Name: KD Cannon
Position fit: Outside receiver
Stats to know: Target profile: 40 percent hitches, 23 go routes, 18 screens. Lined up wide right on 85 percent of snaps in 2016.
What he does best:
- Legit speed. Ran 4.41 at the combine and it shows on the field.
- Good acceleration. Reaches top speed quickly and really gets on cornerbacks.
- Should have success running the vertical route tree.
- Deep threat – ranked 14th among all NCAA receivers with 535 receiving yards on passes thrown 20-plus yards.
- Does a nice job tracking and adjusting to the ball in the air.
- Forced 12 missed tackles on 87 catches in 2016, and flashes the ability to break arm tackles with power in the open field.
- Hardly an impact blocker in the run or screen game, but his speed must be accounted for on every snap, allowing the offense to create space underneath by sending him deep.
- Limited route tree — 81 percent of 2016 targets were on hitches, go routes and screens, and 96 of 139 targets came outside the right numbers. This is common coming out of Baylor’s system, but it still leads to an adjustment period at the next level.
- Not an effective special-teams player despite his athleticism – averaged just 17.4 yards on seven kick returns in 2015, and was not used in that role in 2016.
- Average hands – finished in the middle of the pack in drop rate in each of the past three seasons.
- Even with his speed, averaged only 5.2 yards/reception on screens in 2016 (23 receptions, 119 yards).
Player comparison: Travis Benjamin, Los Angeles Chargers
Benjamin has established himself as a deep threat in the NFL, averaging 15.1 yards per reception in his five-year career. Cannon should be able to have similar success in stretching the field as he develops the rest of his game.
Bottom line: Cannon is an elite athlete that finished as one of the fastest receivers at the NFL combine. Like most Baylor products, projecting him to running a full route tree can be difficult, but his speed and acceleration should play immediately at the next level.