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Film Review: USC wide receiver Jordan Addison is a multi-talented receiving threat

The former Pitt Panther wideout makes plays all over the field.

NCAA Football: Southern California at Utah Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

The arrival of new Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Kadarius Toney has created a buzz around the team’s wide receiver corps. Rookie Skyy Moore has not been integrated into the offense as much as we expected the second-round pick might have been by this point of the season. The team's leading wideout — veteran Juju Smith-Schuster — is signed only through 2022; his long-term future is unclear.

But there are plenty of talented wide receivers who will be available in the 2023 NFL Draft. One of them is USC’s Jordan Addison, who is in his first season with the Trojans after playing the 2020 and 2021 seasons with the Pittsburgh Panthers.

Standing 5 feet 11 and weighing in at 175 pounds, Addison is considered to be one of the top playmakers in college football. His 1,593 receiving yards (and 17 touchdowns) in 2021 secured him the Fred Biletnikoff Award, which is presented annually to college football’s best wide receiver. With USC in 2022, he’s collected 585 receiving yards and seven touchdowns.

Addison is currently sidelined with a knee injury. The effect that could have on his draft status is unknown — but he is expected to return to action for USC this season.

Let’s head to the film.

Jordon Addison • WR • USC

Here, Addison puts a nice route on the defender, who is playing press coverage at the line of scrimmage. Using his quick feet — which he often utilizes to create early separation — he hesitates, freezing the defender before heading inside to set up his break back to the sideline. He finishes the play in the end zone by beating his man to the goal line with his speed.

This is the kind of red-zone skillset the Chiefs would be likely to value highly.

On this downfield play, we see Addison run a deep in-breaking route. The cornerback allows an eight-yard cushion — anticipating something deep — but Addison still comes open, making a nice contested catch through contact and maintaining possession to set up the offense with first-and-goal.

In this clip, we see plenty of versatility in Addison’s skillset as he motions into the backfield. He catches the swing pass before slicing his way between two tacklers. His fight (and will to finish) is nicely displayed by his awareness to reach across the goal line with the ball, putting six points on the scoreboard.

We have seen the wrinkles Kansas City head coach Andy Reid likes to use around the goal line; Addison would fit into those wrinkles nicely.

Addison can also take a quick pass the distance — like on this screen play.

He executes his route nicely, using hard downfield steps before cutting in to set up the blocks. He secures the catch, allows the blocks to develop and then shows his burst. Once again, we see him finish the play with a score.

Here’s a true deep shot where Addison tracks the pass nicely for an over-the-shoulder snag. He runs a crisp route — and once he sees the ball in the air, he leverages himself more downfield to get into position for the catch. With a defender closing in, he hauls the ball in. Then he breaks a tackle, keeping his balance to reach pay dirt on a 75-yard touchdown reception.

Here’s the end zone angle for the same catch.

Here’s another nice route, in which Addison breaks out as the defender’s hips turn in, forcing the defensive back to rotate. Then Addison then breaks back in, taking advantage of the defender being out of position and getting wide open. While the defender is able to recover well enough to prevent a touchdown, Addison does his job on this nasty route and catch.

The bottom line

Throughout the draft process, Jordan Addison’s playing strength will come into question, but he has the footwork and speed to create space without muscling through people. Adding strength, however, will never be a bad thing; the 20-year-old will continue to mature physically, so more strength will come. At this moment, Addison is considered to be a first-round pick — but a lot can happen between now and draft day. If he is available, the Chiefs could be in the market.

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