JuJu Smith-SchusterWR USC

6-1, 215, 6.88 3-Cone! (O) 4.54, 

 4.19 SS, 10' Broad, 32.5" Vert,

32.5" Arms, 15 Reps, 

Better Than I Think. 

By TOM

Schuster-Smith is a tough one for me. He looked so great in 2015, but then was vastly inconsistent this season. "He was clearly frustrated early in the year with the way things started out,Ē a scout said. "Heís a very competitive guy, and they were just not able to function on offense those first couple of games." His play was so up and down that I'm not sure I would take him on Day Two. 

But when he was good he looked like a 1st. "As soon as they hit their stride, he was a totally different player," a scout said. " Playing with: confidence and energy, finishing routes, making tough catches. Things he wasnít doing in September. There have certainly been worse players who have gone in the 1st round." He is very fast with the ball in his hands. He has good size, and is a very strong WR. He runs routes well. He was recruited to USC as a Safety. 

Very productive three year career at USC. And incredibly he just turned 20 before the combine and played last season as a 19-year old Junior. "I got a lot of questions [from teams]: 'You are the youngest player? Youíre immature? Youíre 20 years old?'" JuJu Said. "But I canít change that. I feel like I played football for a very long time through the years. I think the age is actually good. A young dude who's willing to work." A lot of teams see that young age as potential.

CAREER: He has 143 catches for 2,178 yards (15.2 avg) with 15 TDs in his career, along with 15 kickoff returns for 183 yards (12.2 avg), 3 carries for 7 yards (2.3 avg) and 6 tackles. His 143 career catches is 13th on USCís all-time list. He has 8 100-yard receiving games in his career (6 times in 2015, including the first 3 games). He has 26 career starts. 2016: Smith-Schuster, the latest in a long line of stellar USC wide receivers, returns for his third year as a starting wide receiver as a junior in 2016 and he is a candidate for All-American and the Biletnikoff Award.

He played that last two seasons through severe injuries. "Nelson Agholor talked about no matter what youíve got to stay positive," JuJu said. "He didnít have his best season, but he said that he kept his mind right and just keep fighting. At the end of the day youíve just got to keep producing. Marqise Lee told me that youíre going to go through some injuries that youíre going to have to face and you overcome that. And when he did he had a great season this past season." You have to be able to play through injuries in the NFL. 

He has some suddenness in his shoulders when he fakes inside and bursts outside. Nice hands going up over his head and catching the ball. He does have some nice speed. He is going to have to run a great Forty to get into the 1st. Big strong hands for catching the ball. They throw a lot of bubble screen to him, and he can make some plays out in space on his own. He will have concentration drops. 

Nice job cutting over the middle to the 2nd level. He has been lighting it up in the second half of the season. When he sees the ball he does a nice job diving out and catching it. He has been catching everything thrown to him over the middle. He can burst into the hole in the zone and find the ball already in the air. He does a good job reading coverages. He is not great at getting open in pattern.

He can catch the deep ball through contact. His TD against Washington, might have been the best of the season. He caught 25 TDs in three seasons. He has a great release off the line, and can get to full speed quick. He has been compared to Dez Bryant, because he is big and physical, and can reach out and snag the ball with his big 10.5" Hands. I really like that comparison, but I thought Dez was more consistent off the field.

He knows how to run patterns. "When teams ask me what Iím best at, obviously I say football IQ," JuJu said. "I played 39 games, started 38 games. Iím tough. I played through a broken hand and didnít miss a game. Played through a torn thumb, didnít miss a game. And just very competitive. Willing to work. Willing to put my body out there on a line." He can make adjustments in routes as he is running them.

I don't like USC WRs. "There are some guys who werenít doing well at first that are doing well now," JuJu said. "You learned a lot from how they started off and how they got back to where theyíre at. And then off-the-field stuff: how to manage your money, how to manage your time, basically just staying out of trouble." The NFL is more business than game.

However, JuJu is vastly more more consistent off the field. "He has a mom and step-dad who keep him grounded," ex-USC coach. " His passion and enthusiasm are second to none and he absolutely loves football. He came in as a safety and probably could have gone pro as a safety as well if he had stayed there." Scouts love his passion for the game. He played through a bad back this past season, which really hurt him. He also amazingly broke his hand in 2015, when he was one of the best, and didn't take a game off. That my friends is love of game.

I think he is a guy who could get lost in the shuffle and drop deep into the 2nd. "I would be interested to see where other teams have JuJu,  because I absolutely love him," an NFL WR coach said. "He reminds me so much of Anquan Boldin the way he creates space for himself and how physical he is after the catch. He will end up being as good or better than those receivers they are mentioning in the first round." I question how slippery he is in patterns sometimes. He will drop the seemingly easy catch when the CB has his hands on him. He had lapses in concentration during the season, and catching the ball only gets harder in the NFL with much tighter coverage.

