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2020 NFL Draft Hidden Gems – WR Draft Sleepers

Tyler Johnson from Minnesota is one of the best wide outs in the 2020 NFL draft. Check out this piece where Matt Anzio shares his scouting notes on hidden gems in the draft

Hidden Gems  Vol. 3 

2020 NFL Draft Sleepers by Matt Anzio

Wide Receiver Scouting Notes

I was looking to feature a variety of guys some Outside type of big prospects & some speedy exciting guys who can play slot/ kick returner as well.  Many guys who serve many purposes on their team. All of which are Exciting to watch!!  Enjoy

  • WR  Brandy Holmes
  • Morningside (Iowa)
  • Height : 6’0  
  • Weight : 200 lbs 

Holmes is an ideal Y or Z wide out. 

Holmes can really benefit from that as he is crafty at the line. He is Excellent in motion & although he is not the biggest, he is still has good enough size to bust through jams.  Long arms that can locate the ball & has good flexibility/ extension to high point the football. 

Knows the route tree well & his OC at Morningside really knows how to use him. Moving him all over the formation  to create mismatches with his dynamite speed.  He has Fluid transitioning in and out of his breaks and on come back routes.  He Redirects his motion without losing momentum, has natural movement skills.  Has good Concentration, adjusts to the ball, and can catch in traffic. He  locates the ball, like his hands have a built in GPS.  Has great Sideline awareness to use it to his advantage with the toe tap swag many Coaches salivate over like a Cowboy Ribeye  when your starving. 

YAC is top flight he can win with speed but at 200 pounds can break tackles & push for the extra yard or 2.  Strong must wrap him up a arm tackle will not suffice. Explodes at the top of routes once he has the ball in his mits turns on jets like Nitro leaving DB’s in a cloud of dust. 

Well rounded WR that takes pride in blocking which can help in many RPO or West coast Offenses as well as on Special teams.

  • WR  Tyler Johnson 
  • Minnesota
  • Height : 6’ 2    
  • Weight :  200

Johnson could Rocket up Draft Boards like a Nasa Space Shuttle. 

Can make some acrobatic grabs in traffic or up in the air. Shows toughness & superior athleticism at the point of attack. Excellent route runner with good get off that works hard at the top of routes doesn’t give up on plays. Strong hands with a wingspan of jurassic bird proportions. Knows how to use his reach & catch radius extending his arms above or in front of the defenders.  

Reminds me of OBJ with some of his one handed eye opening plays he has made in tight windows. Again I’m not saying he is OBJ just shares that knack for making one handed amazing catches. Loose, fluid hips with an arsenal of moves to slip coverage for the catch. A YAC monster with the ball in his hands not easy to bring down good luck catching him once your beat.  Big body WR that can break tackles muscle his way for the extra yardage. 

In 2018, Tyler Johnson had an a outstanding outing with 78 catches, 1,169 yds 12 TD’s with 15 ypc avg. The year before he had 677 yds with 9 TD’s but had a 19.3 ypc avg.  Which was almost double the yards from the prior season but he also played an extra 4 games as a JR. At that rate it is exciting to see what the Golden Gopher pass catcher will do this year. Already on the early CBS top 100 cause his talent is evident. This year should prove to be his best to date he will be a name on many scouts lips by the time the 2020 NFL draft arrives.  

  • WR Cyrus Holder 
  • Saint Francis University  (P.A.)
  • Height : 6’ 4    
  • Weight : 205 lbs 

Holder is a true X wide out  that is a RedZone Weapon.

Hard too jam off the line big body WR that is hard to contain once he is in motion. Stong jab step 

Smooth moving that is dangerous going long or across the middle.  Adjusts for the ball with hands like vice grips. Not easy  to bring down like a runaway bull smashing through tackles & good luck once he gets into the secondary.  Can take a hit as well as dish out a hit  that always gets yards after the catch.   Perfect wide out to play at the line quicker than fast but difficult to contain. 

Outside WR’s are always  needed  there are always more slots. Holder can fill that big outside position role doesn’t need a ton of momentum do to his size power & ability to win the battle for the ball. Vertically inclined 

Good frame to help on blocking , overall a powerful physical WR that can knock down defenders like bowling pins in the PBA tour.  He has been getting stronger & getting better  every year his Senior year could be a game changer.  Has been used  as a returner on ST’s shows good vision with dynamic long speed.  Has a stiff arm like a George Foreman Jab will always get the extra yd.

