Three Skills Scouts Look for in Wide Receivers

Evan Loring - Harvard Football
Evan Loring – Wide Receivers Coach at Harvard

Based in Pembroke, Massachusetts, Evan Loring serves as a senior manager with Congruity, where he manages annual IT budgets for large enterprise businesses. Before taking up his current responsibilities, Evan Loring spent two years as a wide receiver coach at Harvard University.

From college football up through the NFL, scouts look for specific qualities in their wide receiver prospects. Here are three receiver skills commonly sought after by scouts.

1) Athleticism – Although the exact definition of athleticism is hard to pin down, every successful wide receiver must be able to excel at the physical aspects of the position. Soft hands rank at the top of the list for players whose job it is to catch the ball. Receivers must be able to run fast, jump high, and move their bodies in space. Strength is also important, as it enables receivers to get off the line and win battles against defensive backs.

2) Route-running – Not only must receivers have technical ability, but they also must be able to find open spaces on the field. Less-athletic wide receivers often outpace elite athletes due to their superior route-running ability, which translates into more reliable yardage on a given play.

3) Blocking – Often considered a secondary requirement of the receiver position, blocking can play an incredibly important role in the offense. Particularly in field-stretching plays such as sweeps and screens, blocking can spell the difference between no gain and a first down or more.