The Pac-12 and Mountain West games tend to play at later times. But if you tuned in to one of those late contests, you no doubt caught a preview of Boise State WR Khalil Shakir’s NFL Draft scouting report. Whether it’s effortlessly making a one-handed catch or making defenders miss in the open field, Shakir brings plenty of traits to like on the football field. Where might he go in the 2022 NFL Draft, and how does he project to the next level?
Khalil Shakir NFL Draft Profile
- Position: Wide Receiver
- School: Boise State
- Current Year: Senior
- Height: 5’11 7/8″
- Weight: 196 pounds
- Wingspan: 70 3/8″
- Length: 29″
- Hand: 9 1/2″
Shakir’s Combine/pro day results and athletic profile
- 40-Yard Dash: 4.43
- Bench Press: 16
- Broad Jump: 10′4″
- Vertical Jump: 38.5″
- Three-Cone: 7.28
- Short Shuttle: 4.21
Khalil Shakir Scouting Report
Much of the buzz in the 2022 NFL Draft is clustered around the top receivers — players like Garrett Wilson, Drake London, Jameson Williams, and Treylon Burks. They undoubtedly deserve the praise and attention, but the 2022 NFL Draft’s receiver class spans far beyond them. A player like Shakir could provide comparable value at potentially a couple of rounds later.
Shakir earned an invite to the Senior Bowl with his play in 2021, going on to flash several times in Mobile. Even after a great offseason testing session, there’s still a feeling that Shakir is flying under the radar. Let’s look at the tape and determine where Shakir stands in a stacked wide receiver class. Can he go on to make an impact in the NFL?
His athletic profile
Shakir isn’t an overly imposing physical specimen. He stands at 6’0″, 196 pounds, and has below-average length with 29″ arms. But for what he lacks in overwhelming size, Shakir makes up for with his dynamic athleticism.
Shakir possesses the explosiveness to gear up quickly after catches and cuts. He has great twitch and suddenness as an athlete. Moreover, the Boise State WR also has more than enough speed to threaten defensive backs in space and stretch the field. Shakir possesses good change-of-direction ability, as well as exceptional hip-sink capacity. That suddenness, hip sink, and burst out of breaks affords him high potential after the catch.
Going further, Shakir has good stop-and-start ability. He can halt momentum and levy quick cuts and spins. Additionally, his hip sink insulates his potential as a route runner. He accelerates out of breaks and explodes upfield. His ability to carry his speed through his breaks makes him hard to match at times. And after the catch, Shakir is a slippery runner. He can sneak through lanes and manipulate the open field fairly well.
Execution beyond the physical traits
Shakir safely passes the athletic threshold sought for a starting receiver. However, he’s not just an athlete catching passes. He has appeal from an executional standpoint as well.
Chief among Shakir’s operational strengths is his work at the catch point. At the catch, Shakir shows off absurd instincts. The Boise State WR can track the ball and make challenging adjustments with little strain. He’s able to control and contort his body with rare, natural comfort in the air. And his near-elite coordination ties it all together. Shakir actively guides the ball in with his hands and positions himself to maximize his reach. He can make acrobatic catches even amidst contact.
Shakir also shows promise as a route runner. He has a smooth style and can effectively stack cuts and roll his hips on routes. He’s shown he can speed up his feet into stems and surge into the open field. Moreover, Shakir can set up defenders and divert course with his suddenness as an athlete. He can threaten outside and generate displacement on routes and flashes the use of deception.
Shakir also has great zone awareness. He sneaks past defenders and exploits blind spots, and he can also pry defenders off of him and leap up for grabs in the red zone. Furthermore, Shakir can corral contested throws in stride with his strong hands and focus.
Among other things, Shakir has smooth throttle control nearing the catch point. He can actively slow up and adjust for off-target throws. He also has the versatility to line up in the slot, out wide, or be used in motion and take carries out of the backfield.
Areas for improvement
Physically, Shakir has his flaws. The Boise State receiver’s frame is lighter, slightly high-cut, and sports below-average length. That length can impact his ability to compete against more physical backs. It also impacts his catch radius. As much as his body control can compensate, he doesn’t quite have the reach other receivers have. Additionally, while Shakir is a great athlete, he doesn’t always play up to his testing numbers with his short-area burst.
Moving on, Shakir still has plenty of room to develop his route-running ability. He sometimes rounds off his routes and doesn’t always play with maximum suddenness. That tendency to round off breaks can give defenders more time to close in. Furthermore, Shakir can employ greater deception into his stems. He doesn’t always use head fakes or tease his speed downfield. Overall, Shakir can expand his route tree and be a more precise route runner. He has the tools, but he doesn’t always use them efficiently.
At the catch and after, there are notes as well. Shakir is prone to the occasional focus drop, especially when he’s threatened with immediate contact. He also has trouble fighting through contact at the route stem, and he’s easy to bring down with his lighter frame. Shakir’s projection against press falls into question as well. He doesn’t have an expansive release package, and his subpar length doesn’t translate well.
