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ZWK

ZWK's 2019 Prospect Analysis

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This thread is for my analysis of the 2019 draft class (and other college players). Previously threads: 2018 draft class, 2017 draft class, 2016 draft class, 2015 draft class, 2014 draft class.

Much of the content of this thread is based on my player stats spreadsheets. WR, RB, QB are up and running (though some of the numbers will be weird for the first few weeks of the season while sample sizes are tiny). I should also have TE and pass rusher spreadsheets for this season coming eventually, though maybe not till the season is over. Also: birthdates, VBD by draft pick (for generic rookie rankings), and dynasty rankings.

My main source of data is cfbstats, and I also get some things from PFF, Football Study Hall, Reception Perception, and other sources (though often not until after the season).

My thoughts on players at the end of last year:

On 5/13/2018 at 1:43 PM, ZWK said:

Here's a look ahead at future draft classes. My formulas are designed to evaluate players who are entering the draft, but I can also use them to get a look at which college players seem look good prospects based on their production so far and estimated size/speed.

First, the guys who already have the numbers of strong prospects. I would've been relatively high on these guys if they had entered the draft this year.

Top Prospects:
RB: Damien Harris (Alabama), Bryce Love (Stanford)
WR: A.J. Brown (Miss)
QB: Alex Hornibrook (Wisconsin), Drew Lock (Missouri), Jake Fromm (Georgia), Trace McSorley (Penn State), McKenzie Milton (UCF)

Though I am much less confident about these QBs than about the RB/WRs, since QBs with good production often correctly fall in the draft because scouts can see that they don't have NFL skills.

Next, the guys with decent numbers so far. I would've seen them as okay/borderline prospects if they'd entered this year's draft, and top prospects often rise from this level over their last season (or two).

Decent Prospects:
RB: J.K. Dobbins (Ohio State), Devin Singletary (FAU), Benny Snell, Jr. (Kentucky), Myles Gaskin (Washington), Mike Weber (Ohio State), Jonathan Taylor (Wisconsin), Ty Johnson (Maryland), Rodney Anderson (Oklahoma), David Montgomery (Iowa State), Darrell Henderson (Memphis)
WR: Cody Thompson (Toledo), JJ Arcega-Whiteside (Stanford), Denzel Mims (Baylor), Anthony Johnson (Buffalo), Tyler Johnson (Minnesota), Stanley Morgan Jr. (Nebraska), Greg Dortch (Wk Forest), Nick Westbrook (Indiana)
QB: Jake Browning (Washington), Will Grier (WVU), Jalen Hurts (Alabama), Deondre Francois (FSU)

Within each position, these lists are each in order from best to worst and there is a decent size gap between the first guy on these lists and the last one, e.g. Dobbins had significantly better numbers than Henderson.

It generally is not worth going deeper, but at WR (where production matters most) it seems worth including the next batch as players to keep an eye on.

Keep An Eye On:
WR: David Sills V (WVU), Diontae Johnson (Toledo), Chris Platt (Baylor), John Ursua (Hawai'i), Emanuel Hall (Missouri), James Gardner (Miami OH), N'Keal Harry (Ariz St), Jaylen Smith (Louisville), Marquise Brown (Oklahoma), Trevon Brown (ECU)

I made similar posts one year ago and two years ago, so you can see how my one-year-early lists have done with the past couple draft classes.

 

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We're dealing with small sample size theater just 1-2 games into the season, but Hawaii WR John Ursua is a player whose early performance seems worth noting.

Ursua had an impressive 46/653/5 receiving through 5 games last season, and then tore his ACL early in the 6th game. Hawaii has already played 2 games this season, and Ursua has 17/290/4. So since the start of the 2017 season he has 64/957/9 in 7.3 games, on pace for something like 114/1700/16 over 13 games. Combining the two seasons makes this "slightly larger sample size than before" theater.

The bad news is that Ursua is undersized (listed at 5'10" 175 lbs.) and old (graduated from high school in 2012 and went on a Mormon mission, so probably about as old as Stefon Diggs & Amari Cooper).

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Herbert and Stidham have been my Top 2 QBs ... loved Stidham since Baylor , will be interesting to see how he continues to progress in Auburn's offense.

Overall most top 2019 prospects are on Defense and Offensive Line ... will be interesting what "skill" position players rise top the top of the draft. 2018's crop of early Rd RBs have not had great marks so far in NFL training camps and I don't see any weapons outside the Qbs I mentioned I would want to invest a 1st Rd pick on.

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Damien Harris looks slow compared to NFL RB standards.  He's strong and breaks tackles, but he will never see the holes he gets at Alabama in the NFL.

Bryce Love looks to small and lean for the NFL even though he's talented.

Rodney Anderson and David Montgomery look like they have the speed size combo needed for the NFL with the moves and production to go with it.  These two are my 1a 1b RB's of the draft so far.

 

AJ Brown looks like a future stud as does N'Keal Harry.

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DK Metcalf is draft eligible.  6'4", 230, triple-jumper/high-hurdler, ~elite ball skills, shocking efficiency.  Lowish volume, but he's on a team with a couple other top prospects.  Possible it'll change after the combine, but right now he's the #1 WR in the class IMO.

Edited by Dinsy Ejotuz

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Sophomore WR Laviska Shenault is off to a ridiculously good start this season. Through 2 games (against Nebraska & Colorado State) he has 21/388/2 receiving, with 5.17 yards per team passing attempt and 15.5 yards per target. He's listed at 6'2" 220, and Colorado is using him all over the field including as a wildcat QB on short-yardage rushing plays (where he has added a rushing TD plus a couple of first downs).

Plenty of receivers with big production over just a couple games (Corey Sutton, Preston Williams, JJ Arcega-Whiteside, ...), but Shenault stands out ahead of the rest.

Edited by ZWK
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On 9/4/2018 at 5:39 AM, ty247 said:

Damien Harris looks slow compared to NFL RB standards.  He's strong and breaks tackles, but he will never see the holes he gets at Alabama in the NFL.

Bryce Love looks to small and lean for the NFL even though he's talented.

 

Harris was a 10.7 100m guy in HS, so I think he has decent wheels. Even if he added weight and lost some speed, that should still be good for sub 4.50.

Agreed on Love. Great college player. Not high on his pro potential.

When I looked at 2019 dev players during the summer, I wasn't blown away by what I saw. Hoping for some late risers during the season because there's nobody in there who I'd really rate as an elite RB or WR prospect right now.

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I think Mike Weber is going to end up being somewhere in the range of Shane Vereen -- Devonta Freeman. Those are two guys he reminds me of. Solid, compact frame, but not huge. Fluid runner, but not electric. 2nd-early 4th round sounds about right for him as an expected draft range. He's one of those guys who is never going to wow you ala Barkley or Peterson, but can plug in and probably do a decent job.

Always liked Gaskin a lot from an eyeball test standpoint because he has such good agility and cutting ability, but there have always been raw size/speed question marks there. Not the biggest guy. Not slow, but may not run the kind of time you want from a ~200 pound back. How does he win in the NFL? He's not going to break tackles with raw power and a lot of his mobility advantage will be negated by the superior athleticism of the NFL defenders compared with those he faces at the NCAA level. Like him, but just can't get carried away with the NFL potential. More likely to become Gio Bernard than Ray Rice.

When I was watching highlights of these guys in the summer, I sort of liked Jalin Moore (Appalachian State). Smooth runner. Is he special enough? Fifth year player at a small school and may not be the size/speed package that the NFL wants, but I think there's next level talent there. Nice run from week one.

Josh Jacobs at Alabama offers a decent combination of size, mobility, and versatility. Again, there are questions about whether or not he really has that extra something to be more than a JAG in the NFL. Historically, Alabama hasn't been a bad place to mine for backup RBs (Eddie Lacy was a bit player there behind Ingram/Richardson for years and Alvin Kamara had to transfer out of there completely). Not expecting a huge payoff, but he's an okay prospect.

The guy I took in my dev draft is Damarea Crockett. Like him. Don't love him. He has NFL height/weight and tested well in SPARQ at the HS combines. He's going to weigh in and jump well. 40 time may be a sticking point. He's not a burner. High 4.5 would be acceptable from him. I don't think he's a special runner ala Mixon or Barkley. He's more of a mid round guy. What I like is that he's 220+ pound back with hands, pass pro skills, and just enough quickness/cutting ability. A bit upright and runs a bit stiff in the second level, but I do think he fits the NFL game in the sense that he can play every down and do a little bit of everything. For a comp player, maybe I'd throw out a name like Jay Ajayi. That sounds about right in terms of build, talent level, and play style.

Didn't see any super tier RB talent in this year's class, but I'll be keeping my eyes open.

