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ZWK's 2016 Prospect Analysis


ZWK

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5 minutes ago, 32 Counter Pass said:

How does he define "open"? How does he know if the open WR isn't a result of a broken coverage by the DBs? 

What he says in his post is that open mean "creating separation, enough for the quarterback to have a reasonable target." Plays where the "receiver is obviously held or interfered with (called or not)" also count as open. If there is broken coverage then that still counts as getting open.

You can get a sense of how strict his standard is for what counts as "open" based on the fact that receivers got open on about 70% of their routes according to his standards.

I think that the most important thing is having a consistent standard, applying it to a bunch of plays, and counting up the totals so that you can make comparisons between players. It is less important precisely what that standard is. For example, when Greg Peshek and I were both charting broken tackles by RBs, I had a much more generous definition than he did about what counts as a broken tackle - I counted 4 times as many broken tackles as he did. But we still mostly agreed with each other about which RBs did the best at breaking tackles and which did the worst.

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I wanted to take a look at route diversity using Harmon's data. Which receivers ran a wide range of routes, and which had a limited route tree? Which receivers had success at a wide range of routes, and which struggled on certain types of routes.

One way to look at this is to look at each receiver's worst route. Out of all the types of routes, which type did he run least often? Out of all the types of routes, which type did he have the lowest success rate at, relative to his peers?

Harmon breaks routes down into 10 different types (plus an "other" category), which is too many for this type of analysis (especially with the small sample sizes, e.g. on average each receiver ran only 6 out routes). I recombined his types into 4 categories, plus a larger "other" category which I left out of these analyses:

1. Slant
2. Curl/Comeback
3. Nine
4. Post/Corner/Dig/Out
Other: Screen/Flat/Other

Each of the 4 categories accounted for about 20% of all plays (they were all in the 18%-24% range). Harmon's Screen, Flat, and Other types each accounted for 5-6% of plays, so my larger Other category includes 17% of plays.

Here is the category of routes (out of those 4) that each receiver ran least often, ranked by how often they ran it:

18.7%    Josh Doctson    (Slant)
16.8%    Aaron Burbidge    (Slant)
15.9%    Kenny Lawler    (Post/Corner/Dig/Out)
15.6%    Demarcus Robinson    (Slant)
15.1%    Rashard Higgins    (Slant)
14.9%    Leonte Carroo    (Curl/Comeback)
14.6%    Sterling Shepard    (Nine)
14.3%    Malcolm Mitchell    (Post/Corner/Dig/Out)
14.0%    Mike Thomas    (Curl/Comeback)
13.9%    Michael Thomas    (Nine)
13.9%    Tyler Boyd    (Curl/Comeback)
13.0%    Will Fuller    (Slant)
12.4%    Charone Peake    (Slant)
12.2%    De'Runnya Wilson    (Curl/Comeback)
9.9%    Laquon Treadwell    (Post/Corner/Dig/Out)
9.7%    Tajae Sharpe    (Slant)
8.5%    Pharoh Cooper    (Curl/Comeback)
7.4%    Roger Lewis    (Post/Corner/Dig/Out)
7.0%    Keyarris Garrett    (Post/Corner/Dig/Out)
7.0%    Braxton Miller    (Curl/Comeback)
6.6%    Corey Coleman    (Post/Corner/Dig/Out)

Some concerns about Coleman, Miller, and Treadwell not running a balanced route tree (although Miller only had 86 routes charted, which hurts him in these metrics where we look at each player's worst because a smaller sample size makes a player's numbers noisier). The other notable names are all above 10% on every category.

And here is each receiver's success rate relative to average on their worst route category of the four:

6.6%    Sterling Shepard    (Slant)
6.3%    Josh Doctson    (Nine)
3.4%    Mike Thomas    (Slant)
3.4%    Corey Coleman    (Nine)
0.7%    Laquon Treadwell    (Post/Corner/Dig/Out)
0.6%    Rashard Higgins    (Post/Corner/Dig/Out)
-2.9%    Michael Thomas    (Slant)
-3.0%    Will Fuller    (Post/Corner/Dig/Out)
-4.1%    Malcolm Mitchell    (Slant)
-6.2%    Tajae Sharpe    (Post/Corner/Dig/Out)
-7.2%    Roger Lewis    (Curl/Comeback)
-7.5%    Braxton Miller    (Curl/Comeback)
-8.5%    Leonte Carroo    (Curl/Comeback)
-9.3%    Kenny Lawler    (Nine)
-13.5%    Demarcus Robinson    (Curl/Comeback)
-13.7%    De'Runnya Wilson    (Nine)
-15.1%    Pharoh Cooper    (Curl/Comeback)
-19.1%    Keyarris Garrett    (Post/Corner/Dig/Out)
-19.1%    Aaron Burbidge    (Nine)
-22.3%    Charone Peake    (Nine)
-29.9%    Tyler Boyd    (Slant)

Coleman and Treadwell may not have run a lot of Post/Corner/Dig/Outs, but they both had above average success when they did. They are among 6 receivers who had above average success at all 4 categories of routes (joined by Shepard, Doctson, USM's Mike Thomas, and Higgins).

