Bengals draft profile: Isaiah Hodgins is a Top 10 Receiver in the Draft
Wide receiver is a position of need for the Cincinnati Bengals. They might be able to find one of the top ten prospects at the position on Day Three of the draft.
With the NFL Draft coming up, front offices and analysts alike are finalizing their big boards. The 2020 wide receiver class is widely regarded as one of the best in years. Due to that, some receivers are not getting the attention they deserve.
One of those receivers is Isaiah Hodgins from Oregon State. From what many analysts are projecting, Hodgins is expected to go on the third day of the Draft. After reviewing his tape, I believe that would be a steal and that his value should actually be higher.
Oregon State has produced some stud wide receivers in the past. Current NFL receiver Brandin Cooks is one example of a Beavers’ receiver who turned out to be a star. However, the OSU receiver in most Bengals’ fans mind is Chad Johnson. Johnson is perhaps the best wide receiver in the history of Queen City football.
So just how good is Isaiah Hodgins? I watched the tape to try and figure that out.
Hodgins has ideal height for the wide receiver position at 6’4. He’s very smooth and fluid for a receiver of his stature which helps him create separation in his route running. He scans the field well and adjusts to coverage to get himself open.
The guy catches everything that comes his way. With the lowest drop rate in the entire receiver class at just 1.1%, he arguably has the best hands in the draft. He demonstrates great concentration on the ball to bring it down even in contested situations.
He’s really solid at tracking the ball when it’s in the air and has no problem making over the shoulder catches. He displays excellent body control, adjusting his frame well to the ball and getting his feet in bounds in tight situations.
His catch radius is a real strength, as he often high points the ball, pulling it out of the air with long arms that bring it in like a vacuum. This allows him to be an absolute monster in the red zone, as he caught the ball 12 times on 12 targets within 20 yards of the end zone, 9 of which went for touchdowns.
Very slow in his release off the line of scrimmage, Hodgins can struggle to create separation against press coverage. If he can’t improve against press coverage he could have real problems getting open in the NFL. He doesn’t have the high-end speed needed to separate deep, instead, relying on his ability to catch in traffic, which will not be as easy against pro-level cornerbacks. He needs to start playing with more strength and physicality or he could get bullied by NFL defenders. He won’t do much after the catch to scare teams other than occasionally breaking the first tackle.
Overall, there’s plenty of reason to be really high on Isaiah Hodgins as a prospect. He can be utilized on short and intermediate routes right away. He may struggle separating deep against NFL cornerbacks early in his career, but his ball skills will often bail him out on 50/50 balls. If he can improve his release and have better separation quickness deep he could be a really dangerous receiver on the outside.
After reviewing his profile, there is reason to believe Hodgins is a severely underrated prospect in this class. If I were an NFL front office, I would be comfortable taking him on day two of the draft. If he falls to the Bengals on day three, they shouldn’t hesitate to snatch him up. He could be a solid third or fourth option in their currently loaded offense with room to grow into a bigger role and he would learn a lot from A.J. Green.
Hodgins is a prospect who has gone under the radar throughout this draft process. Whatever team ends up drafting him will be getting a diamond in the rough. While not many rankings I’ve seen agree with me on this, I see him as a top ten wide receiver in this class.