Edited by EBF

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On ‎2018‎/‎09‎/‎11 at 3:11 AM, EBF said:

I think Mike Weber is going to end up being somewhere in the range of Shane Vereen -- Devonta Freeman. Those are two guys he reminds me of. Solid, compact frame, but not huge. Fluid runner, but not electric. 2nd-early 4th round sounds about right for him as an expected draft range. He's one of those guys who is never going to wow you ala Barkley or Peterson, but can plug in and probably do a decent job.

I can definitely see the comparisons to Vereen and Freeman.  As you said he's a good talent, just not an electric one.

I've been watching some Justice Hill and that kid can play, I'm just concerned about his size/frame.

I've gone back and watched more of Damien Harris and I'm starting to warm up to him.  The one thing that I noticed is, despite his low reception totals, he looks very fluid running his routes, catching the ball and turning up field once he's caught it.  He could have 3 down potential right out of the gate.  If he has a good combine and landing spot we could see him elevate his status.

 

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A few top 20ish receiving leaderboards (more stats here):

Yards per Team Attempt
4.61    Laviska Shenault Jr.    Colorado
4.35    Marquise Brown    Oklahoma
4.09    Darnell Mooney    Tulane
3.93    D'Wayne Eskridge    W Mich
3.53    Olamide Zaccheaus    Virginia
3.38    Andy Isabella    U Mass
3.31    Tylan Wallace    Okla St
3.28    Jonathan Duhart    ODU
3.24    Corey Sutton    App St
3.23    Jamarius Way    South Ala
3.21    Papi White    Ohio
3.20    Jerry Jeudy    Alabama
3.20    John Ursua    Hawai'i
3.19    Greg Dortch    Wk Forest
3.19    Isaiah Zuber    Kansas St
3.18    Aaron Fuller    Washington
3.14    Damon Hazelton    Va Tech
3.13    A.J. Taylor    Wisconsin
3.09    Marcus Simms    WVU
3.08    KeeSean Johnson    Fresno St
        
Market Share of Passing TDs
83%    Tyler Johnson    Minnesota
75%    Hakeem Butler    Iowa State
73%    JJ Arcega-Whiteside    Stanford
67%    Darnell Mooney    Tulane
67%    Jonathan Duhart    ODU
67%    Kalija Lipscomb    Vanderbilt
63%    Tyre Brady    Marshall
60%    Isaiah Zuber    Kansas St
57%    Marcus Green    La-Monroe
55%    Olamide Zaccheaus    Virginia
55%    Quez Watkins    USM
54%    Andy Isabella    U Mass
54%    Rico Bussey, Jr.    N Texas
50%    Papi White    Ohio
50%    John Ursua    Hawai'i
50%    Greg Dortch    Wk Forest
50%    N'Keal Harry    Ariz St
50%    Amon-Ra St. Brown    USC
46%    Jayden Reed    W Mich
44%    Laviska Shenault Jr.    Colorado
44%    Damon Hazelton    Va Tech
44%    Rondale Moore    Purdue

25+ Yard Receptions per Game
2.25    Emanuel Hall    Missouri
1.75    Laviska Shenault Jr.    Colorado
1.67    D'Wayne Eskridge    W Mich
1.60    Marquise Brown    Oklahoma
1.50    Damon Hazelton    Va Tech
1.50    Corey Sutton    App St
1.50    Kelvin Harmon    NC State
1.40    Jonathan Duhart    ODU
1.40    McLane Mannix    Nevada
1.40    Antoine Wesley    Texas Tech
1.33    John Ursua    Hawai'i
1.25    Tyre Brady    Marshall
1.25    Papi White    Ohio
1.25    Adrian Hardy    La Tech
1.25    Antonio Gandy-Golden    Liberty
1.25    Marcus Simms    WVU
1.20    JJ Arcega-Whiteside    Stanford
1.20    Amon-Ra St. Brown    USC
1.20    Jayden Reed    W Mich
1.20    CJ Worton    FIU
1.20    Preston Williams    CSU
1.20    Olabisi Johnson    CSU
1.20    Jamal Custis    Syracuse
1.20    Jamarius Way    South Ala
1.20    Jack Sorenson    Miami (Oh)
1.20    Tylan Wallace    Okla St

Making all 3 lists: Laviska Shenault Jr., Jonathan Duhart, Papi White, John Ursua, and Damon Hazelton.

(I would include the yards per target list, but I don't know of a good source for target data which gets updated each week.)

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The top 16 QBs in efficiency so far this year by my formula:

Kyler Murray    Oklahoma    JR

Dwayne Haskins    Ohio State    SO
Jake Fromm    Georgia    SO
Will Grier    WVU    SR

Ryan Finley    NC State    SR
Steven Montez    Colorado    JR
Brady White    Memphis    JR
McKenzie Milton    UCF    JR
Alex Hornibrook    Wisconsin    JR
Alan Bowman    Texas Tech    FR
Taylor Cornelius    Okla St    SR
Jake Browning    Washington    SR
K.J. Costello    Stanford    JR
D'Eriq King    Houston    JR
Blake Barnett    S Florida    JR
Justin Herbert    Oregon    JR
 

Mayfield has 2 of the best 3 seasons of the past decade by my numbers (the other belongs to Russell Wilson), and Kyler Murray is picking up where he left off. Actually, so far he's ahead of where Mayfield left off. Better yards per attempt, better first down rate, better red zone TD rate, better 3rd down conversion rate, better rushing production.

Haskins, Fromm, and Grier all have elite production, not far behind Mayfield's numbers. Haskins's start to the season is most impressive, IMO, since Fromm has a limited number of attempts in a run-first offense and Grier is a 5th year senior, while Haskins is getting it done as a high-volume passer as a sophomore. Though Fromm & Grier have a longer track record of strong production - they both had very good numbers last year.

Tua Tagovailoa also has ridiculously elite passing efficiency, ahead of Murray even, but he misses this list because he fails to reach the minimum attempt threshold (top 100 in passing attempts) thanks to Alabama being run-heavy like Georgia, and occasionally platooning Hurts in there. Tagovailoa is 23rd in college football in passing yards, tied for 6th in passing TDs, and 6th in 25+ yard completions, but 107th in passing attempts.

So those 5 guys all have top-of-the-line numbers. Then there's a big tier gap, and a gradually dropoff among the next big group of 12 guys. Milton, Hornibrook, and Browning stand out from that batch because they have previously had a strong season.

Justin Herbert seems to be emerging as the popular choice for the top QB, but my numbers have him down at 16th in large part because of his weak schedule (second-easiest out of the 100 QBs). 16th is still pretty good though, and scouts do know some things that these numbers miss (especially at QB).

Edited by ZWK
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Here are rushing efficiency numbers for 25 RBs who are being talked about as NFL prospects (including ones who aren't draft eligible this year). The stat is (first downs + touchdowns + 20-yarders) per carry; average is 0.35. First, career stats:

FD+TD+20/att (career stats)
0.53    Travis Etienne    (190 att)
0.52    Darrell Henderson    (327 att)
0.46    Devin Singletary    (583 att)
0.42    Mike Weber    (370 att)
0.40    DeAndre Swift    (152 att)
0.40    JK Dobbins    (303 att)
0.40    Damien Harris    (392 att)
0.39    Jalin Moore    (582 att)
0.39    Rodney Anderson    (200 att)
0.38    Bryce Love    (479 att)
0.38    Najee Harris    (130 att)
0.37    Trey Sermon    (185 att)
0.37    Benny Snell    (576 att)
0.37    Damarea Crockett    (310 att)
0.37    Jonathan Taylor    (442 att)
0.36    Jacques Patrick    (310 att)
0.36    Justice Hill    (586 att)
0.36    Myles Gaskin    (825 att)
0.35    AVERAGE RB
0.34    Karan Higdon    (367 att)
0.32    AJ Dillon    (406 att)
0.31    LJ Scott    (561 att)
0.31    Trayveon Williams    (468 att)
0.30    Cam Akers    (282 att)
0.28    David Montgomery    (478 att)
0.27    Stephen Carr    (124 att)

And for just this season:

FD+TD+20/att (2018 season)
0.82    Rodney Anderson    (11 att)
0.68    Darrell Henderson    (110 att)
0.64    Travis Etienne    (83 att)
0.40    Damien Harris    (65 att)
0.40    Jalin Moore    (63 att)
0.38    Benny Snell    (128 att)
0.38    Mike Weber    (87 att)
0.38    Najee Harris    (69 att)
0.38    Trey Sermon    (64 att)
0.37    Jonathan Taylor    (143 att)
0.36    Devin Singletary    (131 att)
0.35    Trayveon Williams    (139 att)
0.35    AVERAGE RB
0.35    JK Dobbins    (109 att)
0.34    Karan Higdon    (120 att)
0.34    AJ Dillon    (106 att)
0.34    Justice Hill    (112 att)
0.34    DeAndre Swift    (71 att)
0.33    David Montgomery    (111 att)
0.27    Stephen Carr    (59 att)
0.25    Myles Gaskin    (139 att)
0.24    Jacques Patrick    (54 att)
0.23    Damarea Crockett    (77 att)
0.22    Bryce Love    (76 att)
0.17    Cam Akers    (88 att)
0.10    LJ Scott    (30 att)

More stats here, raw data mostly from cfbstats.

