Associated Press

PRO 2021 Rookie Spotlight: Marquez Stevenson, WR Houston

Rookie Spotlight: Marquez Stevenson, Houston
Height: 5’ 10” (official)
Weight: 182 lbs (official)
Hands: 8 1/2”
Arm: 31
40 yard dash: 4.38 (projected)
NFL Comparison: Markus Wheaton

Pros
– above-average contact balance
– track-star speed
– quick release
– change of direction skills
– versatile
– ability to dominate football games at AAC level (see highlights below)

Cons
– injury history
– limited route tree
– not an enthusiastic blocker at best, lazy at worst
– didn’t stand out at the Senior Bowl
– rumors at UH that he “frustrated” the staff
– small hands

College Production Score: .22

2020 Market Share Team Receptions: 21%
2020 Market Share Team Receiving Yards: 22%
2020 Market Share Team Receiving TDs: 22%

Scouting Notes: Stevenson is among the fastest receivers in the draft this year, rumored to run in the 4.38 range, but he’s a player who’s had trouble putting it all together at the college level, causing “frustration” among certain UH sources who felt he would get in his own way of living up to his athletic potential. Yes, he’s an amazing deep ball receiver – his 17. 38 YPC is impressive, but he doesn’t just possess long speed. Stevenson is able to create separation in short and intermediate routes at times as well with his athleticism. He’s got a lightning fast first step which allows him to release before the defender can jam him up at the line much of the time. This is key, as he can get bodied in the press by larger defenders. After the catch, Stevenson is especially fun to watch as he is potent in changing direction on a dime without losing much speed, and he can stay on his feet after first contact which is harder for a lot of smaller, speedy wideouts to do – His 10.54 YAC is up there with guys like CeeDee Lamb and Brandon Aiyuk, although he is not a prospect with anywhere near as surefire a profile as either of those two. In addition to his receiver skills, Stevenson is a solid kick-returner – He had a 36.2 yard return average, and 3 of his 38 returns were for TDs. It’s not all upside though, as Stevenson had his first 2 seasons in college ended by injuries (torn ACL, broken collarbone). Fortunately, the ACL injury was early in his career so he’s been able to bounce back, catching 75 passes for 1,019 yards and 9 TDs after returning from the knee injury. Stevenson also has a tendency to lay down on plays that he isn’t involved in and isn’t much of an asset as blocker at this point. Good luck catching him when he does have the ball in his (smallish) hands, though.

Fantasy Outlook: Stevenson comes with some worries. Speed kills though, and Stevenson has plenty of it, so he should find a home fairly easily. If some team can utilize Stevenson as more than a big-play and gadget player, he could evolve into a regular fantasy contributor, especially in return yardage leagues (for the two of you who play those). A landing spot like Cincinnati or Philadelphia would be ideal for Stevenson. There is a possibility though, that he lands somewhere where either A. his QB can’t/won’t throw the deep ball, or B. the scheme doesn’t allow him to flourish as more than a 3rd down receiver. As is, Stevenson is a cheap, therefore relatively low-risk late-round dynasty flyer in rookie drafts because of his upper echelon speed and agility.

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