Tyler Boyd ran plenty of slants but he really struggled with them - he got open only 48.0% of the time on that route, when the average is 77.9%. Burbridge struggled to get open deep - he only got open on 19 out of his 52 nine routes, when an average receiver from this group would've gotten open on 29 of them. Pharoh Cooper was below average at getting open on every route type (except screen/flat/other), lowlighted by his work on curl/comeback routes.

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This is great stuff.

I'm glad to see the metrics catch up with Carroo, who I get to see play and who is a man among boys, something all great WRs show in college.

Also glad on Ogbah, who has the physicality and the production of an elite, top-5 draft pick. 

I'm a Texans' fan, and I dream of their draft going: Ogbah, Carroo and Allen.

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Roster Watch graded the WRs during their receiving drills at the combine, and shared their grades online (pdf). Each receiver was given 11 grades on a 1-5 scale, 7 for the 7 routes that they ran and 4 for the other receiving drills (sideline tap drill, over shoulder, and 2 reps of the gauntlet). I calculated a route running grade for each receiver (which is just the average of the 7 grades that they got on their routes) and also a ball skills grade (which is the average of their other 4 grades).

There are 18 WRs who got combine route-running grades from Roster Watch and also got their in-season success rate at getting open tracked by Harmon (USM's Mike Thomas was not at the combine, and Carroo & Coleman skipped these drills). For those 18 players, the correlation between their adjusted success rate (which I posted here) and their route-running grade at the combine was r = 0.41. Here is how those 18 players ranked in the route-running combine grade (their ball skills grade is in parentheses):

Rt Run  Player            (Ball Skills)
3.49    Malcolm Mitchell    (3.35)
3.40    Josh Doctson    (3.60)
3.37    Tyler Boyd    (3.65)
3.29    Keyarris Garrett    (3.53)
3.17    Laquon Treadwell    (3.33)
3.13    Rashard Higgins    (3.38)
3.00    Michael Thomas    (2.70)
2.96    Sterling Shepard    (3.03)
2.96    Will Fuller    (3.01)
2.94    Roger Lewis    (3.68)
2.90    Kenny Lawler    (2.9)
2.81    Charone Peake    (2.93)
2.77    Demarcus Robinson    (3.03)
2.74    Aaron Burbridge    (3.28)
2.70    Tajae Sharpe    (3.35)
2.67    Pharoh Cooper    (2.48)
2.36    De'Runnya Wilson    (2.70)
2.10    Braxton Miller    (3.03)

Doctson is once again near the top, and Mitchell, Treadwell, and Higgins all do pretty well on both metrics. Michael Thomas and Shepard grade out ok, though not as well as their success rate. Boyd and Garrett grade out significantly higher than they did at adjusted success rate.

The biggest difference between the two measures is Tyler Boyd, who was last in success rate and third here (and moves into a tie for 1st if you just average together all 11 grades). Weirdly, Roster Watch graded him as having the best slant route at the combine (he was the only player who reached a 4.0 on the quick slant), while Harmon tracked him as having the worst success rate at the slant among the 21 WRs who he looked at (by far - Boyd had a 48% success rate, second-worst was 68%).

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My overall WR rating now includes some numbers which I've calculated from Matt Harmon's Reception Perception data (primarily adjusted success rate, and also route diversity and contested catch rate). I have also updated WR drop rates to use more sources of data, and to use hand size as a predictor of drop rate (especially for WRs that I don't have actual drop rate data for). I also got pro day numbers for Texas Tech's Jakeem Grant (I am ignoring the Ohio State pro day numbers based on Xue's report).

