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Will USC WR Jordan Addison overcome physical limitations to be a top pick in 2023 NFL Draft?

USC wide receiver Jordan Addison enters the 2023 NFL Draft as one of the most decorated pass-catchers in the class. A receiver that burst onto the scene at Pittsburgh in 2020, Addison won the Fred Biletnikoff Award in 2021 en route to earning Consensus All-American honors. Addison then transferred to USC ahead of the 2022 campaign. Addison’s production took a notable step backwards with the Trojans, but he remained a productive receiver on his way to earning First-Team All-Pac-12 honors.

Jordan Addison’s strengths

Addison is a technically advanced receiver that “wins” at the line of scrimmage. From the whistle, Addison attacks opposing cornerbacks with timing and anticipation. He possesses an acute understanding of leverage. There are no wasted movements in Addison’s game throughout the route-running process. An excellent accelerator, Addison showcases a high-level understanding of how to create maximum separation while putting cornerbacks in a blender.

It’s difficult to argue with the production. In three seasons at Pittsburgh and USC, Addison accounted for 219 receptions, 3,134 receiving yards and 29 touchdowns. Addison’s 2021 1,593-yard, 17-touchdown campaign will forever be etched in Panthers program history. It solidified Addison as a first-round receiver.

Addison possesses inside-outside versatility. He can realistically thrive on the outside or in the slot at the NFL level. Addison’s pro club will take advantage of his technical skill-set, which will allow them to move him around their offensive formation in search for advantageous matchups pre-snap.

The NFL offense that drafts Addison can feature the Maryland native in a variety of manners. Addison’s route-running prowess allows him to thrive in a starring role on the boundary while running the complete route tree, but he is also a candidate to earn manufactured touches closer to the line of scrimmage. Quick-developing throws, screens, jet sweeps, and RPO-bubbles are all aspects of Addison’s game that deserve further exploration. Addison creates extra yards with the ball in his hands.

Jordan Addison’s weaknesses

Addison lacks ideal size for the receiver position. Addison measured in at 5-foot-11 and 173 pounds at the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine with arms shorter than 31 inches. Addison isn’t a physically impressive receiver. Teams that prefer to roster alphas on the boundary won’t be keen on Addison’s size deficiencies.

Addison is never going to instill fear in the hearts of opposing cornerbacks due to his physical profile. Addison’s natural shortcomings don’t make him an ideal candidate in contested-catch situations. Addison isn’t going to physically dominate cornerbacks in the red zone as a result.

An injury was partially to blame, but Addison recorded 41 fewer receptions, 718 fewer yards and 9 fewer touchdowns at USC in 2022 than he did at Pittsburgh in 2021. It’s difficult to wrap your head around when considering Addison’s transfer to USC teamed him up with Heisman-winning quarterback Caleb Williams, and offensive-minded head coach Lincoln Riley. Addison will have to answer questions about his 2022 form throughout the pre-draft process.

Medical checks will also be crucial for Addison throughout the pre-draft process. Addison suffered an ankle injury in 2022. Addison later decided to skip USC’s Cotton Bowl contest after suffering an alleged setback.

Jordan Addison highlights

Jordan Addison 2023 NFL Combine results

Addison was not a standout performer at the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine. He ran a middling 4.49 in the 40-yard dash, which is a mildly disappointing result given his size and stature. Addison’s vertical jump of 34 inches was historically below average, and his broad jump of 10’2” left something to be desired. Those results led to Addison scoring a disappointing Relative Athletic Score of 5.82, largely due to his undersized nature (26th percentile height and 3rd percentile weight). Addison’s’ MockDraftable athletic comparisons includes success stories like Jaylen Waddle and Marquise “Hollywood” Brown. It also includes undersized failures such as Jovan Durante and Deontay Burnett.

What others are saying about Jordan Addison

Lance Zierlein of NFL.Com had the following to say:

Inside/outside wideout with the speed and agility to work confidently on all three levels of the field, but lacking the size and catch strength generally associated with high-impact performers on the next level. Addison’s route running features acceleration, dynamic steering and sudden turns at a moment’s notice. While he can get to the spot effectively, he has trouble consistently winning battles when he has coverage company beside him. While Addison failed to make the same impact he did in 2021, his usage at Pitt might be a better indicator of the type of role and production he could be capable of on the next level.

Addison should manage to make an immediate impact. He won’t be viewed as a universal one-size-fits-all prospect due to a lack of desired size and measurements. Overall, Addison’s savvy route-running, ball skills, and attention to detail should help him develop into an NFL difference-maker.

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