Indiana’s Cody Latimer another receiver to watch out for

March 30th, 2014 | Written by Rob Staton

Cody Latimer, just another quality receiver to add to the list

Yeah, this receiver class is as good as we thought it was.

With every week that goes by, the decision to let Golden Tate walk makes more and more sense.

For a fraction of the price, the Seahawks are going to land a very talented player at some point in this draft. If they take a receiver at #32, they’ll be paying around $1.25-2.5m for his services for the next FIVE years.

Or around $4-5m less than Tate’s getting in Detroit.

That’s business.

Sammy Watkins, Mike Evans, Marqise Lee, Odell Beckham Jr, Kelvin Benjamin, Donte Moncrief, Brandin Cooks, Martavis Bryant, Jarvis Landry, Brandon Coleman, Allen Robinson, Davante Adams.

And now you can add Cody Latimer to the list of prospective first or second round picks.

I keep seeing people refer to the depth of this class and that players will drop to the middle rounds as a consequence.

Not for me.

I think we’ll see a ton of receivers going off the board in round one. As many as seven or eight, if not more. There’s no doubt whatsoever that the strength of this class is at receiver. And with so many teams needing a wide out, they’d have to fight the board not to make an early splash.

Any team thinking of handing DeSean Jackson a big contract needs to consider the options available. The Redskins make a lot of sense because they don’t have a first round pick. Their first pick is at #34 overall.

There’s every chance most of the top receivers will be long gone by then. Seriously.

Grab one early or risk missing out. That’s how I see it.

I might be wrong. But the more I watch of these receivers, the more impressed I am by the sheer strength in top-tier depth.

So what about Latimer?

He’s 6-2 and 215lbs. He’s been bothered by a foot injury so didn’t do anything at the combine other than the bench press. His 23 reps were the highest among receivers.

He’s since run a 4.43 at his pro-day and recorded a 39 inch vertical. He’s still to do any drills and that’s probably why the Seahawks are bringing him in for a visit:

Latimer’s a former basketball star who chose to pursue football for a career in High School: “I was leaning more toward basketball at first… But I love the contact.”

He isn’t kidding. Latimer’s one of the best blocking receivers you’ll see in college football. He’ll lock onto a target and drive a defensive back out of the play. As I went through the tape this weekend, he was pushing people ten yards downfield, shoving them into the end zone to spring a running touchdown and taking any opportunity to get involved.

I’ve seen it suggested that football isn’t his first love. Based on his passion for blocking, I’d say that’s irrelevant. If he’s on the field, he’s getting involved. Nobody can question his heart or commitment in that sense.

And if Basketball was his key passion, you can kind of see why…

Either way, he’s a football player now. That kind of leaping ability at 6-2 can’t be ignored.

Throw in the upper body power (he’s ripped, as the 23 reps on the bench press indicate) and you’re looking at a terrific possession receiver who has all the tools to compete down the red line, win jump balls and provide some value in the running game.

Basically — the kind of things Seattle looks for. The fact he’s a 4.43 runner is just a bonus.

Fast forward to 1:38 in the video beow:

That’s Darqueze Dennard covering Latimer — perhaps the most physical cornerback in the 2014 class. I’ve not spent a ton of time on Dennard because I don’t expect the Seahawks to take a corner in round one — but I haven’t seen anyone shield the football like this against him, gain position and make it look this easy.

Dennard was flat out schooled there — Latimer’s power, control and strong hands were too good.

This is what you want to see from a prospective red zone threat, especially against a first round talent (Dennard could be the first cornerback off the board).

It’s not the only example of strong hands either. I’ve not seen any ugly drops in three games against Michigan State, Michigan or Bowling Green. He’s a sure handed, reliable catcher who can high point the football and make a difficult grab.

He can get downfield as you’d expect from a 4.43 runner — but he’s not a truly explosive athlete or a shifty runner. He’s a straight line guy who tries to out-sprint an opponent, he won’t make many people miss in the open field. But then you wouldn’t be drafting him to be a YAC threat — that’s why you’re paying Percy Harvin $13.4m in 2014.