There has been some reshuffling of the leaderboard, but no drastic changes in player ratings because there is still no way for other attributes to make up for a lack of very strong production. The new top 13 looks like this:

9.29    Leonte Carroo
8.36    Corey Coleman
7.73    Josh Doctson
    
6.87    Sterling Shepard
6.50    Will Fuller
    
4.92    Rashard Higgins
    
3.62    Pharoh Cooper
2.94    Mike Thomas
2.04    Tyler Boyd
1.95    Roger Lewis
    
0.08    Jakeem Grant
-0.65    Bryce Treggs
-2.28    Keyarris Garrett

Outside this list, Laquon Treadwell, Michael Thomas, Malcolm Mitchell, and Braxton Miller all seem worth paying attention to based on some combination of being highly touted, having a good success rate at getting open, and grading out well at route-running.

Going by my own impressions, here's a rough ranking of those 17 receivers:

Tier 1: Josh Doctson, Leonte Carroo, Corey Coleman

Tier 2: Will Fuller, Sterling Shepard

Tier 3: Laquon Treadwell, Michael Thomas (OSU), Rashard Higgins, Tyler Boyd, Keyarris Garrett, Mike Thomas (USM), Malcolm Mitchell, Roger Lewis

Tier 4: Pharoh Cooper, Braxton Miller, Jakeem Grant, Bryce Treggs

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How much weight are you giving route diversity and how much of a NFL success predictor is it? 

What are you using for Coleman's 40 and how much of a swing is it if he runs a 4.29 vs a 4.49?

Edit: I think I've posted enough to not have to preference a post like this but just in case... My questions aren't an attack or doubt in anyway. It's either that I'm genuinely interested in your process or that I'm interested in you thoughts/numbers on a player. Keep up the good work. 

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6 hours ago, Borden said:

How much weight are you giving route diversity and how much of a NFL success predictor is it? 

What are you using for Coleman's 40 and how much of a swing is it if he runs a 4.29 vs a 4.49?

Edit: I think I've posted enough to not have to preference a post like this but just in case... My questions aren't an attack or doubt in anyway. It's either that I'm genuinely interested in your process or that I'm interested in you thoughts/numbers on a player. Keep up the good work. 

RE the edit: your genuine interest comes through pretty clearly and does not come across as an attack. I hope that you do have some doubts about these ratings, because I know that I do.

Coleman: I'm estimating him as running a 4.42 forty (which is what nfldraftscout has), which gives him an 8.36 overall rating (in 2nd behind Carroo). At 4.29 he'd have a 10.19 rating (which puts him in first, ahead of Carroo), and at 4.49 have a 7.38 rating (which puts him in 3rd, behind Doctson).

Route diversity is a small factor - on average changes a player's rating by about 0.15 points on that scale. The most extreme change is just 0.35 points on that scale (+0.35 for Doctson). I don't have data on route diversity for many past prospects, so I don't know how predictive it is. (I also don't have data on any past players' success rate at getting open.) I did use a somewhat different route diversity metric for a couple years based on Greg Peshek's data, which gave these route diversity ratings:

1.80    Sammy Watkins
1.64    Mike Evans
1.53    Jordan Matthews
1.43    Allen Robinson
1.16    Stedman Bailey
1.08    Quinton Patton
0.38    Brandin Cooks
0.19    Justin Hunter
0.06    DeAndre Hopkins
0.05    Tavon Austin
-0.14    Jarvis Landry
-0.46    Odell Beckham Jr.
-0.98    Terrance Williams
-1.16    Cordarelle Patterson
-1.18    Keenan Allen
-1.18    Markus Wheaton
-1.47    Kelvin Benjamin
-2.73    Marqise Lee

Doesn't look very predictive at first glance. For the 2014 draft class, this is based on data on route distance and route type; for the 2013 class I only have data on route distance. Lee, Allen, and Patterson are hurt by their lack of deep routes. Cooks & Landry (along with Lee) had relatively few catches on go routes. Wheaton had very few short-intermediate routes (6-10 yards downfield). Benjamin, Williams, and Beckham are hurt by their lack of screens.

I don't penalize players for a low number of screens with my new formula, mainly because there were way fewer screens in Harmon's data than in Peshek's. I think that's because Harmon looked at the distribution of routes run on all plays, and Peshek looked at the distribution of routes run on the plays where they had a reception.

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Just saw this from Pro Football Focus with their top 14 WRs. Their rankings look to be closer to mine than to the conventional wisdom (e.g., relatively high on Carroo & Mike Thomas, relatively low on Treadwell & Michael Thomas). They put a lot of weight on college performance, just as I do, though they do it by watching tons of tape and grading receivers on each play instead of by crunching numbers from season totals.

