North Texas Daily

COLUMN: Jalen Guyton should wait a year

COLUMN: Jalen Guyton should wait a year

COLUMN: Jalen Guyton should wait a year
January 18
17:26 2019

AJ Brown from Ole Miss. N’Keal Harry from Arizona State. Marquis Brown from Oklahoma. Hakeem Butler from Iowa State. Riley Ridley from Georgia.

These are some of the big time prospects wide receivers coming to the NFL, according to CBS SPORTS.

Do you know what all these receivers have in common? They lead in all three of the following categories for their respective teams: receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns, except for Brown, who has one less touchdown than standout sophomore receiver CeeDee Lamb from Oklahoma.  

But redshirt junior receiver Jalen Guyton from North Texas recently, through a Twitter post, chose to forgo his last year of eligibility and declare for the NFL Draft. Guyton, a four-star prospect coming out of Allen High School, went along to fill his college dream by signing with Notre Dame, where he sat during his freshman year.

Guyton had a breakout season as a redshirt freshman with Trinity Valley, where he accumulated 45 passes for 968 yards and 12 touchdowns in 12 games. After that season he was ranked the fourth-best wide receiver in the 2017 class by 247Sports and sixth-best junior college prospect in Texas by the 247Sports Composite ranking system.

For the Mean Green, Guyton accumulated 103 catches, 1,580 yards and 15 touchdowns in two seasons under head coach Seth Littrell.

But does that mean he’s NFL ready? With star receivers in the NFL such as Antonio Brown, Julio Jones, A.J Green and so many more, Guyton has such a long way to go in order to compete for a spot on an NFL roster let alone compete for a spot on the field.

Guyton’s third year of eligibility didn’t go quite the way many critics hoped it would. He wasn’t even the most productive receiver on the Mean Green, with junior Rico Bussey Jr. leading the way.

Unlike Guyton, Bussey made first team All-Conference USA and ranks seventh in the nation in touchdown catches (12), and No. 28 in receiving yards (1,017) while tagging 68 catches during the regular season.

So with him not even being the top receiver on his team this season and barely making the top ten in his conference, he’s already susceptible to a lot of criticism.

The NFL is already transitioning to more of a passing league with more dominant offenses such as the Chiefs, Rams and Saints. So it is more lucrative for receivers to beat one-on-one matchups and have big-time games to create more problems for defenses.

Guyton has faced some really good defensive backs this season including Amik Robertson, Louisiana Tech’s star sophomore defensive back. Guyton had a decent performance but only racked up 5 catches for 51 yards and no touchdowns in that big loss to the Bulldogs to give the Mean Green their first loss of the season.

Another not-so-well performance against great defensive backs was against Texas-El Paso senior defensive back Nik Freedman, who holds the record for the Miners in pass breakups with 33. In that game, Guyton only had one catch for 13 yards.

Guyton has potential to become a great NFL receiver. However, between not being the No.1 receiver on his team and not having great numbers against notable defenses and defensive backs, he has a lot of room for improvement that teams in the NFL don’t have the patience for.

Any athlete always has the dream of being a professional but not many have the opportunity to make those dreams come to life. While Guyton may be thinking of his dream to play in the NFL, it would be more likely if he set his dream aside one more year to prove he can be the top dog for any team that may want him in next year’s draft.

Featured Image: Jaylen Guyton at Apogee Stadium in the game against Incarnate Word. Image by Jessika Hardy. 

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Trevon McWilliams

Trevon McWilliams

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