He has been getting some late buzz in April. A lot of NFL still love him from the 2015 season. If teams are satisfied that he just had a bad season in 2016 because of his back, and 2015 is more indicative of his potential, than he could get very close to the 1st. Like the Rams. But he is just not my cup of tea. I don't trust USC WRs, and have seen too many fail to take one. But I admit that is a very unfair to JuJu. He will go higher than my worrywart opinion. I might have to put him in the 1st, just because I don't trust my own reservations about this kid.

Additional Notes:

2015: Smith-Schuster started again as a sophomore in 2015 and was among the nationís finest pass catchers. Overall in 2015 while starting all 14 games, he has 89 catches for 1,454 yards (16.3 avg) with 10 TDs (all team bests), plus 4 kickoff returns for 51 yards (12.8 avg), a 4-yard rush and 1 tackle. He was 11th nationally in receiving yards (103.9, first in Pac-12), 17th in receiving TDs (10, fourth in Pac-12) and 20th in receptions (6.4, third in Pac-12). His 89 catches in 2015 is seventh on USCís season list and his 1,454 receiving yards (the third most in a season at USC) is the 17th time a Trojan has eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark. He has 6 100-yard receiving games in 2015 (including the first 3 games). He broke his right hand against California and had surgery 2 days later to insert a plate with 8 screws, but he did not miss any playing time (he played the next few games with a soft cast). 

JuJu Vs Washington 2016:

He was playing with a bad back in 2016. He looked healthy at his Proday, and got rave reviews on how he looked athletically. He seemed to get his 2015 athleticism back. He was always a willing blocker, but didn't sustain his blocks as well in 2016 (:01). He can run physical patterns. Watch him create space with his hands here (:08). I like his release off the line, and when he is subtle in his routes (:01). Watch the inside release and the subtle move outside, before he broke open inside. He slowed in a hole, and watch the burst forward when the other WR and DB crossed in front of him. He found a second hole for the QB to throw into. 

You can see the great form in his blocking here. He got low, and tried to jam the DB up, but couldn't hold on or seal him (:30). Watch the inside release. You could just see how he altered his route to inside the LB. Then he dived for the ball (:39). Watch how he sunk into the hole and presented a target for the QB (:51). That is a nice pattern to get open right in front of the QB.

Now this was a nice block. He showed his strength by bending the DB back (1:12). Watch his quick feet and hands on the great inside release (1:27). He got great position, and sealed Sydney outside (1:37). Terrific use of hands to get open. Terrible use of hands on the catch. He will get the dropsies sometimes (2:00). He broke open nicely on the second level (2:08). They liked to run him on reverses (2:40). But he just didn't have the extra burst and strength he had in 2015. Once you know, it is easy to see how his back bothered him.

He dragged himself wide open right over the middle. Then he stopped, and headed out laterally again, and got himself open for a split second. That was a bad play by the QB (2:52). You can see the form was there. He slowed the DB up, but didn't have the strength to end him (3:05). He slanted inside nicely, and got the Safety and held him up with a nice block (3:16). Watch the hit that took 21 down (3:25). When he was healthy he blocked with interesting strength.

JuJu Vs Washington:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HIkOb1JkcyQ

JuJu Vs Cal 2015:

You can see him move up at the DB with more confidence in 2015, and was giving some shimmy as he slid up to him. He is only 18 in this Tape (:01). Watch how quicker he is. He got the CB moving backwards. Stopped and caught it naturally (:08). His release was the same way as the first pattern, But he took the outside shoulder and take off (:16). He came back for the ball, and almost broke it.

They liked to get him the ball on that little toss (:31). Watch how fast he glided to the second level. I love this pattern. He sunk himself open, and then when the QB took off. Watch the great quickness as he spun outside, and the strength to run through the CB's grab (:39). Then he caught it with his arms extended, falling out of bounds, as the CB tackled him.

He showed his nice inside release. He got inside, but he was doubled (1:02). He went to block and broke his own ankle. But he is a tough guy. Remember he broke his hand half way through the season, and didn't miss a game (1:12). He obviously sprained his ankle here, and stayed in the game. You have to be crazy tough to play in the NFL.

He dived for the under thrown ball, but couldn't dig it out (1:19). He knows how to find the holes in the Zone. He broke off his pattern here when the DB just kept retreating (1:29). He tried to burst inside, but missed the safety (1:47). I do not like how he adjusted his patterns in the endzone when they cut him off (1:52). He got the nice inside release, and then was tripped on his bad ankle by the DB from behind (2:01). But he got up and back into the huddle (2:11). You can see him limp a little as he ran up field. Watch the nice catch coming back as the pass was high. He snagged with his big hands, and fought for an extra eight yards.

JuJu Vs Cal 2015:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-6gYZo_nqM

 

JuJu's Official Bio:

CAREER: He has 143 catches for 2,178 yards (15.2 avg) with 15 TDs in his career, along with 15 kickoff returns for 183 yards (12.2 avg), 3 carries for 7 yards (2.3 avg) and 6 tackles. His 143 career catches is 13th on USCís all-time list. He has 8 100-yard receiving games in his career (6 times in 2015, including the first 3 games). He has 26 career starts.

