Little WRs; Big Time Playmakers
Knowing the advantage it has to see certain players with better odds of being relevant, can help open our eyes on various prospects and the risk we take at different points of the draft. Let’s see the following criteria and some of my thoughts based on what we see formed. The first six parts were emphasized with the odds only improving further if they met the last quality. First our criteria for the study:
Less than 6’0” WR prospects
1st / 2nd round draft capital
Remove players swapping from RB to WR
BOA 18-20 yr. old
College DOM rating > 35%
AVG MS REC YDS > 26.5%
40 time of 4.42 or less
To start with, these metrics are hard for guys who were used as gadget players on their offenses. For this reason alone, Kadarius Toney will be ignored by me as I know he does not favor any analytical model and is a dart throw. Referring to Sam who is my most known film guy, even he has him down currently as WR12. That is the sixth receiver from just this list that matches up on his rankings. He was not used primarily in one spot and so that throws off our targets.
With the top tier, we have two players who met every single metric including the bonus part of speed, we have both Rondale and Elijah Moore. Based on Rondale beating Elijah in four of the five known categories, I give him the edge as the top-tier guy to target for this group. In reality, I know Rondale is an all-around stud meeting every criteria for the Dashboard besides ideal height and leaving his sophomore year market share unknown since he barely played any games. Still behind him though is Elijah who scored with a success mark on every single known standard besides his height. They both deal well with three years of college before declaring as juniors for the draft. With both of these guys as projected day 1 to round 2 prospects in the actual draft, it seems like a dream for their upside when taking them around the 2.03 to 2.06 range of rookie drafts. For context, hitting all the metrics along with the bonus part makes them jump even higher in percent of hitting now at 85.7%.
For my next tier, I am grouping up Tylan Wallace, Eskridge, and Atwell. Of those, Wallace made it to the 72.7% hit rate before his speed barely kept him from joining the top tier. Wallace is a popular name to monitor right now as he dominated at his school early on and probably had plans to declare last year before an injury forced him to come back to school. For that, he is the clear #3 option to choose. Next up is Eskridge. Before going too far, he was originally an all-purpose running back who converted to a receiver as a freshman. He apparently also was playing defense some in 2019 (broken collarbone) so he never got to truly focus on receiver until his redshirt senior year. He only misses that one standard of needing an insanely high average of market share of the receiving yards at his school. Someone to watch closely as he may be another small receiver to target later. Atwell also proved very explosive at Louisville with his only concern being BMI. However, I want to exercise caution as this dude is 5’8” (expected) and 155lbs. That is not a typo; the dude is very light so I am not aware of how he handles that on film and how well he can translate to the NFL. But most people carry similar issues so watch the draft for more on him. Atwell did score one more metric than Eskridge did on my positional elite trait checker, but I think context still favors Eskridge.
I was surprised that Shi Smith and Marquez Stevenson both tested so well with these metrics honestly, but I would not jump up in much excitement unless they go way earlier than expected. Personally, I am not looking to move draft capital unless it is a rookie draft going five or more rounds. Jumping over to Dazz Newsome, he is another person I am going to be avoiding. He will have a role, but I do not think the NFL is very high on him. And finding the next later round breakout smaller receiver is very next to impossible. Newsome was not dominant or able to consistently able to draw targets and yards in his offense. Combine that with the slowest time I saw across this group makes him a giant red flag for me.
Now to discuss the final three fun names: Amon-Ra St. Brown, Jaylen Waddle, and Amari Rodgers. With St. Brown, I would not personally fret too much since his cost to acquire is lower than most. He was less than two percentage points from hitting the needed dominator score and barely over two from the market share on yards. Now that would be close to the top, but he still has some risk as his play speed and forty prove he is not a burner. The cost has been mid to late 2nd though so he carries nice upside whenever he goes in the first or second round. Jaylen Waddle is locked in as a first-round pick, however. He also carries more risk with a lower number for each of the previously mentioned stats along with a later breakout age. Now again, we understand he did come into an offense that was loaded with options so he split work with the other speedster Ruggs back in 2019 to eliminate a breakout sooner. He probably would have exploded this year if not for the freak injury to his leg. I have hesitation but he cost you the 1.12 to the early second range which is more about the ceiling anyway. Just when it looked like Rodgers was going to take the junior year leap to relevance he tore his ACL in March before the season. He pushed himself and managed to suit up for thirteen games showing how tough he was to have a more efficient season than even the previous year. I believe he would have been much closer to his 2020 season had he stayed healthy and discussed as a much higher prospect than he currently is. That does provide a little context as missed on three metrics, not including the forty time. If he goes right at the round 2 to early 3rd range, be attentive to what the team is looking to do with him as a potential early 3rd range prospect in rookie drafts. If he is asked to swap to running back, then disregard this part for him.
Well, that will do it for all three parts of this 2021 class depth look. Let’s take a look back overall on the players who fit each mold category:
1. Perfect Prospect for Size (9 total)
Rondale Moore, Elijah Moore, Ja’Marr Chase, Rashod Bateman, Austin Watkins, Terrace Marshall Jr., Seth Williams, Jonathan Adams Jr., and Simi Fehoko.
2. Close to Perfect for their Size (7 total) :
Tylan Wallace, D’Wayne Eskridge, Tutu Atwell, DeVonta Smith, Sage Surratt, Tamorrion Terry, and Jhamon Ausbon
3. Best Names to Monitor for the Rest (6 total):
Amon-Ra St. Brown, Jaylen Waddle, Amari Rodgers, Dyami Brown, Ihmir Smith-Marsette, and Nico Collins.
As always, feel free to hit me up for more future content ideas if you see anything you like! I am always down for a challenge and will be trying to release other future articles as I manage a big project for the Fantasy Scouts too. Keep your eyes and ears open, and best of luck in the draft!