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NFL Draft

2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: WR Rico Bussey

  • The Draft Network
  • January 28, 2021
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Rico Bussey is a dynamic and explosive athlete who is a big-play threat every time he touches the ball. He is a very good athlete in regard to his quickness and short-area agility. He is a willing stalk blocker in the run game. In the passing game, he is dynamic and explosive as a route-runner. He doesn’t appear to be a natural hands-catcher and has instances of allowing the ball into his body, but he is always a threat for the big play. He may also add value in the return game, as well.

Ideal Role: No. 4 wide receiver with special teams upside.

Scheme Fit: Any offensive scheme.


Written by Drae Harris

Games watched: Fresno (2020), SDSU (2020), Boise (2020)

Best Game Studied: Fresno (2020)

Worst Game Studied: Boise (2020)

Route Running: He demonstrates good route-running, as evidenced in his ability to create separation. Although, he can improve at setting up defenders in man coverage situations. There are no athletic limitations and he seems to be able to run the full route tree.

Hands: He has had moments of inconsistent hands. There were also a couple drops in his past. Overall, he appears to have catching skills, but his consistency can use some improvement. 

Separation: He is good at creating separation against man coverage. This is due to his dynamic movement skills and separation quickness at the top of the route. He has good quickness allowing him to easily get out of his breaks.

Release: He has good release off the line of scrimmage. He typically wins with foot quickness or just a speed release. He needs to improve at stacking and getting back on his route stem once he gets off the line.

Run After Catch: His run after catch ability is good. He has explosive speed in space, which makes him a threat to score with every touch. He is also a deep threat before the catch based on his dynamic ability.

Ball Skills: He has shown some trouble tracking and catching the ball. Improving his tracking ability and consistency at the catch point will go a long way. He is a candidate to improve this with pro coaching.

Football IQ: He will also need to grow in the aspect of situational football—particularly learning to adjust his routes according to down and distance. He can also improve at recognizing coverage underneath.

Versatility: He has some versatility in his ability to also play special teams. On offense, he has the size and ability to win off the line to play outside. He also shows the ability to play inside in the slot.

Competitive Toughness: He can afford to improve his competitiveness at the catch point. He does show indifference to contact over the middle. I'd like to see him win more in contested catch situations.

Big-Play Ability: He is a big-play threat whenever he touches the football. He is also a threat to run by you on a deep route. He is elusive in space, which makes him tough to tackle.


TDN Consensus: To Be Determined

Drae Harris: 73/100

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