Is the former walk-on turned National Champion a good insurance policy for the Giants’ slot receiver?
Some players just seem as though they’ve been in college for ages before they are finally drafted, and Clemson wide receiver Hunter Renfrow is just such a player.
Unlike some who feel as though they’ve been in college forever, Renfrow didn’t have his career put on hold for an injury or some other reason. He played his four years of eligibility at Clemson, but he has consistently been on the field since walking on to the team freshman year, and consistently produced. Renfrow was never the flashiest receiver on the field, but he has been a steady and dependable presence for a pair of National Championship teams, doing what he had to in order to keep the offense on schedule.
The New York Giants could be in the market for insurance at slot receiver, and would do well to take a long look at Renfrow.
Height: 5-foot, 10 inches
Weight: 175 pounds
- Great route runner. Uses his stems and breaks to create separation from defenders.
- Low center of gravity and quick feet make him very quick in and out of his breaks.
- Fantastic ball skills. Catches everything thrown anywhere near him.
- Great body control.
- Instinctive runner in space.
- Former walk-on, earned his playing time and is loved around Clemson.
- Fails the eye test from a height/weight/speed perspective.
- Ordinary-at-best athlete.
- Consistent presence, but never a feature of the offense.
- Willing, competitive blocker, but his size limits him.
What They’re Saying
Few players in Clemson history are as loved or as impactful in big moments than Hunter Renfrow, who has generated an undying collegiate reputation as a clutch player. His hands are pure glue, capable of catching every type of pass put anywhere around his somewhat limited catch radius. On the other hand, the weaknesses are clear; Renfrow is short, slight of frame, not overly athletic and could struggle to survive the physicality of the NFL.
On day three of the draft however, I want a guy on my team who can catch everything, has unbelievable body control, is shockingly slippery after the catch and thinks the game at a high level. Renfrow won’t be for more vertical-based offenses, but in the right system, he can be a difference-making contributor in the short-intermediate areas of the field.
– Jon Ledyard (The Draft Network – Scouting Report)
Does He Fit The Giants?
Considering how much the Giants’ offense relies on working the short and intermediate level of the field and using route running within route combinations to create and expand passing windows, Renfrow would be a good fit. His ability to run out of the slot and uncover in a blink in short areas would play well in the Giants’ passing game, and Eli Manning would certainly learn to appreciate Renfrow’s hands.
There will be teams who overlook Renfrow for his short stature, his slight frame, limited athleticism, or small hands. And while he will certainly fall below some thresholds, he is more than the sum of his parts as receiver. Instead, Renfrow will likely be the drive extender who is a thorn in defenses’ sides.
And from the Giants’ perspective in particular, he could be a low-cost, high reward insurance policy for Sterling Shepard’s impending free agency. He isn’t as dynamic as Shepard, doesn’t have the upside as a blocker, and won’t be the scoring threat, but that’s why he’ll be a Day 3 pick instead of a second rounder. Teams can (and do) worse looking for dependable targets who can keep the offense on schedule.