Can Isaiah Hodgins Be the Best Wide Receiver Prospect

Embed from Getty Images

There is a group of prospects that sit at the top of the 2020 wide receiver group. Here I will dive into who may be the most surprising of the group.


The 2020 NFL draft is full of talented offensive prospects. It is said to be one of the most talented offensive drafts in recent history. So talented that many fantasy owners were selling off high caliber pieces of their rosters just to acquire 2020 first round picks. The wide receiver group is one of the best positions in this draft even though it has been overshadowed by the excellent running back class. One guy I am interested in is Oregon St. wide receiver Isaiah Hodgins.

In most circles there seems to be a consensus who the top five wide receivers are going into the draft. In no particular order those names are Jerry Jeudy of Alabama, CeeDee Lamb of Oklahoma, Tee Higgins of Clemson, Laviska Shenault of Colorado and Henry Ruggs III of Alabama. All five of these players will be gone off the board by the end of the second round. Here I will dive into how Isaiah Hodgins of Oregon St. may be the most polarizing wide receiver in the draft and will be a mid round steal for one lucky team.

NCAA Career

Isaiah Hodgins had a very pedestrian Freshman year at Oregon St. He posted a mere 31 receptions for 275 yards at 8.9 yards per reception and two touchdowns. Hodgins played in 11 games during his Freshman year and caught at least one pass in every single game. He caught one of his touchdowns against Arizona and his other was a game winner against small school Portland St.

Isaiah Hodgins became a relevant receiver during his Sophomore season in 2018. During this season he had 59 receptions for 876 yards at 14.8 yards per reception and five touchdowns. The yards and receptions led his team as a Sophomore. He tied an Oregon St. single game record for receptions with 14 against Nevada while also totaling 200 yards in the same game. He added three other games over the 100 yard mark and two of them against power teams within the conference. Hodgins had 129 yards against USC and 133 yards against Oregon. For his performance during his Sophomore season he was an All Pac-12 honorable mention.

Then came the 2019 season, Hodgins Junior year in which he broke out in a big way. He finished the season 11th in the NCAA (3rd in the Pac-12) in receiving yards at 1,171 yards, 7th in the NCAA (1st in the PAC-12) in touchdowns with 13, and 7th in the NCAA in receptions with 86. In eight of the 12 games Hodgins has played in this season he has at least seven receptions. He logged at least 93 yards in six of those twelve games and scored a touchdown in eight games. Four of those games he scored multiple touchdowns.

Scouting Report

The Good About Isaiah Hodgins

Isaiah Hodgins has great size for today’s NFL game. He stands in at 6’4 and 209 Lbs and uses every inch of that frame in his game. Hodgins has an incredible catch radius. Due to his wingspan and ability to catch away from his body he makes catches that are virtually undefendable. watch here as he makes and incredible one handed catch:

Hodgins is the type of receiver all quarterbacks love. He is the kind of guy you just throw it to a spot and he goes and grabs it. Watch here as the quarterback puts the ball on the sideline and Hodgins extends and makes the beautiful over the shoulder catch:

Hodgins also possess great hands with strength and touch. This combined with his size makes him an excellent red zone target, and area where he showed this year he can easily excel at with his 13 touchdowns in 12 games. Watch this play in the corner of the end zone where the QB throws a fade and Hodgins comes down with the catch:

Then you have the strength and concentration of Hodgins. Watch here as he plays the tip drill and tips the poorly thrown ball back to himself for the touchdown:

Here is yet one more insane one handed grab by Hodgins:

As you can see in all of these clips Hodgins is a human highlight reel. He makes one handed catches and diving catches on a regular basis. With his catch radius and great hands he makes for an excellent target for any quarterback. If anything he should thrive in the red zone in the NFL.

What Isaiah Hodgins Needs To Work On

If there is one thing that needs work from Isaiah Hodgins, it is his route running. His footwork and head movements are up to par but he does not possess great movement in his hips. If he was able to turn his hips better out of his breaks he could make sharper cuts and create more separation so he would not have to make so many contested catches. In this clip he makes a great move to make the corner bite but notice how slow his acceleration is coming out of that break. It takes him a few strides before he reaches his optimal speed:

Even in this clip you can see the solid footwork in the double move to beat the corner and has loads of separation but my focus is his slow acceleration and tight hips during and after his break:

If Hodgins can sure up his route running and loosen up those hips a little than he  has the opportunity to be an incredibly successful receiver in the NFL.

Pro Comparison – Kenny Golladay Detroit Lions

If I am going to compare Isaiah Hodgins to a receiver in today’s game than it is going to be Kenny Golladay. Both stand at 6’4, Hodgins weighs in at an unofficial 209 Lbs. while Golladay is 214 Lbs. Hodgins’ best registered 40 time was clocked at 4.47 seconds while Golladay ran a 4.50 second 40 time at the combine. When you look at both receivers’ final years side by side they are incredibly similar.

Kenny Golladay– Sr. year: 87 receptions, 1,156 yards, 13.3 yards per reception, and eight touchdowns.

Isaiah Hodgins- Jr. year: 86 receptions, 1,171 yards, 13.6 yards per reception, and 13 touchdowns.

Watch these two clips as well side by side, both shown great body control, strong hands and a phenomenal ability to catch away from their body and in traffic:

Golladay has blossomed into a legitimate WR1 and shows improvement every year. He has even shown that he can still be incredibly productive with a backup quarterback. In two games with David Blough as his quarterback Golladay has 13 targets, 10 receptions for 216 yards and two touchdowns. Golladay is in the midst of his second straight 1,000 yard receiving season and has surpassed double digit touchdowns this year. If this is the floor for Isaiah Hodgins than the sky is the limit. I have heard most are giving Hodgins a 3rd round grade but I am going ahead and giving him a 2nd round grade.

Conclusion

Isaiah Hodgins is not as high a profile player as Jerry Jeudy or CeeDee Lamb but that does not take away from his production. Hodgins still played in one of the power conferences in the Pac-12 and put up great numbers on one of the worst teams in the conference. He does not get the media attention these other guys do, but that also means that he does not get as much pressure to succeed in the NFL. If Isaiah Hodgins can land in the right spot in the NFL, his combination of solid speed, great hands, good footwork and huge catch radius could make him a great target, especially in the red zone. I think Hodgins can be one of the best and maybe most polarizing wide receivers in the 2020 draft.

Follow me on Twitter @JoeyTheToothIDP. Tune into the @F3Pod podcast every week for the best dynasty football info around. Be sure to visit www.dynastyfootballdigest.com for anything you need to know dynasty football related. iI will post weekly articles on prospects for the 2020 draft from here til draft day. For all of my IDPGuys articles visit here. For all of my Dynasty Football Digest articles visit here

Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.