This is definitely something he can quickly improve upon with NFL coaching
- Already 22 years old
- 2020 Stats (10 games): 29 catches, 439 yards, 4 touchdowns
- Career Stats: 48 catches, 808 yards, 5 touchdowns
- Pro day numbers: 4.43 40-yard dash, 39.5 vertical jump, 10-5 broad jump, 4.16 short shuttle, 7.02 three cone, 30 225-lb bench press reps
- Started playing football in 10th grade
- Former high school track athlete
- Member of the ACC Academic Honor Roll
Another interesting wide receiver prospect is Georgia Tech’s Jalen Camp. Camp put up eye-popping numbers on his 3/16/21 Pro Day. Camp could be a possible later-round selection for the Pittsburgh Steelers in order to add receiver depth, should JuJu Smith-Schuster or James Washington leave in free agency following the 2021 season. However, Camp shouldn’t be viewed as just depth in my opinion. In his 2020 season he was moved around the formation, and his freakish athletic numbers paired with some of the flashes of potential in terms of technique that he put on tape (specifically in 2020), makes him an intriguing developmental upside-pick.
This first clip gives a taste of why I think Jalen Camp will be a very interesting late round pick in the upcoming 2021 NFL Draft. In the first game of his 2020 season vs. FSU, Jalen Camp (boundary side) displays burst, strength, and his catch radius. With a quick jab to the outside, he’s able to sell an outside release to beat the press coverage of the DB back inside. Now with separation, Camp fights through the DB’s hands and gets his eyes on the QB. He tracks the pass then spins mid-air to snatch the ball helmet level. A great rep from Camp here.
This clip is from the same 2020 game against FSU. Jalen Camp (boundary side) is working against press coverage again. At the snap, he gets his feet moving quickly before bursting inside and navigating through traffic on the drag route. He displays some solid acceleration across the field as he catches the short pass in stride and stiff-arms his defender on his way to a first down.
This clip from Georgia Tech’s 2020 matchup with UCF is one of my favorites from Camp’s film. Here, the big-bodied receiver runs a whip route from the slot boundary side. He drops his weight and pivots after forcing his defender to overcommit to the inside. If Camp can continue to develop as a route runner to the point where he can consistently run slot routes, it will be a matchup quandary to find the type of defender with the necessary athleticism and strength to guard him around the formation.
In this clip from the Yellow Jackets’ 2020 game vs. Pitt, Camp runs a double move from the slot. These types of reps encapsulate Camp’s potential as a route runner. While still raw overall, with refinement he could become a consistent threat, especially when operating as a field stretcher.
In this clip specifically, Camp does a good job of selling the double move by getting his eyes to the quarterback after the slight cut inside. He then quickly swivels his body to continue vertically and tracks the flight path of the ball to secure the catch with a defender trailing.
This clip from Georgia Tech’s 2019 game against The Citadel shows Camp utilizing his speed, size, and strength to his advantage. He’s lined up out wide boundary side, and while he doesn’t receive a target here, we can get an idea of how he can and should be used at the NFL level. On this play, Camp takes advantage of the defender’s inside leverage in order to build momentum up the sideline, while easily knocking away the defender’s attempts at contact with his hands. Before he runs off screen, we can see that Camp stacks the defender and is in good position to continue upfield vertically.
When Camp is able to build up momentum with his long speed, his combination of size and strength allows him to keep positioning and pull away from or outmuscle his defender.
This clip from the same 2019 game vs. The Citadel shows another go route from Camp (out wide field side). He beats the DB vertically then tracks the ball well to the front of the end zone. He lets the DB (who wasn’t able to get his head around in time because he was trying to catch up) run past him, then slows himself so that he can hop to secure the catch for a score.
This is the last clip from the 2019 game vs. The Citadel. Camp exhibits solid hands to make the catch with defenders closing in on him. With a free release and no one in his vicinity, he streaks up the seam then hangs onto the football despite being wrapped up from behind by a defender.
This clip from his 2020 game against Clemson displays Camp attempting to block play side for the running back. While Camp is a willing, strong blocker who can be used to anchor play side runs, there were reps on tape that showed he should work towards achieving consistency. This clip is one example. He’s unable to get square to the defender and does not drive forwards to engage with his hands (with multiple defenders in front of him, it looks like he didn’t know who to block) which causes him to miss. However, this is a minor issue that I believe he will be able to quickly correct with NFL coaching. Camp does have some really great reps blocking on film.
In this clip from Georgia Tech’s 2020 matchup with Notre Dame, we can see Camp’s (out wide) raw route running. Here, he doesn’t do a great job of dropping his weight or getting his arms moving in order to put on the breaks and really cut suddenly. He looks a bit stiff and it definitely impacts his agility. The good news is that as a potential later-round selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, he should have plenty of time to work on refining his route running/technique in order to become a more complete wide receiver.
Jalen Camp has the build and the testing numbers of an NFL-caliber receiver. He didn’t post a noteworthy statistical season until 2020 (even his 2020 stats are modest), but injuries and Georgia Tech’s run-heavy attack have to be taken into account when looking at his stats. If any team can develop Camp into a polished, full time contributor, it’s the Pittsburgh Steelers. I won’t mind if the Steelers take a chance on him as a late-round flier in the upcoming 2021 NFL Draft (however, Danny Smith was the only Steelers’ personnel member spotted at his 3/16/21 Pro Day). The flashes Camp has put on tape are worth gambling on if he is available late.
Projection: Late Day Three
Games Watched: The Citadel (2019), Florida State (2020), University of Central Florida (2020), Clemson (2020), Notre Dame (2020), Pittsburgh (2020)