Donovan Peoples-Jones: 2020 NFL Draft Scouting Report

Sam Schneider | April 22nd, 2020

Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR, Michigan, #9

Height: 6’2”

Weight: 212 lbs

Eligibility: Junior

Games Watched: SMU (2018), WMU (2018), Indiana (2019), Wisconsin (2019), MSU (2019)

The 2020 draft class is stacked at wide receiver and in several other years, DPJ would be a hot commodity but has flown mostly under the radar leading up to Thursday. Much of this is because he projects not as a burner but more of a possession receiver and one could make the argument that he is more valuable for that reason. He suffered greatly from erratic quarterback play at Michigan but has all the skills to be an impact receiver at the next level. He may need a year of development and special teams play yet he possesses outstanding wide receiver traits which we will evaluate below.

Check out all of our pre-draft evaluations right here.

Speed 7.5/10 Has limited speed to outrun above-average coverage from the jump but possesses the ability to breakaway when there is nothing but green in front of him.
Catch 8.5/10 Sticky fingers and a knack for bringing the ball in even on bad throws; sure-handed enough to pull the ball up from the knees or from two feet behind him. Minor issues with insistently bringing the ball fully into the body before making a move.
Routes 8/10 Sticks to his assignments but can improvise to assist the quarterback. Rarely cuts a route short and is in the right place at the right time consistently.
When Contested 9/10 DPJ can pull the ball in from anywhere and is especially valuable on red zone formations and errant throws, knocking them down if he cannot control them. Is intimidated by no defender and plays longer than his 6’2” frame would suggest.
RAC 7.5/10 Not going to burn anyone but will to put his shoulder down like a running back and churn for a few more yards. If he gets behind the defense and has an open field, he’s fully able to pull away.
Release 7.5/10 DPJ needs time to separate which is why he’ll be a slot at the next level. Footwork is solid so the movement at snap is there, but he will rarely just beat a defensive back off the ball for a long route. That said, his strength allows him to shove off of press coverage in a hurry.
Vertical Receiving 7.5/10 Probably will not often be called on for jump balls and deep throws, but if he is he will battle for the ball every time. Unlikely to run many “go” routes in the NFL.
Blocking 10/10 Outstanding run blocker, on par with any number of NFL wideouts.
Toughness 9.5/10 Will throw himself in front of a freight train if given the chance, although he might need to be coached a touch down by a coach that wants him to stay on the field. Hand fights for throws and wins battles without talking about it.
Overall Athleticism 9/10 Even lacking in initial speed, DPJ is a dynamic threat anytime he has the ball. As a Wolverine was a game-plan nightmare in the punt return game and rarely opted for the sideline. He can make something out of nothing and then turn on the jets when he sees daylight. Could play the Wildcat, could run the sweep, could play running back on any given down
Overall 84/100 No apologies here. DPJ’s toughness and “bring your lunch pail” demeanor alone earns him a solid grade. Because of the deep class, he is going to slip down, and some team will hit the jackpot. The key is knowing that he’s not an outside threat as much as he is a slot guy, which in today’s NFL is extremely valuable. He is ideal for a younger quarterback, of which there are plenty.

Round Grade: Third Round

Projected Draft Position: Late Fourth Round

Player Comp: Chris Godwin

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Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images


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