Indiana WR Cody Latimer has been one of this years drafts late risers, and at this point it is safe to say he is likely a top 50 pick in two weeks. Latimer went unnoticed because 1) He played on a bad Indiana team that did not feature him 2) He was not expected by many, if any, to declare 3) He suffered an injury that sidelined him until his pro day. After further review, I think it is pretty clear that the Latimer hype is legitimate, and he is worth keeping an eye on.
Where Cody Latimer Wins
Latimer has arguably the best ball skills in the entire WR class outside of Mike Evans. He has natural hands and makes every catch, no matter the difficulty, look easy and like 2nd nature. When contested for a pass, Latimer shows great physicality and ability to win jump balls.
With the ball in his hands, Latimer shows better athleticism than I anticipated. He has build up speed, but his YAC ability is pretty good. He can make defenders miss, or use strength, to pick up extra yards, and his long speed is impressive.
Where Cody Latimer Needs To Improve
My only real issue with Latimer is his explosion. As a big WR, he is not expected to be overly explosive off the line, but in terms of route running it limits him to a degree. He struggles getting low to the ground to sink his hips and explode on intermediate routes, which will limit his separation. Luckily for him, even when he is not open, he is going to be open.
Latimer is a very similar player to Mike Evans, who many are deeming a top 10 pick. Latimer has the size and strength to be a threat not only all over the field, but in the RZ as well. If teams are still sleeping on this guy, they shouldn't be. As for the Jaguars, he is just the type of "big" WR they were missing last year, and would be worth the #39 pick, though I have my doubts he will even be there.
Grade: 7.00, Day 2
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