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1 hour ago, ZWK said:

Here are rushing efficiency numbers for 25 RBs who are being talked about as NFL prospects (including ones who aren't draft eligible this year). The stat is (first downs + touchdowns + 20-yarders) per carry; average is 0.35. First, career stats:

FD+TD+20/att (career stats)
0.53    Travis Etienne    (190 att)
0.52    Darrell Henderson    (327 att)
0.46    Devin Singletary    (583 att)
0.42    Mike Weber    (370 att)
0.40    DeAndre Swift    (152 att)
0.40    JK Dobbins    (303 att)
0.40    Damien Harris    (392 att)
0.39    Jalin Moore    (582 att)
0.39    Rodney Anderson    (200 att)
0.38    Bryce Love    (479 att)
0.38    Najee Harris    (130 att)
0.37    Trey Sermon    (185 att)
0.37    Benny Snell    (576 att)
0.37    Damarea Crockett    (310 att)
0.37    Jonathan Taylor    (442 att)
0.36    Jacques Patrick    (310 att)
0.36    Justice Hill    (586 att)
0.36    Myles Gaskin    (825 att)
0.35    AVERAGE RB
0.34    Karan Higdon    (367 att)
0.32    AJ Dillon    (406 att)
0.31    LJ Scott    (561 att)
0.31    Trayveon Williams    (468 att)
0.30    Cam Akers    (282 att)
0.28    David Montgomery    (478 att)
0.27    Stephen Carr    (124 att)

And for just this season:

FD+TD+20/att (2018 season)
0.82    Rodney Anderson    (11 att)
0.68    Darrell Henderson    (110 att)
0.64    Travis Etienne    (83 att)
0.40    Damien Harris    (65 att)
0.40    Jalin Moore    (63 att)
0.38    Benny Snell    (128 att)
0.38    Mike Weber    (87 att)
0.38    Najee Harris    (69 att)
0.38    Trey Sermon    (64 att)
0.37    Jonathan Taylor    (143 att)
0.36    Devin Singletary    (131 att)
0.35    Trayveon Williams    (139 att)
0.35    AVERAGE RB
0.35    JK Dobbins    (109 att)
0.34    Karan Higdon    (120 att)
0.34    AJ Dillon    (106 att)
0.34    Justice Hill    (112 att)
0.34    DeAndre Swift    (71 att)
0.33    David Montgomery    (111 att)
0.27    Stephen Carr    (59 att)
0.25    Myles Gaskin    (139 att)
0.24    Jacques Patrick    (54 att)
0.23    Damarea Crockett    (77 att)
0.22    Bryce Love    (76 att)
0.17    Cam Akers    (88 att)
0.10    LJ Scott    (30 att)

More stats here, raw data mostly from cfbstats.

ZWK, how do you feel about the 2019 group of RB's?

How would you rank them vs the 2018 group?

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On 10/16/2018 at 12:52 PM, ty247 said:

ZWK, how do you feel about the 2019 group of RB's?

How would you rank them vs the 2018 group?

I haven't really been following college football this year, just making sure that my spreadsheets keep updating. But as far as I can tell the RBs are looking pretty weak. My formula had Damien Harris as the top returning-to-school RB going into this season (he would've been 5th in last year's draft class unless his combine shook things up), and his numbers are down this season, and he's still first.

WRs and QBs are looking stronger.

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2 hours ago, Bojang0301 said:

PFF is very high in David Montgomery. Will be interesting to see his measurables vs Love this offseason.

He reminds me of a bigger LeSean McCoy from when he was at Pitt.

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On 10/9/2018 at 3:07 AM, ZWK said:

The top 16 QBs in efficiency so far this year by my formula:

Kyler Murray    Oklahoma    JR

Dwayne Haskins    Ohio State    SO
Jake Fromm    Georgia    SO
Will Grier    WVU    SR

Ryan Finley    NC State    SR
Steven Montez    Colorado    JR
Brady White    Memphis    JR
McKenzie Milton    UCF    JR
Alex Hornibrook    Wisconsin    JR
Alan Bowman    Texas Tech    FR
Taylor Cornelius    Okla St    SR
Jake Browning    Washington    SR
K.J. Costello    Stanford    JR
D'Eriq King    Houston    JR
Blake Barnett    S Florida    JR
Justin Herbert    Oregon    JR
 

Mayfield has 2 of the best 3 seasons of the past decade by my numbers (the other belongs to Russell Wilson), and Kyler Murray is picking up where he left off. Actually, so far he's ahead of where Mayfield left off. Better yards per attempt, better first down rate, better red zone TD rate, better 3rd down conversion rate, better rushing production.

Haskins, Fromm, and Grier all have elite production, not far behind Mayfield's numbers. Haskins's start to the season is most impressive, IMO, since Fromm has a limited number of attempts in a run-first offense and Grier is a 5th year senior, while Haskins is getting it done as a high-volume passer as a sophomore. Though Fromm & Grier have a longer track record of strong production - they both had very good numbers last year.

Tua Tagovailoa also has ridiculously elite passing efficiency, ahead of Murray even, but he misses this list because he fails to reach the minimum attempt threshold (top 100 in passing attempts) thanks to Alabama being run-heavy like Georgia, and occasionally platooning Hurts in there. Tagovailoa is 23rd in college football in passing yards, tied for 6th in passing TDs, and 6th in 25+ yard completions, but 107th in passing attempts.

So those 5 guys all have top-of-the-line numbers. Then there's a big tier gap, and a gradually dropoff among the next big group of 12 guys. Milton, Hornibrook, and Browning stand out from that batch because they have previously had a strong season.

Justin Herbert seems to be emerging as the popular choice for the top QB, but my numbers have him down at 16th in large part because of his weak schedule (second-easiest out of the 100 QBs). 16th is still pretty good though, and scouts do know some things that these numbers miss (especially at QB).

Updating this a few weeks later:

Tagovailoa & Murray continue on their record-breaking pace at the top, with Tagovailoa still below the minimum attempt cutoff.

Grier, Fromm, and Haskins continue to be on tier 2 (now in that order). They are now joined by D'Eriq King (who has risen up from tier 3 after a couple of huge games) and Notre Dame JR Ian Book (who was previously below the minimum attempt cutoff).

Justin Herbert has been struggling, and is now down at 52nd out of 100 QBs. If he stays in that range, it's low enough for my response to be "that's pretty mediocre, I'll probably avoid him" rather than "that's still pretty good, maybe I should trust the scouts."

Tier 3 now has these guys: K.J. Costello, Trevor Lawrence, Andre Nunez, Nathan Rourke, Daniel Jones, Taylor Cornelius, Ryan Finley, Ryan Willis, Jordan Ta'amu, Brett Rypien, Alan Bowman, Shea Patterson, McKenzie Milton.  Washington QB Jake Browning has fallen just below that level of production, and Wisconsin QB Alex Hornibrook has fallen below the minimum attempt cutoff after missing some time.

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Some top 20ish WR leaderboards.

