Scan the statistics for Raiders undrafted rookie wide receiver Keon Hatcher and they won’t jump off the page at you. But delve past those and you reach one stat that absolutely does stand out – drops. Specifically that he had none last season. Zero.
Hatcher isn’t the only wide receiver in college football division one to not have a drop last season. He just happens to be the one with the most targets in college football without a drop.
According to Pro Football Focus figures, there were only seven division one wide receivers to not drop a pass last season. Of those, none had more targets than the 68 Hatcher received. Of those 68 targets, 44 were deemed catchable and he caught all of them.
Hand: 9 ½
40-yd dash: 4.64
**Hamstring issues that kept him from running in other combine events as well as at the Arkansas pro day
2016 – 12 gms, 8 starts, 44 rec, 743 yds, 16.9 ypc, 8 TD’s
2015 – 2 gms, 2 starts, 13 rec, 198 yds, 15.2 ypc, 2 TD’s (medical redshirt)
2014 – 13 gms, 12 starts, 43 rec, 558 yds, 13.0 ypc, 6 TD’s
2013 – 10 gms, 6 starts, 27 rec, 346 yds, 12.8 ypc, 2 TD’s
2012 – 10 gms, 0 starts, 3 rec, 21 yds, 7.0 ypc, 1 TD
The aforementioned absence of dropped balls. As they like to say, Hatcher is a hands catcher. That means he doesn’t let the ball get to his body, reaching out and snatching it as a receiver is supposed to do (So, the anti-DHB).
He has soft hands and makes it look effortless, almost ho-hum. He tracks balls over his shoulder and adjusts speed well to not break stride. That being said, he also does well to shield off a defender when necessary.
His yards per catch went up each and every season at Arkansas, finishing at an impressive 16.9 yards per catch. He led a crowded wide receiver corps in receiving yards last season with career highs late in the year against some top SEC competition including 7 catches vs Auburn, and 2 TD’s against both number one ranked Alabama and Mississippi State. That’s the kind of progress coaches like to see because it tells them a player’s best football could be in front of him.
Quick feet help him get off the line and make cuts that are tough for defenders to mirror him and get their hands on him after the catch.
He’s tough. Isn’t afraid to make catches in traffic and take a hit for it. Arkansas also utilized his blocking abilities on runs quite a bit.
Measurables are somewhat middle of the road. He has ok size (6-1, 212), but not great speed (4.64 40) or arm length (32). While is yards per catch was good, his overall numbers weren’t great.
His route-running needs work. That means adjusting his route based on coverage as well as finding the open area. For all his quick footwork, his cuts in his breaks aren’t always sharp.
A broken foot in the team’s second game of the 2015 season forced him to take a medical redshirt. Due to this, he’s already 24 years of age. Also, while he was out injured, he watched as teammate Drew Morgan stepped up and basically took his job as the team’s number one receiver, hurting his chances of making a larger impact as a senior to make the leap to the pros.
Hamstring issues cost him a game as a senior and later flared back up to keep him from participating in most running drills at the combine as well as the Arkansas Pro Day.
What he brings to the Raiders
Though he most often lined up outside, he has most all the characteristics you look for in a slot receiver. The dependable hands, quick feet, and ability to make catches in traffic. He has improved as a route runner, which would at least partially explain his better numbers. Continued progress in that area could be the key to unlocking his potential.
Slot receiver is a need for the Raiders and Hatcher will certainly be given a shot to make his case for the job. He could be a Seth Roberts type who the Raiders stash on the practice squad for a season to let him develop. If that were to happen and all went well, it would be Roberts who he would be looking to replace.
In the video below vs Alabama. Hatcher had four catches for 39 yards and two of the Razorbacks three receiving touchdowns in the game