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NFL Draft: Player Profile - Mohamed Massaquoi, WR, Georgia
John Tuvey
March 18, 2009
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Mohamed Massaquoi, WR, GeorgiaMeasurables:
Combine height: 6-1 1/2
Combine weight: 210 pounds
Combine 40 time: 4.67 seconds

Massaquoi capped a four-year stay at Georgia with 58 catches for 920 yards and eight touchdowns as a senior. For his Bulldog career, Massaquoi caught 158 passes for 2,282 yards and 16 touchdowns.

Skill Set:
Massaquoi has the frame pro scouts like, as well as quickness and athleticism to succeed in the NFL. He gets high marks for intangibles like work ethic, character, and leadership, and he impressed initially at the Senior Bowl before his week ended prematurely due to a hamstring injury. In short, Massaquoi will be drafted because he has all the physical traits of a pro wide receiver and strikes scouts as the kind of guy who will work hard within their system.

Here’s the problem with Massaquoi, and it’s a big one if you’re looking to be an NFL wideout: he drops too many balls. His 4.67 40 time at the Combine didn’t help, but he’s been clocked significantly faster and he was getting plenty of separation during Senior Bowl workouts prior to his injury. But Massaquoi’s inconsistent hands were also on display in Mobile, and virtually every scouting report you’ll find on him prominently features the word “drops”—and not in a good way.

Possible Destinations:
Due primarily to the questions about his mitts, Massaquoi is a bit of a stretch to go off the board on the draft’s first day. If he does, expect it to happen later to a team like the Giants (60), Colts (61), or Steelers (64) where he won’t have to be an immediate impact player but could eventually develop into a quality NFL wideout. More likely is Massaquoi hearing his name called early on Day Two, at a stage in the draft where teams might be more inclined to take a chance on iffy hands given his other attributes. It’s difficult to see a team with a pressing need at the position banking on Massaquoi to contribute immediately, so teams that could afford to bring him along more slowly—the Seahawks (68), Bengals (70), and Redskins (80) all have bodies at the position but are still looking for talent—seems like the most likely scenario. And should Massaquoi slide towards the end of the third round the Giants (91), Colts (92), and Steelers (96) would come into play once again.

Fantasy Impact:
If the dropsies remain a problem for Massaquoi, not only will he not have an immediate impact but he’ll almost immediately be looking for a new line of employment. Operating under the assumption that his hands are a work in progress, Massaquoi will be eased into the NFL as he develops hands his quarterback and his team can trust. In other words, barring an amazing showing by Massaquoi in minicamps and training camps there’s no need to expend a draft pick on him in 2009; if he does start growing into a role in the NFL, you’ll certainly be able to pick him up off the waiver wire.

In today’s NFL Massaquoi won’t have the luxury of taking too long to develop reliable hands, either, no matter how enticing his size and athleticism and work ethic might be. Before spending a dynasty league pick on him, you’ll need to know what NFL squad drafts Massaquoi. If it’s a club with a quality receivers coach and a track record of developing receivers, there should be plenty of upside in snagging him with a late-round pick. On the other hand, if it’s a club that tends to burn through receivers or might be forced to throw Massaquoi into a role he’s not yet ready for, he could be out of the league before he has an opportunity to develop into an NFL receiver—which would, obviously, preclude him from becoming an impact fantasy player.

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