Yards per Team Attempt
3.90    Andy Isabella    U Mass
3.62    Darnell Mooney    Tulane
3.56    Laviska Shenault Jr.    Colorado
3.54    Tylan Wallace    Okla St
3.53    Marquise Brown    Oklahoma
3.34    Tyler Johnson    Minnesota
3.29    Jerry Jeudy    Alabama
3.27    Damonte Coxie    Memphis
3.20    Hakeem Butler    Iowa State
3.06    N'Keal Harry    Ariz St
3.04    Papi White    Ohio
2.99    Olamide Zaccheaus    Virginia
2.97    Dillon Mitchell    Oregon
2.96    Malcolm Williams    Coast Car
2.92    KeeSean Johnson    Fresno St
2.90    Damion Willis    Troy
2.88    A.J. Brown    Miss
2.88    Antoine Wesley    Texas Tech
2.88    Scott Miller    BGSU
2.87    CeeDee Lamb    Oklahoma
        
Market Share of Passing TDs
64%    Darnell Mooney    Tulane
62%    Trevon Brown    ECU
56%    Antonio Gandy-Golden    Liberty
56%    N'Keal Harry    Ariz St
53%    JJ Arcega-Whiteside    Stanford
53%    Quez Watkins    USM
53%    Tyler Johnson    Minnesota
52%    Rico Bussey, Jr.    N Texas
50%    Laviska Shenault Jr.    Colorado
50%    Marcus Green    La-Monroe
47%    Hakeem Butler    Iowa State
47%    JD Spielman    Nebraska
47%    Jalen Reagor    TCU
44%    Andy Isabella    U Mass
44%    Jonathan Duhart    ODU
43%    John Ursua    Hawai'i
43%    Preston Williams    CSU
43%    Justin Jefferson    LSU
42%    Anthony Johnson    Buffalo
42%    Jayden Reed    W Mich
42%    Miles Boykin    Notre Dame
        
25+ Yard Receptions per Game
1.80    Antoine Wesley    Texas Tech
1.63    Antonio Gandy-Golden    Liberty
1.60    Tylan Wallace    Okla St
1.40    Stanley Morgan Jr.    Nebraska
1.40    Damion Willis    Troy
1.36    Andy Isabella    U Mass
1.33    Trevon Brown    ECU
1.33    Anthony Johnson    Buffalo
1.30    Travis Fulgham    ODU
1.30    Marquise Brown    Oklahoma
1.29    Laviska Shenault Jr.    Colorado
1.22    Hakeem Butler    Iowa State
1.20    Preston Williams    CSU
1.20    Jamal Custis    Syracuse
1.20    Tyler Johnson    Minnesota
1.20    McLane Mannix    Nevada
1.20    Jerry Jeudy    Alabama
1.20    A.J. Brown    Miss
1.13    Reggie Roberson, Jr.    SMU
1.11    Scott Miller    BGSU
1.11    Kelvin Harmon    NC State

Making all 3 lists: Andy Isabella, Laviska Shenault Jr., Tyler Johnson, Hakeem Butler.

My top 20 by overall receiving production (2018):
Laviska Shenault Jr.    Colorado
Antoine Wesley    Texas Tech
Andy Isabella    U Mass
Tylan Wallace    Okla St
Hakeem Butler    Iowa State
Darnell Mooney    Tulane
Jerry Jeudy    Alabama
Marquise Brown    Oklahoma
Anthony Johnson    Buffalo
Lil'Jordan Humphrey    Texas
John Ursua    Hawai'i
N'Keal Harry    Ariz St
Marcus Green    La-Monroe
Trevon Brown    ECU
CeeDee Lamb    Oklahoma
Damion Willis    Troy
Jace Sternberger    Texas A&M
JJ Arcega-Whiteside    Stanford
Stanley Morgan Jr.    Nebraska
A.J. Brown    Miss

Also incorporating previous seasons' production, size, estimated speed, and age gives an overall top 20 receiving prospects of:
Laviska Shenault Jr.    Colorado
A.J. Brown    Miss
Lil'Jordan Humphrey    Texas
Hakeem Butler    Iowa State
N'Keal Harry    Ariz St
Anthony Johnson    Buffalo
JJ Arcega-Whiteside    Stanford
Antoine Wesley    Texas Tech
Trevon Brown    ECU
Andy Isabella    U Mass
Tyler Johnson    Minnesota
Stanley Morgan Jr.    Nebraska
Jerry Jeudy    Alabama
Tylan Wallace    Okla St
Marquise Brown    Oklahoma
Jace Sternberger    Texas A&M
Darnell Mooney    Tulane
Greg Dortch    Wk Forest
John Ursua    Hawai'i
Marcus Green    La-Monroe

More stats in my spreadsheet.

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12 hours ago, ZWK said:

Some top 20ish WR leaderboards.

Yards per Team Attempt
3.90    Andy Isabella    U Mass
3.62    Darnell Mooney    Tulane
3.56    Laviska Shenault Jr.    Colorado
3.54    Tylan Wallace    Okla St
3.53    Marquise Brown    Oklahoma
3.34    Tyler Johnson    Minnesota
3.29    Jerry Jeudy    Alabama
3.27    Damonte Coxie    Memphis
3.20    Hakeem Butler    Iowa State
3.06    N'Keal Harry    Ariz St
3.04    Papi White    Ohio
2.99    Olamide Zaccheaus    Virginia
2.97    Dillon Mitchell    Oregon
2.96    Malcolm Williams    Coast Car
2.92    KeeSean Johnson    Fresno St
2.90    Damion Willis    Troy
2.88    A.J. Brown    Miss
2.88    Antoine Wesley    Texas Tech
2.88    Scott Miller    BGSU
2.87    CeeDee Lamb    Oklahoma
        
Market Share of Passing TDs
64%    Darnell Mooney    Tulane
62%    Trevon Brown    ECU
56%    Antonio Gandy-Golden    Liberty
56%    N'Keal Harry    Ariz St
53%    JJ Arcega-Whiteside    Stanford
53%    Quez Watkins    USM
53%    Tyler Johnson    Minnesota
52%    Rico Bussey, Jr.    N Texas
50%    Laviska Shenault Jr.    Colorado
50%    Marcus Green    La-Monroe
47%    Hakeem Butler    Iowa State
47%    JD Spielman    Nebraska
47%    Jalen Reagor    TCU
44%    Andy Isabella    U Mass
44%    Jonathan Duhart    ODU
43%    John Ursua    Hawai'i
43%    Preston Williams    CSU
43%    Justin Jefferson    LSU
42%    Anthony Johnson    Buffalo
42%    Jayden Reed    W Mich
42%    Miles Boykin    Notre Dame
        
25+ Yard Receptions per Game
1.80    Antoine Wesley    Texas Tech
1.63    Antonio Gandy-Golden    Liberty
1.60    Tylan Wallace    Okla St
1.40    Stanley Morgan Jr.    Nebraska
1.40    Damion Willis    Troy
1.36    Andy Isabella    U Mass
1.33    Trevon Brown    ECU
1.33    Anthony Johnson    Buffalo
1.30    Travis Fulgham    ODU
1.30    Marquise Brown    Oklahoma
1.29    Laviska Shenault Jr.    Colorado
1.22    Hakeem Butler    Iowa State
1.20    Preston Williams    CSU
1.20    Jamal Custis    Syracuse
1.20    Tyler Johnson    Minnesota
1.20    McLane Mannix    Nevada
1.20    Jerry Jeudy    Alabama
1.20    A.J. Brown    Miss
1.13    Reggie Roberson, Jr.    SMU
1.11    Scott Miller    BGSU
1.11    Kelvin Harmon    NC State

Making all 3 lists: Andy Isabella, Laviska Shenault Jr., Tyler Johnson, Hakeem Butler.

My top 20 by overall receiving production (2018):
Laviska Shenault Jr.    Colorado
Antoine Wesley    Texas Tech
Andy Isabella    U Mass
Tylan Wallace    Okla St
Hakeem Butler    Iowa State
Darnell Mooney    Tulane
Jerry Jeudy    Alabama
Marquise Brown    Oklahoma
Anthony Johnson    Buffalo
Lil'Jordan Humphrey    Texas
John Ursua    Hawai'i
N'Keal Harry    Ariz St
Marcus Green    La-Monroe
Trevon Brown    ECU
CeeDee Lamb    Oklahoma
Damion Willis    Troy
Jace Sternberger    Texas A&M
JJ Arcega-Whiteside    Stanford
Stanley Morgan Jr.    Nebraska
A.J. Brown    Miss

Also incorporating previous seasons' production, size, estimated speed, and age gives an overall top 20 receiving prospects of:
Laviska Shenault Jr.    Colorado
A.J. Brown    Miss
Lil'Jordan Humphrey    Texas
Hakeem Butler    Iowa State
N'Keal Harry    Ariz St
Anthony Johnson    Buffalo
JJ Arcega-Whiteside    Stanford
Antoine Wesley    Texas Tech
Trevon Brown    ECU
Andy Isabella    U Mass
Tyler Johnson    Minnesota
Stanley Morgan Jr.    Nebraska
Jerry Jeudy    Alabama
Tylan Wallace    Okla St
Marquise Brown    Oklahoma
Jace Sternberger    Texas A&M
Darnell Mooney    Tulane
Greg Dortch    Wk Forest
John Ursua    Hawai'i
Marcus Green    La-Monroe

More stats in my spreadsheet.

ZWK, the majority of sites have NKeal Harry as the 1.1 in 2019 fantasy drafts.

What are your thoughts on this? Is he far and away the best receiver in the draft and worthy of the 1.1?

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6 hours ago, ty247 said:

ZWK, the majority of sites have NKeal Harry as the 1.1 in 2019 fantasy drafts.

What are your thoughts on this? Is he far and away the best receiver in the draft and worthy of the 1.1?

My numbers are high enough on N'Keal Harry so that, if NFL folks like him, then he'll get a thumbs up from me.

