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PFF scouting report: Ishmael Zamora, WR, Baylor

ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 25: Ishmael Zamora #8 of the Baylor Bears carries the ball during the game against the Texas Tech Red Raiders on November 25, 2016 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Texas Tech defeated Baylor 54-35. (Photo by John Weast/Getty Images)

Name: Ishmael Zamora

School: Baylor

Position fit: Outside receiver

Stats to know: Baylor quarterbacks had a rating of 106.6 when targeting Zamora last season, throwing eight touchdowns to just one interception.

What he does best:

  • Size (6-foot-3, 224 pounds) and speed (4.53 40-yard dash at pro day) are ideal for NFL. Plays faster than 4.53 on tape at times, can separate from defenders with long, fast strides.
  • Massive catch radius and strong hands, will extend for the ball and catch it away from his body. Made some insane inches-off-the-ground catches. Holds onto the ball after contact.
  • Great body control on off-target passes, able to jump and twist in the air to make circus catches. Jumped 40 inches at pro day.
  • Showed occasional explosiveness out of his breaks at rare times he was asked to make a breaking route, potential is there.
  • Great subtle hands work at tops of his routes and catch point to win contested situations.
  • Can stop and start on a dime, great for hitch routes and better for hitch-and-goes.
  • Impressive footwork off of the line, made defenders look silly playing tight coverage.
  • A monster after the catch, so strong and knows it. Will just lower his shoulder and run through defenders, rarely does just one person tackle him.

Biggest concern:

  • Inconsistent hands. Dropped 10 passes last season (73 catchable targets) and had a few fumbles. Just bad drops on easy passes, concentration issues most likely.
  • Very limited route-runner. Was not asked to run very many routes in Baylor system so does not have experience. On rare breaking routes he was sometimes slow out of his cuts, or he’d drift off expected route path at times.
  • Doesn’t come back to the ball on hitch routes, waits for it to get to him. Led to some pass breakups by corners who were able to get back to him in time.
  • Not as good at shielding defenders with his body at catch point as he should be. Let smaller defenders affect his catch attempt when he should’ve been able to shield them away from it.

Player comparison: Josh Gordon, Cleveland Browns

It’s easy to compare Baylor receivers to each other but Zamora has some similarities to Gordon from when he came out of Baylor. They have identical size and speed, with strong effortless hands, but a lack of route running was a big question for Gordon. He was able to take that next step in the NFL (on the field only) and Zamora definitely has that same potential.

Bottom line: Zamora is a strange case of a receiver that may have a higher ceiling than any other receiver in this class, but is likely to be a late-round pick or go undrafted. Off-the-field issues aside (and there are big ones), Zamora has the combination of size, strength, and speed that could make him a nightmare in the NFL. His game needs plenty of refinement as his hands are frustratingly inconsistent and his route running is extremely limited. But if he can improve those even the slightest bit, he could be a monster in the NFL.

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