There are hundreds of stories being told during the planning and anticipation of the 2017 NFL Draft. Today we will be looking at a scouting report for troubling red-shirt sophomore wide out Ishmael Zamora, Baylor Bears.
WR-Ishmael Zamora, Baylor 6’4” 215 lbs.
This former Baylor Bear made the news in June of last year when a Snapchat video of him kicking and striking his dog with a belt multiple times turned up. He got charged with a Class C misdemeanor and got suspended three games by Baylor for his abhorrent conduct. Those actions also led him not to be invited to the NFL Combine. I do not condone what I saw in that appalling video and am a proud owner along with my wife of two rescue dogs. Much like my Joe Mixon scouting report , I will base this report on the things I saw as a high school football coach and educator in the four games I reviewed of the red shirt sophomore play maker: 2016 contests versus Oklahoma State, West Virginia, Boise State, and Texas. Most of these game videos are available via draftbreakdown.com. These are my thoughts:
Cons: Character is a big concern for Zamora, both on and off the field. His efforts varied greatly on plays that were designed for him versus plays that were not going his way. The young man seemed mostly disinterested in blocking for running backs or his quarterback until they were ten yards past the line of scrimmage, and then did a lot of bear hugging defenders instead of blocking. Some of the most successful NFL receivers, Antonio Brown and Julio Jones, are active blockers on every play or at least run routes to pull defenders away from the run. Zamora didn’t face a lot press coverage as he usually got a free release off the line of scrimmage, but that will not be the case at the next level. That brings me to my next point, the former Baylor Bear has limited college experience with only ten games as a starting receiver in 2016 and 13 other games (2015) as mostly a kickoff returner and fourth wide out. I’m not sure with his rawness and character concerns that he will be given enough time to develop at the next level.
Pros: The redshirt sophomore is very athletic and plays the receiver position with rare physicality; according to the http://www.baylorbears.com bio page for Zamora, the play maker ran a 4.47 40 yard dash, showed off explosion with a 39” vertical and 132” broad jumps, along with an impressive 6.58 second three cone drill. On the field, he loves fighting for contested receptions and does a great job shielding the pigskin from prying defensive backs. Most wide outs do not enjoy running routes in the middle of the field, but this young man does and takes the hits, then bounces right back up. He lines up on the outside, sometimes in the slot, and even once and awhile as a wildcat QB running threat. The former Bear tracks the ball well in the air, contorts himself to match where the pigskin is traveling while catching it as it’s highest point, and usually snares it in stride speeding down the gridiron. When Zamora is running a route, he shows good overall football awareness as he demonstrated when another wideout tipped the ball up, our protagonist reached out grabbing the pigskin and raced 47 yards down the sidelines for a score. The receiver has bouncy feet and uses double moves, spins, stiff-arms, or simply swats defenders out of his way with his strong upper body. He uses his power and strength quite well near the end zone, which makes him a strong scoring threat.
Overall impressions: The NFL and the majority of the fans forgave Michael Vick for his cruelty against dogs, but that was an established uniquely skilled player who still took awhile to get his footing back. While Zamora has the athleticism to be a good receiver at the next level, does he have the mental toughness and unselfishness to be successful? I’m not sure. If the former Baylor Bear goes to a team with strong disciplined coaching, I will probably give him a good chance as he was a high school track champion and fought his way back on the Baylor team despite public outcry. Otherwise the wide out could become just another selfish wannabe who gets washed out quickly. Good luck making a decision on drafting him, unlike Mixon who has the talent and plays from whistle to tackle, I’m torn as to whether I will grab Zamora in rookie drafts or not.
Thanks for reading. I will continue to discuss my scouting reports with you throughout the next month or so, please keep checking the site for more of my content. You can also follow me on Twitter @AndrewMiley.