by J.T. Toth
Photo courtesy of University of Washington Athletics.
The NFL Draft talk never ends and we here at Draft 412 will keep you ready for the next set of gridiron stars. From today until draft night 2024 we will bring you mocks, profiles, team needs, and everything else related to the 2024 NFL Draft.
Today’s Spotlight -Washington, Wide Receiver, Jalen McMillan
Name- Jalen McMillan
HT/WT- 6’1” 189 lbs.
Home – Fresno, CA
McMillan lettered 4 times on the football field and 2 times on the diamond for the San Joaquin Memorial Panthers. Over his football career, he totaled 260 receptions for 5,234 yards and 54 touchdowns in 50 career games. He was named to the Cal-Hi Sports' all-state first team after his senior season. He was a consensus 4-star recruit who was ranked as the nation's No. 8 wide receiver by 247Sports. He committed to Washington over offers from Notre Dame and Alabama.
He played in 3 of the 4 games during the 2020 Covid-19 season and had 1 catch for 16 yards and 2 carries for 14 yards. In 2021 he played 11 games, starting 9 and put up solid numbers for the Huskies, collecting 39 receptions for 470 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Last season, McMIllan helped welcome transfer quarterback Michael Penix to Washington by catching 79 passes for 1,098 yards and 9 touchdowns.
This season, McMillan has 20 catches for 311 yards and 2 touchdowns. He injured his leg September 16th against Michigan State and only has played sporadically since then. He is expected to start November 18th against Oregon State.
Jalen McMillan runs precise routes and uses different techniques to give himself the upper hand. He’s a quick twitch athlete and has a very deceptive stop and go that he uses to create separation. He is a catch-and-run threat who has good vision once he is in open space. Quick screens and slants work well for McMillan and he is able to get chunks of yards on the quick passes. He is effective at tracking the ball and is an undeniable deep threat. He is a willing blocker even though he will need to get bigger and stronger to succeed at the NFL level. He has shown the ability to return punts and this should add value to his prospects.
His hands have been spotty at times, especially when he is face up with the quarterback during passes. His speed does not create the separation of other top prospects and he has to use his twitchiness to get open. He loses a lot of battles on the outside going up for 50/50 balls and works better in quick passes and over the middle. He can be held up against press coverage and needs to work on his release from the line of scrimmage. He has had injury concerns over his career and will need to show that this will not be a future concern for NFL teams.
Though Dontayvion Wicks has a little more speed than Jalen McMillan, they both play the same kind of game. Wicks was prone to drops at his time at Virginia, and this was a big reason he fell to round 5 in last year’s draft. Wicks has been solid for Green Bay as a reserve wide receiver this season and has 17 receptions for 240 yards and 1 touchdown. Draft 412 sees no reason at all why McMillan can’t jump right in as a rookie next year and put up similar numbers to Wicks.
Jalen McMillan is a rising receiver who has not had a chance to show scouts in 2023 due to an injury. He played well enough in 2022 to show the football world that he could become a solid #3 or #4 receiver in the NFL and add something to a team’s return game. Look for him in the mid to late rounds and be a value pick.
Draft 412 Draft Prediction - 5th or 6th round