It’s a mystery to me why any college wide receiver with aspirations of the NFL, would neglect blocking as an unimportant part of their position.
Texas A&M WR Mike Evans has professed himself as the best WR in the draft, and the best blocking WR. Why? He takes pride in it, and the proof is on tape.
Effective blocking isn’t a God given talent, but a learned, developed skill. It’s about proper technique and will. Almost any WR who desires to do it soundly, can learn.
Lazy, poor blocking receivers come in all shapes and sizes. The same is true with tenacious, relentless blockers. Some choose to mix it up, some prance around it.
They are rarely at a size mismatch against their defending counterparts. Some are, but not so vastly as to prevent them from attacking with desire.
Anquan Bolden, Dez Bryant, Brandon Marshall, Steve Smith…all vicious blockers who understand part of their job is to clear the way for runners and help the team win.
In the majority of long runs, it’s highly typical to notice a WR locked up on a defender. It’s often the difference between 7 yard gains and first downs, or even TD’s.
Collegiate receivers with mediocre blocking effort, need to wise up to NFL reality. They’ll be valued below tenacious blockers of equal primary receiving skills.
When evaluating tape of this deep receiver class and ranking them by rounds, blocking is one of the main variables I assess to sort out players.
I typically judge on these 4 blocking subcategories: willingness to engage, blocking technique, consistent effort over the game, and overall effectiveness.
Examples of this evaluation process can be seen with 2 WR’s I view as middle round prospects…LSU’s Jarvis Landry and Wake Forest’s Michael Campanaro.