Latimer’s a pure possession receiver with plus speed and ideal strength. ‘Possession receiver’ shouldn’t be a negative. That is what Seattle needs to compliment the current group.

He also suffered in college — as many of these 2014 receivers did — via bad quarterback play. He’s right there alongside Moncrief, Coleman and even Bryant/Watkins in that regard (the more you watch Tajh Boyd, the more inaccurate you realise he is).

I’ve seen it suggested that Latimer could be anything from a late first rounder to a 5th rounder. For me he’s a solid second round grade with the potential to get into the first round mix. He isn’t the same athlete as a Moncrief or Bryant, but there’s a lot to work with here.

67 Responses to “Indiana’s Cody Latimer another receiver to watch out for”

  1. Nathan says:

    You might have just found the ‘nobody’ that the Seahawks ‘reach’ for, especially if a load of wide receivers come off the board early.

    • Robert says:

      Agree. Great size and skills to be an excellent 3rd down and red zone target. The catch at 1:33 of the highlight film is exceptional! He plays big!

  2. Justin says:

    This kind of sounds like a more polishes version of Chris Harper, which didn’t pan out very well. Can you compare/contrast the two? Is this taking PC/JS another whack at filling that gap?

    • williambryan says:

      I though the same thing while reading the recent piece on Landry. It also creates more context for the interest in Finley (the Harper role, that is)

    • Cameron says:

      I thought Harper’s tape was kind of awful, personally. His pre-season game against (Oakland?) was kind of microcosm of his college career – lots of plays left on the field.

      I like what Latimer would bring to the run game about as much as I’d enjoy watching him work db’s on quick slant routes.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’d say they are different players. Latimer is a sideline hugger who can win the jump balls, get downfield and block. Harper wasn’t a slouch but also wasn’t an ex-basketball player with great leaping ability, a red zone threat or a great deep threat.

  3. DawgDav says:

    Glad to see you’ve come to the same conclusion I have on Latimer. Just seems like exactly what the Seahawks are looking for in a split end. Although it may be tough to find a trade partner, I would love to see JS and PC trade back out of the first into the early second and draft the best available of Latimer or Bryant (presuming both are still available at 32).

    Also, since I was looking for tape last week, some additional highlights that didn’t make linked footage.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZiwTVuD8k1M

    And two high pointing plays that will make Golden Tate fans happy:
    http://youtu.be/cexyuZqc7y0?t=2m20s
    http://youtu.be/gNv5U8pgiY0?t=10s

  4. David M says:

    Just a thought, as we keep talking about a tall WR, “red zone threat” , I keep forgetting about Chris Matthews. PC/JS snagged him up like right away after the Super Bowl. It’s hard to say how they feel about him, there isn’t a whole lot of tape on him..

    Maybe that’s why there conducting private workouts for guys like Latimar who excel at blocking, and toughness.

    Just an opinion..

  5. MJ says:

    Great stuff Rob. Likewise, I kind of casually looked at Latimer as an afterthought and was blown away by what I saw. Really natural catcher of the football. Has a similar body type as Larry Fitzgerald. Quite honestly, everything you want in a bigger WR. I think he’s firmly on the radar at 32. Quite honestly, I am struggling to find a WR (who might be available) that could fit SEA better than Latimer.

  6. Kenny Sloth says:

    Imagine him blocking on a Percy Harvin screen. Mm.

    Been high on Latimer since the jump. So much power. When you have a good, consistent blocking wide out, you want to use him. His routes aren’t sharp, but he displays the ability to make them so.

    • Jon says:

      yes please. That would be a TD waiting to happen on many plays.

      His QB was soooo bad its crazy. many just horrible throws and or reads!

  7. CA says:

    They are absolutely looking for a guy like this. Perfect fit. They are looking for the plus blocker no question about it, at this point it is a matter of which round they use the pick on a WR

  8. Cade says:

    God I hate it that the Niners and Rams have so many picks

  9. David M says:

    Is there any way you see Marqise Lee falling to #32 ?

