Player Spotlight: Florida Wide Receiver Ricky Pearsall

McNeese v Florida
McNeese v Florida / James Gilbert/GettyImages

Position: Wide Receiver

Age (Draft Day): 23

Height/Weight: 6'1", 189 lbs.

40 yard dash: 4.41 sec

3-cone: 6.64 sec


Ricky Pearsall was a 3-star recruit per 247 sports in the 2019 recruiting class out of Corona Del Sol High School in Tempe, Arizona. He stayed local and began his career as an Arizona State Sun Devil, catching passes for Jayden Daniels before following him to the SEC after his third season. Pearsall immediately assumed the number one target role for the Florida Gator offense in 2022, and in his two seasons there tallied over 1,600 yards and 9 touchdowns.


Elite Athleticism: The 23-year-old pass catcher was easily one of the biggest risers following the NFL combine in March. His testing numbers, while understandable given the tape, were much better than many analysts had predicted. Pearsall ran a 4.41 40-yard dash, an incredible 6.64 3-cone, and jumped 42 inches in the vertical measurement. Both the 3-cone time and vertical were above the 97th percentile for receivers. His 9.90 RAS score from was 32nd among 3,121 eligible wide receiver prospects from 1987 to 2024.

Savvy Route Running: Pearsall's athleticism is obvious on the football field, especially in the ways that he's able to separate. As you'd expect for a 5th-year player, his route running is much further developed than other players in the class. His route tempo and construction are that of an experienced receiver, varying his speed to keep defenders on edge. He mixes in misdirection well, and with his elite change of direction skills is able to consistently put space between him and defenders at the breaks of routes. Ricky also has a well-rehearsed bag of releases to pull from to beat press coverage.

Reliable Middle of the Field Receiver: The Florida receiver played about 55% of his snaps in the slot per PFF, and thus was used heavily in the middle of the field. Pearsall has exactly the type of skill set and toughness to win between the hashes at the next level. He is an ultra-reliable hands-catcher, with the ball skills to extend outside of his frame in order to bring in less-than-accurate passes. While his size doesn't lend itself to contested catching success, he has no problem finishing plays through contact. His game experience is apparent in the ways that he makes himself available versus zone coverage, consistently working to find passing lanes for his quarterback.


Limited Big Play Potential: For as consistent as Ricky is in the intermediate parts of the field, he's not a receiver that I would rely too heavily on for splash plays. The speed is definitely good enough to threaten vertically at times, but it wasn't a featured part of his game at Florida. Pearsall also doesn't bring homerun potential as a ball carrier. His speed, quickness and grit are going to earn him those hidden yards after the catch, but he's not going to break or force missed tackles at much of a high rate.

Lower Ceiling - Literally and Figuratively: Like a lot of the receivers in this class, Pearsall is pretty thinly built. At 6'1", 189 pounds, he doesn't have quite the size to compete as a true every down 'X' receiver. I still think his speed and ability to win against press is plenty good enough to see snaps on the outside, but his workload will definitely be split pretty evenly between that and the slot. Additionally, he's not a player that I foresee earning targets in 50/50 situations. This all goes to say that I don't think he quite has the potential to be a true number-one option in an NFL passing attack.

NFL Comparison: Van Jefferson

Van Jefferson, Jalen Thompson
Los Angeles Rams v Arizona Cardinals / Norm Hall/GettyImages

Another Florida Gator receiver, Jefferson was the 57th pick by the Rams in the second round of the 2020 Draft. Like Pearsall, Jefferson's workload was split 55/45 between the slot and the outside in college, and his success predicated heavily on his route running prowess. Before being traded to the Falcons mid-season in 2023, Jefferson was a reliable third-starting receiver for the Rams. His most productive year came in 2021, reeling in 50 catches for 802 yards as a second-year player, and helping Los Angeles to a Super Bowl win.

Draft Projection

Ricky Pearsall was already favorably viewed by myself and others heading into what would be a monster combine for the young prospect. The wide receiver position ultimately comes down to two core tenants, get open and catch the ball; Pearsall does both extremely well. His reliability in the middle of the field will earn the respect and trust of his play callers and quarterbacks, and should allow him to fit snug as a great number-two option in an NFL receiving room. I would feel confident investing a second-round pick in the Florida receiver come April.

Round Grade: Second Round Pick