Oct 25, 2014; Madison, WI, USA; Maryland Terrapins wide receiver Stefon Diggs (1) during warmups prior to the game against the Wisconsin Badgers at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Coming out of high school, wide receiver Stefon Diggs was one of the most highly-touted football prospects in the entire country. In fact, he was rated the No. 2 wide receiver in the nation. However, his career at the University of Maryland was marred by injuries, so he didn’t quite reach his full potential. As a result, NFL teams may sleep on Diggs, as many mock drafts have him as a mid-round draft pick. Having followed Diggs for years and even playing against him, I know he would love to make the teams who pass on him pay.
Diggs never had a 1,000-yard receiving season while at Maryland, but do not let the numbers fool you. His best season in College Park was probably his first, when he caught 54 passes for 848 yards and six touchdowns. He missed almost half of the 2013 season due to a broken leg and he also missed time in the 2014 season because of a lacerated kidney, as well as a suspension. If the pro scouts want to judge him simply based on numbers, they would be making a monumental mistake.
Diggs’ career at Maryland certainly did not go as either he or the football program had originally planned, which sets him up as a prime candidate to be a legitimate draft-day steal.
Without that true breakout season, it may have behooved him to return for his senior season, but he is just a very confident player. Diggs is not used to the underdog role, as he has been the focal point of every team that he’s played for. This may be foreign territory for him, but one has to figure that he has a chip on his shoulder.
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One of the major reasons as to why scouts should not sleep on Diggs is because he a straight-up athlete. His versatility makes for an extremely valuable asset to any NFL organization.
Diggs is not just a good receiver, who runs crisp routes and possesses exceptional speed. He can change the game in so many other ways. He definitely has the potential to be that guy that offensive coordinators must get the ball to by any means necessary. Expect Diggs to also be used extensively in the return game as a testament to his dynamic playmaking ability.
Maryland’s wide receivers coach and former NFL player Keenan McCardell weighed in on Diggs, saying, “I’ve preached to him to always practice like a pro and that is something he has worked on. I can tell you this — get the ball in his hands and he’s a different kind of football player.”
At Maryland’s Pro Day, Diggs lit things up and definitely turned some heads. There are still questions surrounding both his health and his size, which may cause him to fall deeper in the draft.
Right now, Diggs is projected as a third or fourth-rounder, so the initial expectations for him are not too high, but that does not mean he won’t exceed the ones that have been set. Stefon Diggs is a player who has not yet realized his true potential, but if he can tap into that, it could pay huge dividends for the general manager who decides to draft him.