PRO 2020 Rookie Spotlight: Kalija Lipscomb, WR Vanderbilt

Rookie Spotlight: Kalija Lipscomb, WR Vanderbilt
Height: 6’ 1/8” (official)
Weight: 202 lbs (official)
Hands: 9”
Arm: 32 ¼”
40 yard dash: 4.55 (projected)
NFL Comparison: Dante Pettis, Nelson Agholor

Pros
– good body mechanics
– diverse route tree
– makes contested catches
– elusive
– excellent tackle breaker

Cons
– complete JAG during Senior Bowl week
– trouble with bigger corners
– double catches sometimes
– more smooth than fast

2019 Team Market Share Numbers

23% team receptions
25% team receiving yards
30% receiving TDs

Scouting Notes: Lipscomb doesn’t have many holes in his game on tape, but was troublingly ineffective during Senior Bowl practices. It’s almost a tale of two players: Middling QB play and an awful offensive system kept him from going big at Vanderbilt in the same way it hurt the counting stats of his teammates RB Ke’Shawn Vaughn and TE Jared Pinkney, but he scored 8 and 9 TDs in 2017 and 2018, and only 3 other WRs forced more missed tackles after the catch in 2019. A technical route runner with formidable body mechanics, Lipscomb can sell a head fake like few others and his footwork is excellent on tape. He can struggle finding separation against bigger backs before the catch, but he often catches the ball away from his body and is often able to come down with the contested catch.

Lipscomb ran pretty much any route you can run at Vanderbilt well, so he’s a jack of many trades on the field. He kind of has to be, as he’s not terribly fast. He is quick though and has a solid frame for his size, so he’s more able to run through tackles – and he’s a decent blocker when he needs to be.

He was mediocre-to-bad during the week of Senior Bowl practices, leaving us to believe that, despite the nice things you see on tape, he is capable of shrinking up when the lights come on and the level of competition is raised. While it’s unfair to throw away everything we’ve seen on film due to a quiet three days of practices in Mobile, the lack of any real flashes of what you see on the film is concerning and reminiscent of guys like Justin Hardy or Tre McBride.

Fantasy Outlook: A lot of people like Lipscomb despite his just-okay senior season. Injury played a part in his performance, but he seems good to go now. The big question for Lipscomb at the next level will be whether he can find separation against the NFL’s corners and we tend to doubt he’ll come in with much initial success. He lacks elite speed, and he’s not quite big enough to overpower bigger backs. He is a polished route runner though, and he’s particularly elusive for his size. His technical proficiency could be enough to distance himself from a lot of guys though, so he’s worth a look in dynasty if he lands in the right place. He’s versatile and savvy enough to stay on the field if he can figure out how to separate.

From the Vanderbilt Athletic Department:

As a Senior (2019)
• Biletnikoff Award Watch List
• Preseason First Team All-SEC (Athlon Sports, Lindy’s)
• Preseason Second Team All-SEC (SEC Media Days ballot)
• 194 catches in career, ranking fifth all-time at Vanderbilt
• 2,313 receiving yards, ranking eighth all-time at Vanderbilt
• 21 touchdown catches, tied for second all-time at Vanderbilt
• 11 games played
• Earned 11 starts at wide receiver
• Topped team with 47 receptions and 511 receiving yards
• Six receptions of at least 35 yards
• Six catches and 75 receiving yards in win over East Tennessee State
• Eight receptions for 100 receiving yards and a touchdown vs. Northern Illinois
• Eight catches for 98 yards at Purdue
• Five catches against LSU
• Four receptions against Kentucky and Tennessee
• Touchdown catches against LSU and Northern Illinois
• Second career 100-yard receiving game came in win over Northern Illinois

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