Sep 14, 2013; Eugene, OR, USA; Oregon Ducks wide receiver Josh Huff (1) runs for a touchdown in the second quarter against the Tennessee Volunteers at Autzen Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NFL Draft Scouting Report – Josh Huff, WR Oregon


Oregon has become a team known for high powered offense and electric athletes but some of their most effective offensive players are good but not terrific athletes, at least compared to some of the others coming to Eugene.  Wide Receiver Josh Huff has been a productive player for the Ducks, but he tends to get lost in the shuffle when it comes to running off names of big time players they have, but just keeps on producing.

Going to the NFL, Huff has the athleticism and ability to produce but he tends to get lost in the shuffle, except when it comes to blocking.  He is outstanding in that area of his game.  Huff is able to get open, catch the ball and make plays but need to continue developing and refining those areas of his game.  He needs to do a better job of running routes to create separation and show off his athleticism.  Huff projects as a day three receiver with a small chance of going undrafted, but he has the ability to not only make a roster what he can do, but thrive when he gets in the NFL as a third or fourth option.

Vitals & Build

Huff is listed at 5’11” 205lbs with a pretty good build for the position.  His speed, quickness and strength all look above average but none of them really stand out as being special.  He demonstrates pretty solid body control.  Huff is ready to contribute in the NFL but he could still get stronger going forward.

Route Running & Technique

Huff’s stance is decent but he will have some bounce coming out and could work to improve it.  He comes out with pretty good speed and is able to get to full speed and stretch the field pretty quickly.

In terms of his route running, his feet are somewhat inconsistent.  He shows the ability to sink his hips and explode out of his cut, but does not do it enough, opting to ease into routes like posts too often.  It makes it harder to turn his shoulders and box out opponents from the football as well as making it so they can close on the cushion and make plays on the football.

He does a better job when it comes to cutting back on comeback type routes, able to create more separation and find space to get open.  Overall, his route running tends to be merely average, attacking zones rather than really working to create separation with how often they attack down the field.  Huff has shown the ability to do it, but needs to do it with more consistency to get better results.

Hands

Huff shows ability as a pass catcher, showing solid hands and a decent sized catch radius.  He can adjust to passes thrown behind him and track the ball down, but has had some drops as well.  Huff needs to do more in terms of proving how he can make plays in traffic, using his body better to box out opponents and timing when he needs to go for the play.  For the most part, he tends to make the plays he should while occasionally making some nice plays and evening that out with a few drops.

Run After Catch

Huff definitely has some ability after the catch.  He is confident with the ball in his hands and is not afraid to try to make plays.  Huff has shown he has the ability to work the sideline, is not afraid to cut back inside, use his blocks and has enough speed to make plays when he is catch passes with open space in front of him.

Blocking

The system the Ducks demands its receivers block in order for it to be effective, so they put a significant emphasis there.  Huff is not a perfect blocker but he brings a good amount of effort and is able to get results.  He is not afraid to square up against anyone and get in front of them with an aggressive mindset.  Huff will use his hands, control the opponent and look to shove them out of the play and into the bench if he can.  His angles are usually good, he does a good job of getting into position quickly and he fires off of the snap with good speed to make opponents think he could be running a route.

Occasionally, Huff will lose a block but the opponent has to fight to get around him and is at least slowed in the process.  In those circumstances, there are times when Huff is beaten on the block but the defender is slowed enough where they are unable to get to the play and the ball carrier is still able to exploit it to get yardage and score.  There are times when Huff will dive, whether this is designed or impromptu that are not terribly effective, especially with how well Huff can block without going that route.

System Fit

Huff’s best fit might be in a power running game and he definitely has the ability to contribute in a spread scheme.  His blocking is a huge asset and while he has shown he is necessarily a special receiving threat, he does look like someone who can contribute as a third or fourth option with the potential to improve.

Special Teams

Huff has experience returning kickoffs but with his ability to block opponents in space, he is probably better utilized as a blocker should a kickoff not go out of the back of the end zone.  His overall athletic ability, build and aggressive mindset could enable him to contribute in a number of areas.

NFL Comparison

Huff’s game might be similar to that of Earl Bennett of the Chicago Bears.  Bennett and Huff certainly have physical ability but neither has athleticism that really jumps off of the tape.  They play in a way that looks relatively average.  Nevertheless, both are able to get open and make plays, even if they are better suited to be a third or fourth option or a team.  Huff could outplay that, but that is where he projects right now.

Draft Projection

Josh Huff has the ability to play in the NFL, but needs to keep hammering out the details to stay there.  His athleticism is pretty good, but his inconsistency as a technical receiver can leave him looking ordinary at times.  Huff stands out as a great athlete when he is able to get in the open field, but has good strength when he is able to show off as a blocker and really helps teammates do more damage.  Huff projects as a day three prospect with a small chance of going undrafted, but wherever he goes, he has a chance to make it on a roster and thrive in the NFL as a third or fourth option with the potential to get better if he gets better technically.

Some of the film used in this scouting breakdown was provided by the good folks at draftbreakdown.com

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