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(Chris Pietsch/The Register-Guard)
(Chris Pietsch/The Register-Guard)

Hidden Gems January: Troy Franklin

The NFL offseason is fast approaching. Teams are getting ready for an exciting period of free agency and the draft. Focusing on the draft specifically, fans are looking at who their team will take with a first-round selection. All the top college players they can name, but the draft itself is seven rounds and many impact players can be found beyond the first 32 picks. You always have a Tariq Woolen or a Puka Nacua-type player come out of nowhere, finding a diamond in the rough that can be a game-changer to a franchise. So, leading up to the draft, let’s look up some of those that aren’t seen as “The best of the best.” 


Today, the focus will be on Troy Franklin, a wide receiver out of Oregon. According to NFL Draft Buzz, Franklin is about six-foot-three, one-hundred and eighty-seven pounds from Palo Alto, California. In high school, Franklin was a four-star recruit by both ESPN and 247 Sports. In his freshman season in 2021, it went about as normal as one would expect of a freshman. He amassed 209 yards and two touchdowns. In his sophomore year, however, is where he’d truly flash the potential he showed in college. He had 867 yards and eight touchdowns from new Oregon quarterback Bo Nix, averaging a very impressive 15.5 yards per reception. 

In 2023, Franklin put up by far his best season yet. He had a natural knack for the endzone, with 14 touchdowns. He also had well over 1300 yards receiving and 81 catches. This would bring his yards per reception to 17.1. Oregon quarterbacks also had a 146.8 passer rating when targeting him, becoming a very explosive and reliable weapon for the Oregon Ducks. He would also be named a semifinalist for the Biletnikoff Award, the award granted to the best wide receiver in college, from NFL Draft Buzz.


One of the positives of Franklin’s career is that he improved each year he was with Oregon. Gradual improvement like this can be a good sign to teams throughout the draft process, as that is not always the case with these prospects.

For actual individual strengths, one would be his deep threat ability. Able to blow by defenders with his 4.35 forty-yard dash speed, if you match him up with a quarterback with the ability to go deep, he is a reliable target with the height to go up and get it. From Pro Football Network and a tweet by Reel Analytics on X, Franklin had a catch against the USC Trojans that reached a top speed of 22.3 miles per hour. The top speed of that week. 

For his next strength, he can go up and catch jump balls. With him standing at 6’3, he can make dazzling plays over the defending quarterbacks and make stellar catches in one-on-one situations. He can go up, make the grab, and then use his elite agility to run for huge gains. His size-speed combo will make him an interesting prospect to teams for evaluation come March at the combine.


Although possessing blazing speed and elite production, Franklin is a bit light for a wide receiver, at only 187 pounds. Not an ideal weight for a wide receiver. Scouts would like to see the Oregon pass catcher gain a bit more pounds of muscle on him before he goes up against NFL cornerbacks that can jam him at the line of scrimmage. 

Also, from NFL Draft Buzz, he has a slight issue where he will turn and try to make a play before he has fully secured the ball. This can lead to some concentration drops that will make coaches frustrated with him. Of course, this is a very fixable issue, but it is also something of note that should be mentioned.

Lastly, he must continue improving as a playmaker in open space by being able to break tackles and fight for yards. Something that goes along with weight.

Pro Comparison: Robbie Chosen

Robbie Chosen may have had a rough last couple of years, but at his peak, he was very solid with both the Jets and Panthers. Putting up over one thousand yards with the latter. Both are very tall deep threats that will punish defensive backs for pressing up to them, as not many can match up with their speed. Both also had issues with their weight and being jammed by more physical cornerbacks in the NFL. Very similar having the same height and only being two pounds off in terms of weight. All-in-all, Troy Franklin can be a reliable option as a secondary wide receiver, or playing out of the slot, and should go early in day two of the NFL Draft.

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