  10. JC says:

    4.38 was Latimer’s official 40 time:

    https://twitter.com/search?q=latimer%204.38&src=typd&f=realtime

    Yeah, of about 14-15 of the top WR’s, it’ll be interesting to see if any make it to #64, even though that would equate to about 1 of every 4 picks being a receiver

    • Rob Staton says:

      There wasn’t an official time with it being a pro-day. Just a bunch of scouts and coaches with a stop watch. If one guy clocks 4.38 people will run with it because it’s fast. Tony Pauline was reporting a time in the 4.4’s and I’ll go with his source.

  11. James says:

    An alternative theory is that, with so many quality WRs, a team will go for other needs in R1, before everyone is picked over, knowing that a WR with a top grade will be there in R2. I choose to believe this will mean that an elite WR will fall to #32. If not, certainly Latimer would be an exceptional R2 find if an OL or DL is selected in R1 by the Seahawks.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I don’t think teams are going to wait on receivers personally. I think it’ll be a case of go early or miss out. Because these guys aren’t going to last long IMO. The receivers in this draft, even in a decent draft, are head and shoulders above every other position in terms of depth and quality.

      • AlaskaHawk says:

        No reason to get cute in the draft. Pick the best wide receiver left at #32 and move on. It’s better then picking some other position and watching the 49ers and every other team in the league take players away from us.

        • MJ says:

          Amen to that. Getting cute is the worst thing a team can do. If you want a big WR and you grade Latimer as a 20-35 value, then draft him. Makes no sense drafting a 50-64 value OL at 32 and hoping a 20-35 value WR drops to you at 64. One in the hand is better than 2 in the bush.

  12. Ted says:

    Great writeup, Rob. I’m happy that you feel the same way I do about Latimer after looking at the tape. Athletic, physical, natural hands catcher. I was hoping we could get him in the late 2nd, but with the hype he’s getting lately I’m not sure he’ll last that long. Sorry for pestering you so much about him the last few weeks!

    • Kenny Sloth says:

      Speaking of pestering: Rob! How you feel about Calvin Barnett in the fourth? Great penetrator with natural strength and anchor.

  13. David M says:

    These are the teams I can see taking a shot at WR in the 1st
    1. Oakland -Sammy Watkins
    2. Titans
    3. Giants ..maybe
    4. Iffy with the rams 2nd pick. fisher basically said no WR @ 2nd overall
    5. Steelers
    6. Chiefs
    7. Panthers (also need OL and secondary)
    8. 49ers, again this is a maybe, they might go DL with justin smith getting older, or secondary
    9. Seahawks, WR, OL, or DL

    Jets need a pass catching TE (Ebron)

    So up to 9 wr could be off the board by the end of the 1st (IN MY OPINION) buy realistically, I see 5 going before the hawks then the take the best at #32

  14. Dave says:

    How big are his hands? Length of arms?

      • Dave says:

        Thanks Ted. Looking at his tape, he doesn’t look long like a Mike Evans, but he has big play making ability and a resolve to score. His highlight plays has one where he’s at the 2 yd line, he takes a ball away from the defender and he touches the pile-on as he falls back. 9 and 5/8, they’re bigger than Janis’ hands and he has average length arms for someone who’s 6’2″. 39″ vertical more than makes up for it. Rob, could you please calculate his SPARQ? Thanks in advance!

  15. Robert says:

    Great upside. I think Cody is very high on our board!

  16. The Ancient Mariner says:

    OK, I think you’ve just given me my #1 hope for our first pick. This guy sounds like a near-perfect fit, and probably as close to perfect as you’re ever going to have a chance to get picking #32.

  17. Geoff Potter says:

    The catch Latimer makes for a touchdown in the third video at :47 seconds is absolutely sick. He snatches it out of the air like he plucked an apple from a tree.

  18. Christon says:

    Good stuff Rob. Question for you – if you think as many as nine wide receivers could go in the first round – don’t you think the Seahawks would be fighting the board a bit to take the ninth or tenth best receiver in this class? With almost a third of the teams taking a WR in round one, I wouldn’t expect as many to go in round two with the market demand already being mostly satisfied.