In 2018  for the Red Flash Holder Had  36 catches, for 580 yds & 5 TD’d . He had  82.9 ypg with a 5.1 ypc. The YPC is a bit low but the way the O is run with a lot of dinking & dunking.  This year think he can have a breakout year with all his physical attributes. 

Don’t be surprised if he has a better average per game & catch as well as more TD’s. Very well could be a All Pros Year for Holder. Be keeping a eye on the pass catcher from SFU. 

  • WR/ RB/ KR/QB Hunter Belzo 
  • Height : 5’9  
  • Weight : 190 lbs 
  • Springfield College 

Belzo is a versatile player that has played many Roles in his Football Career thus far.

Has played QB, RB, WR  & a Return stud that is shifty & swifty. 

A 2 X All Conference NEWMAC  Player  with a career of 2,547 yds & an impressive 30 TD’s. 

Best game of 2018 had  208 rushing yds with 2 rush TD & 1 pass TD vs Coast Guard  on 10/7/18. 

HERO Sports Rated him the best RB/QB in the MAC conference but I ideally see him at the next level as a slot WR/ Return guy. Which are many times RB converts  when you get up into the Pro ranks .

With that said I am going to evaluate him as WR for that sole purpose.  Although I do think he could be a RB or even a QB in certain Leagues we know that can be difficult in the NFL.

His start is beyond fire flying out the gate into full stride in a heartbeat. Finding his way through the narrowest of gaps with crazy feet & silly quick body movements cuts, stutter steps & spins his way out of tackles & catch him if you can. 

His knowledge as a QB can serve him well in route running not to mention his understanding of fronts & coverages.   His Maneuverability is like that of a Ninja slicing & dicing up opponents leaving them wondering “what just happened”?   

Used in a lot of RPO  style Offense so you can see his run after the catch is something to get excited about. Maybe it’s the number 22 or just his running style but he looks like a smaller version of Christian McCaffrey. In style ,before people get up in arms  over a comparison. 

Ultimately his versatility will help his chances to play at the next level.  Can be a weapon no matter how you use Belzo. 

Maybe RB is a good option as well & definitely a  return man. He is going to catch the attention of scouts & talent evaluators with his  freakish athletic ability.

He is a left handed QB which is yet another attribute that could throw defenses off with his ambidextrous nature. Should be able to exploit the left right & middle of the field.

Good hands secures the ball well even when he’s making acrobatic moves. 

Throw on the tape this young Prospect is a blast to watch     

  • Juwan Manigo
  • Delaware Valley University 
  • Height: 5’ 6    
  • Weight:  185 lbs 

Mangio Lead his Team In Yards Per Catch with 16 ypc & as a WR. 

Fires off the line like a bottle rocket on the 4th of July. 

Smaller Slot WR/ KR specialist with Big Play capability.  Has the home run hitter style too take the top off a D.  Excelles in quickness route running toughness ability to make tacklers miss. Perfect fit for the  Y or slot position. 

Not easy to locate elusive quick footed lose hip receiver that bigger opponents have trouble getting low enough to take down.  Almost like a RB on finding his way through coverage can take a bubble screen for a big gain or all the way.  Ridiculous ability to cut, shift & weave his way through tacklers. Not many DB’s can catch Mangio from behind. 

Runs routes with natural movements good on slants, comebacks for a simple flag route. Can change direction amazingly Stop instantly, ball reaction skills to locate the ball.  Can avoid tackles traffic or trash & with the ball in his hands might be the most explosive of them all.  Tracks the ball well with reliable hands with the toughness to go across the middle take a hit.  Can bounce off tackles a lot stronger than you would expect for a prospect of his stature.  Concentration to catch the ball even when he knows he’s gonna take a hit. 

Keeps working the top of routes & when plays breakdown has the instincts to adjust to keep the play alive. 

Had 5 catches for 100 yds  vs Lebanon Valley 10/20/18  & had 116 yds  vs Mullenberg in a playoff game on 11/17/18. In 2019 already named  Spring MVP for DVU on his way to what should be his best year to date.

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at nfldraftdiamonds@gmail.com

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