Jordan Addison Draft Profile
Going into the 2022 college football seasons there were few players that I was more excited to watch than USC transfer wide out, Jordan Addison. In 2021, Addison won the Biletnikoff award while being Kenny Pickett’s number one receiver at the University of Pittsburgh. In that sophomore season, Addison put up nearly 1,600 receiving yards in comparison to just 875 receiving yards in 2022. I don’t think it is fair to call Addison’s year as a trojan a failure, but he definitely did not live up to his expectations. In the six games I watched of Addison in 2022, I couldn’t keep my eyes off of the player throwing him the football. While I was mesmerized by Caleb Williams, I was a little disappointed in Addison’s inability to replicate his sophomore season with a better supporting cast around him. With that being said, Addison possesses some special abilities that still rolled over into his USC tape. While it is fair to be disappointed in his performance, there are still things about Addison that are undoubtedly exciting; let’s get into them.
From a pure route running standpoint, it is going to be hard to find a better receiver in this year’s draft than Jordan Addison. His ability to control his weight and snap down at the top of his routes is rare. There is little to no wasted movement when he cuts; he is capable of running every route on the tree. The quickness he demonstrates at the top of his routes freezes defenders up and creates two-way goes. While he is not the fastest receiver, he has good burst out of his stance and the foot quickness to make defensive backs get caught reaching in press-coverage. There is no better receiver than Addison against man-coverage in this year’s draft. One of the more underrated parts of Addison’s game is his ability to manipulate defensive backs with his head-fakes on post/corner angles. His head-fakes are so lethal because he consistently is able to lock eyes with the quarterback immediately following his break. That ability to see the ball through causes his hands to be extremely reliable; drops are very rare for Addison. He also demonstrates intelligence with the angles he takes both as a route runner and when the ball is in the air. Addison understands when to take a sharper angle vs when to take a flat angle. While he is undersized, Addison has a proclivity for shouldering through defenders in man coverage. That is the ability to use his leverage and lean into a defender, forcing said defender to go the opposite way that he is breaking towards. The word that kept coming to mind when watching Addison was “fluidity”, his ankles are very mobile and he is fluid in and out of breaks. There is no receiver more fluid than Addison in the 2023 NFL Draft.
While Addison’s ability to run any route in the playbook will allow him to be in almost every play, I believe he lacks the versatility to play X or in the slot. His lack of size and breakaway speed prevents him from playing X while his subpar strength and physicality prevents him from playing in the slot. While Addison does a good job at shouldering through vs man coverage, he consistently gets re-routed by defenders in zone coverage who don’t have to run with him. After the catch, Addison lacks the long speed to rip off long runs and doesn’t have the strength to break tackles. When Addison gets hit, he looks slight; there is a worrisome fragility to him that could be deleterious to him staying healthy. Against zone-coverage, Addison is limited to being a “possession-receiver” which is why I have a hard time putting a first round grade on him. Addison’s hindrances prevent him from being a high upside player.
Jordan Addison has the makeup to be a consistent Z-receiver in the NFL. His ability to create separation as a route-runner against man-coverage will cause teams to delineate him as a true-number one, but I believe his physical limitations will prevent him from being that true “number one guy”. From a comparison standpoint, he has a lot of similarities to Diontae Johnson, but with natural hands. While I have a late second round grade on him, I have a hard time seeing him fall out of the first round due to where he stands in comparison to this receiver class. I believe he would be a good opposition to a few fellow USC receivers like Drake London or Michael Pittman. I can also see Bill Belichick falling in love with the precision of his routes and taking a shot on him early on. Addison has proven that he is capable of being two NFL quarterback’s favorite targets; it will be interesting to see if he is able to do that with a third.
Separation Skills: 8.25/10
Hands + Catch Radius: 8.25/10
Route Running: 9/10
Physicality + Play Strength: 5/8
Body Control + Movement Skills: 7.25/8
After the Catch: 4.5/6
Short-Area Quickness: 4.25/5
Competitiveness + Intelligence + Effort: 4.25/5
Final Rating: 81
Projected Position: Z
Pro Comparison: Diontae Johnson with natural hands
Draft Projection: First Round Pick
Draft Grade: Late Second Round Pick
Team Fits: Patriots, Colts, Falcons