Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson
Pro day results:
(Higgins opted not to work out or test at the Combine.)
40-yard dash: 4.54 seconds
3-cone: 4.53 seconds
20-yard shuttle: n/a
After tallying 34 receiving scores over his final 2 high school seasons, Higgins was ranked as a top 2 WR and top 20 player overall in the 2017 recruiting class by multiple scouting services, including ESPN, Rivals and Scout. He elected to play his college ball at Clemson over offers from Alabama, Ohio State, Florida State and Tennessee, among others.
Higgins got on the field as a true freshman, despite a Tigers WR corps that included Hunter Renfrow, Deon Cain and Ray-Ray McCloud, who all went on to be drafted. Higgins ranked 4th in receiving yards and 3rd in TDs on a team that finished just 39th in passing yards and 85th in TDs.
2018 brought a breakout sophomore campaign. Playing alongside QB Trevor Lawrence (who figures to be the #1 overall pick of the 2021 draft), Higgins ranked 8th in the country with 12 receiving scores. He also led Clemson with 59 catches — although his 936 yards trailed then-freshman WR Justyn Ross, who looks like a 1st-rounder in 2021.
Higgins set new personal bests in yards, yards per catch and TDs this past year. He ranked 19th in the nation in receiving yards and tied for 7th in TDs. His 19.8 yards per catch was good for 6th among players with 40+ grabs. Higgins closed his junior season with a flurry, averaging 4.6 catches, 83 yards and 1.4 TDs over his final 7 games.
He trailed Ross in catches last year but led the Tigers in yards and TDs. His market shares: 18.1% of the receptions, 27.0% of the receiving yards and 32.5% of the receiving scores. Those marks rank 20th, 14th and 11th among 23 of this year’s top WR prospects. Higgins’ 3.67 yards per route run in 2019 ranked 2nd among those 23 WRs, behind only Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb.
Higgins ranked as a top 10 WR in Pro Football Focus’ receiving grades in both of the last 2 seasons. He leaves Clemson with a career 18.1 yards-per-catch average and 20% TD rate. His 27 career receiving scores are tied for the most in school history with DeAndre Hopkins and Sammy Watkins.
Courtesy of @WhatsOnDraftNFL
Games watched - North Carolina State (2018), Texas A&M, Wake Forest, Virginia, Ohio State
Higgins is your classic big-bodied receiver; the type of guy a QB loves to throw to.
He has no issue fighting off physical coverage and making catches in tight quarters. He seems to just vacuum up balls anywhere in his zip code.
His 6’4 frame and 81-inch wingspan gives him a mammoth catch radius. And Higgins isn’t afraid to go over the middle of the field and take contact. This ball is thrown behind him with 2 defenders within striking distance.
He also has some super sticky hands. This obviously wouldn’t be a catch in the NFL, but check out the extension and hand strength:
This ball is deflected by the LB, but Higgins is able to make a quick adjustment to reel it in.
Here, Higgins snares a pass tipped right in front of him — before showing off his after-the-catch ability.
Higgins doesn’t have elite speed (confirmed by his 4.54-second 40 at his Pro Day), but he chews up a lot of ground with his long strides.
He runs by his defender here before adjusting back to an underthrown pass.
Higgins is also a fluid route runner for a 6’4, 216-pounder. He was especially proficient on out routes at Clemson, threatening downfield before snapping off toward the sideline.
Higgins runs a nice in-breaking route here against Ohio State CB Jeff Okudah, who’s a potential top 10 pick in this year’s draft.
With the top 2 WR prospects in this year's class checking in under 200 pounds, Higgins might be the top “big” receiver available to NFL and dynasty teams.
He was never a high-volume receiver at Clemson — but the tools are there for Higgins to emerge as a #1 WR for his NFL squad. He has the size and ball skills to be a big-play threat and red-zone weapon. And there’s enough movement ability for him to develop into a strong route runner. There’s no real weakness to his game.
You’ll hear some folks point to underwhelming measurables as a knock against Higgins. Per Rotoworld’s Hayden Winks, Higgins checks in as a 36th percentile adjusted SPARQ athlete. That’s obviously not ideal — but it’s not a death knell, either. Higgins is simply a below-average athlete compared to other NFL WRs. And multiple studies (including this one and this one) have shown little or no correlation between measurables and NFL success for WRs.
We’ll see where Higgins lands in the NFL Draft. But he’s squarely in the mix to be the #3 WR in the class behind Jerry Jeudy and CeeDee Lamb.