Scouting Report- Clemson WR Tee Higgins

 
This week we are taking a look at Clemson wideout Tee Higgins. The Green Bay Packers are unlikely to go all-in on free agent wide receiver this offseason with other holes in need of addressing. The top available wide receiver appears to be former Cincinnati Bengal and seven-time Pro-Bowler AJ Green. It turns out that is exactly who people liken to Higgins.
 
The similarities between Green and Higgins are clear. Both stand at 6-4 and know how to use size to their advantage. Don't get me wrong, Green in Green Bay would be great, however, it is not a financially sound move considering the team’s marginal cap space. That is why they should aim for Green’s protégé during the draft.
 
Higgins has a basketball background, which is obvious through his play. He can outjump or box out defenders in most contested-catch situations. As a high school junior, Higgins was even named a finalist for Mr. Basketball in the state of Tennessee.
 
Luckily, Higgins chose to pursue basketball, and we should all be thankful that he did. Higgins had an incredible three years at Clemson, racking up 135 receptions for 2,448 receiving yards and 27 touchdowns. Had he not declared early, Higgins very likely would have been the school’s all-time leader in receiving touchdowns. He needed only one more to pass DeAndre Hopkins and Sammy Watkins.
 
Games watched: vs Pittsburgh (12/01/2018) three receptions, 36 yards, two touchdowns. vs Georgia Tech (08/29/2019) four receptions, 98 yards, one touchdown. vs South Carolina (11/30/2019) three receptions, 101 yards, two touchdowns.  
 
Higgins’ best weapon is his length, and he understands how to leverage it against defenders. Rarely will you see Higgins not try to high-point the football, almost like he’s grabbing a rebound. He has very good body control and balance as well. These traits elevate his effectiveness in the red zone too. Higgins is a good ball-tracker. He’s not the fastest player (supposedly ran a 4.75 in high school), but Higgins is good at finding deep balls and getting in position to make a play. I was also pleased with his ability as a run blocker. He uses his size to his advantage in this aspect.
 
Higgins does demonstrate good play strength in some areas but not others. While he’s good at contested catches and engaging as a blocker, his hand fighting against press coverage still needs some fine-tuning as physical corners can too easily reroute him. Also, I gave his catch radius only a solid grade because snagging balls away from his frame rather than above his head is somewhat lacking in my opinion. A lot of people are in love with his hands, however, I did see some drops.
 
Higgins’ route running was also something I wasn’t t blown away by. His stems lacked detail, and he did not consistently separate against man coverage. Instead, I feel as though he relied on his physical abilities. Higgins will have to work on his technique to improve his separation quickness.
 
The Packers do love a tall receiver, and that is why Higgins would make a lot of sense. However, 30th overall may be slightly too rich for me. His numbers were somewhat inflated because of Clemson’s offense, and the fact that he went up against weak competition in the ACC. I give Higgins a second-round grade. 
 
 

 

 

Brandon Carwile is a Packers writer who also enjoys watching and breaking down film. Follow him on Twitter @PackerScribe.

NFL Categories: 
6 points

Comments (50)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
Ryan3468's picture

February 14, 2020 at 01:57 pm

Bailing on Geronimo Allison for some other prospect should be an improvement. Plenty of room at least.

+ REPLY
2 points
2
0
jannes bjornson's picture

February 14, 2020 at 01:59 pm

No two-route ,basketball players for the # two, WR.

+ REPLY
0 points
2
2
The_Justicar's picture

February 15, 2020 at 06:15 am

I agree. And while not a good sample size the only Clemson I watched was the title game against LSU where he couldn’t get open. Often times was covered by a true freshman, Stingley (freshman all American). The ACC conference stinks and most weeks Higgins simply outclassed his opposition. In the one game I saw he was a ghost.

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
stockholder's picture

February 14, 2020 at 02:02 pm

Red Zone Threat! He's great along the lines. Most scouts say he has Great hands and Radius. Route Tree has Flaws, but nothing to be concerned about. The concern is Cbs that get physical. He's the bully if they don't. I like him. Big Time. Doubt the packers draft him. But he would be my WR choice at #30. Comparison.: Liken to Green? Whats wrong with that???