He is not the runaway #1 in my numbers, though. He comes in 5th in my overall WR prospect rankings which were the last list in my post, behind Laviska Shenault (who isn't draft-eligible), Lil'Jordan Humphrey, AJ Brown, and Hakeem Butler (though Butler should probably slide behind him once I include Butler's age). But my numbers are far from perfect, especially at figuring out the fine-grained ordering of the top guys, so I would mostly defer to NFL folks on how to rank these guys.

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Once the season is in the books and I have complete stats for everyone then I'll start posting more. But I got a little impatient, so (with 1-2 games still left to go for some players) here are the top receivers in college football by my metric for total career production:

Emanuel Hall    Missouri   *
Andy Isabella    U Mass
A.J. Brown    Miss
Tyler Johnson    Minnesota
Marquise Brown    Oklahoma
Hakeem Butler    Iowa State
Tylan Wallace    Okla St
Scott Miller    BGSU
Laviska Shenault Jr.    Colorado   *
Antoine Wesley    Texas Tech
Anthony Johnson    Buffalo
John Ursua    Hawai'i   *
JJ Arcega-Whiteside    Stanford
N'Keal Harry    Ariz St
Stanley Morgan Jr.    Nebraska
Greg Dortch    Wk Forest   *
Cody Thompson    Toledo   *
Darnell Mooney    Tulane
Damion Willis    Troy
Gary Jennings Jr.    WVU
Deebo Samuel    S Carolina
Jerry Jeudy    Alabama
Jalen Reagor    TCU
Jace Sternberger    Texas A&M
CeeDee Lamb    Oklahoma
James Proche    SMU
Diontae Johnson    Toledo
Preston Williams    CSU
Rondale Moore    Purdue
JD Spielman    Nebraska
Lil'Jordan Humphrey    Texas
Trevon Brown    ECU
David Sills V    WVU
Denzel Mims    Baylor

With asterisks for the guys who played in less than 10 games in one of their best seasons, since I look at per-game production in a way that may be overly generous to those players.

This is just production, which is a big part of my prospect ratings but not the whole thing. My final prospect rankings will also take into account things like size, speed, drop rate, age, etc.

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QB stats. Here is how the most productive college season for 10 talked-about QB prospects compares to the FBS QBs who have been drafted in the first 2 rounds since 2009:

Player           Best Season
Kyler Murray    2018
Baker Mayfield    2016
Jameis Winston    2013
Sam Bradford    2008
Johnny Manziel    2013
Marcus Mariota    2014
Robert Griffin III    2011
Andrew Luck    2010
Will Grier    2018
Dwayne Haskins    2018

Sam Darnold    2016
Cam Newton    2010
Drew Lock    2017
Tim Tebow    2008
Matthew Stafford    2008
Brandon Weeden    2011
Mark Sanchez    2008
Jared Goff    2015
Teddy Bridgewater    2013
Deshaun Watson    2016
Lamar Jackson    2017
Geno Smith    2012
Patrick Mahomes    2016
Andy Dalton    2010
Ryan Tannehill    2010
DeShone Kizer    2015
Colin Kaepernick    2010
Mitch Trubisky    2016
Jarrett Stidham    2017
Shea Patterson    2018

Jimmy Clausen    2008
Christian Ponder    2009
Paxton Lynch    2015
EJ Manuel    2012
Ryan Finley    2018
Blake Bortles    2013
Josh Rosen    2017
Josh Allen    2016
Tyree Jackson    2017
Brock Osweiler    2011
Jake Locker    2009
Clayton Thorson    2016
Daniel Jones    2016

Derek Carr    2012
Josh Freeman    2008
Christian Hackenberg    2013
Pat White    2008
Blaine Gabbert    2009

(Wentz & Garoppolo were FCS and are not listed.)

Bottom line is that there look to be 4 main quarterbacks worth paying attention to: Murray, Grier, Haskins, and Lock. Murray's production was ridiculously good (the best on record which goes back to the 2008 college season, beating out Russell Wilson's 2011 and Tua Tagovailoa's 2018) and his rushing could give him a bunch of extra fantasy value, but he faces obvious questions about his size and choice of sport. Grier, Haskins, and Lock all have very strong production, but things like scouting reports and arm strength matter a lot too; if the NFL likes any of them enough to draft them early then I'll probably be on board.

Mediocre production is a major concern for the rest of the draft class, especially Daniel Jones who is the other guy who is getting the most first round buzz. I'll probably be avoiding them.

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31 minutes ago, ZWK said:

Mediocre production is a major concern for the rest of the draft class, especially Daniel Jones who is the other guy who is getting the most first round buzz. I'll probably be avoiding them.

Love your stuff and you add so much to this place. But with Jones keep in mind Duke has ZERO 4 or 5 star skilled position players. To me that's a factor, he just didn't have guys with elite speed or separation skills to throw to. I think he flourishes at the next level when he's surrounded with legit talent. He has a strong arm, he's big, and he's a duel threat running the ball. And Cutcliff really is one of the best QB coaches in the game. I remember reading a quote from Eli, who has gone to Duke in the Spring for the last 8 seasons. He had very high praise for Jones as well. I think Daniel is definitely a sleeper and there is a legitimate reason he's being talked about in the first round. The combine will be very important for him and I'm sure can really help (or hurt if he struggles) his stock. Can't wait to see how he does! 

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PFF is also down on Daniel Jones, and they do a somewhat better job than raw stats at disentangling a QB from his teammates (though they're definitely not perfect at it). They're down on Drew Lock too.

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4 hours ago, ZWK said:

PFF is also down on Daniel Jones, and they do a somewhat better job than raw stats at disentangling a QB from his teammates (though they're definitely not perfect at it). They're down on Drew Lock too.

Interesting. They are also somewhat down on Metcalf. Didn't expect to see his name on there. And Jones also had a fractured clavicle and the fact that he rushed back as fast as he did after that surgery (was at practice 10 days later) was pretty impressive IMO, but he definitely had major rust that first game back. But no doubt he struggled with consistency at times. He had 5 games where his QBR was very good (72.3, 81.9, 88.9, 91.8, 91.7) but then had 3 games where his QBR was under 50.0. Actually he and Lock were pretty similar in that regard, where Murray was great every single game. 

Edited by ffmail4me

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2 hours ago, ffmail4me said:

Interesting. They are also somewhat down on Metcalf. Didn't expect to see his name on there. And Jones also had a fractured clavicle and the fact that he rushed back as fast as he did after that surgery (was at practice 10 days later) was pretty impressive IMO, but he definitely had major rust that first game back. But no doubt he struggled with consistency at times. He had 5 games where his QBR was very good (72.3, 81.9, 88.9, 91.8, 91.7) but then had 3 games where his QBR was under 50.0. Actually he and Lock were pretty similar in that regard, where Murray was great every single game. 

I read something completely different from you guys. They are not exactly down on the players PFF is only saying the players didn’t live up to all the hype that they were getting prior to the year. In particular with Metcalf they even say that Metcalf was not used right which is a coaching issue. Hinting that there could be more to Metcalf but the coaches only had running vertical routes and because of that only saw 6 targets a game.

Tex

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Here's how the TE class rates in terms of college production, in comparison to some guys who have had success in the NFL:

Jace Sternberger    Texas A&M
Rob Gronkowski
Jermaine Gresham
Evan Engram
Caleb Wilson    UCLA
Albert Okwuegbunam    Missouri

Vernon Davis
Travis Kelce
T.J. Hockenson    Iowa
Noah Fant    Iowa

Charles Clay
Kaden Smith    Stanford
Jared Pinkney    Vanderbilt

George Kittle
Irv Smith    Alabama
Gary Barnidge
Delanie Walker
C.J. Conrad    Kentucky
Aaron Hernandez
Zach Gentry    Michigan
O.J. Howard
Zach Ertz
Tyler Eifert
Brent Celek
Isaac Nauta    Georgia
Mitchell Wilcox    S Florida

Martellus Bennett
Josh Oliver    San Jose St
Jordan Reed
Greg Olsen
Brandon Pettigrew
Kyle Rudolph
Jermichael Finley
Julius Thomas
Owen Daniels
Alize Mack    Notre Dame
Jimmy Graham
Jordan Cameron

This is based on each player's two best seasons (and primarily his best season), using a variety of stats (yardage, TDs, long receptions, yards per target) which are not adjusted for the quality or pass-happyness of the team's offense. Let me know if I've left anyone important out of this ranking; these are the only guys whose numbers I've looked up.

Sternberger's production is outstanding - the best on record, edging out Arizona TE Rob Gronkowski, who also had 10 TDs in 10 games but had 160 fewer yards and 4 fewer 25+ yard receptions. And everyone from Irv Smith or so up had very good production. Part of that is because college teams are using the TE more (even very good TE prospects often didn't get the same usage in college), but this also does look like a very strong TE class.

