2021 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: WR Josh Imatorbhebhe, Illinois

Illinois receiver Josh Imatorbhebhe has a lot of upside as a potential late Day 3 /undrafted free-agent developmental prospect.
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WR JOSH IMATORBHEBHE

Height: 6'1"
Weight: 223 lbs.
Class: Senior (red shirt)
School: Illinois


He is a former four-star recruit out of North Gwinnett High School in Suwanee, Georgia. Imatorbhebhe committed to USC as the 29th ranked receiver in the 2016 recruiting class. He missed 2018 due to the transfer portal after transferring from USC to Illinois. He started once he arrived on campus for the Fighting Illini.

Imatorbhebhe caught 55 passes on 102 targets for 928 receiving yards with 12 touchdowns in his two seasons. The receiver caught everyone’s eyes at his pro day; he jumped an incredible 47” in the vertical which was in the 100th percentile (record setting), while also jumping 134” in the broad, which ranks in the 98th percentile. His 40-yard-dash was 4.48 seconds (55th percentile).

Traits

He's a biscuit away from a tight end that possesses an incredible leaping ability that was further substantiated by his ridiculous testing numbers. He doesn’t have break-away speed, and his change of direction ability is adequate; more of a vertical threat who wins contested catches with his jumping ability and his large catch radius, which meshes well with his strong hands at the catch point.

He handles contact well at the line of scrimmage. His release package isn’t overly diverse, and he’s not the most flexible receiver, but good luck trying to jam him because he has excellent play strength and good length (32.3” arms, 62nd percentile). His route tree is very raw, and he’ll need some coaching.

He isn’t very fluid in and out of his breaks, so his separation ability over the middle of the field on routes that require quick breakdown and change of direction is adequate at best.

He does a good job on quick drag routes and vertical routes to use his solid speed and impressive "see ball, get ball" ability to win over cornerbacks. As of right now, he’s closer to a one-trick pony than a finished product.

He should be a fun day three selection for a vertically-based offense. He thrives in those jump ball, contested catch situations, but the other parts of his game need development. 

His hands are solid, and he’s very physical in all aspects of his game; he will attempt to run through defenders, and he tends to fall forward when being brought to the ground. I wish he was a bit more productive and showed more nuance to his game.

Overall, Imatorbhebhe is a physical receiver with excellent play strength who can win vertically and leverage his impressive leaping and contested-catch ability to be a dangerous deep threat in specific situations. 

He isn’t close to being a full-time player and will need some coaching to unlock his upside. He isn’t overly smooth or fluid in space but will have a role in an offense. 


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