EUGENE, OR - SEPTEMBER 23: Oregon Ducks wide receiver Troy Franklin (11) reacts after scoring on a 36-yard reception in the second quarter during a PAC-12 conference football game between the Colorado Buffaloes and Oregon Ducks on September 23, 2023 at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Brian Murphy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
EUGENE, OR - SEPTEMBER 23: Oregon Ducks wide receiver Troy Franklin (11) reacts after scoring on a 36-yard reception in the second quarter during a PAC-12 conference football game between the Colorado Buffaloes and Oregon Ducks on September 23, 2023 at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Brian Murphy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Troy Franklin Flashes Big Play Capability

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EUGENE, OREGON – NOVEMBER 11: Troy Franklin #11 of the Oregon Ducks warms up prior to a game against the USC Trojans at Autzen Stadium on November 11, 2023 in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Brandon Sloter/Image Of Sport/Getty Images)

Oregon wide receiver Troy Franklin regressed on his 2023 game film.

What do I mean?

After evaluating him on his 2022 film, I didn’t leave the experience of evaluating him this season feeling anywhere near as good.

It was disappointing because I had a pre-season first-round grade on Franklin. However, It makes me think back to what Hall of Fame Head Coach Bill Parcells liked to say, “You either get better, or you get worse. You never stay the same.”

What are the other things Franklin does well?

He has a quick release (especially for his size) off the line of scrimmage that allows for him to gain a positioning advantage against the cornerback he’s matched up against (aka route leverage).

Franklin is also a crafty route runner with a knack for getting open. He runs routes like an NFL vet, which is his best attribute. His second best attribute is he is fast going into and coming out of route break-points (the point receivers change direction when running routes). This allows for him to create ‘throwing windows’ the quarterback can fit the ball into.

Franklin can change direction well and he did a nice job of working back toward the quarterback when he was in trouble, making himself available as a downfield target.

Good ball instincts ⎯which is another trait he possesses.

Biggest areas of concern?

The No. 1 concern is Franklin on contested catches. It doesn’t matter if we are talking about ’50-50′ balls or him making a shorter-range pass and getting thumped when the ball arrives, either way, it’s an issue.

He does have good height, but he has an average catch radius. Put it this way, Franklin isn’t ‘Mossing’ anybody. This is a popular term referencing Hall of Fame wide receiver Randy Moss who could outjump corners for the ball. Catch radius is the surrounding area of a receiver he’s capable of making a catch. Some receivers can ‘jump’ out of the gym as they say in scouting and some can’t. Franklin can’t.

He has decent straight-line speed but lacks those coveted afterburners (second-gear once in full stride), so on deep passes that are a little overthrown, he can’t get to it.

Franklin needs to go to an NFL team that has a quarterback with pinpoint accuracy at all three route levels.

Catch rate

This was Franklin’s catch rate during his three seasons at Oregon:

2021: 18 receptions on 33 targets (54.5%)

2022: 61 receptions on 89 targets (68.5%)

2023: 81 receptions on 115 targets (70.4%)

Franklin’s ever-increasing catch rate each season (that saw an increased role in the offense) is a good sign.

Where does he factor?

He would be a value for a team needing a good-sized No. 1 receiver on the outside.

The more I watch Franklin, the more he reminds me of former Jets receiver Denzel Mims (2020 second-round No. 59). However, Franklin cares a lot more about the game than Mims seemed to. I mean the comparison more in terms of body type.

While Mims is still hanging on with the Steelers, I see a much more promising future for Franklin. However, the inconsistencies do scare me since catching the ball is a receiver’s No. 1 job.

#11 Troy Franklin 6-foot-3, 187 pounds

Daniel Kelly’s 2024 NFL Draft Grade: Second-Round (I wouldn’t select him)

Projected by 31.7% of the NFL Draft Community to be a first-round pick as of January 23, 2024 (nflmockdraftdatabase.com)

Troy Franklin Explodes Toward the Ball (6 games evaluated in 2022)

Game film reviewed (2023): Oregon State, Utah, Washington, Colorado, Texas Tech, Portland State, Hawaii, and Stanford (click to view games watched to form this evaluation)

2023 stats: 81 receptions for 1,383 yards (17.1 avg), 14 TD, long of 84

2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report

Durable No. 1 possession type receiver who can surprise deep occasionally. Gets into routes. Glides into secondaries like a paper airplane. Above average straight-line playing speed and body control. Decent hands. Excels at routes that work back to the ball (short to intermediate curls and comeback routes). Finds soft spots against zone coverage. Average looking YAC. Average compete after the catch. Willing to block.

Final words

I can see Franklin going in the top half of the second round to a non-playoff team.

Daniel Kelly is a former NFL Scout with the New York Jets. He was hired on the regime which featured Bill Parcells, Bill Belichick, Scott Pioli, Mike Tannenbaum, and Dick Haley. He is currently the Editor-in-Chief for First Round Mock, contributes at Yardbarker, and has written for Sports Illustrated Lions, Jets, and 49ers, as well as a featured guest on ESPN Radio and Fox Sports Radio. For more information about him visit his website at whateverittakesbook.com. He can be followed on Twitter @firstroundmock.

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