Boise State Senior
40: 4.40 (estimated)
Dangerous receiver with explosive speed. Has a good second gear and can run by defenders to challenge vertically. Shines as a kickoff returner because he does a good job finding lanes and hits the seam hard. Has nice hands and will look the ball in and stretch for throws. Tracks the deep ball well, making the diving catch or basket catch over his shoulder. Can make the quick move after the catch and his speed allows him to be dangerous when he gets a step on a defender. Does a good job on screens and end-arounds.Gives good effort as a blocker and can help spring the runner on the edge in space.
Tends to body catch too much and needs to improve his concentration, particularly when he's working in traffic. Has a bit of an out of control running style, and ball security can be an issue because of it. Doesn't do a great job attacking the ball in the air, either on the deep pass or on the fade routes, limiting how effective he can be when he's in traffic. Struggles to beat the jam because of his lack of ideal size and bulk. Rarely breaks tackles against corners for similar reasons.
Young is an explosive guy that was Boise State's vertical threat and game breaker the past two years. Tied for lead with Pettis this past year among receivers, but led team in receptions as a junior. In those two years, combined for 150 catches for 2256 yards (15.0 avg) and 19 touchdowns. Was used much more as a vertical threat his senior year. His previous two years, he combined for 54 catches for 807 yards (14.9 avg) and 6 touchdowns. For his career, he also had 47 carries for 350 yards (7.4 avg) and 8 touchdowns. He also returned 56 kickoffs for 1449 yards (25.9 avg) and 2 more scores, as well as 11 punts for 76 yards (6.9 avg).
Young is going to be a solid complementary threat at the next level because of his speed and quickness and will make him a difficult matchup for many corners. But he'll also run into his share of problems. HIs lack of size and less than ideal hands and ball skills will probably limit him quite a bit in terms of being a full-time every down receiver. He's a guy that would be best working off the bench and getting a package of plays. Using him on reverses, end-arounds, screens, and shorter routes will play to his strengths. While he can also stretch the defense, I don't think he'll be as effective in the pro game because his lack of size and he's not a guy that goes and gets the ball. But in the right scheme, he can be a productive and an impact player, but I don't think he's the caliber of player that some are describing him as. He seems closer to Harry Douglas than DeSean Jackson. His most immediate value will be as a kickoff returner and he can be a dangerous player there. With some more development on offense, he can start to impact more on offense. He's more in line with No. 3 talent, but I think in the right offense he can be a decent No. 2. That offense would likely rely on a lot of spread formations and be heavily reliant on passing plays and covet speed, and have the caliber of receivers elsewhere that will limit how often teams roll coverages to him. Opposite a top-tier receiver he can be a very good complement sort like Peerless Price or Devery Henderson. But based off his skill level, I don't see him as a super-talented receiver. But he'll impact on special teams and at the very least be a good situational receiver that can give you 30-40 receptions a year, if not much more.
Young would add an explosive element to the offense, but the question remains whether or not he really brings anything to the table that Harry Douglas already doesn't. He's probably faster than Douglas, and has the sort of kickoff potential that he could take the job from Eric Weems as a rookie. But ultimately, in the Falcons ball control style of offense with a physical ground attack, he's probably just a No. 3 receiver that would be best used in packages and a situational role. In the condensed space of the Falcons offense, his limited size and ball skills will hurt him just like it does with Douglas. He'll only really excel in Atlanta as a kickoff returner, and be limited on offense unless the Falcons start to employ a lot more 4-wide sets. Otherwise, he's a guy that could give you 30-40 catches a year, but not much more than that.
Strictly as a receiver, he's probably in line with third round talent, but his special teams potential could bump him up to where he's worth a look in the latter part of the second round.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
After Catch: 3.5
Body Control: 2.5
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.