University of Southern California
Wide Receiver #9
Junior, 6’2”, 220
John “JuJu” Smith-Schuster is a physical body who uses his strength to his advantage on the field in more ways than one.
- He uses his strength to gain space off the line to get away from press coverage
- Blocks well
- Tough mentality can make him difficult to bring down
- Shows good speed on streak routes and smooth cuts on most routes
In the USC offense, Smith-Schuster was a big threat, from short stints being taken for good yardage, to deep streaking routes where he can often lose his defender. As the Trojans main receiver he finished the season with 70 receptions, 914 yards and 10 touchdowns. A decline from his previous year where he had, 89 receptions, 1454 yards, and also 10 touchdowns. His entire three year college career showed a total of 213 receptions, 3092 yards and 25 touchdowns. Each season with an average of at least 13 yards per play, with his best season averaging 16 yards a play He showed that he is more than capable of making a play for a first down.
There were many plays where you could tell they were wanting to get the ball in Smith-Schuster’s hands. Not as effective as he could have been on all of them, he showed he will need some polishing in the NFL.
His biggest issues are:
- Inconsistency on route running
- Dealt with a fair amount of drops
- Didn’t win enough 50/50 balls
- Speed doesn’t always show, but when it does he is always open
With these few flaws, I would still say Smith-Schuster is a solid pick regardless of where he is taken. Compared to other prospects that also have three college years under their belt, such as Ryan Switzer, or even John Ross. Smith beats them in total career stats. Of course there is more to look at other than stats, such as their technique, but it is still something to keep in mind.
Round Value: Late 2nd/Early 3rd
NFL comparison: Alshon Jeffery
Both physical receivers that will use their strength against their defender.