It's almost unfair how good Texas A&M 5-star wide receiver commit Derrick Griffin has the potential to be.
Size is the name of the game for Griffin, but he also compliments his size with a good set of skills. He has the intangibles to be a very special player at the college level, especially in Texas A&M's offense.
Here's my complete scouting report for the Aggies' 5-star wideout commit:
- Name: Derrick Griffin
- Hometown: Rosenberg, Texas
- School: B F Terry
- Position: Wide receiver
- Height: 6'7'' (247Sports)
- Weight: 210 lbs (247Sports)
- Rankings: 5-star (Scout.com), 4-star (Rivals), 4-star (247Sports), 4-star (ESPN Recruiting Nation)
It would almost be irresponsible to talk about Griffin's positives without starting with his height. At 6'7'' he is literally going to be a huge mismatch at the college level. Not only will he be an asset for Texas A&M in the red zone, but even a simple slant throw will be easier to complete due to his target being so much higher than the defenders.
If Griffin was just a tall receiver tough it wouldn't work out, so what other skills is he bringing to the table?
He's got great length obviously, which gives him long strides. He'll be able to outrun the defender on a fade route, but he can still be effective on shorter routes. He runs pretty good routes for a kid as tall as he is. His size doesn't hinder him from having quick feet, which will come into play when he's asked to get open against better competition in the SEC.
Where Griffin may excel the most though is as a blocker on the edge. He's essentially like a basketball small forward out there on the field, and he uses his size to his advantage. He's not afraid to get physical with defenders out on the edge, so A&M would be smart to use him as a blocker on bubble screens or pick plays.
In the play below he's responsible for blocking the safety, which would theoretically provide that last block for the back at the second level.
Not only does he make the block, but he gets a pancake in the process. Notice how his feet are shoulder-width apart, which provides him with a good base, and he drives through the block.
For a receiver, and one that you'd think would be mainly concerned about catching deep routes, he has incredible ability as a blocker.
This is a point that can be easily fixed at the next level, but it's one worth mentioning and working on none the less. For as tall as Griffin is, he doesn't appear to go up and high-point the ball, which is probably a derivative of him always having the advantage over defenders.
The problem is, in the SEC, corners and safeties are going to be bigger and more athletic, so he's going to have to work on getting vertical when he catches the deep ball rather than falling back into it. He'll essentially be negating his height advantage in the SEC.
In the pictures below, notice how he's in great position to out-jump the defender and high-point the ball on this fade route, but instead of going up straight and getting it, he allows himself to fall into the catch, which creates an almost equal playing field for him and the defender (displayed by the red lines). This shouldn't be the case because of his size.
If he had gone up straight his natural size advantage would allow him to easily catch the ball over the defender, and it would negate the risk of an interception (displayed by the green lines). He ended up catching the ball, but one could argue that his lack of fundamentals made it much harder than it should have been.
Griffin has the raw talent to be a very good player for Texas A&M and the key word with him is potential. His size creates enormous potential for him at the college level, and if he can work on some of those fundamentals, while continuing to improve on the things he's good at, he can be a great receiver for the Aggies.