    My logic is that the Seahawks may be able to get a head of the run on offensive lineman and take the fourth or fifth offensive lineman on their board before a run in the second round happens (and after most of the teams have filled their pass catching needs).

    Assuming your scenario plays out and nine or so WRs are taken in the first, the difference in talent level from #32 to 64# might be much greater at OL than WR – so wouldn’t it be better to take a tackle like Bitoni or Moses at #32 and a receiver at #64?

    All that being said – I DO think Cody Latimer would be a very worthy pick at #32. Maybe their 10th best receiver in this class is higher on their board than their 4th ranked Offensive lineman?

    • Rob Staton says:

      For starters, I think the 9th or 10th receiver in this class will be better than probably the 2nd defensive end taken, or the second defensive tackle. And unless Joel Bitonio is still there are #32, probably superior to whatever offensive linemen are available (Moses and Thomas are the other two I’d highlight).

      I think by #64 all of the worthwhile receivers will be gone. I think it’ll be slim pickings between rounds 3-7, unless you really believe in a Jeff Janis working out. I truly believe if you want a receiver from this group you’ll have to go early. Because they’ll fly off the board and by the mid second round all the good options will be gone.

      • Colin says:

        I just have a hunch the Hawks would like to double dip at WR…. it just can’t be a coincidence they drew a hard line with Tate in a year where the WR class looks so good…. coming off a year where Schneider came out and said that class of WR was not impressive.

        • Adog says:

          I think a good way to judge the Seahawks board on wr is to gauge where Kearse ranks? Not the Kearse who went undrafted, but the Kearse of 2013. How does he match up against this class? He has similar measurements to this guy out of Indiana …in fact they seem like the same type of wr. This is not bad,yet perhaps PC/js are looking for a wr/te joker tweener…a throw it up playmaker in the red zone. It goes against their board I think to grab the last wr in the 1st. I think they grab a big body wr/joker type in the 4th.

  19. rrsquid says:

    Thanks again for another great read Rob. My question is how many receivers do think the Seahawks could take in the whole draft? The depth is there. 1st round talent is abundant, but also getting a special teams contributor and project (i.e. Kearse) has tremendous value this year.

  20. CC says:

    Lattimore is someone I’ve had on my list, but I had forgotten about him because he was injured. Thanks for the reminder! He seems very Seahawky – he can block and he is fast and tall. I hope he stays under the radar a bit – he’s sort of the under radar Davante Adams, but I think Lattimore will have chip on his shoulder coming from IU, just like we like.

    Any thoughts on which round he’d be taken? I know that Seattle will take anyone anywhere, but is he a first or second rounder?

    Thanks again for these great articles!

  21. Coughawks says:

    Bruce Ellington is another interesting dual sport athlete. Started in both football and basketball. He averaged 13 points per game his freshman season, but turned his focus to football after that. 5’9, 4.4 speed, explosive playmaker. Good value in the mid rounds. Thoughts?
    http://www.nfl.com/draft/2014/profiles/bruce-ellington?id=2543646

    • Rob Staton says:

      I quite like Ellington. For me he’s in the R2-3 range although he’s someone I plan to look closer at.

    • Robert says:

      He’s already wearing his Seahawks sweatshirt in the profile pic. Already graduated – hard worker. If he were to fall a bit, I don’t see how we could resist. Would he be ADB replacement in the slot?

  22. EranUngar says:

    Lattimore is another one of my favorites. It’s hard not to get excited with the number and quality of this receivers class. One word of caution that also has to do with Tate’s departure –

    WRs are a skill position that takes usually at least a year to become fully productive and effective. It took Tate 2 years to get to the level he displayed on his 3rd and 4th year. Even the great CJ in his first 2 years had 126 catches for 2,087 yards and in his last 2 years – 206 catches for 3,465 yards.

    Whoever we pick at 32nd or later may not be the instant producer this year.

    I’m Just trying to keep my excitement under check.

