2020 NFL Draft: Van Jefferson, K.J. Hill and the art of creating separation

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Looking at 2020 NFL Draft prospects Van Jefferson, K.J. Hill and the art of creating separation.

When it comes to the NFL Draft, the wide receiver position is always one of great debate. It won’t be any different this spring, especially with the depth of talent in the class, all the way to day three of the proceedings.

As always, the film and analytics guys argue about production and market share. Yet there’s one trait above all that translates to the most success: creating separation.

Separation can come in a few forms. One is with straight line speed, where players are fast enough to challenge vertically on every snap. Players like the Super Bowl-bound Tyreek Hill and Mecole Hardman separate in this fashion. Another way is with size and strength, which brings in the type of receiver that wins by high-pointing the football and that can disengage from press with strong hands. The third way to separate, which is what we will cover here, is with a great release and great route-running skills.

Since the Senior Bowl just finished up, it’s a great time to talk about two receivers who showed teams, scouts, and analysts that they can create separation with ease. Both are nuanced route-runners who have a plan of attack entering their routes and make defenders look silly. Those players are Florida’s Van Jefferson and Ohio State’s K.J. Hill, two draft prospects we need to talk about more.

Let’s look at a few reps from each player in Senior Bowl one-on-ones that demonstrate their route-running prowess and how that’ll raise their stock.

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