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2018 NFL Draft profile: LaQuvionte Gonzalez

LaQuvionte Gonzalez NFL Draft profile

LaQuvionte Gonzalez has made a few more stops in his football career than most NFL prospects.

Originally a 4-star recruit from the class of 2013 out of Cedar Hill High School in Texas, Gonzalez signed with Texas A&M.

Gonzalez played in all 13 games his freshman year with the Aggies. He caught 21 passes for 240 yards and a touchdown. He also had 164 kick return yards in the first three games of the season.

Gonzalez’s playing time took a dive in his sophomore season. He only saw action in eight games with five catches for 77 yards and a touchdown.

After his second season with the Aggies, Gonzalez decided to take his talents elsewhere. His wide receiver coach at Texas A&M, David Beaty, was hired as the head coach at Kansas. Gonzalez decided to follow him there and after sitting out the 2015 season, had his best season to date with the Jayhawks.

Gonzalez played in all 12 games his junior year, including 11 starts, and finished as the team’s second-leading receiver. He caught 62 passes for 729 yards and three touchdowns and also returned a kickoff for a touchdown. Gonzalez, along with fellow starting receiver Steven Sims Jr., were able to thrive as receivers despite the team’s poor quarterback play.

In July of 2017, just over a month before the Jayhawks’ first game, Gonzalez was dismissed from the football team due to an issue with his grades. With little time before the season started, Gonzalez joined Southeastern University, an NAIA school in Florida and a football powerhouse. He was eligible to play right away due to NAIA transfer rules.

LaQuvionte Gonzalez NFL Draft profile
Photo by Ben Queen, USA TODAY Sports

Gonzalez found Southeastern due to a connection he had with offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby. Lebby, a former assistant at Baylor, had recruited Gonzalez back when he was in high school.

Gonzalez said he choose Southeastern for more than just the football though. He enjoyed the competition in the SEC and Big 12 conferences, but got more out of his experience at Southeastern than just football.

“It’s a Christian school. So I just went there and I really did get closer to God,” Gonzalez said. “I really enjoyed that part. I enjoyed the football part too.”

Gonzalez had an incredible senior season, catching 60 passes for 1,018 yards and 10 touchdowns in just eight games. He averaged 127.3 yards per game, which ranked second in the NAIA, and 7.5 catches per game, which ranked fourth.

Gonzalez is now focused on preparing himself for the draft and making himself the best receiver he can be. He is working out with D-Rob, who has trained some of the NFL’s best receivers like Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders. Gonzalez is looking to improve things like his 40 yard dash time, vertical and route running.

Gonzalez is definitely a speedster as his fastest 40 yard dash time is 4.36. He is also working to improve his run-blocking skills. He believes he is a guy teams can count on to make plays.

“I feel like I’m a dynamic player,” he said. “If they need a guy to make a big play, I feel like I’m a guy they can go to.”

LaQuvionte Gonzalez Scouting report

While being 5-foot-11 won’t draw him any comparisons to Calvin Johnson, it is still ample height to be a receiver on the inside or outside of an offense, as receivers like Odell Beckham Jr. are that size and are stars. He will need to add some weight to his 175-pound frame to help fight through contact at the NFL level, but that should come with an NFL team’s weight-lifting program.

Gonzalez is quick off of the line of scrimmage at the snap of the ball. He finds the soft spots when going against zone coverage, while his speed helps him separate against man-to-man coverage. His route running is solid, but if improved, could really help him get open at the NFL level.

He catches the ball well, and once he gets the ball in his hands, he is hard to contain. Gonzalez has good agility and moves, which makes him hard to catch and tackle. As a senior in high school, Gonzalez was able to rush for nearly 1,500 yards, which is where he probably honed his ability to make people miss. He also uses these abilities to help him return punts and kicks, which is an asset he can use to make an NFL team.

At Kansas in 2016, he had a great season despite not having the greatest quarterback play. While facing the adversity of a losing season at Kansas, Gonzalez did not give up and played hard.

His speed will get him in the door with an NFL team, but if he can prove to block and run routes well, he could make the roster.

Full interview with LaQuvionte Gonzalez:

*Josh Burris interviewed Gonzalez, while Joe DiTullio provided the scouting report.

Featured image from fire.seu.edu

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