In our Scouting Reports, we will give you a quick debrief to get you the information you need to know. We’ll also take it a step further and provide an in-depth review showing off examples of what we like, and what we don’t. Included is a date from the initial scouting report, this is so new notes can be added as the year goes on. Those new notes will be dated as well. With that, welcome to the Jordan Addison scouting report!
If you’d like to see more, below are all the completed scouting reports for this season:
|Will Levis||Tank Bigsby||Jordan Addison||TBD|
|Spencer Rattler* (2024)||Sean Tucker||Quentin Johnston|
|Anthony Richardson||Zach Charbonnet||Jaxon Smith-Njigba|
|Michael Penix Jr.* (2024)||Blake Corum* (2024)||Jalin Hyatt|
Jordan Addison had compiled some prolific receiving stats with Kenny Pickett and the Pittsburgh Panthers. His production was enough to win the 2021 Biletnikoff Award for the top FBS receiver in the nation. With Pickett gone, Addison has taken his talents to USC for an opportunity to work with Lincoln Riley and Caleb Williams. So is Addison simply a product of having two (likely) 1st round quarterbacks, or is he the real deal? Let’s take a look.
Details: Jordan Addison | WR | USC #3
DOB: 01.27.2002 | 21 years old
H/W: 5’ 11″ | 173 lbs
NFL Combine results (updated 03.06.2023):
40-yd dash: 4.49s
10-yd split: 1.56s
Vertical jump: 34″
Broad jump: 10′ 2″
|Year||Team||Receptions||Rec Yards||Rec Avg||Rec TDs||Rush Attempts||Rush Yards||Rush Avg||Rush TDs|
NFL Draft Projection (updated 03.06.2023):
Mid 1st – Mid 2nd Round Pick – Addison is one of the top receivers of this class, and as such he should have the draft pedigree to go with it. He’s very good, but he’s slight, and the NFL Combine didn’t showcase the measurables that many thought he had from watching him play. That said, his demonstrated intelligence, route running abilities, and athleticism should see him drafted in the 1st or 2nd Round.
Dynasty Rookie Draft Projection – 1QB (updated 03.06.2023):
Mid 1st Round Pick – The cream of this year’s draft crop is really in the volume of quality running backs. This means – landing spot dependent – receivers may fall to the mid 1st. Most receivers are likely stuck waiting until the top three-to-five running backs are drafted. Addison should be one of the first receivers taken, likely in the 1.05-1.08 range.
Dynasty Rookie Draft Projection – Superflex/2QB (updated 03.06.2023):
Mid to Late 1st Round Pick – Adding in two-to-four quarterbacks going early, that puts Addison around 1.07-1.12 range.
Jordan Addison took home the Biletnikoff Award – given to the top FBS receiver in the nation – over big name finalists Jameson Williams and David Bell, and that’s not to mention other top receivers like Drake London (injured), or any of the Ohio State trio in Garrett Wilson, Chris Olave, and Jaxon Smith-Njigba.
Addison won largely due to gaudy stats that he racked up at Pitt with Steelers first round pick, Kenny Pickett. With Pickett leaving for the NFL, Addison decided to take his talents to USC to play with likely 2024 first round pick, quarterback Caleb Williams.
So is Addison simply a product of extremely high-end quarterback play?…or does he have the chops to hold his own regardless of who is chucking the ball?
In my opinion, it’s a little of both. Addison is a great route runner. He’s smooth throughout his routes, he’s great a varying speeds and excellent at taking advantage of leverage, however he’s not yet a finished product.
In Pitt especially, he was largely limited to a slot role, lining up against linebackers and safeties where the coverage isn’t as tight and the athleticism doesn’t always match up. He was also a bit limited in the routes that he runs, or more importantly, the routes that he wins.
Part of the issue being lined up in the slot, or otherwise protected in bunches and stacks, is that he rarely had to face off against press coverage. This means he didn’t have to worry about perfecting his releases, or getting rerouted by a jam (definitely a problem given his size and seeming lack of strength).
