Hey there, NFL team. You just drafted Stefon Diggs, the explosive wide receiver prospect out of Maryland. We watched him for three years, so let us tell you about him.
Diggs was a five-star recruit in 2012, courted by the likes of Florida and Ohio State. After years of local recruits spurning Maryland to attend national powers, Diggs started what Maryland hopes can be a growing trend of local talent staying home.
His explosiveness was on full display during his freshman year as he racked up 1,896 all-purpose yards, the most-ever by a Maryland freshman and the second-most in a season in school history (only Torrey Smith had more). His receiving yards and catches that season were both top-10 on the school's single-season records list.
What made Diggs' season all the more impressive was that Maryland's quarterback position in 2012 was a revolving door. C.J. Brown tore his ACL in the preseason, Perry Hills went down with an ACL tear, Devin Burns had a Lisfranc injury and Caleb Rowe also suffered an ACL tear. Enter Shawn Petty, a true freshman scout team linebacker who ran the triple-option in high school. Diggs had Maryland fans salivating at what could be possible if he had a competent quarterback throwing to him.
After fracturing his fibula against Wake Forest, Diggs missed half of his sophomore season. Despite that, he was named an All-ACC Honorable Mention by coaches and the media. Diggs was averaging just over 17 yards per catch and had what could have been a huge breakout year cut short. Unfortunately for Maryland fans, this would not be Diggs's last encounter with injuries.
Diggs was expected to be one of the Big Ten's most exciting playmakers in 2014, but he was held to only one touchdown in the team's first four games. He ended up catching touchdowns in four straight games before the Penn State game, after which he was both suspended for a pre-game handshake incident and injured (he lacerated his kidney during the game and kept on playing). He missed out on the team's final three regular season games, but returned for the team's bowl game. Against Stanford, he caught 10 passes for 138 yards in a blowout loss.
Diggs certainly seems more suitable for the slot position than as a deep threat. His gift is his ability to make guys miss in space and accelerate when he has the ball in his hands. Throw in the fact that any team that drafts him is getting a quality kick returner and Diggs is a potential mid-round steal.