Florida Gators WR Ricky Pearsall sometimes gets drowned out in a strong 2024 NFL Draft wide receiver class, but might he have the tools to contend for early-round capital? That’s what we’re here to discuss with Pearsall’s official draft scouting report.
Ricky Pearsall Draft Profile and Measurements
- Height: 6’1″
- Weight: 190 pounds
- Position: Wide Receiver
- School: Florida
- Current Year: Redshirt Senior
Pearsall began his collegiate career as a three-star recruit out of Tempe, Arizona. Looking for a place to further his pursuits, he didn’t have to travel very far.
The Arizona State Sun Devils (also in Tempe) provided the perfect place for Pearsall to kickstart his production. He logged rotational reps in 2019 and 2020 — enough to get his feet wet — but 2021 was when Pearsall truly emerged as an offensive weapon. As a third-year player, he logged 48 catches for 580 yards and four touchdowns.
In 2022, Pearsall leveraged his production into a transfer opportunity at the University of Florida, joining future fourth-overall pick Anthony Richardson’s pass-catching corps. In his first year with the Gators, Pearsall registered 33 catches for 661 yards and five touchdowns (averaging over 20 yards per catch) and also logged 113 yards and a TD on the ground.
Richardson left after the 2022 season, but the Gators managed to add Graham Mertz via the transfer portal, and Pearsall’s production took a leap with another year of QB stability. He caught 65 passes for 965 yards and four scores in 2023, earning an invite to the Reese’s Senior Bowl.
Pearsall’s Scouting Report
- Fairly explosive athlete who can use his burst to surge out of route breaks and separate.
- Has enough long speed to stretch seams at the intermediate and deep levels.
- Has the elite body control and coordination to pull off incredible acrobatic catches.
- Plays the ball patiently and uses late adjustments and late hands to stay in control.
- Reliable hands catcher who consistently corrals throws with sturdy diamond technique.
- Flashes elite hand strength, both at the catch point and amidst impending contact.
- Has exceptional foot speed, cylindrical twitch, and a vast release package at the line.
- Fluid, nuanced separator who can use tempo modulations to throttle through zones.
- Has the zone and blind-spot awareness to flow into open spaces with efficiency.
- Precise route runner against man, who can use head fakes and sink to tug open paths.
- Can use hip flexibility to pinch acute angles on crossers and posts while keeping speed.
- Can use combined targeted physicality and flexibility to pry around defenders at stems.
- Has a degree of wiry strength and can keep balance through solo arm tackles.
- Effective on motions and brings ready-made alignment and usage versatility.
- Is at least a willing and assignment-sound blocker, even if he struggles to sustain.
- On-field explosiveness and speed, while good, both fall visibly short of the elite mark.
- Non-elite explosiveness sometimes prevents him from stacking DBs after off-setting.
- Needs a runway to gear up and threaten defenses vertically.
- Doesn’t always have the sheer speed to spook DBs into retreating upfield at stems.
- At times, can be more abrupt with his sinks at the top of routes, to peel off DBs.
- Doesn’t have elite quickness and twitch on redirections, and stalls after initial cuts.
- Lacks the elite change-of-direction to channel maximum explosiveness out of cuts.
- Overall lack of elite athletic traits dilutes his ceiling as a weapon at the NFL level.
- Athletic limitations may make it more difficult to avoid contested situations in the NFL.
- With a leaner frame, can struggle to fight through physicality in the contact window.
- Isn’t an overly imposing presence as a blocker with his leaner frame.
- Will turn 24 years old in September of his rookie year.
Current Draft Projection and Summary
Pearsall grades out as an early-to-mid Day 3 prospect in the 2024 NFL Draft. He could sneak into the top-100 range with a good offseason.
Non-elite athletic traits may dilute Pearsall’s ceiling, but he has the skills to be a valuable rotational presence. His best college football plays came as a result of his most marketable traits. To be sure, he’s a very nuanced separator with enough athleticism and fluidity to function at the NFL level.
But Pearsall makes his money with truly hyper-elite catching instincts and hands. Few receivers are better at the catch point than him when it comes to consistently adjusting for footballs, using late adjustments and patience to maintain control, and securing passes through the catch process with hands of glue.
Pearsall’s reliability at the catch point makes him an asset on money downs, and he also has a degree of usage versatility that allows him to be easily integrated on Day 1. He can work the slot or be used in motions, and while he’s not a consistent boundary threat, Pearsall can take reps there, too.
Ultimately, the limiting factor on Pearsall’s stock is his non-elite athleticism, with a leaner frame. While he’s not a liability, his burst and speed are both visibly non-elite. That lack of elite vertical athleticism sometimes limits his ability to bait DBs as a route runner or create space for himself, and he doesn’t have the size to fully compensate.
Nevertheless, as a rotational presence, Pearsall has a lot of appeal as a versatile, high-floor WR4 in an NFL offense, with the coverage-diverse route-running chops, functional mobility, and catch-point prowess to be a key situational cog.
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