09 March 2012
Tony Stevens Scouting Report
* Ball skills
* Agility/Body control
* Willing and aggressive blocker
* Route running
Stevens is interesting in the fact that he is a prospect that even most diehard recruitniks were unaware of as recently as a month ago. His highlight film changed that as he quickly became a You Tube sensation and has been able to garner several scholarship offers in the weeks after his film going live. The first thing that stands out about Stevens is his uncanny body control which enables him to adjust to the ball as it's in flight. Stevens is a receiver who showcases elite level agility as he is able to track the ball after it is delivered by the quarterback, adjust and contort his body positioning even after leaving his feet, and snatch the ball out of the air. Stevens is able to do this whether it be on well thrown balls in which a defender just has good position, on or slightly errant throws that he is able to convert into completions nonetheless. Stevens shows great footwork along the sideline as well having the presence of mind to drag his feet in bounds at the completion of yet another of his signature acrobatic receptions. While not the most thickly built receiver, Stevens has room for growth and plays the position in a physical manner. Whether it be by his aggressively hauling in passes away from defenders or his willingness to throw blocks in the open field, even if it might be away from the actual play itself.
Now, when catching the ball Stevens is a natural 'plucker'. Meaning he's very natural when it comes to catching the ball away from his body. However, Stevens is savvy enough to turn his back toward the defender and bring the ball into his frame in situations where he anticipates being hit. This subtle adjustment increases the likelihood of a receiver being able to maintain possession of a pass despite being contacted by an oncoming defender right after the catch. Stevens has good 'game' speed but isn't necassarily a burner. Nonetheless, he is able to outpace defenders once he's gained a step on them. Stevens has a long way to go in the area of route running and just doesn't seem to have the most expansive route tree as this point in time. That’s something that comes into play as there are instances in which he doesn't generate the separation you would anticipate for a kid of his talents. Stevens has loose hips and quick feet that allow him to showcase 'plus' open field running ability and elusiveness on punt returns. So the route running issues are most likely something that can be cleaned up via quality coaching as he has the short area quickness to be able to get in and out of breaks cleanly. Even now Stevens displays savvy in utilizing subtle moves and jab steps to get defenders to open up their hips, allowing him to gain a free release off the line. Stevens outpaces defenders more so after the catch as opposed to through the actual route so being able to generate separation at the line of scrimmage is a very good trait to have at his disposal while he develops into a more polished route runner. Stevens is still raw in some areas but has the size, hands, and overall physical ability to become a true number one target at the collegiate level once he becomes more proficient at the technical aspects of the wide receiver position.