Josh Palmer NFL Draft 2021: Scouting Report for Los Angeles Chargers WR

BR NFL Scouting DepartmentContributor IMay 1, 2021

Tennessee wide receiver Josh Palmer (5) warms up before an NCAA college football game against Alabama, Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)
Vasha Hunt/Associated Press

HEIGHT: 6'1 1/4"




—Does a good job of selling vertical on routes before sharply cutting, even if his lack of top-end speed diminishes some of the threat. 

—Will vary tempos on his routes to keep CBs off-balance.

—Good, strong hands with flashes of good catching range and the ability to high-point throws and snatch things away from his body. Has long arms and knows how to use them.

—Shows good play strength. Willing to scrap in blocking and wins with body control and strength rather than overwhelming athleticism. 

—Good size and build with long arms.



—Wastes steps on his release and when breaking on routes. Rises up and exposes his body, which will make it easy for physical CBs.

—Doesn't have that extra gear to threaten defenders on his routes. Will win on releases but struggles to maintain separation.

—Not consistently clean on throws at his body. Will double-catch the ball.

—Average with the ball in hands, gets north and goes down.



10 G, 33 rec., 475 yards, 14.4 avg., 4 TD



Josh Palmer did not benefit from a great situation or quarterback play during his time at Tennessee, but he had flashes of ball-winning ability, winning with length, body control, and above-average overall athleticism.

Palmer worked mostly from the outside in college and flashed the ability to win vs. pressure due to his good play strength and strong hands with adequate foot quickness. Palmer does have issues opening up and maintaining the separation his initial release creates and wins with varying his tempos like a junk-ball baseball pitcher, so his strong hands help him win in contested catch situations.

Palmer plays with toughness and competitiveness; he's willing to block and play with good effort and work over the middle on catches. He plays high at times on his releases and also when breaking on his routes, which will leave him susceptible to physical CBs throwing hands into his chest. That will need continued refinement in the NFL.

Overall, Palmer will need to continue improving his route running, but his adequate athleticism and good size should allow him to be a contributor on special teams and as a backup initially with the potential for more. A move inside into a power slot role might also be beneficial for him. 


GRADE: 7.4/10 (Round 4)


PRO COMPARISON: Tyler Johnson 


Written by B/R NFL Scout Nate Tice