Prospects

Prospects
Photo of Jarett Dillard
Jarett Dillard (WR)
Height: 5'10"
Weight: 191
College: Rice
Conference: Conference USA
Hometown: San Antonio, TX
High School: Sam Houston
Featured Prospects
Selected by: Jacksonville Jaguars
Round: 5
Pick (Overall): 8 (144)
Discuss
Pick Analysis: The prolific pass catcher from Rice has outstanding hands and ball skills. Though he isn't a blazer, he's a crafty route-runner who has a knack for getting open. Dillard will compete for playing time as an extra receiver in the Jags' spread formations.
  1. Overview
  2. Analysis
Overview

Rice's first All-America selection by the Football Writers Association since Buddy Dial in 1958, Dillard also became the first Owl to be a consensus pick for conference honors (Conference USA) for three consecutive seasons. An electrifying scorer who plays a high-energy game that will remind New York Giants fans of one of their old favorites -- Phil McConkey.


While not blessed with blazing speed, Dillard excels at weaving and darting through tight areas and surprising lethargic cornerbacks with his exceptional leaping ability to get to the ball at its high point. His exceptional ability to score saw him become the first Owl to be invited to play in the prestigious East-West Shrine Game since Dan Dawson in 2002.


Breaking the spirits of opposing defensive backs, Dillard also broke numerous school, Conference USA and NCAA records before completing a career that saw him start 46 of 49 games. His 60 touchdown catches topped the old collegiate record of 50 by Troy Edwards of Louisiana Tech. His 292 receptions set the school all-time record and rank second in league annals. His 4,138 receiving yards set school and conference marks and also placed the Owl receiver ninth in NCAA annals.


Dillard started all three seasons during his career at Sam Houston High School. He was a two-time All-District 28-4A selection at wide receiver, adding all-area honors as a senior, in addition to being named Academic all-state selection. He helped the Sam Houston basketball team reach the Class 4A state tournament in 2003, and competed in the regional track meet in both hurdles events that year. He graduated first in his class and was a member of the National Honor Society while also serving as a class officer.


In 2004, Dillard enrolled at Rice, spending the season redshirting on the scout team. The following year, he took over split end duties, starting eight games. He led the team with 35 receptions for 524 yards (15.0 avg.), finding the end zone five times.


The 2005 season saw Dillard capture the national attention that no other Rice player ever enjoyed. He shattered school receiving records on the way to becoming a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award, given to the nation's top receiver. ESPN's All-America first-team pick broke the NCAA season record for consecutive games with at least one touchdown catch (13).


His 21 scoring grabs set both the school and Conference USA mark. He collected 91 passes for 1,274 yards (13.7 avg.), ranking fifth nationally with 7.0 receptions and eighth in the major college ranks with 95.92 receiving yards per game. He also became the first Owl to ever generate over 1,000 yards receiving in a season.


As a junior, Dillard was an All-America honorable mention and All-Conference USA first-team selection. The "X" receiver started all 12 games, pacing the Owls again with 79 catches for 1,057 yards (13.4 avg.), scoring 14 times. He ranked second in the league with an average of 6.58 receptions per game and third with 88.08 yards receiving.


Dillard was named All-American and All-Conference USA as a senior, as he led the nation with 20 touchdown catches. He pulled down 87 passes for 1,310 yards (15.1 avg.), becoming the first player in league history to produce three consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons. He placed third in the conference, as he averaged 6.69 receptions and 100.77 receiving yards per game.


High School

Attended Sam Houston (San Antonio, Texas) High School, playing football for head coach Russell Tatum...Two-time All-District 28-4A selection at wide receiver, adding all-area honors as a senior, in addition to being named Academic all-state selection...Helped the Sam Houston basketball team reach the Class 4A state tournament in 2003...Competed in the regional track meet in both hurdles events that year...Graduated first in his class and was a member of the National Honor Society while also serving as a class officer.


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Analysis

Positives: Productive receiver with long arms and adequate size. Very reliable hands, snatching the ball away from his body. Can free himself off press coverage using his hands and quick movements on the line. Excellent route-runner as he stays low in his cuts, sells the jerk route well and does not round off out-cuts. Good vision and a naturally elusive runner with the ball in his hands. Lulls defenders to sleep off the line, then takes off down the seam. Adjusts to throws to his outside shoulder.


Negatives: Lacks great athleticism and explosiveness off the line. Lacks the pure speed to separate from corners or safeties. Has trouble getting to corners and linebackers to block at the second level. Gets knocked off his routes too easily. Won't win many battles for the ball in the air because of relatively weak hands and vertical, although he can shield the defender. Likely a slot receiver. Must adapt to a new quarterback after building a great relationship with Clement.


Injury Report

No major injuries reported by missed the bulk of the 2007 Texas game (9/22) with an undisclosed injury.


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