Pro Football Network went through an entertaining exercise of trying to build the perfect wide receiver prospect for the NFL Draft. The website selected Notre Dame wide receiver Chase Claypool’s physical build. It picked Alabama’s Henry Ruggs III for speed. When it came to the best hands in the NFL Draft, the website picked Virginia’s Hasise Dubois.
The senior snagged 75 receptions without a drop in 2019. He was targeted 110 times without dropping a single pass, according to Pro Football Focus. That led the nation.
Yet, largely due to questions about his speed, finding a mock draft that includes Dubois is like searching for a needle in a haystack. Most draft analysts see Dubois, who amassed 1,062 receiving yards on the season and excelled against the top defenses on UVa’s schedule, as an undrafted free agent pickup.
With speed as a concern, Dubois is training with his brother, Ishmeal Robbins, in New Jersey. Robbins ran track in high school and in college and still competes, and he’s teaching Dubois how to add explosiveness to his game through running.
Dubois’ older brother believes NFL teams don’t know what they’re missing.
“I’m his biggest fan,” Robbins said. “I’m always sharing stuff, and I’m like, ‘How do you see a guy that has no drops and you don’t invite him to the combine?’ Because of speed? Like that doesn’t make any sense, man.”
The duo has worked together on Dubois’ speed for the last month and a half. In that time, Robbins says Dubois’ flexibility has improved, and he’s added speed and mobility through their training. He believes Dubois’ ceiling as a receiver sits at a lofty mark, especially as Dubois becomes faster and combines consistent speed with reliable hands and a big frame.
“I want him to be somebody like Ted Ginn,” Robbins said. “When he gets the ball and he gets in front, there’s nobody catching him from behind.”
Reaching Ginn’s level of speed will be a major challenge. The former Ohio State star reportedly ran a 40-yard dash in 4.28 seconds coming out of college. Dubois expected something closer to 4.50 at UVa’s Pro Day, which was canceled.
Despite not having mind-blowing speed at the moment, a 40-yard dash time of 4.5 seconds is competitive with other draft prospects. Dubois also believes his training with his brother gives him an advantage over other players in the draft who aren’t following a track-centric workout program.
“I feel as though doing all these track workouts will make me stronger,” Dubois said. “I have better endurance. I think it worked out for the best for me since everyone was worrying about my speed.”
Robbins praised Dubois’ training at the end of March, and said his brother should show tremendous signs of improvement in April as they work on both flexibility and endurance. The duo runs everything from 100-meter sprints to 400-meter sprints, and they’ve even done some workouts pushing cars to improve leg drive.
Flexibility is one area Robbins pinpointed early in their training as a spot his brother can improve. As they’ve worked on loosening Dubois’ hips, he’s seen improvement on Dubois’ 40-yard dash times. Both believe the work they’re putting in on the track will pay off for Dubois on the field.
Missing out on a chance to run at Pro Day hurts Dubois’ chances of being selected in the NFL Draft as scouts still wonder about his speed. His catch radius and sure hands are proven commodities, but speed remains the one area of Dubois’ game that’s unproven.
Dubois did say some recent feedback he received leads him to believe that he’ll be selected in the draft.
“I was speaking to a couple [scouts], and they were just saying, ‘It’s very unfortunate that Pro Day didn’t happen,’ but they’re glad that I had the senior season that I had,” Dubois said. “He said, ‘Just keep faith in that,’ and they believe my senior season will definitely get me picked in the draft.”
If Dubois does earn a selection in the draft, it’ll likely come in the final few rounds of the draft. It’s a loaded draft class at wide receiver. Athlon Sports ranks Dubois as the 56th best wide receiver prospect in the draft.
For perspective, only 28 wide receivers were drafted a season ago.
Losing Pro Day hurt Dubois’ chances of showcasing his improved speed, but his game tape speaks for itself. He hopes that can earn him a spot in the draft. If it doesn’t, Dubois will compete for an NFL roster spot as an undrafted free agent.
“I told him, I said, ‘Make those NFL scouts, make those teams hate that they didn’t pick you up,’” Robbins said.