Wyoming Cowboys wide receiver Robert Herron is known for being a speedster and in high school was an elite track star in California. His stats at Wyoming prove that as he averaged 21 yards per catch in 2012, and in 2013 was earning 13 yards per catch. That latter amount really takes a hit for a pair of games where Herron had six receptions for 9 yards against Colorado State and Utah State.
The 2014 NFL Draft class is deep at wide receiver and Herron is considered right around the 20th ranked wide out, but that is also good enough to be a third- or fourth-round pick. His performance at the Senior Bowl has opened up a lot of eyes from NFL personnel and has him likely sky rocketing up team's board.
Herron is 153rd in Mocking the Draft's latest big board and the 23rd wide out overall. However, Dan Kadar who is the NFL Draft editor for Mocking the Draft is in Mobile, Ala., and had high praise for Herron in what he has seen this week.
Of the wide receivers on the North team, none looked better in three days of practices than Robert Herron. Coming into the week, everyone knew his obvious best trait was his speed. During practices, he's used that to create separation. He's not a physical wide out, so he's been using his foot quickness to beat defensive backs on quick comebacks and fakes. He's a slippery guy too. When defensive backs were trying to jam him or hold him on crossing patterns, he showed he can turn and change enough direction to create space. He's definitely a guy who knows how to get the most out of his abilities.
Herron spoke with Cowboy Altitude about how has been training in Arizona to work on his route running skills:
... been training in Arizona at Athletes Performance. Just a lot of running and I feel I’m at a good program. I like that they have a room you can study coverages in and that has been helping me get better. Just being able to recognize coverages. So I have been taking advantage of that.
That work has clearly paid off and the draft is still over 12 weeks away and that will allow plenty of time for Herron to keep improving before pro days or even a possible combine invite.
Herron even snagged the player of the day for the wide receivers and each day he has proven to be one of the best on the field all day.
Here are a few snippets of praise from various outlets on Herron.
Best separation skills: Robert Herron, Wyoming
While Herron has had a hard time fielding the ball this week, he's been the most explosive transitioning in and out of breaks.
Wyoming speedster wideout Robert Herron impressed with his all around explosiveness and ability to separate from defenders. He's a guy that defensive backs will have trouble running with if they don't get their hands on him when hip to hip. In person he has a lot of similar qualities to Oregon State's Brandin Cooks when looking at size and how he gets open. If Herron can win underneath on a consistent basis this week, look for him to get more attention from NFL teams.
Tuesday was not the best for Herron:
A player who struggled to adjust to the ball placement woes from the North quarterbacks, Wyoming's Robert Herron struggled to finish receptions away from his body. Herron is a speedster and eats up off man cushion in a hurry, but he'll have to improve his plucking skills, as his catch radius was a limiting factor in practice today.
Battling for the top receiver of the day was Wyoming's Robert Herron. He's quick throughout his route tree, flips his head around with tremendous snap back to the quarterback, and is smooth at the top of his route in attacking the ball. He also get of press remarkably well today for a small receiver, even though he likely won't be asked to do that much in the NFL as a slot receiver.
Mocking the Draft:
There was no receiver in Mobile craftier than Herron. In drills and full team practices he showed quick feet to get open and speed to beat defensive backs over the top. Herron will get knocked because of his size (just under 5-foot-9) but looks and plays just like Marvin Jones of the Cincinnati Bengals.
Frankly, while [Oregon wide receiver Josh] Huff made some splashy plays, more consistency was shown from Herron and even Northwestern's Kain Colter, who is making the transition to receiver after starring as an option quarterback with the Wildcats. While perhaps best known for his straight-line speed, Herron has impressed scouts with his stout frame, competitiveness and willingness to extend for the contested grab. He made the catch of the day early in practice, soaring high to snatch a high, hard pass from Boyd along the left sideline. While clearly a work in progress as a route-runner, Colter (5-foot-11, 199 pounds) has the agility and balance to generate separation and caught the ball cleanly.