Nick Westbrook | Can He Reach His Potential

Two years ago at this point we were looking ahead to the 2017 season and Nick Westbrook was coming off of a 995 yard 6 touchdown season and along with Simmie Cobbs they were being touted as the best receiver duo in the nation. But moments into the Hoosiers first game Westbrook tore his ACL covering the opening kickoff (Why is he covering kickoffs?!?!). Nick Westbrook was able to come back for his junior year for some modest success he is looking for a huge senior season in hopes of regaining some of his NFL Draft hype. Here we’ll take a look what what Westbrook does well, what limitations along with his NFL Draft potential.

Where Nick Westbrook Wins

At 6’3 219lbs Nick Westbrook is at his best using his size to his advantage to make catches. A contested catcher Westbrook has shown that he can work downfield with the ability to high point the ball out jumping defensive backs and come down with 50/50 balls. His ability to win downfield helps him as a route runner as he is able to push deep and then roll into slants or comeback type routes using his big frame to seal off defenders and help move the chains.

Concerns about Nick Westbrook

While Westbrook is able to win in contested catching situations he often finds himself there because he lacks the speed and burst he is a one speed runner who struggles to be able to create much separation. This also limits him as a route runner often having to run basic routes. And while his size does help him in some situations he has shown the ability to get pushed around and rerouted by cornerbacks.

Nick Westbrook NFL Draft Outlook

Now two years removed from his ACL injury you would hope that Nick Westbrook has been able to regain a lot of his athletic traits from before the injury and finally be able to truly build off of his sophomore season. But even before that injury Westbrook still wasn’t an explosive athlete and we’ve seen contested catchers like (former teammate) Simmie Cobbs, Allen Lazard, Hakeem Butler and Riley Ridley who lacked good lateral quickness fall in the draft. That likely is the case for Westbrook who needs a big 2019 season to avoid being a undrafted free agent.

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Image courtesy of Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

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