Edited by ZWK
Added Conrad, moved Fant up after catching an error in my numbers, moved Irv Smith down after including the championship game
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On 1/2/2019 at 10:32 PM, BigTex said:

I read something completely different from you guys. They are not exactly down on the players PFF is only saying the players didn’t live up to all the hype that they were getting prior to the year. In particular with Metcalf they even say that Metcalf was not used right which is a coaching issue. Hinting that there could be more to Metcalf but the coaches only had running vertical routes and because of that only saw 6 targets a game.

Tex

Sadly the same thing happens in the NFL. The Lions have no idea how to use Golladay. They like running 3rd string RBs up the gut on goal line situations. Hopefully he gets drafted by a team that had a clue. 

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(Edited to also include the championship game) Here are a few receiving top 20ish leaderboards for this season:

Yards per Team Attempt
4.13    Andy Isabella    U Mass
3.63    Hakeem Butler    Iowa State
3.39    Tyler Johnson    Minnesota
3.31    Darnell Mooney    Tulane
3.29    Marquise Brown    Oklahoma
3.21    Laviska Shenault Jr.    Colorado *
3.18    Papi White    Ohio
3.09    Scott Miller    BGSU
3.05    KeeSean Johnson    Fresno St
3.02    Tylan Wallace    Okla St
3.00    Jerry Jeudy    Alabama
2.99    A.J. Brown    Miss
2.97    N'Keal Harry    Ariz St
2.96    Olamide Zaccheaus    Virginia
2.89    CeeDee Lamb    Oklahoma
2.84    Damonte Coxie    Memphis
2.83    Dillon Mitchell    Oregon
2.78    Damion Willis    Troy
2.71    JJ Arcega-Whiteside    Stanford
2.68    Preston Williams    CSU
2.68    Jamarius Way    South Ala
        
Market Share of Passing TDs
60%    Tyler Johnson    Minnesota
54%    Preston Williams    CSU
53%    Darnell Mooney    Tulane
52%    JJ Arcega-Whiteside    Stanford
52%    Antonio Gandy-Golden    Liberty
51%    JD Spielman    Nebraska *
50%    Trevon Brown    ECU
50%    Jalen Reagor    TCU
49%    N'Keal Harry    Ariz St
48%    Andy Isabella    U Mass
47%    Damion Willis    Troy
47%    Quez Watkins    USM
47%    Marcus Green    La-Monroe
46%    Rico Bussey, Jr.    N Texas
45%    Hakeem Butler    Iowa State
45%    Tyre Brady    Marshall
44%    Xavier Ubosi    UAB
43%    James Proche    SMU
43%    Rondale Moore    Purdue
43%    Travis Fulgham    ODU
43%    Jonathan Duhart    ODU
        
25+ Yard Receptions per Game
1.6    Emanuel Hall    Missouri *
1.5    Hakeem Butler    Iowa State
1.5    Antoine Wesley    Texas Tech
1.4    Preston Williams    CSU
1.4    Andy Isabella    U Mass
1.4    Tylan Wallace    Okla St
1.3    KeeSean Johnson    Fresno St
1.3    Marquise Brown    Oklahoma
1.3    Damion Willis    Troy
1.3    Stanley Morgan Jr.    Nebraska
1.3    McLane Mannix    Nevada
1.3    A.J. Brown    Miss
1.2    Scott Miller    BGSU
1.2    Antonio Gandy-Golden    Liberty
1.2    N'Keal Harry    Ariz St
1.2    Trevon Brown    ECU
1.2    Travis Fulgham    ODU
1.2    Collin Johnson    Texas
1.2    Anthony Johnson    Buffalo
1.1    D.K. Metcalf    Miss *
1.1    Tyler Johnson    Minnesota
1.1    Jamal Custis    Syracuse
1.1    John Ursua    Hawai'i
1.1    CeeDee Lamb    Oklahoma
1.1    Jerry Jeudy    Alabama
        
Yards per Target (extended past the top 20 to include the whole 10.0 YPT club)       
14.37    Jaylen Waddle    Alabama
14.28    Emanuel Hall    Missouri *
13.89    Justyn Ross    Clemson
13.88    D.K. Metcalf    Miss *
13.72    Xavier Ubosi    UAB
13.56    Jerry Jeudy    Alabama
13.01    CeeDee Lamb    Oklahoma
12.56    Gary Jennings Jr.    WVU
12.43    Marquise Brown    Oklahoma
12.20    Hakeem Butler    Iowa State
11.69    T.J. Hockenson    Iowa
11.68    Darnell Mooney    Tulane
11.55    Andy Isabella    U Mass
11.27    JJ Arcega-Whiteside    Stanford
11.19    A.J. Brown    Miss
10.93    D'Wayne Eskridge    W Mich
10.83    Scott Miller    BGSU
10.81    Damion Willis    Troy
10.76    Antoine Wesley    Texas Tech
10.76    Anthony Johnson    Buffalo
10.67    Jace Sternberger    Texas A&M
10.58    A.J. Richardson    Boise St
10.54    Shawn Poindexter    Arizona
10.47    Olabisi Johnson    CSU
10.43    Marcus Green    La-Monroe
10.41    Travis Fulgham    ODU
10.31    KeeSean Johnson    Fresno St
10.31    Corey Sutton    App St
10.20    Dezmon Patmon    Wash St
10.05    Ja'Deion High    Texas Tech
10.03    Damonte Coxie    Memphis

* played 10 or fewer games. Stats are pro-rated for guys who missed games.

Everyone who made the top 100 in total receiving yards is eligible for these lists, and I manually added a few other players (like Metcalf).

Making all 4 lists: Andy Isabella, Hakeem Butler, Damion Willis.

Making 3 lists: Darnell Mooney, Marquise Brown, Tyler Johnson, Preston Williams, N'Keal Harry, JJ Arcega-Whiteside, Scott Miller, A.J. Brown, KeeSean Johnson, Jerry Jeudy, CeeDee Lamb, Travis Fulgham.

Not pictured: Parris Campbell, Deebo Samuel, Kelvin Harmon, David Sills, Riley Ridley.

Edited by ZWK
updated to include the Clemson-Alabama championship game
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I haven’t done a ton of research yet but from casual watching, N’Keal Harry is the top skill prospect in the draft.

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Here are the top 20 most physically impressive RBs who might be in this draft. "Physical impressiveness" here is based solely on optimistic estimates of the player's 40 time and weight, and gaining 20 pounds is worth as much as running 0.10 seconds faster. This is very similar to Football Outsiders' speed score, but before we have actual size & speed measurements.

Bryce Love       Stanford     (202, 4.36)
Dexter Williams       Notre Dame     (215, 4.47)
Rodney Anderson    Oklahoma     (220, 4.50)
Wes Hills    Slippery Rock    (218, 4.50)
Jacques Patrick       Florida State     (234, 4.58)
Josh Jacobs       Alabama     (216, 4.49)
Lamical Perine       Florida     (227, 4.55)
Damien Harris       Alabama     (215, 4.50)
Qadree Ollison       Pittsburgh     (230, 4.59)
Elijah Holyfield       Georgia     (215, 4.52)
Mike Weber       Ohio State     (215, 4.52)
Benny Snell Jr.       Kentucky     (223, 4.56)
Travon McMillian       Colorado     (210, 4.50)
Alex Barnes    Kansas State    (227, 4.59)
Darrin Hall       Pittsburgh     (225, 4.58)
Zack Moss       Utah     (215, 4.53)
Devwah Whaley       Arkansas     (216, 4.54)
Ryquell Armstead       Temple     (215, 4.54)
Alexander Mattison       Boise State     (219, 4.56)
Trayveon Williams       Texas AM     (200, 4.47)

I took estimated weights and 40 times from nfldraftscout and walterfootball, and used whichever one was better. For example, nflds has Rodney Anderson at 220 pounds and 4.59 speed, while Walter Football has him at 219 pounds and 4.50 speed, so I treated him as being 220 pounds (the larger weight) with 4.50 speed (the faster time).

Successful NFL RBs usually have a good size/speed combo, so any RB who did not make this list will have to break expectations to succeed (either by working out better than projected, or by succeeding despite an unimpressive mix of size & speed, or by being so off-the-radar now that they didn't even make Walter Football's list of 35 prospects whose I looked at).

