Photo of Sterling Shepard
Drafted By: Giants
  • Round 2
  • Pick 9
  • Overall 40

Combine Results

Grade
5.91 ?
  • 4.48 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 20 REPS
    Top Performer
  • 41.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 123.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 7.00 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 4.35 SEC
    Top Performer
Blue Star  =  Combine Top Performer

Draft Analysis:

"He's only 5-foot-10, 194 pounds, but he is a competitor, especially in the slot. He also brings value in the returns game. He is one of the most feisty competitors in the entire draft." -- Mike Mayock

  • 5'10" Height
  • 30 3/8" Arm Length
  • 194LBS. Weight
  • 9 3/4" Hands

Overview

Shepard wears the same jersey number (3) as his late father, Derrick Shepard, who lettered for the Sooners as a receiver in the 1980s. Despite his slight frame, Shepard's toughness, strong hands, and quick cuts make him the sort of in-space player NFL offensive coordinators want working the middle of the field. Shepard’s production greatly increased from his second-team All-Big 12 2014 season (51 catches, 970 yards, five touchdowns) to his USA Today second-team All-American senior season (86-1,288-11).

Analysis

Strengths

Silky smooth with terrific route quickness. Plays with consistent play speed into and out of his breaks and can hit the gas out of his breaks to create instant separation for anticipatory throws. Runs variety of routes from the slot. Almost impossible to stay with his "whip" route. Clean with his double moves and if cornerbacks bite, is able to get over the top to track throws and run under them for the big play. Will adjust routes to ball placement. Not afraid over the middle. Born to catch a football. Just eight drops with 253 catches and is able to adjust to high, low or behind him for difficult catches. Loves to compete. Willing to jump into a cornerback and get after him as a blocker from slot. Takes pride in his work ethic and scouts say his personal and football character is extremely high. Was a talented basketball player and long-jumper in high school.

Weaknesses

Not very big and lack of play strength will show up from time to time. Won't see as many free releases in pros. Strong cornerbacks with good feet can cause issues for him in press coverage. Can be redirected in his routes and will get trapped against the sideline at times. More quick than fast and reliant upon clever routes to get over the top against true speed. Not much of a catch radius. Can get too cute with amount of moves off release or underneath routes.

Draft Projection

Round 2

Sources Tell Us

"I played against his daddy and he was really talented, but Sterling picked up where his dad left off and then took it way further. He's a great person and leader too. He's going to be a star in the pros." --­ AFC area scout

NFL Comparison

Tyler Lockett

Bottom Line

The similarities in backgrounds, playing style, production and football character and between Shepard and Seattle's Tyler Lockett are obvious. Shepard doesn't possess Lockett's explosiveness as a return man, but is a better overall receiver. With more and more teams using "11" personnel (3 WRs) as their base offense, Shepard's stock should be on the rise. Teams looking for a slot receiver who can make plays and rack up a high volume catch count on any given Sunday will find their man in Shepard.
-Lance Zierlein
C
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-9.00 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl to All-Pro Ability
6.50-6.99 Good NFL Starter with Pro Bowl Potential
6.00-6.49 Chance to become good NFL starter
5.70-5.99 Could become early NFL starter
5.30-5.69 Backup or eventual starter
5.15-5.29 Developmental prospect or special teams potential
5.01-5.14 Back end of the roster
5.00 50/50 Chance of making the roster

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