CECIL SHORTS III
Mount Union Senior
40: 4.45 (estimated)
Has good speed and shows ability to run past defenders. Gets quickly off the line and into his route with good burst. Has nice ball skills. Versatile and can take the direct snap and has a decent arm as a passer. Can be dangerous after the catch on the quick screen.
Works as a punt returner, but needs to make better decisions and will muff some. Dances a bit too much after the catch. Doesn't secure the ball against his body and ball security is an issue. Lacking as a blocker, giving minimal effort and used more as a decoy.
A former quarterback that played predominantly at wide receiver and was a very productive 3-year starter. Shorts was an impact playmaker at the Division III level, primarily as the guy that replaced Pierre Garcon at Mount Union. Combined for 259 catches for 4705 yards (18.2 avg) and 63 touchdowns in four seasons. Also had 75 carries for 492 yards (6.6 avg) and 12 rushing touchdowns. Returned 13 kickoffs for 325 yards (25.0 avg) and 1 touchdown and 24 punts for 355 yards (14.8 avg) and 2 scores as a senior. Also passed for 265 yards, completing 21 of 34 passes (61.8%) during his career.
There will be comparisons to Garcon because they played at the same school. I think Garcon is a bit more athletic and physical than Shorts is, who is more of a finesse guy. But SHorts has value at the pro level as a reserve because of his ability to produce on special teams, and the versatility to contribute on offense in a variety of ways. He'll definitely find a role with some team, but the question is how good a complementary option can he be. I think he has some potential to be a No. 2 guy because he has just enough size and speed, and you certainly like the fact that he routinely dominates a lower level of competition,but more than likely I think he'll be a good No. 3 option that can produce off the bench. He has the ability to play inside and out. I think in the right offense with the right QB he can be a guy that catches 40-50 passes a year.
Shorts can help out the Falcons receiver group because he offers some big play potential although more than likely he'd be a No. 3 guy. But because he has more size than Douglas, he probably could be a bigger factor in the slot within a year or two as he gets up to speed. He does offer some potential to be a replacement for Jenkins as the No. 2 option, but more than likely he'll be better used as a No. 3 guy for the future. His special teams ability will give him some value, although he's probably not good enough or at least not reliable enough to beat out Weems. He'll likely be limited to a No. 4 role as a rookie, but by his second year should be a regular contributor in the Falcons offense.
Shorts could probably sneak into the late third round if a team really likes his ability to produce on special teams, but otherwise he is a nice fourth round option.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
After Catch: 3.0
Body Control: 3.0
Scouting reports of the wide receivers in the 2011 Draft.
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