November 25, 2011

2012 Prospect Breakdown: Joel Zoungrana

WR Joel Zoungrana

6-0/183, Montreal (Quebec) Champlain-Lennoxville

What stands out: Zoungrana is much more athletic than almost everybody else on his highlight film. Plus, he catches passes in all kinds of ways.

The Canadian dives for balls in the end zones, out-jumps opponents in a crowd to come down with the ball and he can also outrun people once he gets into the open field. Zoungrana is also a solid route runner.

He can catch a screen and follow blocks and when corners are giving him a lot of space, Zoungrana puts his foot in the ground, comes back for passes and it wide open. What looks the best in Zoungrana's film is just how more athletic he is than his opponents. It doesn't seem like many cornerbacks can control him for very long and once he gets the ball in his hands he can break big plays all the time.

What needs work: One thing that might need work - or just wasn't shown in his highlight tape - was he didn't have many moves with the ball in his hands. He would run down the sidelines and sometimes get tracked down, albeit after a big game, but Zoungrana didn't show a really elite cutback move.

Adding something like that to his game would mean a lot because it would be something to keep defensive backs on their heels most of the game. He catches everything, has great hands, and can outrun a lot of his opponents, but if he could stop quickly and change direction that would be a big help.

How he fits in: Zoungrana fits in Boston College's offense well because he can catch short passes and follow blockers really well or go down the field and use his superior athletic ability to get behind cornerbacks and make big plays.

His athleticism will probably be equaled by defensive backs in the ACC but his route-running ability could make him stand out. He seems to know how to set up cornerbacks and then catch the ball all over the field. If he adds more moves to his game after he catches the ball to elude tacklers he would be even more lethal.

Bottom line: There will surely be an adjustment period for Zoungrana not only because the football field in America is shorter than the Canadian field but the athleticism will probably be at a different level.

He can dominate Canadian high school players but it's tough to gauge just how good he will be against some of the nation's top athletes. That could mean a redshirt year will allow him to adjust to the speed of the college game. He definitely has skills though, there's no question about that.


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