+ REPLY
1 points
3
2
Duneslick's picture

February 14, 2020 at 09:32 pm

Green ran a forty in the 4.3s after an injury at the combine. Higgins 4.75 in high school. No comparison.

+ REPLY
1 points
2
1
Rak47's picture

February 15, 2020 at 06:46 am

Packers need speed at WR and that is something Higgins doesn't have. I wouldn't touch him in round one. There will be some very speedy quality receivers available in the second round and the Packers have had a great track record of drafting them there. There are at least 57 WR's in the upcoming draft, of which at least 3 dozen are at least 6'1 and run as fast if not faster than Higgins.

+ REPLY
1 points
2
1
Razer's picture

February 14, 2020 at 02:26 pm

Packers need speed/quickness NOT another tall, slowish WR. Our roster is full of these guys. High pointing the ball and contested catches are great but our QB isn't a contested ball kind of guy. And to top it all off, you indicate that his route running is sloppy. In conclusion NO!

+ REPLY
13 points
14
1
Tonkathunder's picture

February 14, 2020 at 02:52 pm

I totally agree with everything except "slowish", 4.75 40 is molasses slow for a receiver in the pros.

+ REPLY
1 points
2
1
dobber's picture

February 15, 2020 at 08:13 am

HS is a completely different matter. While it's not as bad as it used to be, many kids haven't been taught how to run in HS.

Ultimately the question is, "does he PLAY fast?"

+ REPLY
2 points
2
0
NickPerry's picture

February 16, 2020 at 08:16 am

This by dobber...It was the first thing I thought of too. Kids in HS aren't even coming close to the type of coaching they'll get in college. I don't care even a little how fast a kid ran in High School. In high school they found a tall kid who could run and catch and it probably was just about that simple.

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
stockholder's picture

February 14, 2020 at 03:53 pm

Try 4.44 - 4.55. Almost everybody is at 4.5. in the top 10. But- Peoples, Reagor, and the WRs from Alabama.(4.4 - 4.5) Should be an interesting Combine!

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
Stroh's picture

February 14, 2020 at 05:06 pm

None of the tall Wr on the roster is worth a damn. Late rd picks and udfa don't compare to Higgins at all. Higgins has speed and hands and high point ability those are all lacking on the Packers roster. They need a big downfield threat and a smaller ultra fast/quick WR. Big tall, short doesn't matter they need speed and talent no matter of size!

+ REPLY
1 points
2
1
Tundraboy's picture

February 16, 2020 at 08:34 pm

Have to agree with you on that. Any route questions, are a deal killer.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Dzehren's picture

February 14, 2020 at 03:52 pm

GB needs a WR that can create separation. Quickness is more important than 40 time to me. Surplus of WR’s this year with a 1st or 2nd round grade!

+ REPLY
6 points
7
1
tincada's picture

February 15, 2020 at 08:55 am

GB needs a stellar RB. What don't you folks get?

+ REPLY
-2 points
1
3
sbransbottom's picture

February 21, 2020 at 01:23 pm

We don't have one of the best RBs in the league??? What don't YOU get?

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Turophile's picture

February 14, 2020 at 05:13 pm

Because of the many good WRs this year and the few DLs (and the Packers need help at both), it makes sense to go DL in round one with Gallimore or Blacklock if either is available. In round two, given where the Packers pick, it's likely the next two DL prospects (Raekwon Davis and Justin Madubuike) are both gone. Beyond those picks there isn't much that would help elevate the Packers D line much above what it is now.

Therefore it makes sense to go DL in round one and WR in round 2...........and THAT means Tee Higgins will not be a target, nor, sadly, will Jalen Reagor, as they will both be gone before the Packers 2nd round pick.

That makes the most likely WR targets as Brandon Aiyuk (also probably gone), Donovan Peoples-Jones and my personal favourite, Denzel Mims. One other guy, K.J.Hill, is a bit too small for a Packers receiver, and he isn't especially quick either, as smaller guys sometimes are.

