Coming out of high school, Diggs was one of the top recruits in the nation. He almost became a Florida Gator, but decided to play close to home by becoming a Terrapin. Diggs said he wanted to win a championship while playing at home. Obviously, choosing Maryland won't lead to him winning any conference or national championships, but he has been a big-time play-maker for the home team.
Diggs made an immediate impact in 2012. The freshman caught 54 passes for 848 yards with six touchdowns. He had a big impact on special teams as well. Diggs averaged 10 yards per punt return and 28.5 yards on his kick returns. He had two kicks brought back for touchdowns.
As a sophomore, Diggs was off to a great start. He recorded 34 receptions for 587 yards (17.3 average) and three touchdowns before breaking his right fibula in October. The injury caused him to miss the rest of the season.
2014 Season Outlook:
In 2014, Diggs' competition will be better in the Big Ten compared to what he faced in the ACC the past two seasons. The ACC is a quality conference, but Maryland is taking on all the best programs the Big Ten has to offer.
Diggs has five weaker opponents to pad his stats to start out the season (James Madison, South Florida, West Virginia, Syracuse and Indiana). That will change drastically with Ohio State in October. The Buckeyes had a bad defense in 2013, but are expected to be better on that side this season. Wisconsin and Penn State will also be quality tests.
The best cornerback on Diggs' schedule comes in mid-November when Maryland hosts Michigan State. Spartan Trae Waynes should be locked up on Diggs and could be a battle of future first-round picks.
Michigan and Rutgers close out Maryland's season, and those could be Diggs' final college-football games if he declares early for the draft. The Terrapins may not quality for a bowl game in their first season in the Big Ten.
There is no doubt that Diggs is a speed mismatch. He is extremely fast and can burn coverage deep down the field. Diggs is a home-run threat who stretches a defense vertically. He has the speed to transform an offense and will be a deep threat in the NFL.
As a receiver, Diggs is more than just a fast runner. He has great body control to make catches on the sideline and adjust to poorly thrown balls. Even though Diggs isn't that large of a target, he can jump and has a sizable catching radius.
Diggs' body control extends to after the catch. He is a very shifty runner capable of juking defenders in the open field. With his change of directions skills, Diggs is definitely not a "straight line only" speed player. He is dangerous with the ball in his hands and racks up a lot of yards after the catch.
While Diggs isn't that tall, he is strong for his size. He can take a hit and will use his strength to outfight defensive backs for the ball. Diggs won't be overly physical with NFL cornerbacks, but he shouldn't get pushed around either.
Adding to his dynamic skills for the NFL is his special teams ability. Diggs should be an asset on kick and punt returns. The only dilemma for his NFL team is if the staff wants to risk injury to Diggs on returns. He may be used as a returner in critical situations as a pro.
In order to rise during his junior season, Diggs first has to stay healthy and prove that he has durability for the next level. He also could stand to improve his route-running and become crisper in his cuts. Diggs has a ton of natural talent, but it doesn't look like he has developed technique yet.
Diggs has the potential to be an NFL starter and could prove to be a potential No. 1-receiver candidate for his NFL career.
2015 NFL Draft Expectations:
Diggs has the skill set to be a first-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, but the junior needs to stay healthy and productive in 2014.
2015 NFL Mock Draft: Charlie's | Walt's
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