One of the most intriguing pick ups for the Jets in the off-season was Charone Peake, a seventh round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. Peake has a ton of potential, but injuries have limited his potential in college. Rivals.com ranked him as the 83rd overall recruit in the nation, a 4 star recruit in the same year that Sammy Watkins came out. Let’s examine his college tape to look at the positives and negatives in his game.
Charone Peake ran a 4.41 forty yard dash according to cbssports.com while nfldraftscout.com had him at 4.38 at his Pro-Day. While there is a discrepancy in the times, it’s pretty clear that the guy is fast.
This is a great example of his speed beating coverage. If you notice before the play starts, the CB is a good 7 yards off the line of scrimmage, and later in the play you can discern that the defense had 2 safeties back as well. The whole design of this play is to prevent a deep pass, yet he runs right past his defender and the safety. He shows great speed, and also good concentration as he catches the ball away from his body. The one admirable aspect of this catch is him using the body as a barrier against the defender. This is a subtle move, something that Marshall or Decker do on a consistent basis, that shows some advanced level of catching ability.
Another example of just great straight line speed, running right by his defender. There isn’t much information on No. 25, Brad Watson of Wake Forest, but NFLDraftScout.com projects a 40 yard time of 4.42, so this isn’t some line backer that Peake is running by. He makes clear separation from him, locates the ball and then hauls in the pass.
A back shoulder throw for a TD. This is a staple in NFL offenses now, and almost impossible to defend unless the defender is looking into the backfield. This is a man coverage counter measure, and Peake does a good job in driving the CB backwards, and then making a spinning catch. While it’s not exquisitely pretty, Peake accomplishes the mission by moving the CB away from the ball, making sure the only possibilities on this play is a TD or a dropped pass.
On this play in the National Championship game, Peake becomes open when the play breaks down, showing that he didn’t give up on the play. From another angle, the initial read is to Peake, but he wasn’t open, but he notices that the QB was in trouble, and runs towards the sideline. It’s a great throw and catch for the first down. The guy he is beating on this play is Marlon Humphrey, a 5 star recruit, who was considered the best CB prospect in his class, and a projected first round pick in 2018.
This is actually not a great, as Peake rounds off his cut, showing inconsistent route running (as you will later see, he does make sharp cuts at times) but makes up for it with a great catch. First of all, this ball is thrown as he’s making his cut, and also high. It speaks well for Peake to pick out the pass from the air with minimal time. A good amount of NFL passes are thrown before the WR has made his final move, so the quick recognition is a good sign for his ability to locate footballs. The ball is thrown high, but Peake does well to bring it in.
This is a simple outside WR screen, but it does show that Peake wasn’t just used to running go-routes. The WR screen is also a big option in the spread offense, therefore it should help in his transition to the NFL. There are two things that are important to note here. One, he doesn’t just take a lackadaisical step forward, and then look for the screen pass. He runs forward, which allows his other WR enough time to engage the CB for a block, opening up more space. Peake moves forward 2 yards, forcing the CB to be on his back-foot, allowing for the blocking WR to easily block him. It’s a small thing, but it does show good route selling ability. Two, he comes back for the ball a good 3-4 yards to make the catch. Too many times, a WR waiting for a screen, they stand stoically where they step back. In this case, moving back allows the guards enough space to run forward ahead of him and engage defenders, creating space.
On the outset, this is an easy completion that shouldn’t garner much fanfare. However, the thing to notice on this play is the distance in which the cut is made to the outside. Most unpolished WRs tend to have a tendency to round off their routes, alleviating the space between them and the CB, leading to more interceptions. Notice how Peake makes his cut cleanly and goes outside, maintaining the space between him and the defender. While it’s not as good as Odell Beckham Jr. or Jarvis Landry, this does show the ability to make sharp cuts on out routes. The other thing to notice on the play is the mirror aspect of this play, as you can see the same exact routes are run on either side of the formation. Chan Gailey loves to throw mirror sequences in the offense, because it allows the QB to discern at the line of scrimmage where the advantage is, while not overly complicating the routes for the wide receivers. This aspect transitions extremely well into the Jets offense.
Another screen (once again against Burns), and for a second time Peake shows an excellent ability to set up the screen. Peake runs forward for two yards, before coming back for the screen passes. By running back, he leads his defender right into his block, but also notices how Peake runs around his guard, so he can take the other CB in the area. Artie Burns recovers and slows down Peake enough that he can’t do much but a spin move against the safety, or this could have been a TD.
This is an excellent showcase of his route running ability, coming against a top tier player in Jalen Ramsey. From the onset, this is a slant pass, but Ramsey lines up in a formation to take out the inside pass by standing about half a yard to a yard inside of Peake. The stance gives Ramsey the positioning to jump an inside slant, but Peake runs a magnificent route. First of all, Peake fakes the inside slant from the get-go, trying to get Ramsey off-balance, but Ramsey recovers quickly. Peake sells the outside route well, forcing Ramsey to turn his hips, before Peake makes the final move inside. Notice how he uses his hands to move Ramsey further out to create space. Peake essentially creates a wide open pass for the QB against one of the best corners in the country by his route running on this play.