Additionally, he utilizes his body when catching the ball FAR too often. It was egregiously bad in 2020 and 2021, though it’s improved quite a bit in 2022. I believe that played a large part in his drops while at Pitt, especially when trying to body catch in traffic. There’s too many variables and too much reliance on timing to be able to consistently reel the ball in, especially when contact is imminent.
Even taking note of those issues, it doesn’t change the type of production he put up. He was able to rack it up because he is nonetheless an extremely talented receiver.
He’s great with the ball in his hands, very athletic, and can gain chunk yards from simple screens, drags, and dump-offs. His athleticism extends to deep and intermediate routes where he’s shown the speed to burn and ability to work in all areas of the field.
His greatest ability, in my opinion, is his football IQ. Just one example is how he sets up DBs early in order to run an identical looking double move later. His ability to sell those double move routes is great on its own, but nearly impossible to stop when it looks exactly like a route run earlier in the game.
That football intelligence will certainly translate to the next level and will allow Addison to be a productive receiver at the next level as well. However, he should continue to improve his consistency with hands catching outside his frame, and bulk up for the bigger, faster, stronger opponents.
As you read the information at the top of the report, it’s likely that the gaudy reception, yards, and touchdown totals stand out first. For good reason, they won Addison the Biletnikoff Award in 2021.
I’d actually like to reference a different number though…175. That’s the weight that USC has for Addison. It only takes one look at him to surmise that may be a bit generous.
For a receiver, I don’t generally put a huge amount of stock into a low weight. However, with (good) weight comes strength, and a lack of strength has shown up in Addison’s film a few times.
Our first clip shows just a couple of situations where Addison gets slowed, or even completely rerouted, when facing a good jam.
Before we see the clip, there are a couple things worth mentioning here:
- Unless you’re Treylon Burks, you don’t beat a jam with strength, you win with your feet.
- This is offensively schemed to eliminate the risk. When Addison is lined up in the slot, going against a safety six yards off the line, he’s not going to get jammed.
Having said that, these situations are still worth reviewing, because the first clip especially is not something you want to be concerned about when your receiver inevitably does sit across from press coverage.
Getting off the line is one thing, play strength while toting the rock is another. Addison has shown decent play strength when running with the ball in his hands, even breaking a couple solid tackle attempts. In fact, his ability to pick up yards after the catch (YAC) is really, really good.
He’s naturally athletic, possessing good deep speed and great acceleration. He’s also got some nasty jump cuts, great stop/start ability, excellent vision, and solid balance to win in one-on-one situations against a would-be tackler.
Addison has shown this ability in a few different types of situations; end arounds, swing routes while lined up in the backfield, and most often on screens. Below are a few screen plays selected to show his vision, acceleration, and ability to win one-on-one situations.
To go along with solid YAC ability, Addison is smooth in his routes. He has explosive burst out of his breaks, he varies his speed to keep defenders guessing, and has shown a few nice releases to create separation.
While his routes are generally very good, I did catch a few things which could be improved.
Addison typically maintains his pad level very well, selling a vertical route without giving away his intention. However, there are occasionally indicators, typically via popping up before the break.
Additionally, he was often lined up in the slot against a linebacker or safety and rarely saw press coverage. While this seems to have changed a bit with USC, it has also exposed a lack of significant variety in his releases. When attempting to release against press, a couple worked nicely, a couple didn’t…so there’s opportunity to improve.
The last noteworthy opportunity I saw was is in his lack of certain routes. For example, he rarely ran a route which utilized a drop break, common with a curl, hitch, square in, etc. His outs were all speed outs, and the few hitches I saw were run against cushy zone, so there was no need to snap down.
Having said those areas of improvement, I should stress that his routes are very clean, and he showed very few issues creating space. Our next clip takes a sampling of a few of his routes to show it all off.
Missteps were very rare, but unfortunately very noticeable when they did happen. This was only noticeable because he was either the first read, or the go-to receiver, so the quarterback’s eyes were looking his way…which is a great “problem” to have.
I actually saw more that strongly suggested he’s got high football IQ.
