John Ursua, WR
School: Hawaii | Conference: Mountain West
College Experience: RS Junior | Age: 24
Height / Weight: 5-10 / 175 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 4th or 5th Round
NFL Comparison: Keke Coutee
John Ursua has had a bit of an unconventional path to the NFL draft process. Ursua was 2-star prospect and received two offers from Utah and BYU. Rather than accept either of those offers Ursua decided to go on a two year mission in Paris, France for his church. When he returned he decided to play for his home state university Hawaii. John had to redshirt his freshman year in part because the coaching staff was trying to convince him to become a WR. Ursua was a QB in high school but at his size and with the state of the position at the program the coaches where looking to move him and eventually convinced him to become a slot WR. Ursua was skeptical and resistant at first but put together a solid RS Freshman season with the position switch. His RS Sophomore year he put up just as much yardage in 6 games as he did in 14 compared to his RS freshman year before being lost for the rest of the 2017 season to a torn ACL. This year Ursua came back big time. He was 5th in the nation in receiving yards in the FBS and 1st in the nation in receiving touchdowns. With his size, speed, and quickness its safe to say that Ursua is hard to cover in the slot. He works all over the field and is a pretty reliable go to option. Ursua is making the jump now because he will be 25 later this month and wants to make the most of his NFL opportunity while he can. He’ll have to answer lots of questions about his path, his age, his injury, but he has the foundations to be a serious threat in the slot.
- Fast, quick, and plays with suddenness. Impressive body control.
- Reliable pass catcher who can work all levels of the field. Has an innate feeling for how he should pace himself with varying levels of speed on a rep. Can set up a defender by appearing to be nonchalant then take advantage of that lull to find space and secure the catch.
- Good route runner who has a quick release off the LOS. Can get behind coverage in a hurry and exploit man or zone for big plays down the field. RAC ability is there.
- Highly competitive and always seems amped up. Loves to catch the ball but will block for his teammates as well.
- Was allowed a lot of uncontested releases in college. Test in NFL will come when up against a press corner in the slot or when being bumped by a linebacker. Unsure of how he will adapt.
- ‘Passive’ catcher. He doesn’t attack the ball with his hands but instead waits for it to come to him. Lost of ‘basket’ or ‘body’ catches which lets me know he isn’t a natural and he will have to continue to work at it. There will be situations in the NFL where he will have to attack the ball and go up and get it. There were a couple of ugly drops that I didn’t like.
- Healthy all this year but will have to get a clean medical back for his torn ACL in 2017.
- Older than the typical rookie by 2-3 years.
Let’s see his work:
How He Would Fit On The Redskins
Will Jamison Crowder be brought back? Who knows? It’s natural to assume Trey Quinn will just slide into the slot but at 6-0 / 202 lbs I want to remind people that Quinn can also play outside though he should be in consideration for slot work. At the end of the day there is nothing wrong with having a couple guys who can play out of the same spot. The Redskins have a few ‘big-bodied’ guys and need quickness and a player who can really exploit zone coverage as well as get behind the defense. The team tried to address that with the signing of Paul Richardson in the offseason but Richardson was never fully healthy and was never quite the threat people thought he would be. Instead of having a token ‘speed’ guy on the field perhaps the Redskins could have a couple of these guys on the field at the same time? If they are interested in the idea investing a later round pick in a guy like Ursua makes a lot of sense. Seeing what he did at Hawaii should get people excited for how he can find soft spots in coverage and how he isn’t exclusively a ‘deep threat’ but can be a threat anywhere on the field. He can also run after the catch which is needed at the position. Though I think he needs more work with his hands he did catch 89 passes this season. As it stands only Josh Doctson, Trey Quinn, Paul Richardson are sure to be on the team next year in my opinion and the Redskins could make a lot of additions to the WR corp. Why not add Ursua?