At most, 64 returner positions are up for grabs at the NFL level, a position that doesn’t covet backups or turnover. Reliability is key for NFL teams in-season from their returners, but big-play potential is what gets prospects drafted solely based on their return skills.
Due to so many college prospects (generally just running backs, receivers and defensive backs) having experience as returners, there’s a wealth of talent for NFL teams to choose from and ample competition for the few returner spots that are open each year.
The eight prospects discussed are the best returners in the 2016 NFL draft, but the seven below could earn a draft grade bump thanks to their return ability alone:
- Jakeem Grant, Texas Tech
- DeAndre Reaves, Marshall
- Bralon Addison, Oregon
- Chris Moore, Cincinnati
- Tyler Boyd, Pittsburgh
- Paul McRoberts, Southeast Missouri State
- Morgan Burns, Kansas State