Anatomy of a WR – Canaan Severin

By G.Stryker

Canaan Severin is another prototypical sized NFL WR. The 6’2” 200 lb mark seems to be the standard that the league craves, and he’s just a hair heavier at 205 lbs. He was signed as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2016 and was injured early last year in camp. He then was placed on IR with a shoulder injury. The Steelers re-signed him again this year to compete with the deep WR corps.

At Virginia, Mr Severin put up modest numbers, but excelled at finding the end zone. This paired with his size, made him an interesting prospect. He only has college highlights, so we have to review these catches with an objective eye, since he is competing against lesser talent.

Let’s take a look:

Starts in the right slot, and runs a deep crossing post, and makes a nice one handed catch. Reverse angle replay. I’m not sure why he didn’t put his left hand up. The Defender did grab it, but it looked like Canaan still had time to extend it before contact. Perhaps he was trying to shield the defender with his off hand. In this instance, it helped. On the reception he first deadens the ball with his palm, collects it in his chest, and quickly tucks for possession. It was very quick, precise and athletic.

0:27 Runs a fly from the Y spot and looks like a body catch. On the replay it shows a much better angle. He opens his body to the ball, and uses both hands and gut to make a nice 3 point catch falling back in the end zone. He then puts his hand down to break his fall.

. Very similar catch to the previous TD. In traffic, he makes another body catch and seems to catch and secure it completely with his right hand. His left hand was up to help the catch, then immediately drops to help break his fall. He needs to correct this. Falling backward, while the body momentum is moving backward, could create a hand injury. In traffic, I like seeing both hands on the ball going to the ground. I do like his pattern here. He’s the Y receiver and runs runs a drag. The play immediately breaks down as the QB is pressured and runs right to escape it. Canaan recognizes the break down. Stops his momentum away from the way the QB is running, and cuts his route deep so the QB can see him and make the throw.

1:00 Three receivers bunched to the right with Canaan outside running a post, He makes another body catch and no one is around him. I would like to see his hands in front here, but with the ball being lower and closer to his gut in height, he must feel more comfortable catching the ball with his body. Nice change of direction on the reception and great stride and speed to the end zone.

1:20 Lined up in the slot with 3 receivers to the right running a fake WR screen. He does a good job of approaching the DB as if to block, and quickly releases around him. The DB seems more interested with the WR in the backfield and lets him pass. By that time, he is open in the zone between defenders. He opens his body to face the ball and gets both palms on the ball, thumbs together. Great hand positioning on the catch. Gets low to absorb a hit and extend to the end zone.

1:35 Lined up at the X this time, it appears he is running a flag route. I like how he high points the football, getting both palms on it, and quickly turns and initiates contact to force his way into the end zone. Nice play. The replay shows a better view of his hand positioning.

1:50 Three receivers right, again in the slot, he runs an interesting route. He starts off running a drag, then cuts up field, then runs a deeper drag. The ball is there immediately, and he does a nice job of extending his arms to reach the ball, and perfect hand placement with thumbs in and palms open, to make the ball stick instantly. The replay shows his hand positioning close up. I can watch that all day!

2:11 Slot right, he cuts under the outside receiver and runs a sideline fly. He is well defended, yet the QB still throws the ball. In the air, the DB loses sight of the ball, but the receiver does a great job of jumping to meet it, using both hands to trap the ball against his body. I like his concentration on his body positioning to get his foot down. In the NFL, I think this also would have been ruled a catch, since it looked like he got both feet in. Great body control.

I’d like him to stop putting his hand down to break his fall. I hate for him to lose sure catches or injure his hand by sticking it out when he goes down hard. His routes are good, but need to get crisper in the pros. I do like how he fights for the ball in traffic, and seems comfortable going up to get the football. I also like how they move him around the field. Left and right slots, X and Y. Being position flexible is something the Steelers coaches like, and is a plus to view it on film.

Against college defenders, he looks good. I like his size and leg stride. He body catches a lot like Cobi Hamilton, yet still shows good hand placement deep like Justin Hunter, though he is still quite raw. He will have to work hard to get past both of them on the depth chart.

UPDATE: Canaan Severin was placed on the PUP for failing the team physical. It will be very difficult to earn a roster spot this year, and since Sammie Coates is also on the PUP, the Steelers most likely won’t keep both of them sitting there when the season starts. Canaan needs to return to practice quickly to have any chance making this roster, but after failing the conditioning test, his prospects look grim.

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