Shaky quarterback play couldn't keep Texas Longhorns wide receiver Jaxon Shipley from becoming one of the most productive pass-catchers in school history.
With 218 receptions in his career, Shipley ranks No. 3 all-time at Texas in that category, while his 2,510 receiving yards rank No. 6. Three seasons of 50 or more catches puts the Brownwood product in elite company, as only two other receivers accomplished that feat while wearing burnt orange and white.
While battling through a hamstring injury that kept him out against TCU on Thanksgiving, the 6'0, 190-pounder recorded 59 catches for 577 yards and a touchdown as a senior.
At the Texas Pro Timing Day in March, Shipley posted the following testing results:
|40 time||Vert||Broad jump||Short shuttle||3-cone||Bench press|
|4.49 seconds||35 inches||10 feet||4.4 seconds||6.93 seconds||10 reps|
Shipley also impressed those in attendance with his work in individual drills:
Just heard this exact quote from scout: "No lie - Jaxon Shipley just went HAM on his pro day. He was ready to eat. Couldn't believe it."— Lance Zierlein (@LanceZierlein) March 24, 2015
Shipley was a consensus four-star prospect out of Brownwood ranked as the No. 92 player, the No. 12 wide receiver, and the No. 13 player in Texas and participated in the 2011 US Army All-American game.
- Hands -- Shipley was not only extremely reliable catching passes, but he was able and willing to elevate in traffic to bring down tough catches.
- Zone beater -- Finding holes in zone coverage and presenting a target for his quarterbacks was one of Shipley's best assets.
- Route-running ability -- Precise with his footwork and capable of sinking his hips in and out of his breaks, Shipley is a strong receiver technically. Can also sell his routes with his upper body.
- Injuries -- Like his older brother, Shipley was seemingly banged up every season in Austin, from a knee injury as a freshman to an ankle injury as a sophomore to a hip injury as a junior to a hamstring injury as a senior.
- Size and strength -- After arriving at Texas weighing a little over 183 pounds, Shipley didn't noticeably add a great deal of strength in Austin, gaining fewer than 10 pounds. He also has questionable size for the NFL at 6'0. Those two factors combine to make it difficult for him to beat physical cornerbacks in press-man coverage.
- Blocking ability -- Though always willing to throw his body around, the lack of size and strength for Shipley made it difficult for him to consistently execute blocks on the perimeter.
- Lack of explosiveness -- For a receiver with questionable size, Shipley didn't post an ideal testing time in the short shuttle and often failed to create separation on vertical routes in college.
Draft projection -- Undrafted free agent
Though there were some scouts impressed with Shipley's perfromance at the Texas Pro Timing Day, he'll have to earn a roster spot as an undrafted free agent, because there aren't any draft experts out there who believe that a team will select him with one of the 256 draft picks. CBSSports.com, for instance, ranks him as the No. 534 prospect.