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A Closer Look at Lavelle Hawkins, WR, Cal

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Receiving Kickoff Returns Punt Returns
G Rec Yds Y/G AVG Lng TD KR YDS AVG Lng TD PR Yds Avg Lng TD
13 72 872 0 12.1 0 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

I sent Danzig, a senior writer at Bearsnecessity,  a few questions about the Titans newest receiver, Lavelle Hawkins.

  1. Who is going to be a better NFL receiver, LaVelle
    Hawkins or DeSean Jackson?

 

Well gee, thanks for the impossible question. How
about which one is hotter: Jessica Alba or Keeley
Hazell? Short answer, Hawk projects as the more
productive NFL WR. Heck, even our coach let it slip
that Hawk would be drafted first (really).  Here's
why:

 

  • Hawk is superior physically: This allowed
    him to run all the routes on our playbook while Djax
    is mainly a deep guy (although Hawk leads in
    yards/catch, meaning he can go deep too).  We sent
    Hawk to catch balls over the middle and take nasty
    hits from LBs and Safeties. He owned 3rd downs because
    he boxes people out and can catch with defenders
    literally on his back (his best quality!).  Hawk deals
    with press coverage better. He is not affected by the
    initial bump, can recover and then has 4.4 speed to
    separate.

          Hawk can improvise: When our QB is in
          trouble he looks for the Hawk.  He is especially good
          at catching bullets on come-backers when our QB has
          been flushed. His ability to catch balls in traffic
          also makes him a great red-zone target
.

 

  • Hawk does not need open space: Djax is
    better in space when making people miss, but isn't
    great at fighting off defenders.  Although Hawk also
    has great moves, he uses his strength or his stiff arm
    to fight defenders for YAC. He loves the stiff arm!
    Not to say that Hawk can't hot-dog, remember he's been
    our KOR guy for 2 years.

 

  1. How did Hawkins play against top competition?

 

Can't really say.  In our system we only have two WRs
out 70% of the time.  It’s a pure run-first, pro
offense.  So Hawk found himself in one-on-ones alot
against the second best corner (Djax gets the best
corners).  But regardless the DB talent, he rips them
up consistently. Remember, he led our team in
receiving and all-purpose yards last year, meaning he
produces no matter who it is.  As far as big games vs.
small games, Hawk's production never really changes.
He's like a straight line while Djax is like a Sine
wave.  Djax is quiet during small games and explodes
during big games.  Hawk just keeps getting open game
after game. Remember the Vols game in 07? Everyone
remembers Djax and his big plays, but in that game
Hawk had more receiving yards, yards/catch, total
yards and more return yards...that pretty much sums
him up.

 

  1. What NFL receiver do you think Hawkins resembles?

I sort of answered this before in a post but basically
he's a carbon copy of a younger Hines Ward (Steelers).
Like Ward he doesn’t think too much when he’s
catching, meaning his upper-body adjustments are
instinctive and natural (as opposed to being
mechanical) allowing him to catch grossly off-target
balls.  Like Ward he doesn't have great timed speed or
size, but functional speed and size (4.44,5’11).  Like
Ward he fights off defenders for that extra two or
three yards on each catch and blocks out people with
his body.

A big thanks to Danzig for his insights.