How's it going everyone, with the NFL Draft coming up, I am going to take this time to tell you about the most underrated receiver in this draft. Not only am I writing this to procrastinate studying for my finals, but I am also writing this because Chris Godwin does not get the love he deserves.
I don't even know where I should begin. Let's start with his measurements.
Weight: 209 lbs.
Arm Length: 31 5/8"
Hand Size: 9 1/8"
Now let's take a look at his combine results and rankings for the wide receivers.
40 Yard Dash: 4.42 (T-5th)
20 Yard Shuttle: 4.00 (1st)
60 Yard Shuttle: 11.21 (T-6th)
3 Cone Drill: 7.01
Bench Press: 19 (T-2nd)
Vertical Jump: 36" (T-12th)
Broad Jump: 10' 6" (T-12th)
The man is a beast. He runs faster than Isaiah Ford, Zay Jones and Cooper Kupp. He is stronger than JuJu Smith-Schuster and Mike Williams, and jumps higher than them too. Most scouts were also surprised with his 40 time because he is not known as a burner, he was mostly known for his route running at Penn State.
According to Reception Perception, a lot of receivers who do not translate well in the NFL are ones who line up mostly on one side in college (Dorial Green-Beckham, Kevin White, etc). This is not the case for Godwin, who lined up on the left side for 56% of his snaps and 44% on the right. He is able to switch all his knowledge of route running for each side of the field. Not only is he able to do this, but he also has a lot of success.
As you can see, he thrived on just about all routes. A lot of critics will ignore this though and point to the fact that his numbers dipped last season. In his sophomore year he recorded 69 catches - 1101 yards - 5 touchdowns. In his junior season, he had less catches and yards, but more touchdowns. He recorded 59-982-11. This can be credited to the fact that Penn State moved from a pro-style offense with Hackenberg at the helm to a run-first offense with Trace McSorely and Saquon Barkley, next-years Heisman winner. It should be notable that Chris Godwin was trusted enough to be the first option by two different quarterbacks though.
Chris Godwin did not suffer in a run-first offense, in fact, it just enhanced another asset of his game. Chris Godwin is a ferocious blocker.
Here he is running full speed down the field setting two late blocks to ensure the TD:
Here he is laying out a Michigan linebacker:
And here he is in the B1G Championship, completely blocking his guy off the field:
So, we've got the measurements, we've got the combine results, we've got the route running, and we've got the blocking. What else can we look at?? Hmm.... how about contested catches! In the past two drafts, Reception Perception has looked at contested catch conversion rates. Josh Doctson, the third WR off the board last year has a CCCR of 85%. Mike Williams, a lock as a first round pick this year is at 81.3%. Where is Chris Godwin you ask? 85.7% - the highest rate of all receivers in the past two drafts. He has a higher contested catch rate than Josh Doctson, Mike Williams, Michael Thomas, Laquon Treadwell, Corey Davis, Corey Coleman, Tyler Boyd, and everyone else too.
Another asset to Chris Godwin's game is his competition. He played in the Big Ten and thrived against defenses that has had talent such as Eli Apple, Trae Waynes, Malik Hooker, Gareon Conley, Jabril Peppers, Jourdan Lewis, Desmond King and Sean Davis.
Let's take a look at some more gifs.
Chris Godwin, taking last years 10th overall draft pick, Eli Apple, for a spin:
Chris Godwin beating Gareon Conley, likely a first round CB this year, for a TD:
Chris Godwin shaking of Adoree' Jackson, probably a second day CB, and then making a ridiculous catch:
Beating Adoree' again:
Chris Godwin making a clutch catch when time is running out:
Chris Godwin, doing whatever this is:
He's fast. He's strong. He can run whatever route he wants. He can block. He can can make contested catches at a higher rate than anyone in the past two drafts. Calvin Johnson, who Godwin trained with this offseason said that Godwin is "a coaches dream, always striving to be better." Do NOT sleep on Chris Godwin.
Here is a link to his 16-17 highlight tape, so you can see a lot more.