Tee Higgins is one of the most talented receivers in the 2020 NFL Draft class, but this year’s depth could cause him to drop into the second round. The Clemson wideout led his team in receiving yards for a second straight year in 2019 en route to the Tigers’ second straight national championship appearance. He has a lot going for him.
Not many 6’4” receivers have the versatility to play all three receiver spots like Higgins has. His lanky frame is a nightmare in one-on-one situations, and he makes the most of his opportunities. Higgins scored touchdowns on 20% of his catches throughout his three-year collegiate career. His volume wasn’t crazy impressive, but he gets results.
While Higgins has plenty of size, his athleticism isn’t quite on par with the top-flight receivers ahead of him. His best 40-yard dash time at his pro day was a 4.54. His vertical jump clocked in at 31 inches. The players ranked above and behind him were far more impressive in these ares.
Higgins is one of the best deep threats in the class and hauled in 15 of the 23 deep balls that were thrown his way in 2019, according to PFF. He also excels when being contested. This doesn’t mean he lacks the burst to get open on his own. He can simply make plays thanks to his physical tools an above average body control. He might be the best big receiver available.
Here’s what scouts have said about Higgins.
Tee Higgins projects as a stereotypical X-receiver at the NFL level. With sneaky vertical speed, excellent ball skills and a large catch radius, Higgins brings physical play to the WR position and projects well into vertical offenses. — The Draft Network’s Kyle Crabbs
His size and “above the rim” talent make him a uniquely dangerous playmaker deep and in the red zone. The transition to NFL press corners will be an early challenge that could take some time to solve, but he’s an instinctive ball-winner whose traits should win out and make him a very good NFL starter. — NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein
Though he lacks the true speed for a vertical offense, Higgins is fast enough to get downfield to make the reception and big enough to be used on underneath routes. Higgins must improve and expand his route running, but he comes with a large upside. — Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline
Mock Draft Results
Mel Kiper, ESPN: Las Vegas Raiders at #19
Daniel Jeremiah, NFL.com: Out of first round
Eric Edholm, Yahoo Sports: Houston Texans at #40
Doug Farrar, Touchdown Wire: Out of first round
Fantasy impact: Rookie year
Higgins is talented, but teams don’t appear to look at him as a number one receiver as a rookie. He’ll likely be a second or third option on whatever team he ends up joining. Don’t expect him to put up a ton of yards, but he could emerge as one of the better red zone scoring threats if given the chance.
Fantasy impact: Career
Higgins could blossom into a true WR1 with some work and is expected to be a long-term starter. In my mind, his peak is Detroit Lions wideout Kenny Golladay, who led the NFL with 11 touchdowns receptions in 2019 and was the third most productive wideout in standard leagues. Higgins might have to polish up his shorter routes and get more physical, but he has a ton of upside.