The biggest differences between their rankings and mine: They have Daniel Braverman as their WR8 (he is not on my leaderboard), and they don't have Keyarris Garrett, Roger Lewis, Jakeem Grant, or Bryce Treggs on their leaderboard. They are higher than I am on Treadwell (their WR3), and lower on Carroo (their WR4) and especially Fuller (their WR10).

Braverman's production at Western Michigan was slightly below the baseline level that I want to see from prospects, similar to Keyarris Garrett's at Tulsa. Unlike Garrett, Braverman is undersized (though I guess we still don't have accurate weighin information for him) and primarily a slot receiver, which is typically not good for fantasy value (outside of certain situations like New England). We'll see what numbers come out of his pro day this Tuesday. For now I'll stick him on the bottom of my list of WRs worth watching, making extending it to 18.

PFF's writeup sprinkled in a few stats which I have used to update my spreadsheet. The biggest surprise is that Rashard Higgins had a better than average drop rate, rather than worse-than-average as I thought (based on this article on his 2013-14 stats). Higgins didn't have great measureables at the combine, in terms of size or athleticism, but he put up huge numbers in 2014, he gets open according to Harmon's data, he runs good routes according to Roster Watch's grading at the combine, and he apparently catches the ball reliably. I'm thinking of putting another tier break after him in my subjective rankings, separating the top 8 from everyone else.

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Football Outsiders has their WR prospect rankings up. So far they have only posted the version which includes projected draft position; the version which is only based on college numbers will apparently be posted within the next few days. Their top 10:

1. Corey Coleman, Baylor: 709
2. Will Fuller, Notre Dame: 561
3. Laquon Treadwell, Ole Miss: 479
4. Josh Doctson, TCU: 474
5. Michael Thomas, Ohio State: 463
6. Pharoh Cooper, South Carolina: 457
7. Tyler Boyd, Pittsburgh: 421
8. Rashard Higgins, Colorado State: 365
9. Leonte Carroo, Rutgers: 362
10. Sterling Shepard, Oklahoma: 328

For comparison, here are their 2015 and 2014 rankings. Top 5 over this time period are Coleman, Amari Cooper, Brandin Cooks, Odell Beckham, and Fuller.

Boyd & Higgins are hurt by the fact that they include projected draft position. Otherwise they would be 3rd & 4th on this list behind Coleman & Fuller.

They penalize heavily for players who stay in school after they are draft eligible, which is a big part of why Doctson is down at #4. Otherwise he'd be close to Fuller.

They do not pro-rate stats - missed games count the same as a game played with a 0/0/0 statline. That hurts Carroo, who missed 4 of 12 games this year.

They do not use data on targets, so Shepard doesn't benefit from his high catch rate. (Shepard actually had fewer targets than Cooper this year, even though Shepard put up 86/1288/11 and Cooper put up 66/973/8.)

I had more to say about their methodology last year.

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On 3/14/2016 at 11:24 PM, ZWK said:

Just saw this from Pro Football Focus with their top 14 WRs. Their rankings look to be closer to mine than to the conventional wisdom (e.g., relatively high on Carroo & Mike Thomas, relatively low on Treadwell & Michael Thomas). They put a lot of weight on college performance, just as I do, though they do it by watching tons of tape and grading receivers on each play instead of by crunching numbers from season totals.

The biggest differences between their rankings and mine: They have Daniel Braverman as their WR8 (he is not on my leaderboard), and they don't have Keyarris Garrett, Roger Lewis, Jakeem Grant, or Bryce Treggs on their leaderboard. They are higher than I am on Treadwell (their WR3), and lower on Carroo (their WR4) and especially Fuller (their WR10).

Braverman's production at Western Michigan was slightly below the baseline level that I want to see from prospects, similar to Keyarris Garrett's at Tulsa. Unlike Garrett, Braverman is undersized (though I guess we still don't have accurate weighin information for him) and primarily a slot receiver, which is typically not good for fantasy value (outside of certain situations like New England). We'll see what numbers come out of his pro day this Tuesday. For now I'll stick him on the bottom of my list of WRs worth watching, making extending it to 18.

PFF's writeup sprinkled in a few stats which I have used to update my spreadsheet. The biggest surprise is that Rashard Higgins had a better than average drop rate, rather than worse-than-average as I thought (based on this article on his 2013-14 stats). Higgins didn't have great measureables at the combine, in terms of size or athleticism, but he put up huge numbers in 2014, he gets open according to Harmon's data, he runs good routes according to Roster Watch's grading at the combine, and he apparently catches the ball reliably. I'm thinking of putting another tier break after him in my subjective rankings, separating the top 8 from everyone else.

