2014 NFL Draft: Pre-Season Breakdown – Alex Amidon, WR Boston College

Sep 1, 2012; Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, USA; Boston College Eagles wide receiver Alex Amidon (83) carries the ball during the first quarter against the Miami Hurricanes at Alumni Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Boston College has had a rough run in recent years between bad luck befalling players and a tough run of head coaches.  The hope is that they can get back to being the Boston College that people know they can be and become a power within the ACC.  One of the guys trying to get them there is Alex Amidon, their senior wide receiver.  Amidon had an impressive and unheralded junior year catching 78 passes 1,210 yard and with 7 touchdowns with 4 carries, 55 yards and another touchdown.

Amidon is undersized for the NFL and is relatively small for college, but he has just been a tough player who finds a way to make it work and his 15.51 yards per catch average is impressive, especially when considering where Amidon would catch most of his passes.  He catches a lot of passes underneath and then has to make the yards up on his own and make small gains into bigger ones.  Amidon needs to get more consistent with his hands and catching the football but he is a natural slot receiver going to the next level that could be a pleasant surprise on day three of the draft.

Vitals & Build

Amidon is listed at 5’11” 186lbs but he does not even look that tall.  He is a good athlete in terms of his quickness and agility with solid speed.  Amidon appears to have underwhelming strength but great toughness.  In other words, he does not seem to play as strong as he seems to be but that strength enables him to take a beating and continue going strong.  Amidon’s physical potential is limited.  He can gain strength but for the most part, he is what he is going to be in the NFL.

Route Running & Technique

Amidon has a great stance and all of his motion goes directly forward at the snap, so he looks just that much quicker.  He has great feet and can employ quick, choppy steps, so he is able to get in and out of his cuts efficiently, creating separation.  Amidon also has a good sense of balance and body control, which makes him work in and out of his cuts more quickly.  He also does a good job of varying how he runs his routes and giving opponents something to think about, which keeps them off balance.

He excels at running routes that are typical of a slot receiver, working over the middle on slants, drags, posts, and crosses.  Amidon also does a good job of selling deep routes and creating space to work underneath and create openings for the quarterback to throw the ball.  While he can make plays going deep at times, he struggles to use his body to create space.  He does the best he can but there are limits due to the fact that he is just not a big guy.  Amidon can go deep as a changeup and make plays, but he is a natural slot receiver and that will be his role going into the NFL.

Hands

Amidon has good hands for the most part with the ability to snatch the ball out of the air.  He does a good job of concentrating on the football down the field and making plays as well as getting himself in position to make plays.  Amidon makes a lot of catches that he might not be expected to make but he will also drop balls on catches he should.  It seems to be a case of trying to run before he has secured the catch, but they happen too often and it needs to be cleaned up.  He also seems to catch too many passes with his body.

The other problem that Amidon faces is that his catch radius is not huge because he is not a big target.  The ball has to be put on him for the most part for him to make plays.  He is able to secure the ball quickly and protect the ball.  Amidon is subtle with how he does it, but he can use his body to box opponents out and make catches.

Run After Catch

Part of why Amidon is successful is because he is fearless going across the middle and how he catches the ball that enables him to continue gaining yards after the catch.  Amidon does a good job of setting his feet to put him position to run after the catch.  While he is not a big guy, he is tough and is not afraid to lower his shoulder to gain yards and push forward to gain extra yards.  He is shifty and quick in addition to having speed to gain extra yards.

Blocking

Amidon gets in the way as a blocker.  That is about all anyone can say about him at this point.  He is more of a speed bump as a blocker than anything else but opponents will get slowed down enough by him that they are unable to make the play on the ball carrier.  Amidon needs to do everything right for his blocks to work and he does not.  He falls off too many blocks, does not always do a good job of putting himself between the defender and the ball carrier, and will get shoved out of the way too easily.  Amidon does put in the effort to be a downfield blocker and will help out his teammates to help them make bigger plays.  This is an area where Amidon really struggles.  He can improve with his positioning and his technique which would help him be a better blocker, but he is going to run into problems holding up against bigger and stronger opponents.

System Fit

Amidon is a good fit in any system that wants to use a quick twitch slot receiver.  He is able to get separation underneath, find ways to get open and make catches and gain yards.  Amidon is also a guy who can score touchdowns.  At this point, it does not seem like he has much viability on running downs, which is something he can improve, but could impact his viability early on in his career.

2013 Schedule

Sat, Aug. 31 vs. Villanova
Fri, Sept. 6 vs. Wake Forest
Sat, Sept. 14 at USC
Sat, Sept. 28 vs. Florida State
Sat, Oct. 5 vs. Army
Sat, Oct. 12 at Clemson
Sat, Oct. 26 at North Carolina
Sat, Nov. 2 vs. Virginia Tech
Sat, Nov. 9 at New Mexico State
Sat, Nov. 16 vs. N.C. State
Sat, Nov. 23 at Maryland
Sat, Nov. 30 at Syracuse

Notable Games

The game against USC is a chance for Boston College and Amidon to make a statement nationally.  USC is never short on athletes, so Amidon should have plenty of opportunities to make plays against good competition.  After a bye week, they then turn around and host Florida State, a team that thumped the Eagles in Tallahassee last year.  Amidon did not have a big impact, so both he and his team will look to bounce back in a big conference test at home.  While Amidon was able to score a touchdown, Virginia Tech was the worst game for Amidon in terms of catches and yards from last season; a game they only lost by a single touchdown.  That was in Blacksburg and this year will be at home, so all of them get a chance for redemption and to get a big win.

NFL Comparison

Amidon is similar to Danny Amendola, now of the New England Patriots.  They have almost identical triangle numbers and play an extremely similar style of play.  Hopefully, Amidon will not have the same issues with staying healthy that Amendola has faced, but healthy, they are extremely similar in what they can do for a team as a weapon in the slot.

Draft Projection

Amidon is a solid day three prospect and it is going to be difficult for him to go above that because he does not offer much in terms of upside.  Amidon can work to improve as a pass catcher and eliminate the drops as well as getting better as a blocker.  There is certainly value in what he brings to a team and he could be a nice player at the next level, but it seems unlikely for that to go higher than round four or five.

Topics: 2014 NFL Draft, Alex Amidon, Boston College Eagles Football, Wide Receivers

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