Patriots Prospect Profile: Khalil Shakir

April 19, 2022

There has been a lot of talk about what New England will do in the first round of the upcoming NFL draft. Most of the experts believe in a defensive pick.

However, Is anyone talking about the second round? Let’s get a weapon for Mac Jones. A possible candidate is Khalil Shakir, a four-year starter from Boise State.

Since Julian Edelman retired in 2020 The Patriots have had no answer at that slot position. They’ve lacked that chain-mover, a player like Khalil could be that next impact guy.

Khalil Shakir is a great player and if everything about him is true he is an even better person. This is the type of guy who fights for every inch whistle to whistle. He is dangerous in space because of his quickness. He also has a nose for the endzone having at least six touchdowns in every season.

What Can Khalil Shakir Do?

At six feet flat weighing 187 pounds, he doesn’t lack size. He does, however, have a shorter wingspan but he makes up for it with body control and positioning. He really understands the soft spots in zone coverages which allows him to get in the open field, this is where he is an issue for defenses.

Shakir played mostly out of the slot in college but his game isn’t limited to that. He was also used on direct snaps, jet sweeps, and in the screen game. Khalil can also be used for returning kicks and punts.

In a live interview on Good Morning Football, he was asked who he tries to model his game after the most. Shakir’s answer was Cooper Kupp, after watching his tape I understand what he means. I am not saying he is near Kupp’s level now.

However, watching him get open, then stop shimmy, and then wiggle his way for an extra 15 yards reminds me of what Kupp does. Shakir needs more refinement in his route running to unlock what he can become. Kupp’s route running is nearly perfect at this point.

Just the fact Khalil Shakir wants to model his game after one of the hardest working receivers in the game is reason to take a look at him. Not to mention he has no diva aspect like other receivers. He comes in quiet and humble and leaves with a win and a stuffed stat sheet.

The Fit

The Patriots only have Kendrick Bourne under contract past 2024 all of the other pass-catchers contracts expire in 2023. Mac Jones needs someone he can grow with. Particularly to find crossing the middle of the field.

Shakir has a great feel for the depth of his routes and understanding of where to become open when facing zone coverage. Jones would look to him early and often.

Khalil Shakir wouldn’t have to wait until 2024 to make his mark on the team either. His usage on special teams would make him a day one contributor which is something Belichick covets from his players.

Shakir is tough enough to hold his own in the blocking game however it is not a strength of his yet, but willingness is important as well.

If drafted in the second round he would climb above Nelson Agholor on the depth chart quickly, unless Nelson thrives in the slot role. He has had success there but Shakir is the more typical slot player The Patriots have a history of producing.

My pro comp for Khalil Shakir would be Patriots legend, Troy Brown. He played all over the field and was an impact even though he wasn’t as big, fast, or, strong as a lot of other players.

Both bring the maximum effort to every play. They both gladly take any assignment. They are both underrated.

Other Comments

“He is a good hands-catcher, although there are instances of him allowing the ball into his frame. There are not many instances of him dropping passes in games I evaluated.” Drae Harris The Draft Network

“Better person than player and he is a hell of a player. You have to make your focus all the things he does well because he’s going to keep doing them as a pro.” — Personnel director for AFC team

“Overall, Shakir can step in right away for most NFL offenses as a No. 3 weapon who can play inside and outside and also be productive on various concepts like receiver screens and designed runs. He also has punt return experience that will help him carve out a role right away.” Nate Tice Bleacher Report

“Shakir brings a lot to the table. Before the catch, he has the smooth athleticism, explosiveness, and hip sink to find separation. In zone, he has great blind-spot awareness, which he uses to masterfully exploit defensive backs. At the catch, Shakir’s phenomenal, instinctive acrobatic ability is well-advertised. After the catch, he’s a slippery runner with some elusiveness in the open field.” Ian Cummings Pro Football Network

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