MICKEY SHULER JR.
Penn State Senior
40: 4.63 (Campus)
PROS: Has nice hands and does a good job securing the catch before turning upfield. Capable blocker that is effective both pushing the pile in the ground game and in pass protection. Gets a nice release off the line. Shows nice pop off the snap and can get position on the edge. Will finish his blocks and shows potential to lock on.
CONS: Lacks speed and limited to short routes. Not an impact receiver. Needs to improve his hand placement as a blocker, as he can't always stay locked on and get push. He can whiff on some blocks on occasion.
OVERVIEW: Shuler is going to have to be a blocker at the next level, but he has good ability to develop there. His dad played in the NFL for the Jets and Eagles (1978-91) and had a long, productive NFL career. His career best was 11 catches for 89 yards and 2 scores he had as a senior.
NFL FORECAST: Shuler will likely fill the same mantle he did as a senior in the pros, which is a No. 2 blocker to a much better receiver. In that way, he fills a similar niche to Justin Peelle. I see similarities between the two, although Peelle might be a bit more natural as a receiver. But Shuler was probably underutilized option at Penn State, as I was surprised he only caught 27 career passes. But even so, he's not going to be a guy that can catch more than 15-20 passes in the pros. He's not a completely polished blocker, but has good potential to develop there. He just needs to polish up his technique, maybe add a bit more muscle and he can compete on the next level. So I see him as contributing to an NFL team quicker than Quarless, and he may have a longer career because of his value as a blocker. If he can contribute within his first two years or so as a blocker, then he can have a long career, even if for the second half of it it's a journeyman like Peelle. If not, then he may go the route of ex-Penn State tight end Sean McHugh who has bounced around the league as an H-back and No. 3 guy that rarely gets on the field.
ATL FORECAST: Shuler could be a better No. 2 option than Zinger, but I'm not convinced he will. He is a better receiver, so that could give him an edge, but Zinger is probably ahead of him right now as a blocker. Either way, even if he supplanted Zinger as the No. 3 guy, he isn't going to play a lot his first year or two except in blocking situations. He could be a nice No. 2 down the road, replacing Peelle, but won't rise much more than that up the depth chart.
VALUE: Unless a team is in love with his blocking ability, they shouldn't take him before the sixth or seventh round.
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.