2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Stanford WR Simi Fehoko

Brian Lamb
Brian Lamb is the owner of NFL Draft Lounge and has covered the NFL Draft since 2011. Brian is also the owner of the Infinity Sports Network, which NFL Draft Lounge belongs to.

Every year in the NFL Draft, we see an NFL wide receiver that measures off the charts and looks insane on film. For instance, D.K. Metcalf, who measured 6’3″ at the NFL Combine, then ran a 4.33 40-yard dash. This year, Stanford’s Simi Fehoko could be that type of prospect, as we’ll explain in this 2021 NFL Draft scouting report.

Over the next few pages, we’ll examine Fehoko’s high school recruitment and collegiate career. Next, we’ll turn on the game film and identify what we like, as well as what we don’t like, on tape. Finally, we’ll look at some pros and cons from our scouting report before predicting his NFL future.

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Background

Going out of Brighton High School in Cottonwood Heights, Utah, Fehoko was a consensus four-star recruiting prospect. Additionally, all three major recruitment websites had Fehoko listed as a top two player in the state. Prior to his commitment to Stanford, Fehoko had offers from Michigan, Arizona State, and Colorado. In February of 2016, Simi Fehoko signed his letter of intent, and enrolled in classes in June.

As a freshman in 2018, Fehoko appeared in four games, which allowed him to retain a year of eligibility per NCAA rules. Despite playing in four games, Fehoko only recorded one catch for six yards in a game against Oregon State.

2019 saw Fehoko start in one game, but played in 12 games for the Stanford Cardinals. He finished with 24 receptions for 566 receiving yards and six touchdowns. However, the most impressive stat from the 2019 season might be Fehoko’s 23.6 receiving yards per reception average.

With the Pac-12 playing a shortened 2020 season due to the coronavirus, Simi Fehoko appeared in six games, and started in four, for Stanford. He finished with 37 receptions for 574 yards and three touchdowns. Additionally, Fehoko was named to the All-Pac 12 First-Team by the AP, Coaches, and Phil Steele.

 

What I Like About Simi Fehoko

As with all of our scouting reports, we like to embed game film that best identifies what we like in an NFL Draft prospect’s tape. Below, we’ve included three clips for Simi Fehoko. You can find the first clip embedded down below.

 

Finding Space In Zone Coverage

In this clip, Simi Fehoko does a great job of identifying zone coverage and sitting in the gap. This isn’t a sexy play, but given how often Fehoko found himself lining up as an interior receiver, these are the types of plays that he’s accustomed to. With three defensive players surrounding him, Fehoko isn’t going to take this one to the house. However, he finds the gap in coverage, sits on the ball, and makes the catch for positive yardage.

 

Creating Separation and Acceleration

Simi Fehoko displays solid footwork here to create separation off the line of scrimmage. By planting his foot outside, he creates the leverage to break inside with speed. More so, the defender has to account for this, which means that he can’t continue to mirror the receiver. Once he makes his break, Fehoko accelerates across the field and makes the catch between the hashes.

 

Footwork To Create Space At Top Of The Route

I’ve watched this play over and over again. Each time, I’m amazed at how everything comes together. Fehoko accelerates off the line of scrimmage, and after a few stutter steps, breaks outside right behind the perimeter receiver. The play design puts Simi Fehoko in position, but his footwork is what makes this one successful. Furthermore, the ball is right on the money as Fehoko accelerates upfield, and outside the numbers, for additional yardage.

 

What I Dislike About Simi Fehoko

On the previous page, we looked at three clips that identified what Simi Fehoko did well for the Stanford Cardinals. Below, we’ve embedded three clips that spotlights areas where Fehoko must improve. For the first clip, we head to Cal for a Pac-12 conference matchup.

 

Quickness Out Of Break

Given that Simi Fehoko is listed at 6’4″, I don’t expect him to cut in and out of breaks like other interior receivers. However, this effort does concern me. In the NFL, Fehoko would be eaten alive by the defense. I’d love to see Fehoko sink his hips and drive out of the break, rather than what we see above.

 

Locate The Ball Quickly At Top Of Route

This play, maybe more than most that we’ve embedded in this scouting reports, best resembles what role Simi Fehoko would have in the NFL. On this play, he’s working within five yards of the line of scrimmage. The defensive coverage gives him the separation necessary for the quarterback to deliver the ball, which he does. While the ball is a bit out in front of Fehoko, it’s still catchable, especially for a 6’4″ wide receiver. I don’t know if he wasn’t expecting the ball right out of his break, or just simply mishandled the catch, but NFL coaches won’t be very understanding.

 

Catch Radius

Here’s another exampled of a dropped pass. Simi Fehoko has plenty of space around him to catch this one cleanly. In fact, the nearest defender is three or four yards away, which is way more than he’ll see in the NFL. Had Fehoko caught this pass, it’s likely a first down, if not more. Instead, it puts the Stanford Cardinals behind the eight-ball.

 

Simi Fehoko NFL Draft Scouting Report

 

Pros
  • Footwork
  • Ability To Create Separation
  • Identifies Coverage Quickly

 

Cons
  • Limited Route Tree
  • Catch Radius
  • Quickness Out Of Breaks At Top Of The Route

 

The Verdict

As we’ve explained in this NFL Draft scouting report, Stanford’s Simi Fehoko, who measures in at 6’4″, is a matchup nightmare. His footwork and ability to create separation are what helps to set Fehoko apart from the rest of the 2021 NFL Draft class.

However, Simi Fehoko has several areas where he must improve. There were numerous dropped passes, which concerns NFL decision makers. Additionally, his quickness out of breaks needs to be improved. Fehoko ran a limited route tree at Stanford, but appears to have the abilities and traits to run an expanded tree.

Simi Fehoko could come off the board in the middle of day three, putting him in the fifth-to-sixth round. However, if a team falls in love with his measurables, we could see Fehoko sneak into the fourth round, although I find that unlikely. Furthermore, look for Fehoko to end up on a team that has a need for an interior wide receiver. Even so, it’s likely that Fehoko spends his first season on an NFL practice squad.

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