Paul Johnson assesses Ricky Jeune’s NFL prospects

6:40 p.m Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017 Sports
HYOSUB SHIN / AJC
Georgia Tech wide receiver Ricky Jeune (2) and teammate TaQuon Marshall (16) celebrate after Jeune caught a touchdown pass in theTech home opener at Bobby Dodd Stadium on Saturday, September 9, 2017. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson believes that wide receiver Ricky Jeune will get a shot to play in the NFL.

“Does he have a chance at the next level?” Johnson asked at his weekly news conference Tuesday. “I think he’ll have a chance. I think somebody’ll take him into camp and he’ll have a chance.”

If so, he would be the sixth Tech wide receiver to play for Johnson to sign an NFL contract. He would follow Demaryius Thomas, Kevin Cone, Stephen Hill, DeAndre Smelter and Darren Waller.

After his two catches for 17 yards against Clemson, Jeune ranked 26th in the ACC with 40.6 yards per game. His 2.4 catches per game is tied for 31st. His 16.7 yards per catch ranks fifth in the ACC. Not eye-popping, but not unusual for Tech wide receiver. It didn’t keep Thomas, Hill, Smelter and Waller all from getting drafted, though.

Beyond the receiving numbers, he is a superior perimeter blocker, often steering cornerbacks away from Tech quarterback TaQuon Marshall or an A-back as he races down the sideline with the ball.

“I think Ricky’s changed his body a lot since he came,” Johnson said. “He’s leaned up, gotten stronger, probably increased his speed. I think he’s worked really, really hard at it, at his craft, and he’s improved a great deal from the time he came in.”

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