The NFL Draft is fast approaching, and will reportedly happen on time despite the absence of pro days and some prospect interviews. While every year there are NFL Scouting Combine snubs, pro days being cancelled limits the information received on those prospects who don’t attend. One wide receiver prospect that I’m disappointed wasn’t invited to the Combine and who had their pro day cancelled was Virginia’s Hasise Dubois, the most underrated prospect at the position in the NFL Draft class.
Despite the lack of Senior Bowl, Shrine Game or Combine invite, Dubois’ film shows a prospect who has a path to starting in the NFL. Dubois came on strong to end his senior season, and had his best games against top competition. In Virginia’s four games against ranked opponents last season (Notre Dame, Virginia Tech, Clemson and Florida), Dubois produced 33 receptions, 495 yards and four touchdowns. He also went for at least 6 receptions and 90 yards in games against bowl teams North Carolina, Miami and Louisville.
The most impressive part of Dubois’ 75 receptions last season? He dropped zero passes. He’s the only prospect in the NFL Draft who had more than 100 targets and no drops (per PFF). Even more impressive about his lack of drops was that his average target came at over 10 air yards. Virginia coach Bronco Mendenhall was quoted after the Orange Bowl game against Florida as saying “On the headset there’s basically just one thing that’s being said, throw it to Has, throw it to Has, throw it to Has.”
Being the go-to target on a team that made the Orange Bowl is impressive in and of itself, but Dubois has shown the traits to translate to the next level. While it’s obvious by has lack of drops that Dubois has strong hands, he’s always catching the ball at full extension. Even when he’s covered, his expanded catch radius allows him to be a consistent possession receiver. In just his game against Notre Dame, Dubois finished through contact, made receptions down the field and adjusted to passes along the sideline at extension.
Hasise Dubois had 75 receptions and 0 drops last season (per PFF). When you turn on the tape, it’s easy to see why. Natural hands and extension, contact doesn’t disrupt him at all #NFLDraft pic.twitter.com/Rzprb30tI8
— Brad Kelly (@CoachBKelly) March 20, 2020
Dubois is able to win on the ground while contested, but his most impressive reps are when he’s covered and needs to high point the ball. Against Florida and Clemson, two of the best secondaries in all of college football, Dubois was able to climb the ladder and finish through contact. The most impressive part of each rep was that the defensive back did as they were coached, punching up through Dubois’ hands when he reached for the ball. Dubois was still able to rip the ball down through their hands, an example of his strong and consistent hands.
— Brad Kelly (@CoachBKelly) March 21, 2020
The main knock on Dubois, and likely the main reason that he wasn’t invited to the NFL Scouting Combine, was his alleged lack of speed and quickness. Even in some of those highlight clips, Dubois doesn’t have the type of separation that you’d like to see from college wide receivers entering the pro level. However, his route running technique is strong which allows him to create clear passing windows over the middle of the field.
Dubois, despite being listed at 6-3 and 215 pounds, took a decent amount of reps in the slot for the Cavaliers. In the NFL, he could fit into the “Big” slot role that has been popularized by receivers such as JuJu Smith-Schuster. When Dubois was matched up with safeties or rotating zone defenders, his separation was better than when he faced quicker outside cornerbacks. On top of that, Dubois was a master at finding voids and using his size to create an easy target for his quarterback. Even if Dubois would run in the 4.6 range in the 40-yard dash, his defined projection as a consistent possession receiver who operates over the middle is a strong one.
Hasise Dubois is an underrated route runner, especially when he’s able to build up speed from the slot. Don’t sleep on his technique. As always, he’s catching at full extension #NFLDraft pic.twitter.com/sRVpa5MgBS
— Brad Kelly (@CoachBKelly) March 21, 2020
Due to Dubois’ lack of Scouting Combine invitation, there’s a lack of buzz about him as a prospect. Regardless, his production and traits shown on film show an early-to-mid Day 3 prospect who has a natural pro projection. If Dubois proves to have the athleticism necessary to survive in the NFL, there could be a starting role in his future.
— ACC Digital Network (@theACCDN) September 1, 2019
— Bally Sports South (@BallySportsSO) October 20, 2018