When Rondale Moore declared for the NFL Draft Purdue had a gigantic hole to fill at slot receiver. Today’s player did a decent job of filling that hole last year.
TJ Sheffield - Jr. (RS)
Thompson’s Station, TN (Independence HS)
5’11”, 190 pounds
2022 Projection: Starter
Sheffield is primarily a slot receiver, and he has come along slowly because of Moore’s brilliance in front of him and the steadfastness of Jackson Anthrop. As a true freshman in 2019 Sheffield saw some limited action. He played in three games and caught two passes for 12 yards, but was able to hold on to his redshirt.
Sheffield had a bigger role in the odd 2020 season. He only caught two passes for 11 yards, but he played in all six games and was Purdue’s primary kick returner. He returned 19 kicks for 397 yards.
Last season was a breakout. He played a significantly larger role in the offense and played in 12 games with three starts. He was still returning kicks with 75 kickoff return yards and 109 punt return yards, but he split time in the slot with Anthrop well. Sheffield caught 36 passes for 325 yards and five touchdowns. He had the game-winning score against Illinois and caught a big touchdown in the bowl game against Tennessee.
Now a junior, Sheffield is the unquestioned starter in the slot. This should be an even bigger year for him.