Edited by ZWK

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On 1/4/2019 at 2:11 AM, ZWK said:

Here's how the TE class rates in terms of college production, in comparison to some guys who have had success in the NFL:

Jace Sternberger    Texas A&M
Rob Gronkowski
Jermaine Gresham
Evan Engram
Caleb Wilson    UCLA
Albert Okwuegbunam    Missouri

Vernon Davis
Travis Kelce
T.J. Hockenson    Iowa
Irv Smith    Alabama

Charles Clay
Kaden Smith    Stanford
Noah Fant    Iowa
Jared Pinkney    Vanderbilt

George Kittle
Gary Barnidge
Delanie Walker
Aaron Hernandez
Zach Gentry    Michigan
O.J. Howard
Zach Ertz
Tyler Eifert
Brent Celek
Isaac Nauta    Georgia
Mitchell Wilcox    S Florida

Martellus Bennett
Josh Oliver    San Jose St
Jordan Reed
Greg Olsen
Brandon Pettigrew
Kyle Rudolph
Jermichael Finley
Julius Thomas
Owen Daniels
Alize Mack    Notre Dame
Jimmy Graham
Jordan Cameron

This is based on each player's two best seasons (and primarily his best season), using a variety of stats (yardage, TDs, long receptions, yards per target) which are not adjusted for the quality or pass-happyness of the team's offense. Let me know if I've left anyone important out of this ranking; these are the only guys whose numbers I've looked up.

Sternberger's production is outstanding - the best on record, edging out Arizona TE Rob Gronkowski, who also had 10 TDs in 10 games but had 160 fewer yards and 4 fewer 25+ yard receptions. And everyone from Pinkney up had very good production. Part of that is because college teams are using the TE more (even very good TE prospects often didn't get the same usage in college), but this also does look like a very strong TE class.

What are your thoughts on C J Conrad?  He's a very good receiving TE but played with a QB that isn't a very good passer.

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Conrad missed some time in 2017 but his per-game production over the 7 games he played that year was pretty good, with 11.4 YPT and 4 TDs in 7 games. Working against him: 7 games is a smallish sample size, and in all the rest of his seasons his production was below average. Working in his favor: these production stats don't include any team adjustments, and as you say Kentucky's passing offense has been pretty bad. On the whole I'll say that Conrad has shown enough to be on the radar but not enough to stand out, and I could see him moving up or down a lot in my estimation based on scouting reports & offseason workouts.

Maybe this offseason I'll finally add team-adjusted stats (like market share) to my TE ratings like I already do with my WR ratings, and do a better job of accounting for missed games.

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On 1/4/2019 at 4:15 PM, ZWK said:

(Edited to also include the championship game) Here are a few receiving top 20ish leaderboards for this season:

Yards per Team Attempt
4.13    Andy Isabella    U Mass
3.63    Hakeem Butler    Iowa State
3.39    Tyler Johnson    Minnesota
3.31    Darnell Mooney    Tulane
3.29    Marquise Brown    Oklahoma
3.21    Laviska Shenault Jr.    Colorado *
3.18    Papi White    Ohio
3.09    Scott Miller    BGSU
3.05    KeeSean Johnson    Fresno St
3.02    Tylan Wallace    Okla St
3.00    Jerry Jeudy    Alabama
2.99    A.J. Brown    Miss
2.97    N'Keal Harry    Ariz St
2.96    Olamide Zaccheaus    Virginia
2.89    CeeDee Lamb    Oklahoma
2.84    Damonte Coxie    Memphis
2.83    Dillon Mitchell    Oregon
2.78    Damion Willis    Troy
2.71    JJ Arcega-Whiteside    Stanford
2.68    Preston Williams    CSU
2.68    Jamarius Way    South Ala
        
Market Share of Passing TDs
60%    Tyler Johnson    Minnesota
54%    Preston Williams    CSU
53%    Darnell Mooney    Tulane
52%    JJ Arcega-Whiteside    Stanford
52%    Antonio Gandy-Golden    Liberty
51%    JD Spielman    Nebraska *
50%    Trevon Brown    ECU
50%    Jalen Reagor    TCU
49%    N'Keal Harry    Ariz St
48%    Andy Isabella    U Mass
47%    Damion Willis    Troy
47%    Quez Watkins    USM
47%    Marcus Green    La-Monroe
46%    Rico Bussey, Jr.    N Texas
45%    Hakeem Butler    Iowa State
45%    Tyre Brady    Marshall
44%    Xavier Ubosi    UAB
43%    James Proche    SMU
43%    Rondale Moore    Purdue
43%    Travis Fulgham    ODU
43%    Jonathan Duhart    ODU
        
25+ Yard Receptions per Game
1.6    Emanuel Hall    Missouri *
1.5    Hakeem Butler    Iowa State
1.5    Antoine Wesley    Texas Tech
1.4    Preston Williams    CSU
1.4    Andy Isabella    U Mass
1.4    Tylan Wallace    Okla St
1.3    KeeSean Johnson    Fresno St
1.3    Marquise Brown    Oklahoma
1.3    Damion Willis    Troy
1.3    Stanley Morgan Jr.    Nebraska
1.3    McLane Mannix    Nevada
1.3    A.J. Brown    Miss
1.2    Scott Miller    BGSU
1.2    Antonio Gandy-Golden    Liberty
1.2    N'Keal Harry    Ariz St
1.2    Trevon Brown    ECU
1.2    Travis Fulgham    ODU
1.2    Collin Johnson    Texas
1.2    Anthony Johnson    Buffalo
1.1    D.K. Metcalf    Miss *
1.1    Tyler Johnson    Minnesota
1.1    Jamal Custis    Syracuse
1.1    John Ursua    Hawai'i
1.1    CeeDee Lamb    Oklahoma
1.1    Jerry Jeudy    Alabama
        
Yards per Target (extended past the top 20 to include the whole 10.0 YPT club)       
14.37    Jaylen Waddle    Alabama
14.28    Emanuel Hall    Missouri *
13.89    Justyn Ross    Clemson
13.88    D.K. Metcalf    Miss *
13.72    Xavier Ubosi    UAB
13.56    Jerry Jeudy    Alabama
13.01    CeeDee Lamb    Oklahoma
12.56    Gary Jennings Jr.    WVU
12.43    Marquise Brown    Oklahoma
12.20    Hakeem Butler    Iowa State
11.69    T.J. Hockenson    Iowa
11.68    Darnell Mooney    Tulane
11.55    Andy Isabella    U Mass
11.27    JJ Arcega-Whiteside    Stanford
11.19    A.J. Brown    Miss
10.93    D'Wayne Eskridge    W Mich
10.83    Scott Miller    BGSU
10.81    Damion Willis    Troy
10.76    Antoine Wesley    Texas Tech
10.76    Anthony Johnson    Buffalo
10.67    Jace Sternberger    Texas A&M
10.58    A.J. Richardson    Boise St
10.54    Shawn Poindexter    Arizona
10.47    Olabisi Johnson    CSU
10.43    Marcus Green    La-Monroe
10.41    Travis Fulgham    ODU
10.31    KeeSean Johnson    Fresno St
10.31    Corey Sutton    App St
10.20    Dezmon Patmon    Wash St
10.05    Ja'Deion High    Texas Tech
10.03    Damonte Coxie    Memphis

* played 10 or fewer games. Stats are pro-rated for guys who missed games.

Everyone who made the top 100 in total receiving yards is eligible for these lists, and I manually added a few other players (like Metcalf).

Making all 4 lists: Andy Isabella, Hakeem Butler, Damion Willis.

Making 3 lists: Darnell Mooney, Marquise Brown, Tyler Johnson, Preston Williams, N'Keal Harry, JJ Arcega-Whiteside, Scott Miller, A.J. Brown, KeeSean Johnson, Jerry Jeudy, CeeDee Lamb, Travis Fulgham.

Not pictured: Parris Campbell, Deebo Samuel, Kelvin Harmon, David Sills, Riley Ridley.

Interesting to see Tyler Johnson actually makes some of your lists.

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12 minutes ago, Biabreakable said:

Interesting to see Tyler Johnson actually makes some of your lists.

He was a huge fraction of Minnesota's passing offense. And it was the same in 2017 for the games that he played. That offense has gotten as much out of him as N'Keal Harry this year at Arizona State (minus the rushing/ST) or DJ Moore last year at Maryland, though he probably won't match them at the combine.

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4 minutes ago, ZWK said:

He was a huge fraction of Minnesota's passing offense. And it was the same in 2017 for the games that he played. That offense has gotten as much out of him as N'Keal Harry this year at Arizona State (minus the rushing/ST) or DJ Moore last year at Maryland, though he probably won't match them at the combine.

I have watched a few of the Gophers games. Physical WR who runs the slant well. My cousin thinks he is better than I do but keeping my wind open.

I don't think he is very fast as you are alluding to.

