In Palmer’s sole season with Nebraska he quickly established himself as the Huskers’ go to receiver catching 71 passes for 1,043 yards and 9 touchdowns. Palmer continued his upward trajectory with a solid Senior Bowl while also turning in the fastest 40 yard dash time for any receiver at the Combine. As the draft approaches, here is a look at my Trey Palmer NFL Scouting Report.
Hand: 9 ½”
Arm: 31 ⅞“
Trait Grade: 7.2/10 (Above Average)
Projection Grade: 6.5/10 (Backup with Starter Ability)
Projection: 3rd or 4th Round
- Elite speed to get behind cornerbacks and safeties on vertical routes
- Effortless speed allows him to burst off the line and accelerate to a second gear
- Uses his speed deep to set up underneath routes
- Natural hands catcher who can make adjustments on balls outside of his frame
- Tracks the ball well on deep passes
- Body control to go up and high point the ball in the air
- Uses leverage well to gain position on vertical routes
- Experience returning kicks and punts
- Not a crisp route runner who often rounds his cuts
- More of a straight line athlete that lacks the wiggle to make defenders miss
- Doesn’t sink his hips well which limites his ability to make crips stops at the stem
- Can run a bit high and loose causing him to struggle to make quick cuts while at top speed
- Competitive effort as a blocker but lacks the strength to lock on and occupy defenders
After struggling to see the field consistently at LSU, Trey Palmer came to Nebraska looking for an opportunity. Palmer took that opportunity and ran with it, quickly becoming Nebraska’s top offensive playmaker.
At his best, Trey Palmer wins with his burst and 4.33 speed to run past the defensive backfield to generate big plays down the field. But Palmer is much more than just running straight down the field as he’s able to use body leans and quick cuts at full speed to help create separation and then use his ball tracking skills to run underneath the pass.
From there Palmer can use the threat of going vertical to set up his underneath routes. While Palmer can push defenders deep and then roll out, he struggles to sink his hips which allows him to make that hard break back. Because of this, it really limits Palmer as a route runner making it tougher for him to create separation underneath.
Speed may be the name of his game, Palmer is a natural hands catcher. His ability to make the routine catches while also going outside his frame. There were plenty of times where Palmer had to go low or reach back to make catches while also showing the ability to leap up and high point the ball.
The NFL is a passing league and speed is always coveted. We’ve seen receivers like Ted Ginn Jr., John Ross and Will Fuller all go in the first round as one dimensional deep threats. While I don’t think that Palmer will come close to the first round, his ability to make plays down the field, as a return man should generate a lot of interest from NFL teams.
Trey Palmer is likely going to be a 3rd or 4th round pick and viewed as a quality number three receiver who could grow into a quality two with plenty of special teams upside as a returner and on coverage units.