by J.T. Toth
Photo courtesy of Iowa State University 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 -Iowa State, Wide Receiver, Jaylin Noel
Name- Jaylin Noel
Team- Iowa State
HT/WT- 5’10” 190 lbs.
Home – Kansas City, MO
Jaylin Noel attended Park Hill High School in Kansas City, Missouri. Besides lettering in football, Noel also lettered in track and field as an all-conference high jumper and sprinter. He tallied 68 receptions for 1,005 yards and 10 touchdowns as a senior. He was rated a 3-star recruit by 247Sports and Rivals and committed to Iowa State over offers from Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin and Kansas State.
Jaylin Noel recorded one of the best freshman seasons in Cyclone history. He played in 13 games, making 3 starts and collected 39 receptions for 269 yards, which rank 3rd and 9th on the all-time Iowa State list for freshmen. He was also the primary kick and punt returner for the Cyclones and his 26.0 average per kick return is the 8th best in school history.
Last season, Noel played 12 games, making 8 starts and finished second on the team with 60 receptions for 572 yards and 3 touchdowns. He also finished 2nd on the team with 11 plays of 25 yards or over and once again excelled as the primary kick returner for Iowa State.
This season, Noel started all 11 games he played in and tied his career high with 60 receptions, while setting high in yards with 741 and touchdowns with 6. He also averaged over 40 yards on his 5 kick returns for the Cyclones.
Noel is a versatile receiver with straight line speed. He may be able to save a team a roster spot with his kick and punt return ability. He is a strong route runner, changing speed and hitting his top gear when he has to. He is tough to mirror with his twitchiness and has reliable hands. He shields defenders in contested situations and works well in short yardage routes with an elite burst off the line of scrimmage. Noel runs smooth and precise routes and knows when to break away from script when the quarterback scrambles outside the pocket. On sideline passes, he has proven exceptional in ensuring he gets two feet in bounds to make a catch.
On the downside, Noel can be held up regularly in press coverage and will have to find different techniques for clean breaks off the line of scrimmage in the pros. He is not a physical player and it shows in his lack of proficient run blocking. He projects more as a #3 or #4 receiver in the NFL. When route running, Noel prefers man-to-man or quick slants and does have issues knowing where to stop his routes and set up in zone coverage. At times, he struggles to track passes and projects as more of a possession receiver than a big-play guy.
It is hard not to think of Braxton Berrios when looking for a comparison to Jaylin Noel’s game. Both are excellent route runners who can run them at different speeds, and their return abilities make them a valuable member of a roster. Berrios was a 6th round pick out of Miami and has become a contributor as a no. 4 or no. 5 receiver who returns kicks for the high powered Dolphins. Noel projects around the same spot Berrios was selected, but Draft 412 thinks Noel may have a higher ceiling down the road.
Versatility- kick returner
Changes of speed
Jaylin Noel projects as a no. 4 or no. 5 receiver who can be a competent kick returner in the NFL. He is a tough receiver to mirror on quick slants and crossing patterns and in the right system can be a valuable asset in a team's offense.
Draft 412 Draft Prediction - 6th round or 7th round