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Why Jerrod Heard makes sense at WR

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Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

The moment Longhorn practices went closed, the word is that Jerrod Heard started trying to get open.  While this might end a chapter for #13 at QB, it opens up a new book for him elsewhere.

Why don't we develop him at QB to see "if the light turns on?"

Because his issues won't be addressed by experience.  Most QB coaches believe that elite accuracy - absent some obvious correctable mechanical issue - is already baked in the cake once you get an 18 year old.  While you all scramble for the 1 out of 10,000 counter-examples that prove the rule, Heard will be over on the JUGS machine.

Succinctly: his lateral throw/screen game is disastrous.  And he's not adept at dropping in a deep ball to a sideline tight rope.  A zippy rhythm throw to an outside receiver's upfield shoulder just isn't in his wheelhouse.  Without those components, this offense doesn't work.  There are offenses where Heard can be the signal caller, but this isn't one of them.

If he remained at QB, he becomes a three throw package zone read/draw specialist.

Why inside wide receiver?

Former average sized dual threat QB?  Now he's a big inside receiver with an explosive first step.

Heard understands route concepts from his time under center and QBs typically have great hands.  QB skills don't just translate from obvious physical archetypes: great athletic former QBs like Hines Ward, Julian Edelman, Josh Cribbs, Braxton Miller spring to mind, but they also translate with players like KU's Kerry Meier and even a young Ryan Tannehill.

His main gift is what this offense thrives on: quickness and playmaking.  A 10.2 100 meter sprinter is great for separation down the field, but an inside receiver needs immediate separation in a small area.  Jerrod is quick twitch - his first two steps are his best steps.  Pair that with a long frame and you create passing windows.  And he's not too bad with the ball in his hands after the catch, either.  Oddly enough, he could be a problem for defenses running the exact routes he struggles to throw as a QB.

Heard has a lot of catching up to do, but this is the best move for him and the team.


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