Kennesaw State wide receiver Justin Sumpter didn’t go in the 2019 NFL Draft. I expected that to happen, but what I didn’t expect was to see that he hasn’t signed as an undrafted free agent yet. It’s obvious that NFL coaches and scouts don’t know a whole lot about him. Sumpter is a good receiver. I mean he’s a really good receiver. His biggest issue in college was he was in a run-first system.
The Owls thrive on their ground game. It’s their bread and butter. With the running back depth that they have, it’s no wonder why they run the ball a lot. Out of 900 plays in 2018, KSU ran the ball on 765 of them. That means they only passed on 15 percent of their plays. In 2017, the ratio was similar with the Owls running the ball 82 percent of the time. What this shows is that the wide receivers don’t get a lot of opportunities and a good receiver could go unnoticed. That’s exactly what happened with Justin Sumpter.
Sumpter led the Owls in receiving in all four years at KSU. He finished his collegiate career with 111 receptions, 1,989 yards, and 21 touchdowns. He has good receiver size in the NFL at 6’3″, 220lbs. What makes the Austell, GA native dangerous is his vertical ability. Sumpter has a 39.5 inch vertical and he uses his size and skill to outmatch defenders on fade routes. His strength is also impressive and another feature that NFL teams should love. He’s strong enough to power through presses and won’t get jammed at the line much. His adjustments once the ball is in the air is superb and he has big hands that helped him make several one-handed grabs in his career. Even in a run-heavy system, Sumpter was still a human highlight reel.
The negatives on Sumpter aren’t that major either. The biggest issues are FCS Football competition, lack of opportunities in games, and slightly slower for his size. Another negative was basic route running, but that’s the system he was dealt with. All of these issues are things that can be corrected with proper development. Every NFL prospect has some things that need to be tweaked or corrected. Sumpter’s issues are fairly minor to correct. So bringing him up to speed wouldn’t be a huge task.
I’m still shocked that Sumpter hasn’t been signed as an undrafted free agent because he’s a good fit in the NFL for several teams. He may not be an every-down starter, but he is a good situational receiver, especially in the red zone and short-yardage situations. He’s strong, athletic, and has good hands. Justin Sumpter may have slipped under the radar of NFL scouts, but this is a guy that can be a hidden gem if given the opportunity. And he deserves that opportunity.