Overview: The tape does not lie when watching two-time NCAA champion, Alabama Wide Receiver Calvin Ridley. As a freshman, Ridley was selected to the ALL-SEC team while getting more yards than Amari Cooper did his freshman year. Ridley also ranks second in Alabama football in receptions throughout his career (224) and in a single season (89). Ridley went from a very good and accurate passer of the football Jake Coker, to the scramble first mentality of Jalen Hurts. When Ridley has an accurate quarterback who can find him wide open. He is able to burst out of releases and leaving cornerbacks in the dust. His stats may have dipped throughout his career at Alabama, but matched with a talented NFL quarterback, Ridley could tear the NFL up on Sundays.
Pros: Ridley is gifted with the ability to catch a ball anywhere near him whether it is way above his head or down by his feet. His route running is so smooth and so professional he ran the whole route tree at Alabama. Watching his tape, I was shocked by how wide open he would get due to his stellar cuts and quick release within his routes. Calvin Ridley is a huge threat in the open field and has the feet to make defenders miss and move the ball up the field. Has experience working in the pro system under legendary head coach Nick Saban.
Cons: Calvin Ridley is not the biggest receiver standing at 6 feet 190 pounds. Struggles against big lengthy press corners which are starting to become more common in todays NFL. Likes to dance with the ball to try to make defenders miss.
Why it makes sense for the Packers: Aaron Rodgers is known for elevating his receivers play no matter who it is. In a scary situation of Aaron Rodgers getting hurt again backup Quarterbacks Deshone Kizer or Brett Hundley will have another stud to pair with Davante Adams. Jordy Nelson just got cut in the wake of the Jimmy Graham (TE) signing, could be looking to add another weapon for returning offensive coordinator Joe Philbin. Smaller slot receivers with good quarterbacks have solid success such as Wes Welker.
Why it doesn’t make sense for the Packers: Packers traded away arguably their top corner in Damarious Randall to the Browns. Aaron Rodgers makes everyone around him better so why waste a high draft pick on a receiver when there are obvious other flaws in the Packers organization, such as their weakness at the Linebacker and Cornerback positions.
Projection: Top 20
Pro Comparison: Anquan Boldin. This comparison with Calvin Ridley makes total sense because like Ridley, Boldin did not have blazing speed but was able to compensate with his ability to create separation from cornerbacks through his stellar route running and sharp releases with the routes.