High School and College Career
Elijah Higgins from Bowie High School was a highly rated 4-star recruit rating and he decided to join Stanford University.
Upon joining the Stanford Cardinals football team, Higgins saw playing time as a freshman, appearing in 11 games but unfortunately did not make any receptions, resulting in no yards, no touchdowns, and a QB rating of 39.6 when targeted.
As a sophomore in 2020, Higgins played in six games, recording 15 catches for 176 yards, averaging 11.7 yards per catch, but still no touchdowns. His QB rating improved to 52.1 when targeted.
During his junior year in 2021, his skill and hard work paid off as he played in 10 games and made significant contributions to his team. Higgins received 44 catches for 502 yards, with an average of 11.4 yards per catch and four touchdowns. His QB rating when targeted saw a significant jump to 98.8.
In his final year as a senior in 2022, Higgins played in all 12 games for the Cardinals, improving his statistics even further. With 59 catches for 704 yards, he averaged 11.9 yards per catch and recorded two touchdowns.
Elijah Higgins Scouting Report Introduction
Elijah Higgins, a wide receiver for Stanford, has not received much attention in college football or the NFL draft conversation due to playing on a lackluster team. While he possesses physical tools and traits, he has not translated them to produce at a high level, although he did become a prominent factor for the Cardinals’ offense in 2021. However, expectations were higher for Higgins and this passing attack but they never lived up to them.
Higgins was a highly ranked high school recruit, receiving four-star consensus recognition and being a three-sport athlete in basketball, track, and football. His athleticism is evident and obvious, with a football background as his father played at the University of South Florida. He has played in almost every game throughout his college career, showcasing his durability and commitment to the sport.
One of the main strengths in Higgins’ game is his size and frame. He is a rare example of a wide receiver who is built like Higgins. He is projected as a developmental possession big-slot receiver or potential tight end convert, with a specialty in the middle-of-the-field. He achieves success with in-breaking routes and crossers, much like slot receivers and tight ends. Higgins effectively runs routes with good pacing to use his stem and win the leverage battle, which makes him a dangerous threat in the middle field.
Higgins’ strength and physicality are some of his most valuable assets on the field. He has the frame and play strength to win the inside track and box out defenders, often resembling a power forward in basketball. Additionally, his positioning is strong, and he has the hands and catch radius to snatch the ball in the air away from his frame. His speed is not immediate but rather built up, which allows him to pull away from defenders once he’s opened his stride. Higgins also demonstrates excellent ball skills, extending for passes that are helmet or higher.
Despite having strengths in his game, Higgins has some concerns in his ability to become a three-level perimeter receiver at the next level due to his lack of sudden or immediate vertical speed. He has not encountered much press/bump-and-run coverage, leaving his release package underdeveloped. Additionally, there are concerns about whether he will remain a wide receiver or make the transition to playing full-time tight end in the NFL. Higgins does not run a well-rounded route tree for the Cardinals’ offense, instead relying on his strengths of cross-field and in-breaking routes. Changing direction with suddenness is something that limits his ability to generate separation.
Lastly, Higgins’ NFL future will depend largely on the position his coaches want him to play. The mismatch he creates for linebackers and nickel cornerbacks is worth noting when projecting him to the league. There is a wide range of outcomes for Higgins in the NFL, with league comparisons including Anquan Boldin, A.J. Brown, Bryan Edwards, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and Allen Lazard. He is a fascinating prospect and case study that offers a tantalizing skill set. However, he will need time and a proper usage plan to maximize his potential in the NFL.
His superb route-running ability is a standout feature, as he naturally understands how to set up defensive backs to create separation. This, coupled with his outstanding balance, allows him to power through arm tackles easily.
Higgins’ speed is another noteworthy attribute that makes him such a dominant force on the field. Despite his large frame, he has the speed and agility to outrun and outmaneuver many of his opponents.
One of Higgins’ strongest suits is his ability to escape defenders at the line of scrimmage. He has quick reflexes and the physical strength needed to easily fight off defenders. When it comes to catching the ball, Higgins’ hand-eye coordination is superb. He’s a versatile player, capable of making plays from a variety of positions on the field. He is equally effective in the slot as well as on the perimeter, allowing coaches to use him in different ways to confuse their opponents. His route running, balance, vision, speed, strength, and coordination all contribute to his success on the football field. He is a dependable weapon who can make plays at any level, making him a valuable asset to any team fortunate enough to have him on their roster.
He lacks explosiveness, which makes it difficult for Higgins to get open against tight coverage or elite cornerbacks consistently. To make matters worse, he struggles with contested catches. While he has the size and strength to battle for the ball against defenders, he doesn’t seem to have the same level of success in these situations as some other top receivers. This could be due to a variety of factors, including his lack of twitchiness, his inability to create separation, or simply a lack of refinement when it comes to his technique for getting open in tight spots.
Overall, it’s clear that Elijah Higgins is a strong, physical receiver who can be a valuable asset in the passing game in certain situations. However, his limitations in creating separation could make it difficult for him to consistently get open against elite defenses, and his struggles with contested catches could limit his effectiveness in other key areas as well. Despite these weaknesses, though, Higgins does bring a lot of strengths to the table that could make him a valuable player on any team looking for a big-bodied receiver who can make an impact downfield.
Elijah Higgins is the 117th prospect on our draft big board.