This is a personal favorite, because Peake does not give up on the play and provides an option for the QB when the play goes awry. Peake’s initial route is a simple 5 yard out, but the CB reads it perfectly, and Watson correctly refrains from throwing the ball. Pre-snap, Watson sees that the CB playing on Peake is behind the first yard marker, so he’s counting on him back-pedaling against the threat of speed, and having an easy completion. However, the defensive back holds his ground and then moves up anticipating the short throw, and the LB on the TE lined up outside, also jumps the out-route. At this point, the play is dead, Watson has committed to the left side for this play, is being chased by a DE, but Peake doesn’t stand still. He sees that the defensive back has crept up and is now locked eyes with Watson, and seizes the opportunity to run downfield for an open pass. Too many times in the past, Jets WRs tend to run their routes and then look dazed when a play is breaking down because they don’t improvise. Part of the issue is a lack of connection with the QB, not knowing where to run when there are no set guidelines. Forming a connection is the main idea behind QB camps run by guys like Manning, because the WR needs to be on the same page and know where the QB wants to go in such a situation.
This is a dual play breakdown. The first part of the dissection deals with a short route catch, and then refusing the be taken down as he steps out of bounds. There is nothing special about the catch aspect of it, the CB (first round pick Artie Burns) is giving him plenty of space, so they take advantage by running a short route. For a 2nd and 5 play, this is pretty much playing catch. The impressive part of this play is Burns trying to tackle Peake, and him basically being thrown around like a doll. On the second play, Burns is isolated in man coverage on Peake, and gets absolutely destroyed on the block. The block springs the QB, Deshaun Watson for a huge gain, and absolutely embarrasses Burns. The aspect that stands out about this play is how Peake sells the pass to Burns, throwing him off-balance. While Watson is faking an option run to the RB, Peake gives Burns a juke move as if he’s going to try and run by him, making Burns move back on his feet right as Peake pushes him back for the block. The timing and execution of this block is perfect.
Many Jets fans are weary of having unproven WRs with worlds of talent, because of second round bust Stephen Hill. Much like Peake, Hill was a magnificent athlete who did not produce as expected on the field. Hill showed flashes of ability, but frustrated the team and fans with terrible drops, lack of production, and losing contested passes. These cases will be referred to as Hill-aria.
The first case of Hill-aria comes in the form of an interception. The pass is a bit behind Peake, but he loses the fight for the ball to a much smaller DB. For a WR with the size and leaping ability of Peake, this has to be an in-completion at worst. This is pretty much a one on one fight with the defender and Peake loses the battle leading to a turnover at a critical point in the game.
While Peake shows good blocking abilities at times, he looks confused at times out on the field. On this play, he strives too much to sell his route and doesn’t realize the timing of this play. He misses his block on the CB, who ends up making the tackle for a loss. This play didn’t stand much of a chance from the start, because the RB is re-routed in the backfield, and the LBs chase down the play. However, this play highlights the inconsistency in which Peake blocks at times.
Another example of Peake whiffing on run blocking, as he misses both his own assignment and then misses the secondary option. The CB that was to be blocked by Peake blows up the play, as Peake looked around like Kevin Love on a pick and roll. The design of this play was intricate. Peake was to block the inside CB, with the QB running towards them. The second CB was then going to be forced to pick between the WR and the QB. If he runs towards the QB, then the WR runs down the field and Watson passes the ball to him in the last second. If the CB decides to stick to the WR by the edge, then Watson has a running lane to run down the field. However, the whole play falls apart because of Peake’s inability to block.
In the biggest case of Hill-aria, Peake drops a TD pass that hits him in the hands right around the chest. While there are arms around the ball distracting his vision, this is an inexcusable dropped pass. The ball is placed perfectly, and it’s a catch that has to be made.
Another case of Hill-aria, with an easy drop on a screen pass. This is very similar to something Stephen Hill demonstrated a consistent basis, trying to start running before securing the ball. Everything else on this play is good, and he has a chance to make something off of the screen pass, but just flat out drops the pass.
An escalation of Hill-aria, as Peake tries to start running before he secures the ball. This is an easy catch, there is no one between him and the QB, alas it’s a clear sight with the ball, but he drops the pass. This may not have led to a big gain, but it would have been positive yardage, and shows that Peake’s internal clock in terms of catching and running are a bit off.
This is a bad play on many ends. He runs a deep out route that is rounded off, but finds an easy spot between the LB and the safety, for what should be a sizable completion. The throw is a bit high and hot, but Peake drops the ball again. It looks as if he was concerned about getting down in-bounds and didn’t concentrate as much as he should have on the ball.
- Great straight line speed, shows an innate ability to separate down the field
- Not a raw route runner, ran a good amount of routes at Clemson
- Hard runner to bring down after the catch, tends to fight for yards
- Shows the ability to block fluidly when it’s the primary job
- Shows the ability to make tough catches
- System is somewhat similar to the one run by Chan Gailey
- Shows ability to make precise cuts at times
- Can shake the best defenders with his route running at times
- Major drop issues, mainly concentration drops
- Has trouble blocking when it’s a secondary option (on option plays mainly)
- Sometimes has a tendency to round off his routes
- Lack of major production on a consistent basis, especially after No. 1 WR got injured
- Injury History
Draft Comparison: Stephen Hill
The similarities to Hill are pretty close, although as a 7th round prospect, it looks much more promising than a 2nd round prospect. They both came from teams that were considered excellent at developing WRs (Calvin Johnson and Demarius Thomas for Georgia Tech, DeAndre Hopkins, Sammy Watkins, and Martavius Bryant for Clemson) while not producing outrageous numbers. They both had problems with concentration drops, and need time to develop. However, Peake won’t be thrown into the fire similar to Peake, there are clear cut guys ahead of him that should help him develop.
Clemson is just absolutely loaded at WR. Mike Williams is a projected first round pick next season, Artavius Scott is a play maker, and Deon Cain is probably the next great Clemson WR. This is truly WR University right now, which benefits Deshaun Watson immensely.
Please join us in our discussion about Charone Peake and all other draft picks on our forum.