One of the biggest story lines of the off-season for the Denver Broncos have been the rumors surrounding their wide receiver corps. Both Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton have been discussed in potential trades. Furthermore, the long-term future of most incumbents on the roster is unknown.
A scenario exists where a majority of the team’s receivers are playing elsewhere in 2024. With that in mind coupled with a change in offensive schemes and philosophy, it’s quite apparent Sean Payton is looking to mold the wide receiver room with players who are quality fits for his system. That’s one of the reasons why I expect them to take a receiver in this year’s NFL Draft.
One under the radar player who I believe has good pro potential is Maryland Terrapins wide receiver Rakim Jarrett. Let’s take a deeper look at Jarrett’s background, production, and give a quick rundown of what he does well and what he can improve on.
Rakim Jarrett — Wide Receiver —Maryland
Height: 6’0” Weight: 192 lbs.
Bench Press: 13 reps | Arm Length: 31 3/8” | Hands: 9 3/8”
40 Yard Dash: 4.44 | 3 Cone Drill: N/A | 20 Yard Shuttle: N/A
Few high school prospects in the nation received as much attention as Rakim Jarrett coming out of Palmer Park, Maryland. A consensus 5-star recruit and widely regarded as one of the nation’s best prep wide receivers, he amassed over 25 scholarship offers from some of the biggest football programs in the nation.
After originally committing to LSU, Jarrett surprised many when he decided to stay close to home and continue his career with the Terrapins. Whispers of him being the next Stefon Diggs or DJ Moore were floated, but Jarrett stayed humble and focused on being the best version of himself.
In his COVID shortened freshman season, he racked in 17 receptions for 252 yards and two touchdowns in just four games. He steadily improved as a sophomore and started 13 contests and reeled in 62 receptions for 829 yards and five touchdowns. His production plummeted this past year with just 40 catches for 471 yards and three touchdowns.
Things didn’t go as planned for Jarrett, but his drop in production doesn’t necessarily correlate to poor play. In reality, it’s simply a numbers a numbers game with Maryland’s offense. Taulia Tagovioloa loved to spread the ball around and the Terrapins featured a half dozen players who had over 25 receptions on the season.
With that said, Jarrett appears to be a prospect who didn’t live up to lofty expectations, but could be a much more productive collegiate player than his prior season stat clippings would suggest.
Film Room and Highlights
Positives: Possesses top-notch speed to take the Pringles lid off the top of a defense. His film shows his afterburner athleticism and ability to create big plays and accrue yardage after the catch. Flexible wide receiver who has experience inside and out. A majority of his reps were in the slot and he shows no hesitation on routes over the middle or putting himself in harms way. Savvy footwork and craftsmanship off the snap helps him gain separation against opposing defensive backs. Experience as a returner on special teams.
Negatives: Production didn’t match the press clippings. Won’t be a huge jump ball threat and has issues strong-arming 50-50 balls. Limited route tree predicated on overs and quick-hitters—and will have to prove he can take on the rigors of an expanded pro route tree. Not overly creative, elusive, or agile in space. Could use work and tutelage on how to get in-and-out of his breaks more efficiently.
Overall: Mid-Day 3 prospect.
Jarrett’s Fit With the Broncos
High-profile recruits who fail to live up to expectations usually fall on draft day, but NFL teams will realize Jarrett has a lot of important tools to work with.
Athleticism is something you can’t teach and there’s no doubt scouts and general managers across the league will gladly take a Day 3 flier on someone like him. Most all of the flaws in his game can be corrected or improved upon with coaching. That helps his case.
If the Broncos are sincerely interested in adding speed and play-making ability to their receiving corps, using a Day 3 on selection (after the fourth round) on Jarrett makes sense. K.J. Hamler has failed to live up to his second-round status and hasn’t stayed healthy as a Bronco, so finding a potential replacement seems likely via the draft. All things considered, I think Jarrett would be a quality option to consider, especially since he wouldn’t require one of their top picks to be selected.