Casey Filkins is a 5’11”, 190-pound slot receiver from Lake Oswego, OR, a product of Lake Oswego Senior High School located just south of Portland. He is rated as a consensus three-star recruit. Filkins committed to Cal on May 11, 2019.
Filkins was offered by 14 teams across the country, including Oregon, Oregon State, Washington State, and seven Ivy League schools. Filkins is officially listed as an Athlete on Cal’s recruiting class of 2020 roster.
According to 247sports runs a 4.57 forty, has 4.32 shuffle, and a 37.40 inch vertical. A similar player, Clemson’s Hunter Renfrow, who posted a 4.59 forty, 4.19 shuffle, and a 35.00 inch vertical.
While officially listed as an Athlete, Filkins will almost certainly be used solely as a receiver, and possibly on Special Teams, although he has not demonstrated significant tackling ability on the available tape.
Filkins is a very reliable, sure-handed slot receiver. He lacks size and speed but creates catch opportunities for himself by varying his speed and running very precise routes. His lack of vertical push will likely have opposing defenses playing varying press coverages against him; however, his ball skills and ability to get open will provide a much-needed outlet option for a Cal offense that has lacked a cohesive passing game since the departures of Jared Goff and Davis Webb.
Filkins is a shifty athlete who is great at exploiting space and mismatches. He has good speed in comparison to tight ends that have traditionally lined up for the Golden Bears in the slot, and would create an exploitable mismatch if lined up against a linebacker. His breaks in his route running are sharp and purposeful, which will give any quarterback a predictable outlet option. Comparative former NFL players include the likes of Wes Welker and Julian Edelman, undersized receivers with an ability to get open.
Filkins lack of size will hurt him in an offense that has grown to rely primarily on power running. In addition, his lack of speed will make it difficult for him to break over the top, and would likely not match up well against the best defensive backs of the Pac-12. Filkins, especially with his current physique, will need to match up against slower linebackers on passing plays in order to have the best odds to succeed, but Beau Baldwin likely has some schemes up his sleeve for when the team’s quarterback play improves that will likely benefit a player like Filkins.
Filkin’s skillset will complement players like Makai Polk and Kekoa Crawford, and add some versatility to a receiving core that has struggled over the past few seasons – with the blame being shared by inconsistent quarterback play and by the offense as a whole. Due to his physique, it is by no means a certainty as to whether or not Filkins will see a lot playing time in 2020, although he may see playing time as a result of the new redshirt rules in which redshirting freshmen are permitted to play in a maximum of four games. However, from a mental standpoint Filkins appears to be ready to take his game to the next level. Filkins represents the type of student athlete that Wilcox has been trying to recruit, with a balance of academic and athletic ability, and has the potential to be a significant contributor to the team.