+ REPLY
0 points
3
3
Leatherhead's picture

February 14, 2020 at 07:33 pm

Run more, throw less. Foolish to expend premium resources on a WR who will be a blocker or decoy on 85% of the plays AND keep Lazard, MSV, and ESB off the field. A tackle to replace Bulaga makes more sense, or somebody to help the defense.

+ REPLY
-3 points
1
4
Turophile's picture

February 15, 2020 at 07:04 am

Leatherhead. Premium receivers (a no.1 or no.2) usually require high picks (1st or 2nd round). The Packers showed in 2019 that they were in need of a better no.2, and a high pick is what it costs. WR isn't often addressed with a high pick - but every now and then it needs one. With your logic the Packers would never have drafted Davante Adams, or Jordy Nelson, or Randall Cobb.

A tackle to replace Bulaga DOES NOT make sense this year. Bulaga played at a very high ;level, did not show signs of age-regression, and keeping him another 2-3 years is a smart move to keep a good o line together. Have you forgotten we has Marshall Newhouse as starting tackle a few years back - you don't want to repeat that if you are trying to protect a 36+ year old QB. My succession plan has a higher success probability than one that lets Bulaga walk and pins it's hopes on an early draft pick stepping in and starting immediately.

Assuming Martinez is gone, which most people think will happen, signing Bulaga allows more high picks that the Packers need to spend elsewhere, DL, WR, ILB (coverage), ILB (run-stopper) with the first 4 picks in that order.

NEXT YEAR is the year for a RT, one that can sit a year behind Bulaga in his final year and either take over if needed, or start at another line position for one year (like RG).

+ REPLY
0 points
1
1
Leatherhead's picture

February 15, 2020 at 09:44 am

You assert that we “need” a #2. We need a tackle to replace Bulaga, and a TE to replace Graham. We need to improve our short yardage offense. We need to improve our run defense.

The #2 is a blocker or decoy on85% of the plays. We throw to that position about10 times a game. Last year, the position caught about 6 per game.

We want more running, more touches for our backs, more throws to the TE. Keep our QB alive and our defense off the field. We simply don’t need another shiny hood ornament at WR.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Turophile's picture

February 15, 2020 at 11:02 am

It is because we have several starter-level needs that any move you can make to reduce that number, you do. I addressed the RT issue to remove one need. A DL in round one and two ILBs (ideally in rounds 3 & 4) address the front 7 on defense.

You never did answer the claim that if you don't think WR is important to address with a high pick then you would never have drafted D.Adams, J.Nelson, R. Cobb either. They are not shiny little toys, they are a big part of any modern offense that throws the ball plenty of times in a game. They have a good O line, a solid couple of RBs and a QB who can still win.

That only leaves the DBs on defense (and the Packers have invested more high picks there than anywhere else in the last 5 years), and the receivers (I don't see more than a late QB pick this year, if at all).

Given it is a poor year for TE's in the draft I'd add a veteran there if it can be done to cover the loss of Jimmy Graham (and I'd keep Marcedes Lewis for one more year). I'd have hopes Sternberger can keep progressing as he has, to become a no.1 TE...... and if I couldn't get a decent veteran TE I'd use a 5th to 7th pick on one to round out that position group.

To give a fairly close comparison to your thinking, you should never draft a pass rusher high, because even the best players there seldom average more than one sack per game. That kind of thinking simply doesn't stand closer scrutiny.

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
Leatherhead's picture

February 15, 2020 at 12:17 pm

Cobb, Adams, etc. were guys at a different time in a different offense. We had a young QB and a coach that liked to throw the ball.

Now we are a different offense with a different coach and a different strategy for winning games: We run more, we throw less. We’re not trying to run the same type of passing offense. Times have changed.

10 of the top 13 rushing teams made the playoffs. We were #13. We will be trying to improve that. If he’s healthy, Lazard will play half the snaps or more. The remaining snaps....and targets.... will be split between MSV and ESB. These three guys will catch about 100 balls this year. Why do we NEED somebody else?

