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Top ESPN Draft Analyst Lists Bub Means as Favorite Wideout



Pitt wide receiver Bub Means.

Bub Means has had as good an offseason as just about any wide receiver in the buildup to the 2024 NFL Draft, and with just under a week to go, he’s continuing to earn praise.

Mel Kiper Jr. has been high on Means throughout the draft process. He’s so high on Means that he declared the Lovejoy, Ga. native and two-year Pitt Panther his favorite wide receiver in the class in a recent ESPN article (behind a paywall).

He went as far as to project Means to be selected in the third round, writing that he would need a “little bit of development” to reach his potential.

Means entered the offseason as a borderline prospect, one that wasn’t a lock to declare for the draft, but once he did, he quickly made the most of his opportunities. He put in a strong week at the Shrine Bowl in January, impressed at the NFL Combine in February and cemented his status at Pitt’s Pro Day in March. It was the Combine showing that stood out.

Means legged out a 4.49 40-yard dash in his first attempt at the combine, and he came out even faster on his second attempt with an impressive 4.43 — one of the top marks among wide receivers in attendance.

He measured in at 6-foot-1, 212 pounds, and he has 33 2/8-inch arms, 10 1/8-inch hands and a 79 3/8-inch wingspan. It’s exactly what Means needed to showcase to NFL personnel, a well-built frame with above-average physical traits. He also put in a 39.5-inch vertical and a 10-foot-7-inch broad jump in the drills portion of his experience.

It’s been important for Means to showcase who he is for NFL teams and show that he isn’t just a one-trick pony when it comes to his penchant for deep ball touchdowns.

“This year, a lot of my touchdowns came down the field,” Means told PSN at the Shrine Bowl. “So, I just felt like I had a great opportunity to show the scouts, show the NFL that I could make plays down the field and create separation down the field and ultimately just get in the end zone and help the team win.

“I’m just out here to prove myself. I always feel like I have something to prove. I always feel like I have something to work on, so I’m just out here to show the scouts I’m a ball player, I’m a competitor, I work hard and I’m gonna get the job done.”

Obviously, the football aspect is paramount. Means, who by all accounts grew leaps and bounds during his time at Pitt, has to be able to show that he can compete — and thrive — at the next level. And it was certainly an up-and-down experience on the football field during his time as a Panther.

He hauled in 68 receptions for 1,122 yards (16.5 yards per reception) and eight touchdowns during his Pitt career, and he broke out as the leading receiver last season. It was a tale of two halves last season. He caught 41 balls for 721 yards and six touchdowns last season, but 650 yards and all six touchdowns came over the final eight games — averaging 81 receiving yards per game. And after an 11-target, 0-catch performance against Cincinnati in Week 2, many questioned whether or not Means had what it took to cut it at Pitt. He didn’t.

“This is football so at the end of the day, I’m a competitor,” Means said. “So, that game did bother me a little bit, but it didn’t bother me like, it’s gonna shock my confidence. No, I went back to work. That made me want to get better; that made me want to get back in the lab. It made me hungry. I don’t like when everything goes my way all the time because life isn’t like that, sometimes you need games like that to wake you up.”

Means, and Pitt as a whole, had a very tough game against Cincinnati. And there was no instant fix. He had just six catches for 71 yards through the first games of the season. He found the answer though, through three different quarterbacks, he found the answer. He hit the 71-yard mark in all but one of his next eight games.

Means showcased a lot of potential down the stretch, serving as one of the best wide receivers in the ACC, and he’s banking on that now as he tries to make the NFL. He has the raw potential. It’s about showing the NFL he can do it now.

“I just felt like I did everything I could in college,” Means said. “And I’m ready to take the next step to the next level. I feel like the feedback I got was decent enough for me to come out, that’s all it was. I’m just betting on myself.”

The 2024 NFL Draft is scheduled to begin on Thursday, April 25 in Detroit, Mich.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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Bob Cardy
1 month ago

I think Mel is looking at stats and not game film I truly hope Bub goes out and becomes a star in the NFL, but I did not see it in 2 years. He does not win 50-50 balls, and that is key to being a star at the next level. Hands are mediocre. Hope he proves me wrong, but I did not see what Mel is seeing. Granted, terrible OC, and less than good QB play, but a true star receiver could have made the QBs look better.

1 month ago
Reply to  Bob Cardy

Agree 100%. He’s an awesome guy and I hope he excels in the NFL, but he dropped a lot of balls. He also gave up on a few interceptions that he could’ve nocked down.
Good luck and only the best!

Section 122
Section 122
1 month ago

Must’ve missed that UC game tape.

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