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- Position: Wide receiver (WR)
- Class: Senior (redshirt)
- College: Michigan State
- Ht/Wt: 6'2", 192 pounds
As Michigan State fans know, Tony Lippett is a consummate hard worker and team leader. The receiver was so important to his team, he even started taking reps at cornerback at the end of the season to help out the defense. Lippett is a long and lean receiver; he has above-average height, but nearly 33-inch arms (longer than the 6'5" Dorial Green-Beckham's). A savvy player, Lippett will make his plays as more of an all-around receiver than a speed guy or a jump ball catcher. He has great fluid movements and impressive hip fakes to get open on his routes. Lippett has very good deep speed, but being a "long strider," his short area burst doesn't quite measure up. He catches the ball with his hands reliably, but doesn't always extend his hands outside his body to snag the ball.
Lippett shows a great understanding of the best way to separate in man coverage, and handles zone coverage pretty well. He processes the play fairly quickly, and always seems to be on the same page as his quarterback. 53 of his 65 receptions this year converted first downs; that's a tremendous proportion, higher than Amari Cooper, Kevin White, Clive Walford, Maxx Williams, and many other crucial passing game targets. Lippett isn't a great blocker, but uses his body position well to maintain a block. He bulked up at the Combine, but he does have a bit of a skinny build, which leads to some concerns about injury potential. I'm rating him as a wide receiver despite his college cornerback experience this season due to a lack of film of him as a defensive back.
Lippett is one of my favorite players in the draft class. That doesn't mean I think he's the best or a sleeper, but it's really enjoyable to watch him play, and I think he's going to be successful somewhere in the NFL. I have him rated as a second-round prospect, and I think he goes somewhere on day two. He's not the physical prototype receiver the Bills desire, but he's a hard-working possession receiver with a great feel for his routes, and that will earn him a starting job someday.