It’s hard to say for certain just from watching clips online, but it looked like he adjusts his routes based on the coverage. Running a one-step quick slant when the defense was in Cover-0, instead of a three-step slant that the other receivers ran. Giving his quarterback an immediate outlet knowing that pressure was imminent.
Typically you’ll see the quarterback give a signal or indicator in this situation, informing the receiver to run a hot route if pressure comes. However, I didn’t see one, suggesting Addison just knew how to help his quarterback.
What really gives me the high football IQ vibes was his ability to show one move early, in order to take advantage later off a similar look. Multiple times, I found he would run a nearly identical route to an earlier play, only for Addison to break it off and run a double-move off instead.
I’ve got two examples of this, but saw it three times in six games. In this first route, going against Patrick Fields (safety #24) – possible mid/late round draft pick – Addison runs a speed out against the outside leverage. Fields can’t keep his footing and stumbles, allowing for the reception.
In the second route, also run from the slot against Fields in outside leverage, Addison runs an identical speed out…until Fields turns. Then, Addison cuts under and heads downfield. While Fields gets completely turned around, Addison gets loads of separation for a huge gain. Beautiful route, brilliantly set-up.
This was an area that he showed in his time with Pitt as well. This next clip is very similar to the last.
In the first route, we see Addison run a nice slant in the redzone, looking to score. He cuts the route under the defender who has to grab hold to prevent the touchdown.
In the second route, we see Addison again running a slant against the same defender. Addison lets him take a step or two towards defending the slant before suddenly cutting it back upfield on the sluggo.
Another great route set up brilliantly. Both times he set up the defender early in the game and was able to run the double move off that same look.
His outstanding ability to set up routes will be an extremely beneficial trait which will carry over to the next level. It could be a significant separating factor between him and most other young receivers, who simply haven’t shown this level of football intelligence, patience, and ability.
However, to take advantage of that ability he first has to get the reps, which could be hard if he doesn’t show improvement to his hands. For reference, he dropped 10+ passes in both years at Pitt which amounted to an 11.6% drop rate.
From what I’ve seen, it chalks up to two issues. First, he body catches way more than he should. We’ll see a bit here, and look at more later.
On the flip side, his opportunities catching the ball with extension were sometimes dependent on traffic. When in the open field and with nobody around, if the ball was thrown outside his frame he could typically pluck the ball nicely from the air.
In traffic was a different story, and is my second concern; his hands were much less confident and reliable in traffic. A big part of that may be his propensity to body catch, but it definitely applies to hands catches outside the frame as well.
To be fair to Addison, from everything I’ve seen in 2022 he’s improved the consistency in his hands. However, he will continue to struggle – especially in traffic – if he can’t get to a point where he consistently catches with strong hands extended outside his frame.
I fully realize I’m just some schmuck on the internet telling you what I see. I also realize NFL coaches will surely have a plan for this. However, for a guy who won the Biletnikoff, and will likely be a 1st Round Pick in the 2023 NFL Draft…the body catches were concerning.
I put together a compilation of every body catch I noted in the six games I watched. I’m happy to note the number was cut in half in 2022! However, it still came out to over twice per game I watched, which was down from almost five per game I watched from 2021.
The improvement is extremely noteworthy, and shouldn’t be taken lightly. In fact, I see it as another extension of his football IQ. However, if it’s not buttoned up before he starts on Sundays, I have trouble seeing him securing many receptions in traffic or winning contested catches.
On the bright side…great ball tracking ability! In any case, just take a look at the below compilation, cut from only six games.
So what do I foresee for Addison? His improved hands and reduction in body catches in 2022 has been very nice to see, and leaves me very optimistic for his potential to continue growing even as he reaches the NFL.
With his route running being very good, and possessing great athleticism, he should earn a good amount of snaps in his rookie year. I think his intelligence, more than anything, will aid his ability to win on Sundays.
I don’t expect the immediate success we’ve seen in recent years from guys like Jefferson or Chase. Though he should have a moderately good year. I expect it will take a couple years to reach his full potential, which should be extremely high.
Any team or owner patient enough to accept this will be richly rewarded in short order.
Where does Addison rank in your WR rankings? Drop a comment in the comment box below to let us know your thoughts!
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