Josh Palmer - WR, Tennessee
By the numbers:
6'1", 210 pounds.
2020: 33 receptions for 475 yards and four touchdowns in 10 games played.
Josh Palmer has prototypical size for an outside receiver and puts it on display at the catch point. He high-points the ball and plays with both strength and aggression. His body control is very good and he thrives when given an opportunity to make a play on the football. Palmer is a proficient blocker who uses his strength well.
As an athlete, Palmer is good enough to beat press coverage. He accelerates quickly and has respectable long speed. While his footwork at the line of scrimmage is far from elite, it's a plus trait and helps him remain unfazed in the face of being jammed early on. Opposing corners may be able to keep up with Palmer, but he has enough in his toolbox to still win consistently.
At Tennessee, Palmer wasn't asked to do a ton with variety. His route tree remains limited and needs to expand significantly in order for him to reach his ceiling. In addition to adopting the full complement of stems, he can make the transition smoother by adding head fakes and crisper breaks into his arsenal. Palmer shows promise as a route runner, but he isn't the most proven from that standpoint. His agility will truly be put to the test moving forward.
Many expected Palmer to break out in his senior season, but it never happened. He may not be a plug-and-play option right out of the gate in the NFL. Teams need to be patient with him, as there's a lot of room for improvement. This lack of production is worth noting, although it's also a testament to his ceiling as a receiver.
How Palmer fits with the Chiefs:
The Chiefs' need for an "X" receiver (X-WR) with Sammy Watkins and Demarcus Robinson out of the picture is legitimate. Andy Reid's boundary wideouts usually have more developed route trees than Palmer does, but he does a lot of the little things well. He blocks and wins with both strength and technique. His size is also similar to that of Watkins. Palmer would be worth the investment for the Chiefs, as he projects to figure the other intricacies of the game out with proper coaching and a good landing spot.
Palmer has an NFL frame and uses it well. He isn't an elite athlete, although he has the blend of speed, footwork and strength to win against press-man. There's certainly room to grow, but that's part of what makes him such an enticing prospect. He very well could be a better professional than he was a college player, and the Chiefs would present him with an ideal opportunity to develop. Palmer grades out as an early fourth-round prospect who's a full route tree away from being a potential starting X-WR.