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
CAG123's picture

February 15, 2020 at 01:14 pm

Investing in another WR doesn't mean the Packers will be throwing the ball like they use to it means if they need to throw the ball they can have a WR capable of making plays. Nobody outside of Adams could make plays on a constant level. You mention the top running teams making the playoffs as if they haven't also invested in the WR position, the Titans, Ravens, 49ers, Bills, Seahawks all have invested or WILL invest in that position. They aren't just contempt with a rag tag group of receivers just because they run the football.

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
Turophile's picture

February 15, 2020 at 02:32 pm

In 2019 the Packers run/pass ratio was 41.8% run to 58.2% pass. That means the Packers are ranked 18th in the league in the average number of rushes per game, nothing special or unusual there. This isn't some major run-oriented team like the Ravens, 49ers and Vikings (the only 3 teams with over 50% rush to pass ratios).

This team isn't built to be a monster rush team, the O linemen are specifically chosen to be good pass protectors, not run blockers like, say, the Cowboys line. It's ok to like the run game, but there is a reason most teams pass more than they run. 10 NFL teams have a greater than 60/40 ratio of pass to run and 29 of the 32 teams pass more than they run.

Good WRs, like good pass rushers (see my earlier post), are needed for the Packers to function well. You only have to see how the pass rush was transformed by the Smiths, compared to 2018 with Nick Perry and Clay Matthews. Another good WR can also make a big impact, just as (I hope) Sternberger can upgrade our TE group as he matures.

If the pass game was working better (ie with an improved WR corps) it would probably be slightly more geared to pass over run %.

Finally, 2020 is an excellent draft year for WRs, so there is a good selection of them to choose from.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Leatherhead's picture

February 16, 2020 at 05:36 pm

Turophile, I'm glad you took the time to read and think and look up some facts on this.

That doesn't mean we're going to entirely agree. You are correct when you mention last year's pass/run ratio, which was AVERAGE. But you need to look at the context of where we'd been the previous year.

DEAD LAST IN RUSHING ATTEMPTS in 2018, with 333, or not even 21 times a game. LaFleur, to his great credit, took essentially the same offensive personnel and ran the ball more. We ran more and passed less, and we kept our QB healthy, and we won 14 games.

So....that's a sea change in offensive strategy for this franchise from the previous quarter century, with the exception of the 2003 team. And as you point out, we aren't "built" to be a monster rush team....yet, but you could make a couple of moves that would improve us as a rushing team and we're already a top ten rushing team in a lot of areas.

So....let go of the McCarthyesque desire to put 5 'weapons' in the pattern and let Rodgers make plays and take hits. Embrace the grind it out offense that protects the ball, protects the QB, and keeps the defense off the field. We went 6-0 in the division doing that last year.

Draft a road-grader RT early, sign a FA TE, sign Lewis. Play double TEs better than half the time. Play Adams for most snaps at #1 and he can have a backup like Kumerow and let MSV, ESB, and Lazard line up at the other spot. That's the offense. We will run more and pass less than we did last year.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
stockholder's picture

February 15, 2020 at 08:07 am

Personally I would take a RB high, just for the reasons you stated. Williams and Jones will take a beating. The more home run hitters the better. Keep in Mind they need a WR in the slot. I don't want Bulaga. Period. Turner made Bulaga better this year. Turner is just as good, if not better then Lang. I believe Turner could make the switch to RT/// IF THEY HAVE A RG! But they don't. RT is a easier find then RG this draft. And I'm not sure if anybody could hold up as well as Turner did. I do agree with you on replacing Bulaga.

+ REPLY
2 points
2
0
Turophile's picture

February 16, 2020 at 03:27 pm

Personally, I wouldn't take a RB high, but I have to admit the early round guys are pretty good this year. If either Jonathan Taylor or J.K.Dobbins are there when it's getting close to the Packers 2nd round pick (they shouldn't be there, but being RBs they might be), I'd be tempted to go best player available and pull the trigger. The mileage on Taylor would concern me a bit, but he is good. Dobbins is perfect for what the Packers do under La Fleur.

