Dede Westbrook, WR, Oklahoma
There’s no denying Westbrook’s talent on the field. The 23-year-old prospect put up Heisman-like numbers last season, recording 74 receptions for 1,524 yards and 17 touchdowns. He also made an impact as a return man, returning a punt for a 71-yard score and averaging 27.1 yards on kickoffs.
Unfortunately, there are some major red flags with Westbrook. He was accused of domestic violence in 2012 and 2013 by the mother of his two children. He also suffered a life-threatening injury in high school and was told by doctors that he may never play football again. Clearly Westbrook’s health wasn’t much of an issue in 2016, but his character concerns are very much a problem.
Here is a scouting report on Westbrook, courtesy of NFL.com:
"STRENGTHS: Plays with sudden feet in tight quarters. Uncovers quickly while working underneath. Rhythmic cadence in his routes. Dangerous after the catch. Vertical transitions in his routes are smooth and sudden with loads of acceleration. Patient in routes and reads corners hips to time his cuts. Works back to most every throw with vacuum-like hands. Improviser who finds open spots for a scrambling quarterback. Leverages cornerbacks toward hash to create throwing room to boundary on fades and deep balls. Long speed looks legit. Runs under and through the deep ball with desired tracking over his shoulder. More than 25 percent of his catches went for 25-plus yards in 2016. Plays bigger than his size. Willing worker in front of safeties in middle of the field. Shadow blocker, but willing to maintain positioning as long as he has to. Utilized as kick and punt returner in important spots. Had punt return touchdown and kick return of 63 yards in 2016. WEAKNESSES: Thin legs on painfully thin frame. Could have issues holding up against NFL size. Can be a little lackadaisical with the simple routes. Needs to back corners off with greater show of vertical push into routes. Play speed is inconsistent. Ohio State leveraged him against the boundary and he couldn’t escape. Production helped along by woeful opponents across from him. Allowed free releases and rarely faced physical challenges. Could struggle with contested catches on the next level due to size. Scheme allowed for less safety help over the top and more one-on-one looks. Character concerns will need to be addressed with NFL teams."