Associated Press

PRO 2021 Rookie Spotlight: Dez Fitzpatrick, WR Louisville

Rookie Spotlight: Dez Fitzpatrick, Louisville
Height: 6’ 2 1/8″ (official)
Weight: 202 lbs (official)
Hands: 9 ¼”
Arm: 32 1/2
40 yard dash: 4.45 (unofficial)
NFL Comparison: Marquez Callaway, Van Jefferson, Justin Jefferson

Pros
– solid hands
– excellent ball skills
– creates separation with technical movements
– change of direction skills
– good vertical speed
– consistently caught the football during Senior Bowl practices

Cons
– not many yards after contact
– not a physical blocker
– not really physical in many aspects of his game
– can disappear in games
– will turn 24 in his rookie season

College Production Score: .22

2020 Market Share Team Receptions: 21%
2020 Market Share Team Receiving Yards: 31%
2020 Market Share Team Receiving TDs: 15%

Scouting Notes: Fitzpatrick is a player that isn’t great at any one thing, but he’s really good at a lot of different things. Athletic and with a prototypical build, Fitzpatrick was a 4-star recruit out of high school before going to Louisville, where things got off to a hot start with Lamar Jackson throwing him the ball. Fitzpatrick had 699 yards and 9 TDs that year as a freshman, but when Jackson left, so did Fitzpatrick’s production – at least for the next season. 2019 was better for Fitzpatrick, but he never put together a breakout season in college. As far as ball skills go, Fitzpatrick has plenty. He made a name for himself pulling in circus catches that many players would let get away. He’s smooth and elusive with the ball in his hands, though he goes down after first contact way too often – Only 10% of his yards came after contact. Fortunately for him, he knows how to avoid it for the most part, especially at the top of his routes. With a quick first step and the ability to get skinny, Fitzpatrick gets separation rather easily for a big man. His head and shoulder fakes also have the ability to paralyze or deceive defenders to a surprising degree. Once he’s past the defender, he uses his burst and vertical speed to break downfield – His impressive 17.94 yards per reception are evidence of that. As athletic as he is, Fitzpatrick doesn’t use it much as a blocker, which shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise considering his lackluster yards after contact. Inconsistent at stretches in college, Fitzpatrick was the model of consistency at the Senior Bowl, regularly getting open at practices, and being named offensive player of the game with 6 catches for 90 yards on the day. Normally a field stretcher, Fitzpatrick showed that he has a short and intermediate game as well, as most of his catches were the kind of fare that a slot receiver usually manages. Fitzpatrick can do it all it seems.

Fantasy Outlook: Fitzpatrick looks like a 3rd day pick right now, but anything can happen when you’re a big, fast, and technical receiver. Wherever he ends up, Fitzpatrick will need a solid QB under center, as he tended to live and die by the play of whoever was the signal caller in college. He’ll need to keep up consistency like we saw at the Senior Bowl, and not fall back into his disappearing ways. As is, he seems like the kind of guy who could have a 100+ yard, 2 TD game one week and a 35 yard stinker the next. Fitzpatrick’s potential is real though, and I could see him flourishing in the NFL. Often forgotten until last weekend, don’t let him be forgotten in the late rounds of your dynasty rookie drafts.

2 Comments

  1. Post By Baron VonIronCock

    RW nation

    Post your dynasty questions here…
    The fantasy community is winding down, but now is the time we strike before they wake up or get wise.

    1. Now that SB has passed, we usually start seeing more dynasty traffic around now. Who knows how no combine will affect things, we’ll see!!

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