One of the less “sure thing” prospects in the NFL Draft, Donovan Peoples-Jones had some things working against him during three seasons at Michigan. The quarterback play was spotty, and he wasn’t surrounded by enough elite talent to keep defenses away from him to help make plays. But he has good size, a big catch radius, and the ability to be physical to make plays.
Peoples-Jones is a bigger target at 6’2 and 212 lbs., and his size and ball skills are strengths. But does he have the fast-twitch muscle needed to succeed at the next level? The answer to that question will likely determine his value in the draft.
Donovan Peoples-Jones didn’t quite have the production at Michigan given his status as a five-star recruit and No. 1 wide receiver in his class coming out of high school. That said, his quarterback play has been dreadful and it limited his ability to be more productive. Peoples-Jones has many qualities that make him an appealing NFL prospect and likely a better pro than college player. His hands, ball skills, size and athletic ability all shine on tape. There’s no questioning his ability to adjust to the football and pluck it with consistency. His body control and concentration along the sidelines and in contested situations are outstanding. The biggest concern with Peoples-Jones at the next level is how consistently he can beat press coverage and if he has enough quick-twitch qualities to be a consistent separator. Peoples-Jones is best utilized as a big slot that can also help his team as a returner. — The Draft Network’s Joe Marino
Former five-star and top-rated receiver coming out of high school, Peoples-Jones failed to find the success and production expected over his three seasons at Michigan. His route tempo is sluggish, but he has some savvy and shortcuts footwork for out-breaking routes to the boundary. He doesn’t run well enough to play outside in the pros but has decent tape as a big slot. His pro limitations go beyond Michigan’s spotty offense and he may not reach any higher than being an average backup. — NFL Network’s Lance Zierlein
Mock Draft Results
USA Today DraftWire: #85 to Detroit Lions
CBS Sports: #133 to Seattle Seahawks
DraftSite.com: #111 to Houston Texans
Fantasy impact: Rookie year
If he can translate his bigger body and find some other receivers that can help immediately, DPJ could have some impact down the road. But don’t look for him to be a draftable player in Year 1 unless you’re in a super-deep league. As just a junior that will need to get quicker, he’ll probably need some time to develop in whatever system the team that takes him uses.
Fantasy impact: Career
DPJ can certainly be a selectable player down the road, but that would likely need to be on a team with an elite wide receiver that would allow him to see more man coverage and underneath throws. He’s not a burner that can make chunk-play TDs, but can use his body control and size in the red zone to beat corners one-on-one and get valuable TD points.