Name: Jordan Westerkamp
Position fit: Slot receiver
Stats to know: Westerkamp averaged 2.56 yards per route run from the slot, second in the Big Ten.
What he does best:
- Very quick. Defenders would be right with him and then with one quick cut they’d be nowhere near him.
- Great footwork. Able to stop and start on a dime. Very good for his slot routes, was able to gain separation because of how quickly he could change direction.
- Much improved hands. Didn’t drop a single pass this year (on 38 catchable targets) after dropping eight on 73 targets in 2015. Had some great full-extension catches.
- Excellent route running. Ran all kinds of different routes at Nebraska and ran them effectively. Used subtle moves and tricks to separate, such as hand-fighting.
- Very smart route-runner. Waits for defender to turn around with him before cutting to create even more separation. Adjusts routes based on coverage.
- Very good after the catch, sees the field well and knows how to make guys miss with a variety of moves. Forced 11 missed tackles last year on just 38 receptions.
- Shows no fear going over the middle and took his fair share of big hits.
- Not very fast, especially in a straight line. Struggled to gain any separation on deep routes.
- Not very physical at the catch point.
- Can get re-routed if defenders get a good hand or push on him, not super strong.
- Body catches more than he should, especially since he has displayed great hands catching skills.
- Questions about release speed, especially against press coverage. Likely just a slot receiver.
Player comparison: Willie Snead, New Orleans Saints
Snead isn’t the biggest guy on the field and doesn’t have the speed to separate deep. But what he does have is great route-running skills and solid hands, as well as the ability to make people miss when he has the ball in his hands. Westerkamp could develop into a similar slot receiver.
Bottom line: Westerkamp’s senior season at Nebraska was marred by injuries, but he still finished with an 81.2 overall grade (26th in the NCAA) despite playing limited time in just 10 games. Westerkamp’s lack of speed and questions about his ability to fight through press coverage will likely see him a slot receiver and nothing more at the next level. But Westerkamp ran routes like an NFL slot receiver in college last year and his quickness and hands should allow him to succeed at the next level. He could develop into a very effective and reliable slot receiver/safety valve for any team he’s drafted by.