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Josh Malone NFL Draft 2017: Scouting Report for Cincinnati Bengals' Pick

Matt Miller@nfldraftscoutNFL Draft Lead WriterApril 29, 2017

Tennessee wide receiver Josh Malone (3) can't hold onto the ball during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Western Carolina on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015, in Knoxville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)
Wade Payne/Associated Press

Measurables
HeightWeight40 TimeArm LengthHand Size3-Cone
6'2 5/8"208 lbs4.40s31 3/8"9 5/8"7.05s

    

POSITIVES

Josh Malone shows off a good combination of size and speed at nearly 6'3" and running a 4.4-second 40-yard dash. He enters the draft after a highly productive junior year in which he caught 50 passes for 972 yards and 11 touchdowns. He was a big-play threat for Tennessee, averaging 19.4 yards per catch. Malone is excellent at adjusting to the ball in the air, and he shows the ability to come back to underthrown passes. He is a load to bring down in the open field and is always fighting for more yards after the catch. Teams were forced to play off Malone, which led to easy pitch-and-catch completions from Joshua Dobbs on eight-yard comebacks. 

          

NEGATIVES

While Malone shows an ability to adjust to the ball, he doesn't high-point it nearly often enough. He will let deep passes get into his body, and he fails to exploit his size advantage over corners. With a vertical of just 30.5 inches (fifth percentile), he will need to improve in this area. He can struggle to get separation, and he failed to stand out vs. Alabama, catching four passes for 25 yards before a 36-yard pass came late in garbage time. While Malone has good feet to beat press coverage, he too often lacks the strength to run through the press and can get knocked off the stem of routes. Defenders can force him to the sideline and control his routes. Coming out of a run-pass option system, he often ran routes instead of blocking on run plays, and he will have to adjust. 

      

PRO COMPARISON: Terrance Williams, Dallas Cowboys

FINAL GRADE: 6.00/9.00 (Rookie Impact/Future Starter—Round 3)

 

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