Cleveland, meet Hollywood.
With the 172nd pick (Round 5/Pick 35) in the 2016 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns selected former Colorado State wide receiver Rashard “Hollywood” Higgins, making the Mesquite, Texas native the first Colorado State player taken in the 2016 draft.
A three-year letterwinner at CSU, Higgins posted career numbers of 239 receptions, 3649 yards and 31 touchdowns while at CSU. Following his sophomore campaign, he was named a consensus first-team All-American in 2014—the first time a CSU player had received the award since 1995—and was placed on the 2015 watch list for the Maxwell, Walter Camp and Bilitnekoff awards, respectively.
“Rashard Higgins was a joy to coach,” CSU head coach Mike Bobo said. “He was everything you want in a football player, and was a great ambassador for Colorado State on and off the field. Rashard will be successful at the next level.”
Higgins battled nagging foot injuries last spring and throughout the fall, but still managed to pull in 75 catches for 1,062 yards and eight touchdowns, despite also playing with a first-year quarterback in Nick Stevens. He also became the third Colorado State player in as many years to declare early for the NFL Draft, following running backs Kapri Bibbs (2013) and Dee Hart (2014). Neither of those players were drafted though, and Bibbs is currently on the Denver Broncos’ practice squad while Hart is still trying to catch on with a team through free agency after being cut by the Miami Dolphins last summer.
Projected anywhere between the second and fifth rounds during the season, Higgins didn’t post particularly impressive 40-yard dash numbers at the NFL Combine, running a 4.64-second 40, causing concerns that he didn’t have “elite receiver speed.”
ESPN’s Todd McShay praised the Browns’ pick, though, raving about Higgins route-running and catching abilities.
Stay tuned to collegian.com for more updates on Colorado State football and the NFL Draft.
Collegian Reporters Keegan Pope and Chad Deutschman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.