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Enemy Evaluations: WR Dontrelle Inman

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Heading into their Week 12 tilt with the Chicago Bears, the Philadelphia Eagles will be tasked with stopping an uber-conservative Chicago Bears offense that ranks 27th in scoring and passes the ball the 2nd least amount in the league. What happens if the Eagles 1st ranked run defense shuts down Bears RB Jordan Howard and forces rookie QB Mitchell Trubisky? Outside of running a draw or screen on 3rd and 10, probably, the Bears will have to turn to their wide receivers, including newly acquired WR Dontrelle Inman.

Sending a 7th rounder to the Los Angeles Chargers for Inman, the Bears were desperately seeking an answer for their depleted wide receiver group. Here’s a breakdown of the various injuries the Bears have suffered at the WR position:

– Cameron Meredith tore his ACL in Week 3 of the preseason

– Reuben Randle was shelved before the season began with a hamstring injury

– Former first round pick WR Kevin White was placed on injured reserve after breaking his collarbone in Week 1

– Markus Wheaton missed several weeks with a groin injury

After a promising 2016 season, in which Inman posted a 58-810-4 stat line, the best of his career, he struggled mightily to make an impact in 2017. Through four games, he was targeted 4 times for 2 receptions and 9 yards, which includes his 1-7-0 stat line against the Eagles in Week 3. He also saw his usage take a sharp decline. In 2016, Inman was on the field for 90% of the Chargers snaps. In 2017, he saw snap shares of 22%, 19%, 16% and 4%.

Arriving in Chicago, Inman has played 95% and 84% of the Bears’ offensive snaps. In that two week span, he has led the receivers in targets (13), receptions (9), yards (131), yards per route run (2.11) and QB rating when targeted (101.8).

I watched five games of Inman’s 2016 campaign with the Chargers and what follows is the scouting report borne from that film study. I’ll qualify again, as with all of the evaluations on this website to this point, the report is strictly based on 2016 film and is written to be read by scouting departments, not by you, the gentle reader, so please excuse the blandness of language. Enjoy!

SCOUTING REPORT

3rd year WR; played two years in the CFL and started 23 of 37 games after getting signed to the NFL. Played 89.95% of the Chargers’ offensive snaps in 2016 due to injuries at the WR position. Received 27% of the teams’ passing targets, and 16% of receptions with a 59.8% catch rate. Played 3 years under Chargers HC Mike McCoy in his vertical passing scheme. Lanky frame possessing good athletic ability dependent on deep speed and good acceleration.

STRENGTHS

Good foot quickness on stutter step paired with good acceleration off the line to release inside and outside. Understands how to attack leverage and cushion of off corners with outside leverage to keep DBs on heels. Flashes solid ability to stack and break when presented with 3-way go.

Excels on double moves; maintains good acceleration through chained breaks to keep DBs from disrupting at breakpoints. Lower difficulty angles provide good burst, straight-line speed. Occasionally utilizes slight head nods against outside leverage on post and crossing routes to provide clear windows.

Solid hands; comfortable extending at, above, and below eyes. Decent sideline awareness and solid body control to collapse inbounds, drag feet, and contort to catch balls behind and low. Solid concentration and courage over the middle; exposes himself by fully extending with incoming contact and shows solid competitive toughness as a willing blocker.

Gets to speed quickly when not having to leave his feet after catching on the move. Uses subtle cuts to elude defenders in open field. Solid processing of blocking angles after catches close to the LOS.

WEAKNESSES

Marginal release; often lacks a plan of attack against press and is easily stacked and squeezed on go routes. Struggles frequently against patient corners that stay home for his stutter step and disrupt the route stem with physicality before and at the breakpoint.

Marginal play strength; unable to disengage against physical corners, gets jolted by defenders’ hands on jams, maintains weak inside arm throughout route stem and overall is frequently overpowered on press by all sized DBs. Occasionally loses balance throughout route stem vs. press against all sized. DBs. Lacks strength to escort DBs past breakpoint on comeback routes.

Adequate play speed; inconsistent depth on rub routes, often uses excessive steps early in route stem and is late to landmark.

Adequate separation quickness; requires extra steps when sinking hips and often disrupts timing on sharp angle breaks by drifting past landmark. Overextends at breakpoint with wide steps and locked hips that limit burst out of breaks.

Adequate ability to find seams and voids; slow to adapt with adequate mental processing of coverage in his immediate area and occasionally sits directly behind zone defender.

Occasionally lets ball into body on catches at numbers and possesses inconsistent reaction time on short area throws.

Adequate ability to create Yards After Catch; consistently hops into catches at and below eyes, sapping speed from his stride and ability to turn upfield quickly for YAC. Frequently tackled on first contact.

SUMMARY

Overall, a starting WR4 you can win with that excels from the slot with acceleration and straight-line speed. Fits a vertical passing scheme.

To read my other scouting reports, here’s the list:

CB Ronald Darby

WR Terrelle Pryor Sr.

QB Trevor Siemian

WR Alshon Jeffery

Michael is an NFL Draft enthusiast, aspiring scout, and grandson of longtime East Stroudsburg (Pa.) HS football coach John P. Kist. He hosts Locked On Eagles and writes for Inside the Pylon & Breaking Football.

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