Later on you have the choice of steady and reliable quality (Perine) in round 4/5. Antonio Gibson is a big, fast and smooth runner (maybe a 5th rounder, probably gone when the Packers first 6th round pick rolls around) or the very exciting Reggie Corbin, who isn't THE human joystick, but he's close (probably a 7th rounder) - I'd give a 7th for him all day.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
dobber's picture

February 16, 2020 at 03:43 pm

I think Taylor will have a lot of work to do to go much higher than the mid-late second round. He's a fish out of water catching the ball--completely unnatural--and even though he tried to get better in 2019, he still looks awkward. Unless he can convince teams he's not just a 2-down back, he'll struggle to go much higher than mid round 2..

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Bear's picture

February 14, 2020 at 07:39 pm

Turbo, if the only choice at right tackle is Turner what round do you feel we should draft a tackle?

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
Turophile's picture

February 15, 2020 at 06:45 am

I'm assuming you mean Turo (Turophile means cheese-lover). If i were the Packers GM, I'd be re-signing Bulaga for a 2 or 3 year deal at a max of $10m pa with playing time bonuses as part of the deal.

I'd also be re-signing Veldheer as Bulaga's backup, should he go down injured.

Turner is very much a 3rd choice for a tackle spot.

Keeping Bulaga allows the Packers to fill three of their current greatest needs, and assuming Martinez is gone, I'd go DL, WR, coverage ILB, run stopping ILB in that order. TE would be a later (than round 4) pick, since the pickings are thin there. I'd consider TE Trautman in the 4th (and delaying drafting the run-stopping ILB for a round) but I can't see him lasting that long

+ REPLY
1 points
2
1
Bear's picture

February 15, 2020 at 11:15 am

Sorry, my cat was helping me type.

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
Thegreatreynoldo's picture

February 15, 2020 at 03:04 pm

I can rebate. See my avatat/photo.

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
dobber's picture

February 16, 2020 at 03:45 pm

"I can rebate."

Save big money at Menards.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
CAG123's picture

February 15, 2020 at 12:47 pm

I wonder if the Packers could explore a trade for Corey Davis he saw his best production with MLF working the exact area of the field the Packers couldn't find much success outside of Adams and that's the middle. He put up the production the Packers need from a solid number two in his best year 891 yards and 4TDs.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
OnWisconsinGoPack's picture

February 15, 2020 at 12:19 am

I agree with the defensive line logic, although I think there's decent depth throughout the draft.

As far as round 2 WRs, I think KJ Hill is quick enough and plenty big at 6' 197 and a tremendous route runner. Hamler could slip in the 2nd, but otherwise I think Cephus and Jajuan Jennings would be round 3 or later targets

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Turophile's picture

February 15, 2020 at 07:06 am

Mims is my favourite 2nd round receiver, but we all have our favourite flavour.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
MarkinMadison's picture

February 16, 2020 at 04:36 am

Whole lotta good DLs available in FA this year. I think the Packers will be able to bargain shop there and still improve the DL.

If Higgins has a poor 40 time he could slip to the bottom of the second. There is so much talent at WR this year. Teams will be able to get picky.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Thegreatreynoldo's picture

February 14, 2020 at 10:19 pm

" the Packers can't push all their needs into the draft. They're going to have to upgrade several positions in FA to take some pressure off the draft and allow themselves the latitude to take advantage of opportunities." Dobber.

The new CBA should put the draft first and FA later. That would be great. For now, Gute needs to be a good drafter and prescient.

+ REPLY
0 points
2
2
Bearmeat's picture

February 15, 2020 at 02:00 pm

The players union would never go for that.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Thegreatreynoldo's picture

February 15, 2020 at 03:08 pm

I see no need to downvote Dobber's quote like that.

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
flackcatcher's picture

February 15, 2020 at 04:16 pm

Injecting reality again eh? Telling folks on this blog that Gute is going to be doing "draft and develop". Well, be prepared to be down voted into that fiery hot place for all space and time. I think a few have caught on that it's 'Ted Time' at 1265, and not liking it one bit at all....

