Games Evaluated: 2018 Vs: Pittsburgh 2019 Vs: Georgia Tech, South Carolina, Virginia, Ohio St.
Report By: Bobby Greco
Deep Speed: 8.00
Higgins is a stud athlete. Is the type of player that makes difficult movements look easy and fluid. He has incredible balance and has made multiple sideline catches that he had to completely extend his body and still get a foot down. Incredible flexibility. It seems that every other game he made some time of highlight-reel catch. Is another product from the Clemson WR stable and athletically lives up to those standards. Smooth lateral agility that makes it seem like he is able to glide across the field. Very decisive while running routes, he can cut in a different direction before the defender even realizes. As athletic and quick as he is, he doesn't have the explosion you would expect. It is kind of an anomaly, because he is a good route runner yet doesn't display the quick burst of snapping off a route. Deep speed seems effortless for Higgins. Is a lengthy WR who really uses his length to his advantage. Takes very long strides and can pass a DB in an instant.
WITHOUT BALL: 6.96
Quicks off LOS: 7.50
Release Vs Jam: 7.20
Route Running: 7.80
Consistency is the key here. Consistently gets off the line the same way by using his athleticism and quick decision making to effortlessly get downfield. Again he isn't the most explosive, but he knows exactly who he is and uses his skills accordingly. Uses his length to get past jamming corners. He is able to use his hands and prevent getting stopped at the LOS. On the downside, if the corner matches his length and/or is a physical player, he is very beatable. Look at the Ohio St CFP game for example. Higgins is a very smooth route runner. He never breaks stride when changing direction and it really helps him get separation. He is a more effective receiver when going deep or running a longer route, but is a good enough route runner to be versatile. Has solid separation skills. Never loses stride when breaking a route and that really slows the corner from breaking up passes to Higgins. This ability helps him disguise what he is doing. He could improve in gaining separation on deep throws but relies too much on his length and it sometimes gets him in trouble. Seems to avoid blocking at all costs. He runs a route on every play and not because it's an RPO, he just runs downfield hoping the corner will follow him. This is something he will need to improve once entering the league. In all the film I watched, I only saw him make one real run block.
WITH BALL IN HANDS: 7.55
Yards After Contact: 7.20
Ability In Space: 8.00
Ball Security: 7.50
Overall he has very good hands but is inconsistent at times. His inconsistencies are maddening because he will make some absolute mind-blowing catches and the next pass drops a wide-open chance. He also doesn't play through contact well and get passes taken from him. He still deserves a solid grade though, because of highlight-reel catches. Not the guy who will plow over a defender, but has quick feet to juke a defender and get past him. Once he gets that little amount of space he is a dangerous player and will extend something average into a big play. Higgins in space is a lethal threat. He has very good speed and long strides so is a TD threat when the ball is in his hands. Just look at his career numbers and the players he is mentioned with, then you will see how dangerous he can be. Once he gets the ball in his hands, he rarely fumbles. The reason he doesn't get a higher score here is that he isn't strong when playing through contact. There were just too many times where it should have been a seemingly easy catch, but the person covering him swiped at the ball and Higgins ended up dropping it.
Higgins is not the toughest receiver you will see. There were a lot of times this season when a little injury would take him out action for a portion of the game. For instance, in the Ohio St CFP game, Higgins took a hit on the first drive and didn't come back until the middle of the 4th quarter. He also missed time against LSU the next. The bright side for him is, when he is on the field, he is extremely productive. He had 1,100yrd and 13 TDs this season alone and on only 59 rec. If he can bulk up and get more physical, he will be a force in the NFL. He is a hard worker and always gives good effort, but just gets hurt and misses time too often and that leads to inconsistency.
Position Versatility: 6.50
Very experienced and instinctive player, you can tell he has played a lot of football in his life. Very impressed with his ability to find the open zone and give his QB a nice open target. He doesn't make many mental mistakes, but if he does he always learns from it. He also had the ability to learn what a corner likes to do and will adjust to it during game time. Higgins is going to strictly be an outside receiver. If he bulks up and starts playing more physical, then maybe he can play some slot. Initially, he will be a very effective deep threat.
Checks all the boxes when it comes to height, speed, and athleticism. Has a big catch radius and high points the ball extremely well. Uses his size to his advantage over smaller corners and when going long. He can make a big play every time he touches the ball. A very instinctive player and smooth route runner always finds the open spot on the field for his QB.
Not the toughest receiver, which is something that is important for a big WR like himself. Let's little things take him out of action too often. One thing that needs to be addressed is maintaining possession when contacted, there were just too many times the defender was able to knock the ball away from him.
Higgins was difficult to grade because there are big inconsistencies in his game. Some things he is at an elite level and others he is below average. Right now he grades out as a 2nd round prospect, but I expect a really good showing at the combine and that will definitely raise him well into the first. He has a very similar style to a Chargers Mike Williams or Raiders Tyrell Williams. He would be a great fit a team like New England, or a young team like Arizona.