Name: Ryan Switzer
School: North Carolina
Position fit: Slot receiver
Stats to know: Switzer caught 77.8 percent of passes thrown to him when lined up in the slot (ranked eighth in the NCAA) and averaged 2.73 yards per route run (ranked 11th).
What he does best:
- Quickness is his best attribute. He gets up to top speed almost immediately and doesn’t lose any speed when he changes direction.
- Great footwork. Can run every route with his very consistent breaks and stops, doesn’t give anything away or slow down.
- Consistent and strong hands. Dropped only 11 of 224 catchable throws over past three seasons (4.9 percent drop rate).
- Knows how to adjust routes depending on coverage. Can quickly find holes in zones.
- Smart receiver, successfully ran option routes in tight situations (red zone, third and short, etc).
- Very good release off the line of scrimmage. Feet can beat press coverage (although he rarely faced it as he was in the slot most of the time).
- Excellent punt returner, has seven career returns for touchdowns.
- May not be fast enough to separate on anything deep so will be primarily forced to run short routes.
- Has a very small catch radius. Doesn’t always extend his hands to catch, will let ball come into his body. Doesn’t drop many but will require a very accurate quarterback to put it on him every throw.
- Struggles to adjust to throws that are behind him. Often runs past them and can’t twist around to make the catch.
- Small and not extremely physical. Will struggle in contested catch situations and can get outmuscled at catch point by stronger defenders.
Player comparison: Jamison Crowder, Washington Redskins
Crowder is an undersized receiver who also had issues with a small catch radius and lack of physicality against bigger defenders. But he’s carved out a role for himself in the NFL with his impressive route running and quickness out of the slot that allows him to get open. He also returns punts for the Redskins.
Bottom line: Switzer is another slot receiver in a class loaded with slot receivers. While he was extremely productive at North Carolina, it may take some time for him to become a consistent NFL slot receiver. The biggest issue with Switzer is his small catch radius and lack of physicality at the catch point, which could be an issue in the wrong scheme or wrong quarterback. This may be improvable though, and his fantastic route running and quickness will help make up for these issues. He should latch on to a team right away though because of his special teams ability. He’ll be a punt-return threat right out of the gate while hopefully developing into a solid slot receiver down the line.