Georgia Tech’s triple-option attack breeds success on the ground — in 2014, the Yellow Jackets averaged 342.1 rushing yards per game, second-best in all of FBS. Pre-snap motion, backfield deception, and misdirection open a multitude of running lanes, but also open up opportunities in the passing game.
In stark contrast to its prolific rushing numbers, Georgia Tech averaged just 134.4 passing yards per game, ranking 123rd in the FBS last season. Wide receivers aren’t usually the team’s playmakers, but the transition from collegiate football to the NFL has been wildly successful for two Yellow Jackets — Demaryius Thomas and Calvin Johnson.
Considered two of the league’s best receivers, both players were first-round draft picks and quickly proved doubters wrong, showing the ability to run more than just skinny posts and comebacks in the NFL. Another Georgia Tech product, Stephen Hill, was a second-round draft pick with the Jets in 2012, but quickly flamed out when he couldn’t combine his athleticism with the game’s fundamentals.
This year, senior wide receiver Darren Waller will look to follow in the footsteps of players like Thomas and Johnson. In a deep draft class, he’ll fall to the lower rounds, where the Minnesota Vikings could take a chance on the 6’6″, 238-pound prospect. One question remains — will he be able to connect the dots in the NFL, or fall by the wayside like Stephen Hill?