Finally, while Shakir is a decent blocker, he can have trouble sustaining blocks in the run game. Additionally, when he gets catches behind the line of scrimmage, he can freeze up at times, and try to be too creative.
Shakir’s 2022 NFL Draft scouting report overview
Circling back to the three-level threat wide receiver framework, Shakir brings a lot to the table. Before the catch, he has the smooth athleticism, explosiveness, and hip sink to find separation. In zone, he has great blind-spot awareness, which he uses to masterfully exploit defensive backs. At the catch, Shakir’s phenomenal, instinctive acrobatic ability is well-advertised. After the catch, he’s a slippery runner with some elusiveness in the open field.
There are some knocks with Shakir. While he’s a great athlete, he’s not quantifiably elite to the point that he can create solely with his athleticism. He also has room to develop as a route runner if he wants to maximize his physical traits. On top of that, his subpar length complicates his NFL projection. NFL defenders may more easily outmuscle him at the catch point, and his lacking experience against press could be a problem.
Nevertheless, in a modern NFL that’s becoming more space-oriented, Shakir has some appeal as a versatile slot receiver. He has enough RAC ability to be an asset with the ball in his hands. If he can channel his burst and hip sink and refine his route-running ability, he can be a menacing separator.
Shakir’s skill set is worth a Day 2 or early Day 3 pick. At the very least, he’s a great player to have in the rotation, and he can be a starting slot receiver who doubles as a playmaker at the catch point.
Shakir’s Player Profile
Shakir’s all-around prowess as a wide receiver stems from a diverse background as a player. In high school, Shakir wasn’t primarily a receiver. Instead, he was an athlete, who more often carried the ball on the ground.
After earning 1,149 yards and 9 touchdowns on 119 total touches in 2017, Shakir started to gain buzz on the recruiting trail. Rated as a four-star recruit on ESPN’s board, the Murrieta, California, product was one of the most coveted weapons on the West Coast. Having logged a 4.75 40-yard dash and a 31.6-inch vertical in high school testing, teams were aware of his upside.
Shakir drew offers from a host of Pac-12 schools, including Arizona, Arizona State, Washington State, and UCLA. He also fielded interest from programs like BYU and Nevada.
But instead, Shakir decided to join the Boise State Broncos, who were coming off an 11-3 season and a victory in the Las Vegas Bowl.
Shakir’s career at Boise State
To say Shakir’s career at Boise State has been illustrious would be an understatement. He finished his career fifth in team history in total receptions, fourth in total receiving yards, and ninth in total receiving touchdowns.
Shakir’s first year didn’t have that kind of production, but the flashes were there. Shakir immediately saw the field as a rotational receiver, collecting 170 yards and a touchdown on 16 catches. The Boise State WR also ran for 70 yards and a score on 14 carries.
The breakout came the following year (2019). As a mere true sophomore, Shakir earned All-Mountain West honorable mention recognition, hauling in 872 yards and 6 scores on 63 catches.
From that point onward, Shakir was the focal point of Boise State’s offense. In a seven-game 2020 season, he tacked on 52 catches for 719 yards and 6 touchdowns and also ran for 148 yards on 17 carries. And 2021, despite the high bar to clear, was his best year yet. Shakir played in 12 games, catching 77 passes for 1,117 receiving yards, finding the end zone 7 times.
Shakir’s NFL Draft ascension
Shakir will go down as one of the best wide receivers in Boise State team history. There’s also a chance he could end up being the best NFL receiver among his fellow alumni. Shakir, of course, needs to find a role first. But there are enough tools to work with, and his strong instincts at the catch point are sure to win over scouts in some departments.
After putting together a strong showing at both the Senior Bowl and the NFL Combine, Shakir can be a top-100 pick. And as a moving slot receiver with some versatility, he offers plenty of appeal early in his NFL career.
Tony Pauline’s scouting report for Khalil Shakir
Positives: Reliable possession receiver coming off a terrific senior campaign. Quickly releases off the line of scrimmage, displays outstanding route discipline, and comes back to the ball to make himself an available target. Tracks the pass in the air, gets vertical, and extends to make the reception away from his frame. Possesses outstanding eye/hand coordination and makes some incredibly acrobatic receptions.
Exposes himself to the big hit in order to come away with the reception, adjusts to the errant throw, and gives effort running after the catch. Snatches the ball out of the air and displays strong hands. Easily makes the reception on crossing patterns, displaying focus as well as concentration. Works routes even if he’s not involved in the play.
Negatives: Despite his 40 time, does not show a great burst or the second gear. Not sturdily built. Average run-after-the-catch ability.
Analysis: Shakir was consistently productive for Boise State, and after a career senior season, turned in three good days of practice at the Senior Bowl. He has enough ability to produce as a slot receiver or on the flanks. Shakir will also be given a chance to return punts in the summer.
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