(WIVB) — SMU wide receiver Rashee Rice is coming off of a season where he had 96 catches for over 1,300 yards and touchdowns for the Mustangs, but there is one thing he says makes him stand out.

The 50-50 balls.

Despite his smaller size, standing at just 6’1″ and weighing in at 204 pounds, he knows that he will be able to make those tough catches against NFL cornerbacks.

“Regardless of where the ball is, I’m going to catch the ball. I’m a heavier wide receiver. I don’t look like a heavy wide receiver but I’m about 203 pounds. When it comes to the ball being in the air, that’s why I always make those plays,” Rice said.

Despite his plethora of confidence, most mock drafts don’t have him being taken until the second or third round and don’t believe that he is a top-five wide receiver in this year’s draft class.

He struggled in games last season against better competition. For example, he only had four catches for 41 yards in a game against No. 21 ranked Cincinnati on October 22. He caught six passes for 41 yards against No. 21 Tulane on November 17.

He had a decent game early in the season against TCU, a Horned Frogs team that went on to play in the national championship game. In that contest, he caught six passes for 74 yards, one of the catches a touchdown.

Going to a situation where he can learn from established players, like Stefon Diggs, could be beneficial. He had high praise for the Bills star.

“He’s a great wide receiver and me personally, I like to learn from a lot of players, that’s how I develop my game,” Rice said. “I’m always looking to learn something new anything I can learn from Stefon Diggs would be awesome for me.”

Aidan Joly joined the News 4 staff in 2022. He is a graduate of Canisius College. You can see more of his work here.

Josh Reed is an award-winning journalist who has served as News 4’s Sports Director since 2015. See more here.