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Washington Redskins 2016 Draft Profiles: Rashard Higgins, WR

Hogs Haven takes a look at 2016 NFL Draft prospects that could contribute to the Redskins.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Rashard Higgins, WR

School: Colorado State | Conference: MWC

College Experience: Junior | Age: 21

Height / Weight: 6-1 / 196 lbs

Projected Draft Status: Fourth Round

NFL Comparison: Roddy White

College Statistics

Receiving Rushing Scrimmage
Year Class G Rec Yds Avg TD Att Yds Avg TD Plays Yds Avg TD
*2013 FR 14 68 837 12.3 6 0 0 0 68 837 12.3 6
*2014 SO 12 96 1750 18.2 17 0 0 0 96 1750 18.2 17
2015 JR 12 74 1061 14.3 8 2 21 10.5 0 76 1082 14.2 8
Career 238 3648 15.3 31 2 21 10.5 0 240 3669 15.3 31
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 3/2/2016.

Player Overview

Rashard "Hollywood" Higgins is yet another example of a player who doesn't have dominant physical traits but excels on the field. He's built well, though he could stand to add a little weight, and he has above-average receiver-specific traits: He catches the ball away from his body, he doesn't shy away from hits, he runs crisp routes and creates separation, and he can win in the air. A disappointing performance at the Combine didn't help scouts who are already concerned about the significant drop from his other-worldly 2014 season to his quite good 2015 season, but a strong showing at his Pro Day could help rejuvenate his stock.

The Hollywood nickname comes from his boisterous personality, but we're not talking Deion Sanders, Terrell OwensRichard Sherman or even DeSean Jackson — we're talking maybe Cam Newton, if that. He celebrates when he or his teammates play well more than he talks trash.


  • He's got more than adequate size, if not elite. His arms aren't especially long, and his hands aren't especially big, but both are above-average. For reference, Higgins (6' 1", 196 pounds, 32.25" arms, 9.75" hands) is built almost exactly like Ryan Grant (6'0", 199 pounds, 31" arms, 9.625" hands).
  • Higgins put up respectable numbers as a true freshman and solid numbers as a junior, but his sophomore campaign was one for the ages. He led the NCAA in receiving yards and touchdowns, and he was 10th in receptions while earning Consensus All-America honors. He finished in the top five in the Mountain West Conference in receptions, receiving yards, receiving touchdowns, yards per reception, yards from scrimmage and points. He ended his three-year career at Colorado State atop the school leaderboards in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns.
  • Higgins is a capable and willing blocker, and he was used as such often in 2015.
  • He does a great job catching the ball high, and in hook routes, he has a very smooth transition catching the ball, bringing into his body, turning and accelerating.
  • He has excellent balance. It's evident whenever you watch him play, but here's an extreme example.
  • A strong route runner, Higgins excels in just about every pattern. CSU often ran screens for him, he's deadly on long balls and he has no problem making contested catches up the middle, or taking the hits that come with those routes.
  • He played basketball in high school (17 points per game!), which is always a good thing for a receiver to bring to the table. The man had some skills, too.


  • His drop-off in production from sophomore to junior year is alarming — roughly 700 yards and nine touchdowns less — but it can be explained a number of ways. CSU's quarterback in 2014, Garrett Grayson, was a third-round pick the following summer, and the head coach, Jim McElwain (the 2014 MWC Coach of the Year), went on to become the head coach of Flordia (and the 2015 SEC Coach of the Year). Higgins was also injured at the beginning of the season and wasn't in great shape (see below).
  • There was a noticeable difference in his on-field persona from 2014 to 2015. Going from an NFL-caliber quarterback to a dreadful passing situation certainly hurt his ability to make plays, and the offensive gameplan was a mess in 2015. But he let these detriments negatively affect him, which bodes poorly for him if he ends up on a perpetually bad team.
  • His Combine numbers leave a whole lot to be desired. He got generally good reviews for his on-field drills, but his 40 time, bench press, vertical jump and broad jump were all average to poor. His 40 time and vertical jump both qualified as "red flags" in Todd McShay's Combine breakdown.

How He Would Fit on the Redskins

He's a Cowboys fan, so that's not great. That said, he would certainly fill a need for the Redskins, who could use another red-zone target, especially if they part ways with Pierre Garcon. Higgins had 31 touchdowns in three seasons at CSU, and he's got a knack for winning jump balls. He's got reliable hands and he makes catches look easy, whether they are or not.

For those who think the poor 40 time is a death knell, he is likely to improve on his time at his Pro Day. Consider that Jamison Crowder ran a 4.56 at the Combine (ran a 4.46 at his Pro Day) despite being five inches and 10 pounds smaller than Higgins, or that DeAndre Hopkins ran a 4.57 at the Combine (ran a 4.41 at his Pro Day), or that Anquan Boldin ran a 4.71. The list goes on. The point is, don't make too much out of a bad showing, he's still got outstanding physical gifts and would bring plenty to Washington.

From an Insider

Emmett McCarthy, who covered Higgins at Colorado State, offers the following insight.

  • Higgins’ speed can’t be demonstrated in a straight line. What I think it impressive is how shifty he can be without losing speed.
  • Pretty sure he was out of shape to start the year (missed spring camp with a hamstring injury) and played through injuries most of the season. Whenever they let the media watch practice, he was only doing non-contact stuff. Didn’t always fully participate in warmups, etc. I think he was like 75% at best.
  • Extremely confident, borders on cocky. I always liked his personality, because it wasn’t like it only developed when he started playing well, and it never affected his work ethic. He’s the same guy now that he was when he got to campus: a hard worker who really just believes he can beat any DB.
  • Football junkie. Loves watching film.
  • Had more interest from schools for basketball, but was really set on playing football.
  • Drops were an issue his true freshman year (still led the team in receiving). Had some untimely drops in the bowl games his sophomore and junior years. Also made some really tough catches in big moments though.

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