From now until the 2023 NFL Draft takes place, we hope to scout and create profiles for as many prospects as possible, examining their strengths, weaknesses, and what they can bring to an NFL franchise. These players could be potential top 10 picks, all the way down to Day 3 selections and priority undrafted free agents Today, I’ll be profiling Maryland WR Rakim Jarrett.
#1 Rakim Jarrett, WR, Maryland (Junior) – 6000, 190lb
|Player||Ht/Wt||Hand Size||Arm Length||Wingspan|
|Rakim Jarrett||6’0, 190lb||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|40-Yard Dash||10-Yard Dash||Short Shuttle||3-Cone|
|Broad Jump||Vertical||Bench Press|
— Good athlete with the pedigree as a former top recruit
— Lined up all over the formation from in the slot to outside on the boundary
— Operated on jet motions as well as the screen man in Maryland’s offense
— Has the speed and burst to challenge defenders vertically down the field
— Has the explosiveness and leaping ability to climb the ladder to make jump ball catches
— Will lay out for catches outside of his frame, making grabs on the edge of his catch radius
— Has decent short-area quickness in the open field in his ability to change direction
— Can get in and out of his breaks at an adequate level
— Does a good job adjusting to find space to get his QB an open target
— Has the coordination and spatial awareness to make sideline catches and tightrope the paint as a runner
— Has good vision as a runner after the catch to find space and get extra yards
— Possesses the play strength to work through press coverage and make contested coverage
— Shows strength as a runner after the catch, fighting through arm tackles
— Gives full effort after the catch every time he touches the ball, attempting to get every yard
— Has shown willingness and capability as a blocker
— Only has average measurables when it comes to height, weight, and arm length
— Catch radius is limited due to measurables
— Lacks the top-end speed and burst to consistently stack defenders vertically
— Will seemingly take routes half speed when he doesn’t think the ball is going to him
— Body type limits his ability to consistently come down with combative catches
— Likes to catch the ball into his body rather than catching outside his frame
— Isn’t super shifty in the open field in terms of stop/start quickness
— Desire as a blocker is inconsistent especially against bigger defenders
— Can be subject to focus drops when he takes his eyes off the football
— Junior Prospect from Palmer Park, MD
— Five-star recruit and #2 wide receiver in his recruit class
— Chose to stay home at Maryland over offers from Alabama, LSU, and Tennessee
— 2019 DC Gatorade Player of the Year, 2020 Under Armour All-American
— Started all four games he played in a Covid-shortened season in 2020, recorded 17 catches for 252 yards (14.8 YPR) and two TDs along with one carry for five yards
— Started in all 13 games in 2021 and had 62 receptions for 829 yards (13.4 YPR) and five TDs, also had nine kick returns for 158 yards
— Appeared in 11 games with seven starts in 2022 and caught 40 passes for 471 yards, (11.78 YPR) and three
touchdowns, also rushed three times for 15 yards
— Honorable Mention All-Big Ten (2020, 2021 & 2022)
— Criminology & Criminal Justice major
Rakim Jarrett is an interesting case of a hometown guy staying put for college rather than leaving to star for one of college football’s superpower programs. The former five-star recruit and Maryland native committed to play with the Terrapins, getting on the field right away as a true freshman. He never reached the 900-yard mark in any season in college before declaring early for the draft, but his traits present an interesting prospect for the next level.
Jarrett was often used as the jet motion man in Maryland’s RPO offense, selling the fake as well as taking the handoff on occasion to the boundary like on this play against Ohio State, following his blockers out to the boundary while finishing the run by driving his legs on contact to pick up extra yards with defenders dragging him down.
In fact, Jarrett’s best aspect of his game is his ability to create after the catch. Whether it be with short-area quickness, speed, or strength as a runner, Jarrett has a real knack for picking up YAC. Watch this can and run against Penn State where Jarrett runs the slant over the middle of the field, getting a step on the coverage defender, and catches the ball in stride. Jarrett takes the ball toward the sideline, following his blocks as he out-angles the defense for the long house call TD.
Jarrett gives 100% effort as a runner after the catch, doing whatever he can to get every single yard possible. Maryland schemed up a lot of opportunities for him close to the LOS to get the ball in his hands early with a chance to create like on this play against the Nittnay Lions, stepping out of one tackle attempt while staying in-bounds and spins out another tackle attempt. He gets stood up by two defenders right after the spin but fights to fall forward to maximize his YAC.
Still, Jarrett has shown the capability to win downfield as a vertical threat as well. He has the speed and burst to get down the field and the ball tracking ability to make catches over the shoulder with the defender on his back. Watch this grab against Ohio State where Jarrett runs the corner route from the slot, splitting the nickel CB and the safety as he gets a step on the nickel defender, hauling the ball in over his shoulder, losing his balance as he extends to make the big catch.
Here is a similar example the year prior against Virginia Tech where Jarrett works from the slot near the line as he starts his route inside then rounds outside, getting a step of separation against the coverage and manages to lay out to catch the ball away from his frame, trapping the ball to his chest to secure the catch.
As far as making plays above the rim, Jarrett has the explosiveness and leaping ability to climb the ladder making leaping catches. Here is one example against the Hokies where Jarrett reels in the high pass over his head, catching the pass at the edge of his fingertips for the acrobatic catch.
Rakim Jarrett has also shown willingness as a blocker for his teammates out wide or in the slot like on this rep against Charlotte, squaring up the defender across from him and proceeds to lock onto the defender’s chest and takes him down on the slip screen pass.
However, Rakim Jarrett’s effort as a blocker runs hot-and-cold, often taking business decisions when having to try and block bigger, stronger defenders like on this play where the Ohio State defender runs right through him.
Jarrett is also guilty of the occasional focus drop, having good hands, but will take his eyes off the ball to look ahead before making the catch like on this play. He often tries to body catch the football rather than hand catch outside of his frame if he has the choice, needing to show more trust in his hands on a consistent basis.
While Rakim Jarrett is a good athlete, he lacks that top-end speed to consistently pull away from defenders as well as the sudden stop/start quickness to evade defenders in the open field after the catch. Here is a two-play sequence of Jarrett getting the ball near the LOS, but doing little to create outside of what is blocked for him.
Overall Rakim Jarrett is a versatile receiver that can wear a lot of hats for an offense. He can play on the outside or in the slot and has been successful on jet motion handoffs as well as quick WR screens near the LOS. He does a good job creating with the ball in his hands and can win down the field vertically, but overall lacks the deep speed and incredible quickness to consistently stress defenses as a deep threat or with the ball in his hands when he must create for himself.
When watching Jarrett, Byron Pringle came to mind as a reasonable pro comp since Pringle has a near identical frame (6’1, 203lb), having the speed to win down the field as well as the YAC ability with the ball in his hands. Pringle got his initial exposure with the Chiefs as a rotational/backup receiver. I expect Jarrett to have a similar role in the league as a team’s WR3-4 that can excel best in the slot, working over the middle of the field and creating after the catch.
The Steelers could use another slot receiver for 2023 and Jarrett does a lot of the things Pittsburgh asks their slot WRs to do in terms of jet motion, bubble screens, etc. Being a natural fit in Matt Canada’s offense, Rakim Jarrett is a logical name for Pittsburgh to target on Day Three of the draft should they wait to address the position in April.
Projection: Day Three
Depot Draft Grade: 7.1 – Rotational Player (4th Round)
Games Watched: vs Ohio State (2022) vs Charlotte (2022), at Penn State (2021), vs Virginia Tech (2021)