    • xo 1 says:

      The learning curve for wide receiver comes up in many of the discussions in the Hawk Blogosphere. I appreciate that there is a curve but we should bear in mind that Golden Tate is hardly representative. Even on the Seahawks’ current roster, neither Doug Baldwin nor Jermaine Kearse – as UDFAs – have taken two seasons to blossom. Looking more broadly, Josh Gordon was immensely gifted but very raw and he produced immediately and has progressed from there. Dez Bryant’s first year looks similar to Tate’s third year. (On the other hand, Demaryius Thomas’ development curve shows even more pronounced third-year spike – as his scouting reports anticipated.)

      We can’t make too much of anecdote, but we also don’t need to assume that a wide receiver drafted in the first two rounds shouldn’t help immediately. Golden is unusual in that he came out of college thought to be fairly developed and yet taking several years to make an impact.

      • Kenny Sloth says:

        It’s a case by case basis.

        On Tate. He had just switched from RB to WR his Junior year, so it was widely known that he was absolutely not developed, much.

  23. kevin says:

    Tried to figure out his spark rating based on the numbers in this post, He is well over 120, probably in the 130s. That is a number that is going to make the front office swoon.

  24. Madmark says:

    There could just be another good reason why receivers start coming of the board in the 1st round other than its a deep WR draft. 1ST round drafts picks have a 5th year option. Lets face it one of the most expensive positions in the NFL other than QB is the WR position. Dawgdav brought him up to me on the Donte Moncrief article and I looked at Latimer again. I still hold Moncrief higher but both could be mid 2nd rounders and of course that doesn’t help us unless we pick one at 32. That’s if receivers start rolling of the board. These 2 receivers do a lot of the same things but Latimer better at the jump ball where Moncrief is faster going vertical. Seattle doesn’t throw a lot but they like that play action pass and getting that deep vertical pass down the field. Its going to be an interesting draft. What about a 32 MOncrief and 64 Brandon Coleman let cable get his OL later.

    • Kenny Sloth says:

      I like Latimer more than Moncrief. They have similar skillsets, but Latimer plays up to his potential and is far more consistent than Moncrief. I hate watching Donte Moncrief play.

  25. me says:

    I really think there’s going to be someone good available at 64; its a question of whether or not the FO is okay with a targeted pick in R1 at a shallower position group and ‘whoever falls’ as a 64 WR pick or not. Anyone expecting this regime to get caught in a myopic need pick at the top if the draft us probably going to be dissapointed.

    • Rob Staton says:

      “Anyone expecting this regime to get caught in a myopic need pick at the top if the draft us probably going to be disappointed.”

      Every first round pick Seattle has made so far has been a targeted need pick. In fact most if not all teams aggressively pursue needs in round one.

      • Madmark says:

        That’s because the best talent usually goes in the 1st round even thou some never push their potential into reality is another story.

  26. George says:

    Rob,

    Just curious, but do you remember James Hardy? He was a basketball recruit coming out of high school that played receiver for IU and I believe was drafted in the 2nd round by the Bills. I haven’t heard about him since. I don’t remember his measurable’s or anything, but does Latimer compare to him at all? I guess basketball players turned receivers at IU scare me. Keep up the great work, love your stuff.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Hardy was 6-6 so a bigger guy in terms of height. He only had a 31.5 inch vertical jump though — compared to reports of Latimer’s 39 inches. I think the best way to separate the two is to look at their basketball background. Latimer was a talented B’ball player at 6-2 and dunks like a 6-6 guy. Hardy’s 6-6 and has a vertical jump that is 7.5 inches smaller than Latimer’s. So I think that shows Latimer is a superior athlete and Hardy, really, was just a tall guy with plus athleticism. I can’t say I watched a lot of his tape — I started writing the blog in 2008 ahead of the 2009 draft and Hardy was a 2008 pick — so unfortunately I can’t offer much of a review/comparison based on footage.

  27. [...] I wrote a more detailed piece about Latimer a week ago. He’s not just an athlete playing receiver — he has strong hands, he competes for the ball in the air and he’s the best run blocking receiver in the draft. [...]