Khalil Shakir Draft Profile
Every team is looking for a reliable wide receiver that they can trust on third down will catch the ball and keep the drive going… Boise State wide receiver Khalil Shakir is that guy. While he is not going to be a number one, alpha-dog receiver in the NFL, I think he has the potential to be a star in his role. Role players are vital for teams that want to be successful. While the top teams have guys that can do everything, they need their “Robins”. The best teams have a star wide receiver and a receiver who is a star in his role. In the NFL, I can see Shakir being a star in his role and teams will really value that. This offseason, we have seen receivers who are “stars in their roles” break the bank: Christian Kirk, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, etc. I believe Shakir will be in that second-tier of wide receivers once he gets into the NFL.
The reliability of Khalil Shakir is what will attract teams; he is a player whose role is pretty easy to predict. In 11-personnel he is lining up in the slot, running a short route, and making a play after the catch. Shakir is so good at milking a play for what it is worth— he is going to fight for as many yards as possible. While he doesn’t have the break-away speed that will put him on the same level as an “Odell Beckham Jr.” type of player, he is a player that will step up on the crucial downs and a quarterback can trust. Standing at 6’ tall, Shakir will be taller than most nickel cornerbacks and in the red zone is a weapon that a quarterback can just throw the ball up to. His catch radius is impressive; he can go over the top and catch jump-balls, but he can also track passes over his shoulder. Coaches will appreciate his willingness to block; whether it be setting edges for outside zones or blocking on screen passes, Shakir has a ton of heart. While I believe he’ll be lining up mostly in the slot, he showed he was capable of playing on the outside as well as returning kicks. He can take reverses and make plays happen after the catch on swing passes. For his first few seasons, I believe he will have to make a living on special teams and show just how much he loves this game. While Shakir may never be a “superstar”, I believe he will be a star in his role.
There are not a ton of holes in Shakir’s game, but one area that I think he is lacking in is his explosion. He does not have that break-away speed that teams are looking for despite running a really good 40-time (4.43 seconds). While I saw Shakir make some crazy catches with his arms fully extended, he does have a wingspan that is much shorter than teams usually want. One technical aspect in his game that he will need to work on is his control at the top of his routes. There are a lot of false steps that allow defensive backs to get a jump on the football. Realistically in the NFL, I see him being a low-end number-two receiver, a high-end number three receiver.
As I mentioned earlier, Shakir will be a “Robin” in the NFL. Right now the Texans need a receiver that their young quarterback, Davis Mills, can trust. I believe Shakir can make an instant impact next to Brandin Cooks in Houston. While the Vikings have two star wide receivers, they are going to be running a lot more 11-personnel with Kevin O’Connell calling plays. I believe Shakir would be a perfect number three receiver in Minnesota as well as a third-down guy for the Panthers. Shakir reminds me of Kendrick Bourne with the stuff he does after the catch and his aggressiveness as a blocker. I have a mid to late third-round grade on Shakir, but I could see him falling to the fourth round. While Shakir may not be the “sexiest” pick, I believe he will be a meaningful one.
Ability to Separate: 7.5/10
Release/Top of Routes: 6.5/8
Route Running: 7/8
Contested Catch: 6.5/8
Hands + Catch Radius: 6.75/8
Speed + Control: 5.75/7
Natural Talent: 3.25/5
Final Rating: 81
Pro Comparison: Kendrick Bourne
Team Fits: Texans, Vikings, Panthers
Draft Grade: Mid - Late Third Round Pick
Draft Projection: Fourth Round Pick