2022 NFL Draft Profile: Utah State WR Savon Scarver
The Aggies’ return specialist had a memorable college football career, but does he offer enough skills to carve out a niche in the NFL?
Is there room for Scarver at the next level?
The Mountain West has been blessed with a crop of top-end specialists over the past handful of seasons, including Utah State’s Savon Scarver. A product of Las Vegas high school powerhouse Centennial, Scarver contributed immediately upon his arrival in Logan and gave fans a taste of what was to come with a 96-yard kickoff return touchdown in the 2017 Arizona Bowl, the first in Aggies history.
It would be the first of seven kick return touchdowns in Scarver’s college career, tied for the most in NCAA history, the beginning of a journey which included being named a consensus All-American in 2018 and a first-team all-Mountain West selection in both 2018 and 2019. Will that dynamism be enough to hear his name called at this year’s NFL Draft, though?
Measurables (taken from Dane Brugler and DraftScout.com)
Height – 5′ and 10 3/4″
Weight – 184 pounds
40-yard time – 4.44 seconds
10-yard split time – 1.56 seconds
Arm length – 31 3/4″
Hand size – 9 7/8″
Wingspan – 75 1/2″
Vertical jump – 38″
Broad jump – 10′ and 8″ (or 128″)
Shuttle time – 4.43 seconds
3-cone drill time – 6.99 seconds
Bench press – 14 reps
All-American Savon Scarver showed just how fast you can run a 100-yard dash in the snow, returning this kick from endzone to endzone in the Aggies' 36-10 victory over Nevada last season. #AggiesAlltheWay #TouchdownTuesday pic.twitter.com/PkDbiAYqsV
— Utah State Athletics (@USUAthletics) October 21, 2020
To be a successful kick returner, you have to possess the requisite speed and vision to find a lane and get through as fast as possible. It seems pretty obvious, then, that Scarver possesses both.
That athleticism could translate to working out of the slot, as well, though he was never asked to do that much by any of the three head coaches (Matt Wells, Gary Andersen, Blake Anderson) he played under at Utah State. In the occasions where he was asked to play the deep threat, however, he showed the capacity to do so.
Is there room for a kickoff specialist in the NFL these days? New rules implemented over the last handful of seasons have removed that element of the game to some degree in the name of player safety, so the need for a skill set like Scarver’s may not be as in demand as it may have been a decade ago.
More to the point, will he be able to contribute in other ways on an NFL roster? Scarver was never more than a marginal piece of Utah State’s offense as a wide receiver, totaling just 55 receptions in his five years with the Aggies while seeing his yards per catch dip year after year, and he never returned punts, either. There’s a chance he may be asked to do both, so his ability to step up could go a long way toward hanging around in the pros.
Scarver’s standing among draft prospects is perhaps more fraught than it should be through no fault of his own. Niche players find a way into the continually evolving NFL every year, but he’ll have to prove, one way or another, he can do more than return kicks. Because of that, it doesn’t seem likely that he’ll hear his name called at the NFL Draft, but the obvious tools will be too good to pass up and he’ll definitely get scooped up as an undrafted free agent.