Mel Kiper Jr. says UM receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones lacking 'want to,' hindering his draft status
Donovan Peoples-Jones brings a lot of talent and athleticism to the football field. Just watch a few clips of him during his three years at Michigan, and you’ll understand he’s got NFL ability.
A strong showing at the NFL Scouting Combine last month only reaffirmed the belief that he can make it at the next level.
Why, then, is ESPN NFL Draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. still shaky on the former five-star wide receiver? Apparently it’s the “want to” that Peoples-Jones lacks that has Kiper skiddish on him as a high draft choice.
“I just keep waiting,” Kiper said, according to MLive.com. “H’es got that catch radius. He’s got big hands. He just has to show a little bit more of a ‘want to.'”
Peoples-Jones totaled 34 receptions for 438 yards and six touchdowns in his final season with the Wolverines (2019). He finished with the team’s third-highest catch total, third-highest yardage total and second-most touchdown catches.
Throughout the year, Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson caught quite a bit of heat for missing receivers who were open at times. But Kiper says that’s really not an excuse for Peoples-Jones’ numbers.
“People can’t blame Shea Patterson,” Kiper said. “Shea Patterson was a pretty good college quarterback. Not elite, but it wasn’t like he didn’t have anybody throwing him the ball. And there were other receivers that outproduced him.
Nico Collins and Ronnie Bell both had higher catch totals and yardage than Peoples-Jones last season.
Currently, Kiper has Peoples-Jones projected as a fourth- or fifth-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.