The Detroit Lions nabbed wideout Quintez Cephus late in the 2020 NFL Draft and that move could prove to be a steal in the end if folks are right about the player’s talent.
Interestingly enough, Cephus has drawn yet another comparison to a pro wideout, but this one is particularly notable considering the talent of the player. According to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, the former position coach for Cephus at Wisconsin thinks he compares favorably to Jarvis Landry, wideout of the Cleveland Browns.
In an interview with Birkett, Ted Gilmore, now a tight end coach at Michigan State and a former position coach in the NFL, explains that several of the traits of Cephus are similar to that of Landry. That’s something he noticed when thinking about the work he did preparing for the draft with the Raiders and also coaching Cephus in college.
Here’s a look at the explanation:
“Gilmore left the Raiders for Wisconsin after the 2014 season, and the Badgers lured Cephus to campus a year later. Cephus was a little bigger than Landry, just as tenacious, and prompted similar concerns about his speed, which led Gilmore to draw an instant comparison.
“More than anything, it’s just the way he played the game,” Gilmore said. “Here’s a guy that didn’t run as fast as (some other guys) but still had success, and this is why he had success, because he loved football and he competed.”
While the Cephus-Landry comparison isn’t exact — Landry has played largely out of the slot in his career, while Gilmore said Cephus is best suited to be an “X” receiver in the NFL — Gilmore likes it to make a broader point.
“(Quintez’s) game is about power, where he might not be the fastest guy but he’s got enough speed and can create the same space and the same separation with his strength as well as his body control,” he said. “But he is very twitchy, though. The quick twitch and the sudden movement skills he has to go along with his power … and his competitive spirit, even if he is in those tight coverage situations, he’ll win his share of those 50-50 balls, those opportunity balls.”
Indeed, Cephus has been cited as having one of the best catch rates in his draft class, something which should help him dramatically as he pushes to make the Detroit roster and make a difference. He’s got the size and ability to become one of the best wideouts in the class if he plays up to potential no matter how overlooked he may have been during the process.
The Lions can only hope Cephus turns himself into just as good of a pro.
Quintez Cephus Compared to NFL Hall of Famer
Landry isn’t the only name that Cephus has been mentioned with. While Cephus might be a mere 5th round pick, some strong value was seen in the selection by NFL.com reporter Gil Brandt. As Brandt said, he believes Cephus was a good selection for the Lions, and he thinks he shares physical similarities with Michael Irvin, former Dallas Cowboys wideout. Irvin went in the 1st round and Cephus went later, but there are similarities to the eye of someone formally in personnel.
This is lofty praise for Cephus, but interestingly enough, his newest teammate Jeff Okudah claimed Cephus was the best player he competed against in college and someone who made him evolve his own game at cornerback. Obviously, the players will get to compete against each other all the time now.
It will be interesting to see how good Cephus and Okudah can make each other moving forward, and if Cephus can take his place amongst the best in the league like Brandt thinks.
Quintez Cephus Stats
In college, Cephus put up a solid 1,496 yards and 9 touchdowns in a run-heavy Badgers offense. He’s a player that has some potential that could be developed into something a little more, and with the Lions needing wideouts for the future, it’s possible they could take a couple swings in the middle to late rounds at the position.
Cephus didn’t have a fast run at the NFL Combine running in the 4.7’s, but improved things during his early pro day with Wisconsin. More than the speed, it’s the ability of Cephus to run good routes and make solid catches which impresses. As a result of that, he could be a solid pro who sticks in the league.
No matter who he compares to, Cephus now has to come into the league and find a way to stick.