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This is looking like a good year for big WRs. Guys with both good (estimated) size and good production include Hakeem Butler (6'4.75" 225 lb), DK Metcalf (6'2.75" 230 lb), N'Keal Harry (6'3.25" 213 lb), and JJ Arcega-Whiteside (6'2.125" 225 lb). Lower the "size" threshold a little and you also get AJ Brown (6'1" 230 lb) and Anthony Johnson (6'1" 210 lb); lower the "production" threshold a little and you can add Lil'Jordan Humphrey (6'3.75" 225 lb).

We'll see how these numbers hold up as we get actual measurements, first from the Senior Bowl and similar and then from the combine.

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Here is who my formula currently has as the top 25 RB prospects in college football. Keep in mind that these are likely to change a lot over the next couple months, since they're missing numbers like combine workouts and yards after contact which play a pretty big role in the formula.

Travis Etienne    Clemson
Darrell Henderson    Memphis
D'Andre Swift    Georgia
Elijah Mitchell    La-Lafytte
Jonathan Taylor    Wisconsin
Damien Harris    Alabama
Trey Ragas    La-Lafytte
Trayveon Williams    Texas A&M
Benny Snell, Jr.    Kentucky
Jermar Jefferson    Oregon St
Scottie Phillips    Miss
Michael Warren II    Cincinnati
Mike Weber    Ohio State
Devin Singletary    FAU
Benny LeMay    Charlotte
Ke'Shawn Vaughn    Vanderbilt
Kennedy Brooks    Oklahoma
David Montgomery    Iowa State
Zack Moss    Utah
J.K. Dobbins    Ohio State
Bryce Love    Stanford
Miles Sanders    Penn State
Trey Sermon    Oklahoma
Josh Jacobs    Alabama
Qadree Ollison    Pittsburgh

These rankings incorporate numbers like size, estimated speed, rushing efficiency, workload, receiving production, strength of schedule, and age.

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Receiving is becoming increasingly important for RBs, both in the NFL and in ppr fantasy. One type of RB that's worth looking at is the receiving back - the type of RB who doesn't run the ball much but has ppr fantasy value thanks to his receiving production. My approach to rating RB prospects isn't really designed to identify these guys, so I figured I'd take a look and see if I could get a better idea of what to look for.

I figured I'd start by picking out the NFL RBs who best fit this type. Here are the 8 I came up with: Darren Sproles, James White, Theo Riddick, Duke Johnson, Danny Woodhead, Tarik Cohen, Chris Thompson, Shane Vereen.

How do these 8 RBs stand out as prospects? Here are some things we knew about them when they were coming into the NFL (using the order above), in comparison with the avg RB at the NFL combine.

Height (avg combine RB is 5'10.5"): 5'6.1", 5'9.1", 5'10.1", 5'9.1", 5'7.6", 5'6.4", 5'7.1", 5'10.3"
Weight (avg combine RB is 214 lb): 187, 204, 201, 207, 197, 179, 192, 210
BMI (avg combine RB is 30.2): 30.1, 30.0, 28.7, 30.5, 30.3, 28.6, 30.0, 29.9
Max Rec Yd in a college season: 287, 300, 436, 421, 484, 339, 248, 244
Max Rush Yd in a college season: 1986, 1444, 917, 1652, 2756, 1588, 845, 1167
Tot ST TDs in college: 1, 0, 0, 2, 0, 0, 0, 0
FBS school?: Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes, No, No, Yes, Yes

The general pattern:

They're small, and this is mostly about being short rather than being skinny. Two have exceptionally low weight and most are on the low end for NFL backs, none have exceptionally low BMI and 6 of the 8 have averageish BMI, most are below average height and half are below 5'8".

They were generally 3-down backs in college, with plenty of rushing production (all over 800 rushing yards in a season and the majority over 1400), though Riddick did only have 1 year as a RB after spending a couple years in college at WR and Thompson shifted to a less-balanced receiving-heavy RB role after FSU added Devonta Freeman. They were all involved in the passing game (200+ receiving yards in season), but only 3 of the 8 had a particularly high-end receiving season (400+ rec yds).

They were a bit more likely than most RBs to have special teams scores or be from a non-FBS school, but these still weren't typical.

They didn't particularly stand out from other RBs in their workouts (not shown here); this is a fairly representative group (in terms of both average and the spread) in 40 time, jumps, agility drills, and bench. Sproles is the only one that stands out for great agility drills, Woodhead is the only one that stands out for especially good athleticism, Riddick is the only one that stands out for a particularly slow 40.

If I was to expand the list past 8 RBs, the next 10 that I'd include are: Jalen Richard, Nyheim Hines, Pierre Thomas, Dion Lewis, Bilal Powell, Giovani Bernard, Austin Ekeler, Kevin Faulk, Jerick McKinnon, and T.J. Yeldon. On the whole these 10 guys fit a similar pattern; the main difference is that more of them had special teams scores. There are also more occasional exceptions to other patterns, like Yeldon being bigger and Bilal Powell having less college receiving production. But guys like Yeldon and Powell have also had NFL careers that fit less closely to the receiving back pattern.

The overall lesson seems to be: if a good college RB seems like he might be too small to make it in the NFL, where "too small" is more about short / low weight than low BMI, then see if he has some receiving skills which might allow him to settle into a receiving role in the NFL. This is somewhat informative but not all that much, because there are a lot of RBs that make the cut. New England and New Orleans are also overrepresented on these lists; that is more actionable (at least after the draft). I was hoping that there might be more of a pattern of "RBs who do a great job as receivers in college often settle into a 3rd down RB role in the NFL" but that doesn't seem to be the case; a lot of these guys had solid but unspectacular college receiving production and also good rushing production.

Edited by ZWK

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2 minutes ago, 32 Counter Pass said:
47 minutes ago, ZWK said:

Weight (avg RB is 214 lb): 187, 204, 201, 207, 197, 179, 192, 210

Hey Z, the weight avg is incorrect. It is 197 lb.

The average is for all RBs at the combine (2007-2018); I edited the post to make it clearer. It's there to make it easy to see that these receiving backs are all shorter and lighter than average (some by a lot), but they have pretty typical BMIs.

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23 hours ago, ZWK said:

Here is who my formula currently has as the top 25 RB prospects in college football. Keep in mind that these are likely to change a lot over the next couple months, since they're missing numbers like combine workouts and yards after contact which play a pretty big role in the formula.

Travis Etienne    Clemson
Darrell Henderson    Memphis
D'Andre Swift    Georgia
Elijah Mitchell    La-Lafytte
Jonathan Taylor    Wisconsin
Damien Harris    Alabama
Trey Ragas    La-Lafytte
Trayveon Williams    Texas A&M
Benny Snell, Jr.    Kentucky
Jermar Jefferson    Oregon St
Scottie Phillips    Miss
Michael Warren II    Cincinnati
Mike Weber    Ohio State
Devin Singletary    FAU
Benny LeMay    Charlotte
Ke'Shawn Vaughn    Vanderbilt
Kennedy Brooks    Oklahoma
David Montgomery    Iowa State
Zack Moss    Utah
J.K. Dobbins    Ohio State
Bryce Love    Stanford
Miles Sanders    Penn State
Trey Sermon    Oklahoma
Josh Jacobs    Alabama
Qadree Ollison    Pittsburgh

These rankings incorporate numbers like size, estimated speed, rushing efficiency, workload, receiving production, strength of schedule, and age.

Interesting to see Josh Jacobs so low.  I haven't watched any of him yet so I'm saying this relatively unknown about him, but are people just trying to find something that isn't there?  I see lots of hype around him right now, probably only going to grow, but I wonder if people are hyping him up just because there is no other, or if he really is that good in peoples minds.  Seems like a Bishop Sankey effect.  

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My system doesn't like Jacobs because of his light workload. Maxed out at 120 carries, never reached 1000 YFS, etc. It's rare for an RB to have much success in the NFL when he was never the man in college, though there are exceptions (including Alvin Kamara & Chris Carson recently).

But Jacobs has a pretty good excuse sharing a backfield with Harris & Harris, so I do like him more than my formula does. I still want to see more of his advanced stats and workout numbers before crowning him as a top prospect.

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With Shrine Game weigh-ins we're starting to get accurate size data on this year's draft class. No big names so far. Some of the more relevant guys include:

WR Keesean Johnson   6'1.1", 204 lb, 26.8 BMI - averageish size
WR Cody Thompson   6'1.5", 200 lb, 26.0 BMI - on the thin side, right at the 26.0 threshold below which I get increasingly concerned
RB Ty Johnson   5'10.4", 213 lb, 30.2 BMI - averageish size
RB Devine Ozigbo   5'10.6", 219 lb, 30.9 BMI - above average size but much smaller than his listing
QB Brett Rypien   6'1.8", 204 lb, 26.4 BMI - on the small side
QB Easton Stick   6'1.4", 217 lb, 28.3 BMI - a bit shorter than ideal
 

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