Jordan Shipley, WR, Texas
Weight: 190 pounds
40 time: 4.47
A polished receiver who doubles as a fantastic returner on special teams, Jordan Shipley is an experienced player who was very productive over the course of his career at Texas. Shipley started for 2.5 years (34 games) for the Longhorns and developed into quarterback Colt McCoy’s go-to receiver and most reliable and consistent threat down the field.
Over the course of his career at Texas, Jordan caught 248 passes for 3,191 yards and 33 touchdowns; his most productive season came in 2009 when he hauled in 116 receptions for 1,485 yards and 13 touchdowns. Jordan leaves Texas having put up 4,074 all-purpose yards during his career.
Shipley is a smart receiver who understands coverages and he simply has a knack for getting open. He is a precise route runner who has quick cuts in and out of his breaks and he’s a great runner in the open field with excellent vision. With excellent quickness and agility as well as the elusiveness that allows for him to pick up a tremendous amount of yards after the catch, Shipley excels as running short-to-intermediate routes and running with the ball after making the catch. He’s also big enough to play outside and be a deep threat down the field. As a returner, Shipley finished his career with the Longhorns with 468 kickoff return yards and one touchdown, as well as 375 punt return yards and three touchdowns.
Jordan’s biggest question mark is his speed, which is not outstanding, but he has enough of it to be a successful player at the next level. He needs to continue to work on creating separation from the defensive back at the next level. As a blocker, he is capable of getting the job done out on the edge, however he could still likely use some polishing in this area. Durability could be a minor concern, considering Jordan missed the first two years of his career with leg and hamstring injuries and he even needed to be granted an extra sixth-year of eligibility by the NCAA in order to be able to play in 2009.
I project that Shipley will be drafted in the third-to-fourth round. Shipley is a versatile player who can move around and is capable of playing a number of positions. I feel that his best fit will come in the slot at the next level, where he is able to take advantage of his excellent quickness and agility in the underneath routes; however, he has the size to also play outside. I expect to see Jordan develop into being a nice No. 2 or No. 3 receiver for the team that drafts him. His reliability and consistency will really help to win over his coaches at the next level. His great return ability on special teams as well as his ability to hold for field goals and PATs will also help him earn playing time in the NFL. At the very least, I could see him being a slot or No. 4 receiver who also returns punts and kicks for his team, however I think that he has the potential to develop into a starter.
Notes: Jordan is a two-time All-American and a two-time consensus All-Big 12 selection. Jordan is roommates with Colt McCoy. A coach’s son, Jordan’s dad and grandfather both played football at Abilene Christian and his uncle, Steve, is the second-leading receiver in TCU history, so his bloodlines are clearly top-notch; his brother Jaxson also committed to Texas in the 2011 recruiting class. Jordan was a fantastic high school receiver, having recorded 264 career catches for 5,424 yards (second all-time nationally) and 73 TDs (second all-time nationally), which are all records in the state of Texas. In high school, he also lettered and competed in state championships in track, basketball, and golf.
Shipley may be just a bit small and a bit slow to match his Texas numbers (205 catches, 2,545 yards, and 24 touchdowns in 27 games over his final two college seasons) in the NFL, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a productive role for him. It would be easy to pigeonhole him as a slot receiver, and that may very well be where he’ll do his best work in the pros; he’s tough, he’s quick, he knows how to get open, and the biggest knock against him is an inability to shake free from press coverage. But he’s not so small or slow so as not to have a chance as a starter somewhere down the road, so from a dynasty league perspective he can be viewed as an investment as well as initial contributor.
Shipley’s polished route-running skills should help him crack a lineup sooner rather than later, and he brings return skills to the table as well. The easy comparison might be Wes Welker, but as a rookie the more apt match for Shipley’s potential might be what Mike Wallace did for the Steelers over the second half of the season to finish with 756 yards and six touchdowns. A productive slot guy slated for immediate contributions, with the potential to move into a starting role, absolutely belongs on the radar in dynasty and redraft leagues alike.