Air Raid, or Bear Raid in this case, wide receivers are tough to project. You won’t see them working inside releases on snag concepts, you won’t see them sitting in soft spots in zones, but what you will always see, at least with Baylor products, is pure, game-breaking speed. KD Cannon is no exception, posting a personal best 10.32 second time in the regional finals in high school. To put that in perspective, Daniel Jeremiah tabbed FSU RB Kermit Whitfield as the most likely to test Chris Johnson’s 4.24 second 40 time at the Combine. Whitfield’s best 100 meter is a mere .17 faster than Cannon.
Speed isn’t the end all be all for wide receivers. They must have nuance in their route running, be physical in the air, and dangerous after the catch to warrant Day 1/2 consideration. It’s my belief that Cannon possesses the traits to have all three, eventually.
Name: KD Cannon
Comparison: Kenny Stills
Draft Grade: Early 2nd Round
Strengths: Easy, blazing speed. Consistently takes the top off a defense, forcing off coverage. Understands how to stack and utilizes technique frequently. Very good at creating separation within limited route tree. Strong hands when catching away from his body. Excellent acceleration out of breaks and double moves. Requires minimal gear down on nods at the top of his route stem. Naturally sinks hips and hits plant step without wasted movement. Willing, effective blocker. Hard runner after the catch. Takes over games.
Weaknesses: Suffers from drops on intermediate routes when square to the ball due to passive catching. 5 routes in his route tree (hitch, 9, post, PoCo, sluggo) dating back to his high school years. Straight-linish. Lacks creativity and vision after the catch. Will disappear when not targeted early.
Outlook: Cannon is a super productive deep threat with elite straight line speed and very good athletic ability. Shows flashes to be strong in the air but concentration drops are concerning. Stock will rise with his 40 time, which should be in the 4.3s, but change of direction times will be more important in projecting him as an overall prospect. Raw, extremely talented player. He will likely start his career as a late Day 2/early Day 3 pick, contributing as a 4th wide receiver, but with time he can develop into a legitimate home run hitter with a well rounded game.