There will always be a role in the NFL for receivers who can generate separation and win short-yardage situations, and that is exactly what Stanley Berryhill III brings. Moreover, the NFL is headed toward more three-wide receiver sets, where the slot receiver is essentially a full-time player. With that said, Berryhill has a chance to carve out a role in any NFL offense as a slot receiver. His calling card is his burst and acceleration, in addition to his ability to get up the field. He showcased these traits at Arizona this past year where he had 83 receptions for 744 yards and one touchdown.
Make sure to check out all of our other NFL Draft Scouting Reports.
Name: Stanley Berryhill III
Jersey: No. 1
Position: Wide Receiver
Weight: 182 lbs
Games Watched: Shrine Bowl (2022), Arizona State (2021), BYU (2021), USC (2021)
Major Injury History: None
Hands/Ball Security (8.5/10)
Berryhill has reliable hands which will make him an asset as a slot receiver in the NFL. He uses his hands well to extend and pluck the ball out of the air. The ball could be outside of his frame, thrown behind him, or in a difficult-to-reach place, but if Berryhill can put two hands on the pass, he can secure it. His ability to secure errantly thrown passes is prevalent and will make him a quarterback’s favorite target. He also has the potential to be a reliable punt returner with his ability to track and secure the ball.
Contested Catch (7/10)
The ability to box out and out leverage defenders on routes shows up in flashes for Berryhill. He’s not going to out-muscle defenders at the catch point, but on contested catches, he can put up a fight against the defender. In short-yardage situations, Berryhill has proven to be an asset who secures the balls despite contact which will serve him well in the NFL.
Tracking/Body Control (7.25/10)
Berryhill has the instincts to track and adjust to the ball while it is in the air. Before the catch is made, Berryhill uses his body to box out the defender and secure the grab. While there are some limitations from his length that show up, he is aggressive and will attack the ball in the air. Overall, while Berryhill lacks length, his ability to track the ball, box-out defenders, and play aggressively illustrates he plays larger than his size.
Route Running (8/10)
Berryhill runs smooth routes, which allows him to generate separation. However, his best attribute is how he maintains full speed while making cuts. The second most significant aspect of his route running is his understanding of first downs and where he is relative to defensive positioning. On short routes, he was always at the first down marker. An example that exemplifies his route running is on a speed-out, where he goes full speed on the break and always ends up at the first down marker.
Berryhill’s ability to modulate makes it difficult for cornerbacks to stick with him in man coverage, which makes him valuable on third downs and critical situations. In addition, his ability to find open space in zone coverage on spacing routes and understand moving defenses is exceptional. As a senior, it is apparent he understands defensive scheme post-snap and while route running which should allow him to get on the field in his first year.
In the Arizona State game, there are some instances of release when being pressed and it is fairly impressive. When pressed, he shows quickness and burst which allows him to win the route right off the start. Berryhill uses his hands effectively to ward off the defender’s contact and create space. However, there should be some concerns with Berryhill’s release in the NFL and his play strength against NFL cornerbacks. Berryhill is only 182 pounds and may get pushed off his line from time to time, thus operating from the slot may be his best role until he can adapt to NFL play strength.
Run After the Catch (7/10)
Berryhill’s body positioning on the catch allows him the additional opportunity to gain a few extra yards after the catch. He always looks to drive through contact and win with quickness. He’s willing to lower his helmet and push for a first down when crowded. As a short-yardage specialist, getting the extra couple yards each catch will make him extremely valuable.
Vertical Speed (8.5/10)
While Berryhill ran a 4.46 40-yard dash (unofficially) at his pro day, he was much faster on film. For example, during the Shrine Bowl, Berryhill showed exceptional vertical speed. When getting vertical in-game, he was winning the race against cornerbacks. He consistently showed vertical speed, but also a fifth gear that allows him to win on go-routes by stacking. As a vertical receiver, he will threaten some defenses and win the down-field situations.
Acceleration is Berryhill’s calling card. His ability to burst off the line of scrimmage or out of a break is what makes Berryhill special and will give him a chance at a career in the NFL. In addition to his burst, the ability to modulate his speed will put defenders in awkward positions. Overall, Berryhill has juice and in short-yardage situations can be a key player to any offense.
Berryhill’s testing shows some of the limitations as an athlete. Overall, the agility isn’t as good as expected but still good enough to use on run after the catch or on intermediate routes. Yet he’s able to use speed and acceleration to make up for the quickness. Berryhill is a fine athlete and his speed is the highlight of his athletic profile.
He is a willing blocker who will go the extra mile in this area. His ability to drive once he initiates contact is exceptional. His angles and contact are something that needs work as he will be going against NFL cornerbacks who are much stronger. Overall, he has the potential to stick on the field on run downs if he gets stronger.
Berryhill has the potential to be a viable slot receiver in the NFL. He needs to develop more release packages to be consistent as an outside receiver. Overall, Berryhill has the upside to develop into a well-rounded receiver who can play outside, in the slot, and on special teams, all of which will make him a dynamic piece of an NFL roster.
The slot receiver position has become a full-time role in the NFL and Berryhill shows the potential of a capable starter. He has the potential to be a viable chain mover as a slot. Berryhill’s ability to modulate makes it difficult for cornerbacks to stick with him in man coverage, which makes him valuable on third downs and critical downs. Overall, Berryhill brings special teams capability which will allow him to lock on a roster spot and then push for a depth slot receiver spot.
Rookie Projection: Rotational Slot Receiver
Third Year Projection: Starting Slot Receiver
Final Grade (75.5/100): Fourth-Round Pick
Pro Comparison: Cole Beasley
Follow Brady Podloski on Twitter @BpodNFL
Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images