Royal flashed his big play ability as a freshman, catching 28 passes for 470 yards and two touchdowns in his rookie season. His numbers did not improve as Va Tech would have hoped but he still had a decent sophomore year, finishing with 27/315/2 on the year. As a junior he caught 31 balls for 497 yards and three touchdowns. Royal closed out his career with 33 receptions for 496 yards and four touchdowns.
Royal can put six on the scoreboard any time he touches the football. He is a good athlete, with excellent quickness and speed. He can cut and accelerate quickly, showing the ability to make defenders miss in the open field and the speed to outrun them for big plays. Royal could be a big time return man in the NFL because of his playmaking ability, as well as being a solid option out of the slot.
Royal has only average size and has not shown the all around receiving skills to be much more than a slot man. His real value is as a return man, but may need work as a receiver. Durability may be the biggest factor that has limited Royal as a receiver. He has missed time every season because of various illnesses and injuries and must show he can stay on the field.
Royal should make a nice living as a quality return man in the NFL, but he needs to improve his receiving ability to live up to his full potential. He could be a playmaker on returns and as a receiver, but right now his best skill is his return ability.