With the 141st overall pick in the 4th round of the 2017 NFL Draft, the New York Jets selected wide receiver Chad Hansen from the University of California. Let’s take a closer look at Hansen’s game and how he fits with the Jets offense…
- 2013: 45 receptions, 501 yards, 3 TDs (Idaho State)
- 2015: 19 receptions, 249 yards, 1 TD
- 2016: 92 receptions, 1,249 yards, 11 TDs
- 6 foot 2
- 202 pounds
- 4.53 forty yard dash
- 35 inch vertical jump
- 22 Years Old
- Player Profile Comparison – Jared Abbrederis
- NFL.com Comparison – Allen Hurns
Hansen is a prototypical outside the numbers, split end receiver with good vertical speed and an ability to consistently win on vertical routes. He has strong, natural hands and attacks the football at the highest point, utilizing his height and catch radius. He wins at the catch point on nine routes at an encouragingly high rate.
In conjunction with his ability on the nine route, Hansen is excellent after the catch thanks to a combination of his straight line speed, vision and physicality. He was a frequent target of the jailbreak screen for Cal’s offense and consistently was able to chew up yards and create big plays on simple throws.
One of the more head turning plays from Hansen last season was his ability to turn a simple slant route into this touchdown. For a player of his size to be able to turn a three step slant into a play like this is extremely impressive. Hansen’s YAC ability is not as frequently discussed as his vertical ability but he may have more upside after the catch than ArDarius Stewart, who was taken by the Jets a round in front of him.
Hansen is a willing blocker on the outside, despite lacking refinement to his technique. He has a natural feel for vertical routes, slant routes and for how to operate in the screen game, both as a runner and blocker.
Hansen had a limited route tree in his college offense. He very rarely deviated from the routes described above and curl/hitch routes working off his vertical ability. He is a little tight in the hips and not someone who will be able to regularly win on double move routes. Hansen is likely not the type of player who will slide into the slot all that frequently, if at all.
Against press coverage, Hansen can struggle at times and has a habit of taking an inside release when he should be fighting for an outside release. Physical, squat corners are able to get into his frame and redirect his path of the line of scrimmage.
Despite his size, Hansen does not have a great feel in the red-zone for route running. This is likely related to his struggles against press coverage as the field condenses, the closer you get to the red-zone. Davis Webb was far from a perfect quarterback but Hansen lacks a natural feel for the back shoulder throw, fade route inside the ten yard line and working the back line on window routes. He isn’t great at creating space with his frame, when it isn’t there. Basically, he isn’t the type of receiver who can box out cornerbacks like a power forward.
Despite having naturally strong hands, Hansen doesn’t appear as comfortable when working over the middle of the field and will struggle with both his route running and sometimes jumping when he doesn’t need to. He can get tentative on his in-cuts from time to time and hasn’t shown an ability to be a factor on the dig route or on crossing patterns.
Hansen projects to an outside receiver in the Jets offense, similar to Robby Anderson. In a perfect world, the Jets would probably like both of them working outside the numbers, while Quincy Enunwa, Eric Decker and ArDarius Stewart work inside the slot, from H-Back and out of the backfield. Hansen is going to make the team and have an opportunity to contribute immediately because he has a pro ready game and big play capability. It is going to be interesting watching him battle Anderson for reps and targets. Anderson has more overall speed but Hansen might have more upside as a complete receiver, particularly with his YAC ability.
The value of Hansen in the fourth round was better than the value of Stewart in the third round. Hansen has the size, speed and big play ability of a day two prospect who can eventually develop into a full time player. He should make an impact on the Jets offense in year one, potentially a consistent one if he can outplay Anderson in the summer.
Photo Credit: Cal.com