Separation Skills: Not the most gifted or savvy of route runners. Was allowed to freelance for the most part in Hawaii’s Pistol offense. Lacks experience at executing the complete route tree. Comes off the line of scrimmage with bad intentions. Uses his big frame to initially bully defenders and create separation for himself. Lacks initial burst off and often drifts into his routes, slows down before his breaks and rounds them off. Does display the ability to create space with a bevy of head fakes and deaks. Excels at separating after the catch. Shows a solid second gear once the balls is secure. However, the long speed is not there. Will not consistently run away from defenders to daylight.
Ball Skills: Superb in this area. Is a natural hands catcher that rarely allows the ball into his frame. Has above average hand size and arm length that allows him to pluck the ball easily. Shows excellent concentration, often making catches in traffic, off his back shoulder and on shoe tops. Even shows a propensity at making catches with defenders draped over him. Not really a down field receiver. Works more of the middle of the field. Not much experience at hauling in over the shoulder catches down field or jump balls.
Big play ability: Not a threat outside the numbers vertically. Does pose a threat up the seam and in the middle of the field. Knows how to locate empty zones, sit, and exploit them. Is excellent with the ball in his hands. Has a knack for YAC. Runs real physical and looks to break every tackle. Possesses short-area quickness and speed but doesn’t possess much elusiveness.
Competitiveness/ Toughness: An extremely competitive, strong willed, and tough player. Throws his body around without any hesitation. Fights for every ball thrown his way and attempts to break up potential interceptions. Excellent blocker at the line of scrimmage and down field. Lifts defenders off their feet on occasion with colossal hits.
Intangibles: Cerebral kind of guy with good work ethic. 2010 team captain. Broke Hawaii’s school records with 285 receptions, 4,345 receiving yards and 26 touchdowns.
Overall Stock: It’s going to be a tough go for Greg Salas at first. Hawaii’s offensive philosophy helped him shine nationally, but it ultimately has hindered him. He lacks experience at running NFL-style routes and beating man-press coverage. No doubt he has the tools to do both, but he’ll need time to develop those skills. With his lack of long speed, he’ll be pigeon-holed to Slot Receiver. Salas will be great there, but I also feel that he possesses enough skill to work outside the hashes. He won’t be a threat down field, but he can work the middle of the field and eat up zone coverage–similar to Anquan Boldin in Arizona. For teams that put an emphasis on YAC and intermediate routes, they’ll have Salas rated much higher than teams that are vertical. As it is now, he’s slated to come off the board in the 3rd-4th round. Don’t be surprised if it’s the early 3rd. There aren’t many receivers in this draft that have the combination of size, hands, physicality, and the ability to run after the catch.
NFL Comparisons: Anquan Boldin and Hines Ward