Name: Chad Hansen
Position fit: Wide receiver
Stats to know: Caught all 17 catchable deep passes (20-plus yards in the air) last season.
What he does best:
- Very physical at the point of catch and can muscle the ball away from the defensive back, which makes him a solid target in the end zone.
- Excellent at high pointing the ball and winning contested catches over cornerbacks.
- Terrific deep threat as he can adjust and separate from the cornerback with his positioning when the ball is in the air.
- Has a large catch radius and has good enough hands to haul in slightly inaccurate passes.
- Elusive on quick passes such as screens and often gets past the first defender.
- Has good awareness, which allows him to make tough sideline catches.
- Can get down to the ground quickly to catch slightly inaccurate low passes.
- Does not attack the football on a consistent basis on short passes and therefore often allows defenders to make a play on the ball.
- Despite his good hands, he does not trust them enough and lets too many passes in to his pads, although, he has improved in this aspect towards the end of his junior season.
- Although his cuts are sharp, he is relatively slow out of his breaks.
- While he is physical at the catch point, he can be disrupted, rerouted and occasionally even pushed out of bounds early in the play by physical cornerbacks.
- Not as sharp running in/out cuts.
Player comparison: Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos
Similar to Thomas, Hansen’s main strength is his physicality and ability to high point the football and fight for it in the air. However, also similarly, both receivers have a tendency to be disrupted and rerouted by physical cornerbacks in press coverage. In addition, both receivers can contribute by evading defenders and taking screen passes past the first-down marker.
Bottom line: Hansen can still be viewed as a work-in-progress since he had only one season as a starter at an FBS school. However, he already proved that he excels at some aspects of the game, including catching the deep pass and making contested receptions on the sideline. While Hansen is not a final product yet, his skill set should help him contribute on screen passes and as a deep threat already in Year 1 in the NFL.