Updated: Apr 19, 2021
By Adam Aniba
Draft Prospect Spotlight; Marquez Stevenson
The situation at wide receiver for the WFT is, arguably, one of the top rosters needs this offseason. Luckily for Washington, this year's crop is deep with a ton of talent at slot receiver. For the second year in a row, Terry McLaurin led the team in all receiving categories and it wasn't close. The additions of Curtis Samuel and Adam Humphries should lead to more big play opportunities in the receiving game for new Washington quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. The investment in Samuel combined with the McLaurin LTD on the horizon, should lead to Washington looking at other positions in the early rounds of the draft.
Former Alabama, UDFA, Cam Sims showed promise during the stretch run of the 2020 season at the X receiver. Although Sims converted some critical 3rd down conversions in key wins, he has a tendency to disappear in games while struggling to gain separation. Sims will likely have a role in the receiver rotation along with unproven, small schooler, Antonio Gandy-Golden in the mix. It's been mentioned that with the latest receiver additions, Ron Rivera would still like to add another versatile receiver in this years draft who also has the ability to return kicks and punts.
The truth is Washington and other receiver needy teams will find future starters and potential gems on Day 3 of the draft. The Burgundy and Gold Report has just the weapon that could boost Washington's return game, while also adding another go-route dynamo.
5'10" 182 lbs | WR | Univ of Houston
5th-6th Round Grade
Career Stats 147 rec 2269 yards for 22 td's, 15.4 ypr average and 26 att 231 yards rushing 2 td's 8.9 ypc and 34 KR for 3 td's with a 26.1 average per return
2020 (only 5 games ankle injury) 20 rec 370 yards 4 touchdowns 4 KR for 1 td with a 36.3 average per return
Houston receiver Marquez Stevenson returned a 97-yard kickoff touchdown in the season opener against Tulane (10/8/20), joining Tyron Carrier (2008-11) as the only players in program history with at least three kickoff returns for touchdowns. In that game versus Tulane, Stevenson also posted team-high 119 yards receiving and 1 receiving touchdown. The Houston receiver earned AAC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance.
Although the Houston receiver was used sparingly as a punt returner during his career (4 PR 20 yards), there's no doubt that he can fill the role as both kick and punt returner on the next level, with success. As a receiver, Stevenson is viewed as a burner who has struggled with injuries during his collegiate career. The quarterback play at Houston also left a lot to be desired, with Stevenson often running wide open with his quarterback laying on the ground.
Although Stevenson missed time early in his career due to injuries, he would go on to start every game in the 2019 season recording 52 receptions and 907 receiving yards, ranking 3rd in the American Conference with 9 touchdown rec with a 75.6 receiving yards per game average. Although Stevenson's injury history can't be ignored, his ability to be an effective deep threat and returner on the next level can't be understated.
Awards and Accolades
2020 Named Team Captain
2019 American Athletic All-Conference First Team
2019 Athlon Sports Preseason American Athletic Conference Second Team
2018 The American All-Conference First Team
2018 Biletnikoff Award Watch List
2018 Capital One Orange Bowl Courage Award Nominee
2018 Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year Nominee
Tale of the Tape
Excellent ball-tracking ability, makes over-the-shoulder catches look routine
Speed is his #1 attribute with multiple gears and near impossible to chase down in the open field
Dynamic special teams returner; a house call waiting to happen
Superb vision in the open-field
Zone splitter, displays elite ability as a Go-route target
Little wasted movement after the catch
Won't shy away from contact
Fit in Washington
Washington's opening at slot receiver is still a glaring need and has lacked consistency since Jamison Crowder departed for New York. The additions of Samuel and Humphrey are complementary weapons with Samuel expected to play a variety of roles in Scott Turner's system. However, more speed/versatility at receiver should be viewed as a need, just not in the early rounds.
Similar to Crowder, Stevenson should also be available late on day 3 in the 5th-6th round range and offers return ability coming out of the University of Houston. Unlike Crowder, Stevenson is a true burner with multiple gears. Stevenson was only asked to run a few routes with little creativity in the Cougars offensive scheme, but with mentors in McLaurin and Samuel, his true potential as a receiver could flourish. With reports that Washington will be looking for a KR/PR this offseason, Stevenson would fit the mold as a potential late round gem and could be the opening day returner for Washington if selected.
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