2016: Smith-Schuster, the latest in a long line of stellar USC wide receivers, returns for his third year as a starting wide receiver as a junior in 2016 and he is a candidate for All-American and the Biletnikoff Award.

2015: Smith-Schuster started again as a sophomore in 2015 and was among the nationís finest pass catchers. Overall in 2015 while starting all 14 games, he has 89 catches for 1,454 yards (16.3 avg) with 10 TDs (all team bests), plus 4 kickoff returns for 51 yards (12.8 avg), a 4-yard rush and 1 tackle. He was 11th nationally in receiving yards (103.9, first in Pac-12), 17th in receiving TDs (10, fourth in Pac-12) and 20th in receptions (6.4, third in Pac-12). His 89 catches in 2015 is seventh on USCís season list and his 1,454 receiving yards (the third most in a season at USC) is the 17th time a Trojan has eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark. He has 6 100-yard receiving games in 2015 (including the first 3 games). He broke his right hand against California and had surgery 2 days later to insert a plate with 8 screws, but he did not miss any playing time (he played the next few games with a soft cast).

He was among 5 finalists for the 2015 Polynesian Player of the Year Award and was among 10 semifinalists for the Biletnikoff Award. He made the 2015 AP, Football Writers, Sporting News, SI.com and Phil Steele All-American second teams. He won USCís Offensive Perimeter Player of the Year Award. He made the 2015 All-Pac-12 first team, AP All-Pac-12 first team and Phil Steele All-Pac-12 first team.

He had 4 catches for 89 yards, with a career-long 61-yard TD, and he made a tackle against Arkanas State. He had 10 catches for 192 yards (both career highs) with a pair of TDs (50 and 41 yards) against Idaho. He had 8 catches for 153 yards (both game highs) with a 54-yard TD against Stanford. He had 5 receptions for 103 yards, with a pair of TDs (4 and 10 yards), and he caught a 52-yard pass on the gameís opening play at Arizona State. He had 6 catches for 82 yards against Washington. He had 6 catches for 139 yards, with a 75-yard TD, and he returned 2 kickoffs for 36 yards at Notre Dame. He had 8 catches for 143 yards (both game highs) with a 25-yard TD and he had a 9-yard kickoff return against Utah. He caught 5 passes for 55 yards and returned a kickoff for 6 yards at California before hurting his hand and sitting out most of the second half. He had a team-high 8 catches for 138 yards, with a 72-yard TD, against Arizona despite having had surgery on Monday of game week for a broken right hand (a plate with 8 screws was inserted into his hand and he wore a soft cast in the game). He had 3 catches for 66 yards, including a 36-yard TD, at Colorado. He had 5 receptions for 57 yards at Oregon. He had a game-best 6 catches for 85 yards against UCLA. He had a game-high and career-best 11 receptions for 87 yards against Stanford in the Pac-12 Championship Game. He had 4 catches for 65 yards against Wisconsin.

2014: Smith-Schuster had an impressive debut campaign as a first-year freshman wide receiver and on special teams in 2014. Overall in 2014 while appearing in all 13 games and starting 12 times (all but Boston College), he had 54 receptions for 724 yards (13.4 avg) with 5 TDs, plus 2 carries for 3 yards (1.5 avg), 11 kickoff returns for 132 yards (12.0 avg) and 5 tackles. He made the 2014 All-Pac-12 second team (as an all-purpose/special teams player), as well as Sporting News Freshman All-American first team and CollegeFootballNews.com Freshman All-American honorable mention. He won USCís John McKay Award (competitive spirit).

He had 123 yards (more than any USC first-year freshman has had in a season opener) on 4 catches and a 1-yard rush against Fresno State. He then had a catch for minus 2 yards at Stanford, added 6 catches for 49 yards and he had a tackle at Boston College, had 3 catches for 13 yards and returned a kickoff 18 yards against Oregon State, caught 4 passes for 24 yards and returned a kickoff 19 yards against Arizona State and had 4 catches for 39 yards, a 2-yard run on a lateral and a 1-yard kickoff return at Arizona. He had 4 receptions for 104 yards (with a 7-yard TD) against Colorado, added 6 catches for 77 yards (with a 10-yard TD) and had a 12-yard kickoff return at Utah. At Washington State, he caught 6 passes for 74 yards with a USC freshman record-tying 3 TDs (22, 22 and 7 yards), joining R. Jay Soward, Mike Williams, Dwayne Jarrett and Robert Woods in the Trojan record book. He had 4 grabs for 30 yards against California, 4 catches for 79 yards at UCLA and 5 catches for 48 yards (he also had a tackle) against Notre Dame. Against Nebraska, he had 66 yards on 3 receptions, returned 5 kickoffs for 81 yards and made 3 tackles.

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