Jalen Coker’s Draft Profile | Holy Cross, WR Scouting Report

Jalen Coker flashed great ball skills and route-running nuance at Holy Cross, but does his scouting report indicate productive potential in the NFL?

Every small-school prospect faces the same question entering the professional ranks: Can they generate the same amount of top production once their competition jumps significantly in the NFL?

This rings true for Jalen Coker from Holy Cross, who generated an impressive résumé as a wide receiver during his four-year career at the FCS school. The big question is, what does Coker’s scouting report say about his prospect profile entering the 2024 NFL Draft?

Jalen Coker’s Draft Profile and Measurements

  • Height: 6’1″
  • Weight: 208 pounds
  • Length: 32 7/8”
  • Hand: 9 7/8”
  • Position: Wide Receiver
  • School: Holy Cross
  • Current Year: Senior

Coker wasn’t a highly touted receiver prospect coming out of Potomac Falls High School in Sterling, VA, but his 89 receptions, 1,622 receiving yards, and 18 touchdowns foreshadowed his exceptional ball skills entering the college game.

Coker’s college career got off to a slow start in 2020 during a shortened season because of the global pandemic, catching just four passes for 72 yards and a score. Yet, the Holy Cross prospect would become the focal point of the Crusaders’ passing game over the next three years.

Coker caught at least 50 passes in each of the next three years, culminating with a career year in 2023 with 1,035 yards and 15 TDs as a senior.

His moments against FBS opponents have been limited. Still, Coker’s outstanding performance against Buffalo in 2022 — which included an incredible contested catch in a Hail Mary situation where he snared a ball cleanly over four elevated opponents to win the game — suggests he can compete at a higher level.

Coker’s Scouting Report

Strengths

  • Exceptional ball skills; Attacks the ball with strong hands away from his frame consistently.
  • Exceptional verticality at the catch point; Regularly high points the football on vertical contested situations with superb timing at the apex of his jump; Has the explosive traits to elevate and the body control to extend away from his frame; 42.5” vertical jump is the best in the class.
  • Nuanced route runner; Excellent timing and variance in route-running techniques — rocker step and pressure step make multiple appearances on his tape — approaching the breakpoint; Showcases stem IQ attacking a defender’s leverage; Tempo variance and ideal timing when engaging in his trigger step help create maximum separation.
  • Effective use of hands at the breakpoint; showcases ability to use chops, swipes, and push-by techniques to physically beat his opponent at the top of his stem to maintain timing integrity on route concepts.
  • Functional release package; Combines an efficient split release with strong hands to fight through press coverage; Diamond release made an appearance on his tape against Merrimack.
  • Does a quality job throttling down and finding soft spots when working against zone coverage.
  • Physical competitor as a ball carrier; Doesn’t show away from contact when trying to fight for extra yardage after the catch.
  • Great feel for stacking and establishing ideal positioning when trying to get to his landmark for the quarterback.

Weaknesses

  • Top speed is far from elite and will likely limit his effectiveness as a vertical threat in the NFL.
  • Wasted motion in his releases against press-man coverage; Could have a learning curve adjusting to the speed and physicality of corners at the NFL level.
  • While competitive as a ball carrier, some of his explosive testing numbers and strength at the catch point don’t consistently translate to great yards after catch production, which is unlikely to improve against the significantly better competition he’ll face in the NFL.
  • Despite some exquisite route-running detail on tape, his lack of suddenness and vertical speed could create some issues consistently separating against NFL defensive backs.

Current Draft Projection and Summary

Coker flashes some excellence in the hands, contested catch, and route-running department. When you combine this with his intriguing measurements and exceptional testing in both the vertical and broad jump at the NFL Combine, projecting him into a contributing role in 11 personnel at the next level isn’t farfetched.

Yet, questions remain about how effective Coker will be in contested-catch situations and creating consistent separation once he sees a massive jump in competition.

The fact he won’t be able to rely on vertical speed to separate at the professional level means he’ll have to win with top-notch route-running nuance and ball skills.

KEEP READING: Top Wide Receivers in the 2024 NFL Draft

Coker certainly flashed the ability to do those things on tape, but the question marks we have about his effectiveness against NFL talent is simply something we won’t get an answer to until we see him on the field for training camp.

 

He will enter the 2024 NFL Draft as an intriguing Day 3 prospect who could operate outside or as a big slot at the next level.

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