SteelerNation.com

Promising Prospects: WR Gary Jennings

By Logan Leslie

SteelerNation.com

 

With Antonio Brown‘s future likely being outside Pittsburgh, it has become imperative to address the Wide Receiver position opposite JuJu Smith-Schuster. With the possibility of an AB sized loss on offense the Steelers could look to fill that hole with West Virginia University WR Gary Jennings.

Jennings is coming off his senior season where he scored 13 touchdowns and averaged 17 yards per reception. He is not the most flashy or hyped prospect coming out of college this season but he has size at 6’3” 215lbs. His best attribute is vertical route running with very strong speed, he was Will Grier’s favorite target on deep ball throws. Jennings’ role in the offense at WVU changed between his junior and senior year, as he was asked to stretch the field more in 2018. He gave an excellent showing as a deep target, evidenced by his strong yards per catch rate. Vertical cuts are seamless, though he can struggle a bit more with horizontal breaks. Will occasionally need extra steps in order to motor down, and his over the middle routes falter as a result. There is a lot to like about his technique in how he uses his hands to shed contact, use head fakes and set up defensive backs.

However, many scouts feel he has only average ball skills one scout said:

“Rarely will he extend fully back towards the ball, and can rely on his body to make receptions at times. Has soft hands when he uses them to catch the ball, but there isn’t quite that “pluck and tuck” technique that you hope to see. Will occasionally put his hands out to the catchpoint a second early, tipping off the defensive back. Though his ball skills can be inconsistent, his tracking is a strength and he can make some ridiculous acrobatic catches as a result.”

If any team is one to take a chance on him in the middle rounds there is a strong possibility it is the Steelers, what they have done in recent years with young receivers has been nothing short of remarkable.

 

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