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
flackcatcher's picture

February 15, 2020 at 04:34 pm

To be clear. I expect Gute to use the FA market to fill some critical slots (mostly core backups) on the roster. At best mid market guys, the big money goes for the Packers own. The draft will fill the many holes that exist throughout this roster, and hope many of the young players make the 'jump' that is necessary to play in this league. While last year was a pleasant surprise, we all know that this is a team still in the third year of a major rebuild. Just too many long term holes to fill...

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
PhantomII's picture

February 14, 2020 at 11:18 pm

No on Higgins. GB needs a good slot receiver. Have yet to replace cobb. I like Devin Duverney from Texas. Slot receiver who was also a returner and also worked from the backfield some. He's built like a running back at 5'11-205lbs. thick lower body. He runs thru tackle attempts and has some RB vision skills. He also runs a 4.3 forty, over 100 receptions and over 1000 yds. in 2019. I'm not real big on draft picks, draft boards, etc. I can look at this kids college career and see he can help us no matter which round we take him 1-7 and start 2020. 49ers showed us every need we have to address: Defensive coordinator: YES, stopping the run does matter. Need=HOG NT/DT, OLB'S that set the edge and can get off blocks. ILB"s that can close up a run lane fast and make a tackle for loss on the other side of the line. A reliable slot receiver to move the chains. Those are 2019 problems, yet to be addressed. Now we have free agents=new problems.

+ REPLY
1 points
2
1
Leland's picture

February 15, 2020 at 08:07 am

GB has Lazard. Need speed and quickness with good hands. Nuf said

+ REPLY
3 points
3
0
tincada's picture

February 15, 2020 at 08:54 am

When oh when will GB admit they don't have a running game? Every year it's, Oh AR save our sorry ass by throwing a million passes. Another AR wasted year in the NFC. I guess if the bar is the NFCN is it, GB is set.

+ REPLY
-4 points
1
5
13TimeChamps's picture

February 15, 2020 at 10:07 am

"When oh when will GB admit they don't have a running game?"
Green Bay rushed for 1,795 yds....15th best in league. 18 TDs...6th best in league.
Aaron Jones...1.084 yds/4.6 ave...16 TDs.
We don't have running game? What games are you watching?

+ REPLY
2 points
2
0
dobber's picture

February 15, 2020 at 10:38 am

Don't bother with numbers or data. He sure doesn't.

+ REPLY
2 points
2
0
stockholder's picture

February 15, 2020 at 12:04 pm

I can't believe how you guys are Killing such a great Prospect. This isn't a game of clue. Of which you don't have a clue of how good this kid is. Your guessing at the Solution Cards here. And why you don't want him, shows ignorance. The Study room shows great Film. The kitchen says he'll eat up ground. The ball room says his feet can fly. The conservatory has star written all over him. The library says he plays smart. The billiard room says forget Rotation. The lounge will give you the best impression. The Dining Room will be used when they bring him in. The Hall of Fame is where he'll end up. The Kids a Weapon; and his hands and catch radius few possess. The kid jumps, and he'll be a top performer at the combine. Higgins will be that game piece, LefLuer and Rodgers needs. Lets' not make a game @#30. The choice should be Higgins!

+ REPLY
-4 points
0
4
KneelYoung's picture

February 16, 2020 at 08:31 pm

Not seeing this player in GB. Clearly need a fast, quick slot player who can also stretch the field. Ruggs from Aabama would be amazing but will be way gone...maybe Jaylen Regner of TCU?

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
stockholder's picture

February 17, 2020 at 12:25 pm

Draft Tek has Best Slots Reagor,Hamler, Duvernay, My other two later Bowden 4-5 Thomas Rd 7. Bowden Broke Randall Cobbs Records.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0

Log in to comment and more!

Not a member yet? Join free.

If you have already commented on Cheesehead TV in the past, we've created an account for you. Just verify your email, set a password and you're golden.