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2020 NFL Draft Profile: Michigan State wide receiver Darrell Stewart Jr.

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NCAA Football: Pinstripe Bowl-Michigan State vs Wake Forest Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

On the eve of the 2020 NFL Draft, we wrap up our draft profile series, which looks at various eligible Michigan State Spartans, with wide receiver Darrell Stewart Jr.

Like his college teammate, Cody White, Stewart is considered a fringe wide receiver in terms of whether or not he will get drafted. He’s been working toward this goal since the season finished, participating in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl and NFL Combine. With no Pro Day or individual workouts allowed during the pre-Draft process, hopefully he did enough there to convince a team to select him. Let’s dig in.

Profile:

Name: Darrell Stewart Jr.
Position: wide receiver
Height: 6-foot
Weight: 212 pounds
Draft Projection: Seventh round or Priority Undrafted Free Agent


NFL Scouting Combine Measurables:

Bench press: 15 reps (tied16th among WRs)
Vertical jump: 35 inches (31st among WRs)
Broad jump: 117 inches (41st among WRs)
*Did not participate in 40-yard dash, three-cone drill or 20-yard shuffle.

Stewart only participated in three testing drills at the Combine. He ranked toward the middle of the back in bench reps, showing pretty good strength with 15 bench press reps, but toward the lower end in the vertical and broad jumps. In terms of on-field position drills, Stewart looked crisp and fluid. He felt he made an impact an Indy.

Here is what Stewart recently had to say on his Combine performance, Via USA Today’s Draft Wire:

“It was a great experience. I’ve been watching the combine ever since I was a small child. I grew up watching it alongside my cousins and brothers. We all used to gather around the television. To just be there was an amazing experience. It was very surreal. I was around so many great players and coaches. I enjoyed competing alongside the best athletes in the nation. It was an amazing experience that we all shared together.”

Stewart did not participate in enough drills to earn a Relative Athletic Score (RAS), and of course with Michigan State’s Pro Day canceled, didn’t get a chance to test in these areas at all. He did measure with good size and decent explosion, per RAS founder Kent Lee Platte:


Statistics and Accolades

Via MSUSpartans.com:

Games Played: 43 (three-year starter)
Receptions: 150 (third in MSU history)
Yards: 1,640
Touchdowns: seven
Yards Per Catch: 10.9
Yards Per Game: 38.1
Rushing Attempts: 28
Rushing Yards: 152
Yards Per Rush: 5.4
All-Purpose Yards: 2,363

  • Received MSU’s Biggie Munn Award for “most inspirational player” on offense in 2019
  • Won MSU’s Doug Weaver “Oil Can” Award for team humorist three years in a row in 2017, 2018 and 2019
  • Won MSU’s Tommy Love Award for most improved player on offense in 2018
  • Received MSU’s Jim Adams Award for unsung hero on offense in 2017
  • Ranks third all time in MSU program history with 150 receptions
  • Recorded at least one reception in 33 straight games he participated in, and caught at least 48 balls three years in a row from 2017 through 2019
  • Four-year letter winner
  • Member of Michigan State’s Eagles leadership council as a senior
  • Member of the Fred Biletnikoff Award (nation’s top wide receiver) Watch List in early 2019
  • Ranks ninth in MSU program history with 3.49 receptions per game
  • Multiple-time Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Player of the Week (national) honorable mention selection

Overview:

This is considered an incredibly deep wide receiver class, which is going to push Stewart down the board for a lot of teams. His Combine participation, while unspectacular, hopefully gave him a leg up on the other prospects who weren’t in Indianapolis. He is third all-time in Michigan State history with 150 receptions, and while he did have some issues with drops, he was a relatively consistent option in the passing game for Brian Lewerke and company, recording at least one reception in 33 straight games he played in, and catching close to 50 balls in each of the past three seasons. He also has a good size and frame at 6-foot-even and 212 pounds, especially for a potential slot receiver in the NFL. He has solid athletic traits and can make plays after the catch. However, analysts have taken issue with his route-running, footwork, speed and drops. He also dealt with a broken fibula in 2019, which caused him to miss four games, but he was able to return for the Pinstripe Bowl victory. He missed two games in 2018 as well.

Following the Pinstripe Bowl, Stewart impressed in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl (playing with Lewerke). He finished the game with six catches for 54 yards. This, along with the Combine was another great opportunity for Stewart to connect wit NFL personnel. Stewart also has good character off of the field. He was one of 10 Spartans to help volunteer with the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts during the 2017 bye week, in his hometown of Houston. As of right now, anticipate Stewart being a sixth or seventh round selection, or perhaps even more likely, an undrafted free agent. He did mention to the Big Ten Network that he’s recently had conversations on Zoom calls with the New York Jets, Buffalo Bills and Jacksonville Jaguars (go Jags!).


What scouts, analysts and coaches are saying about White:

“Three-year starter at receiver with the size and build of an intimidating strong safety. Stewart was heavily targeted in 2019, but lacked eye-catching production. His routes are dull and lack the ability to throw coverage off his scent. He needs to use his imposing frame to carve out catch space and compete harder to make those combat catches. He’s not bad with the ball in his hands, but catching the football was a coin flip all the way through mid-October. The traits and athleticism are worth a look as an undrafted free agent, but he will need to show vast improvements in several areas to make any noise in a camp. — NFL.com Draft Analyst, Lance Zierlein

“Darrell Stewart, another wide receiver who I thought was a free agent, who is good on bubbles and tunnel screens,” Jeremiah said in February. “He can work some in the middle of the field, I just didn’t see a lot of juice.” — NFL Network Draft Analyst, Daniel Jeremiah

Additionally, check out this video draft profile on Stewart, via CBSSports.com

Post-Draft Update: Stewart was signed to the Green Bay Packers as an undrafted free agent.


Highlights: