As the draft process continues to unfold, Wisconsin Football star, Quintez Cephus is continuing to see his draft stock on the rise.
When many who may be less familiar with the Wisconsin Football program think of the Badgers, some key positions that come to mind include running back, offensive lineman, and linebacker. And all for good reasons. But at this year’s NFL Combine, it is wide receiver Quintez Cephus who will be flying up draft boards.
Playing in the Wisconsin offense that is incredibly run-heavy and at times reluctant to take shots downfield, Cephus put together an impressive 2019 campaign and had shown that he has what it takes to be a deep threat.
In 14 games, Cephus caught 59 passes for 901 yards, at over 15 yards per catch with seven touchdowns. He’s a physical receiver, with very good hands, he can run a number of routes, and he can make off-target catches. Not to mention that with his release at the line of scrimmage, he has the ability to win out wide and in the slot, which will serve him well in the NFL.
For much of the season, most draft analysts had Cephus as a Day 3 selection or even going undrafted. And there were two main reasons for this. The first being that he missed the 2018 season due to sexual assault allegations, however, the case was dismissed. And second, as a receiver at Wisconsin, it’s certainly easy to fly under the radar.
But it doesn’t take watching too much film on Cephus to realize that if he had played in a more aggressive passing offense, his career numbers would be significantly better. And this is something that draft analysts and I’m sure NFL teams have begun to realize as they dive deeper into the draft process.
In fact, over at The Draft Network, Cephus cracked the top-100 on Joe Marino’s big board and he currently sits at No. 104 on Kyle Crabbs’ board. Crabbs even referred to Cephus in his scouting report as “one of the more undervalued receivers in the class of 2020.”
Now with the NFL Combine here, Cephus has the opportunity to show that what he’s put on tape is no fluke and to also let NFL teams know through the interview process that off the field issues shouldn’t be a concern.
Those interviews in themselves are going to be a huge aspect of the Combine for Cephus but when it comes to the on the field assessments, according to Lance Zierlein of NFL.com, teams know that Cephus can catch but what they need to see is that he can separate.
So the 40-yard dash, the vertical jump to show his explosiveness, and the 3-cone drill to demonstrate change in direction will all be key for Cephus when it comes to having a successful week.
Although the on the field testing for the wide receiver position won’t begin until Thursday afternoon, Cephus is already off to a fantastic start as his 23 reps at 225 pounds were the most among all of the receivers that participated.
Certainly, there is still a ways to go in the draft process with the first round still being about two months away. But with that said, Cephus has already been climbing up many draft boards and he can take another big step forward this week at the NFL Combine.