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NFL Draft 2020: WR Quintez Cephus scouting report

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“Quintez Cephus is who the Badgers wanted Rob Wheelwright to be I’ve often said this.” - Owen Riese

Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual - Oregon v Wisconsin Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Quintez Cephus had a very tumultuous career for the Wisconsin Badgers, but finished it strongly, helping lead his team to a Rose Bowl a year after being out of football. He burst onto the scene as a true freshman, catching a long pass from Alex Hornibrook to set up a touchdown in a win against Iowa.

As a sophomore, he led the team in receiving despite breaking his leg against Indiana in the ninth game of the season in 2017. Off-field issues resulted in Cephus being off of the Wisconsin roster and expelled from the University in 2018 before being found not-guilty in front of a jury in Madison. He was then reinstated by the University of Wisconsin and rejoined the football team during fall camp.

In 2019, Cephus showed everyone why he was projected to be a potential early entrant into the 2019 NFL Draft, leading the Badgers in receptions, yards and touchdowns upon his return. 59 catches for 901 yards and seven touchdowns, including one in the Rose Bowl against Oregon. Cephus added the alpha-mentality wide receiver the Badgers missed during his absence in 2018. Cephus ended his career for the Badgers with 93 catches for 1496 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Height: 6’1
Weight: 202 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.73*, 4.56 seconds**
Vertical jump: 38.5”
Broad jump: 124” (10’4”)
Short shuttle: 4.33 seconds*
Three-cone drill: 7.20 seconds*
Bench press: 23 reps

* Testing numbers from the NFL Combine in Indianapolis
** Testing numbers from UW Pro Day held Wednesday, March 11th

Strengths: Good size for the position. Has a strong physique, muscular throughout. Plays physically, is tough for defensive backs to handle throughout the route, and at the stem. Quick out of his breaks, able to separate despite lacking elite quickness or speed. Has shown strong hands, few drops throughout his career. Effective after the catch, showing his physicality. Tracks the deep ball well, fighting through contact to make catches. Excellent jumper, basketball background is evident. Willing and effective blocker.

Weaknesses: Didn’t run well in Indy - he’s not that slow but won’t be able to run by NFL defenders. Good athlete but will struggle to separate from elite cover corners or corners who are faster than Cephus. A tad linear as an athlete, and could stand to improve speed manipulation throughout routes to optimize ability to separate. Didn’t see a ton of press at Wisconsin, could be improved through alignment manipulation.

NCAA Football: Big Ten Championship-Ohio State vs Wisconsin Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Summary: Cephus is a player that could very well have more success at the next level due to the lack of volume he saw at times during his career at Madison. He’s an alpha-mentality wide receiver who will be a contributor wherever he ends up. Cephus had a very loud career for a college football program that is built on quiet success, but fought to succeed in his final collegiate season. Cephus could potentially be a starter in the NFL, but I think to begin he will be a team’s WR4 and then work his way in. He’ll outperform his draft slot in this deep receiver class.

Ideal Scheme Fit: Outside receiver for a team who plays their WR1 in the slot a lot.

Projected Round: Mid-to-late Day 3 (5-7)