PFF's top 100 leaderboard includes 17 WRs - the 14 from their earlier list plus Arizona State's Devin Lucien (at 48th overall and WR9), Keyarris Garrett (at 72nd overall and WR14), and UCLA's Jordan Payton (at 91st overall and WR16).

I hadn't seen Devin Lucien mentioned anywhere before now. He didn't get a combine invite and Gil Brandt didn't even include him in his writeup of ASU's pro day. His production this year was borderline or slightly below by my standards, similar to Keyarris Garrett and Daniel Braverman (slightly ahead of them, actually). If I'd been posting top 14 rankings instead of top 12, Garrett and Lucien would've made the cut. And if I buy Walter Football's report of his pro day numbers, then Lucien has now moved up into the #12 slot ahead of Garrett & Treggs by my formula. I'm not sure that I do, though - they have Lucien weighing in at 222 at his pro day about 6 weeks after he weighed in at 192 at the Collegiate Bowl.

Jordan Payton's production does not stand out by my metrics, but apparently he had the 7th best PFF grade this year. I guess it's worth sticking him on my WRs worth watching list, near the bottom, which increases the length of the list to 20 names.

Daniel Braverman weighed in thin at his pro day (25.2 BMI, slightly lower than his listing) and was awful at the vertical & broad jump (similar distances to De'Runnya Wilson).  Looks like he'll be fighting to win a slot receiver job; not a very exciting fantasy prospect.

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On 2/24/2016 at 4:05 PM, ZWK said:

Test-Retest Reliability (aka Whose hands grew the most over the past month?)

The Senior Bowl, Shrine Game, and Collegiate Bowl ,,, opportunity to measure test-retest reliability - how consistent are the two sets of measurements with each other?

QB Brandon Allen, ,,, 8.5" hands. At the Combine, ,,, 8.875" hands. He ,, gained 0.375" of hand size. ... Did Allen get an unusually large increase in hand (and arm?) size from his work with a masseuse?

On average, the 80 players gained 0.27" of hand size. So the growth of Allen's hands was far from unique - it was actually fairly close to the typical result.

Those numbers are just the average change - some players had an increase in hand size, some had a decrease. We can find the typical size of the change by taking the standard deviation of the change in hand size, and comparing it to the standard deviation of the players' hand sizes as measured at the Combine. Players' weights by 0.09 standard deviations, height by 0.13 standard deviations (though that is inflated by rounding), arm length by 0.31 standard deviations, and hand size by 0.55 standard deviations. Another way to put it: the correlation between the Senior Bowl (etc.) measure and the Combine measure is  0.85 for hand size.

3

Could rounding be the cause of Jared Goff's hand size change?  

 

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5 hours ago, Bracie Smathers said:

Could rounding be the cause of Jared Goff's hand size change?  

 

A change of 1/8 of an inch is actually an unusually small change between two measurements - there apparently is enough measurement error for the typical change to be larger than that.

Hand size is measured to the nearest 1/8 inch. So we know that Goff's hand was measured at 9 0/8 inches at the Combine and at 9 1/8 inches at his pro day.

My current guess is that the Combine hand & arm measurements aren't any more accurate than the measurements at the Senior Bowl and postseason events. (I'm less sure about pro days - who does the measurements there?) The reason for that guess is that players' heights are correlated with their Senior Bowl (etc.) arm length measurements, even after controlling for their Combine arm length measurement. That is what you'd expect to see if the Combine and Senior Bowl (etc.) measurements were all fairly noisy. If the Combine measurements were really accurate (and the only reason that they didn't match the Senior Bowl measurements was because the Senior Bowl measurements were noisy) then you would expect to see that height was uncorrelated with Senior Bowl arm length measurements after control for Combine arm length measurements.

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21 hours ago, ZWK said:

A change of 1/8 of an inch is actually an unusually small change between two measurements - there apparently is enough measurement error for the typical change to be larger than that.

Hand size is measured to the nearest 1/8 inch. So we know that Goff's hand was measured at 9 0/8 inches at the Combine and at 9 1/8 inches at his pro day.

My current guess is that the Combine hand & arm measurements aren't any more accurate than the measurements at the Senior Bowl and postseason events. (I'm less sure about pro days - who does the measurements there?) The reason for that guess is that players' heights are correlated with their Senior Bowl (etc.) arm length measurements, even after controlling for their Combine arm length measurement. That is what you'd expect to see if the Combine and Senior Bowl (etc.) measurements were all fairly noisy. If the Combine measurements were really accurate (and the only reason that they didn't match the Senior Bowl measurements was because the Senior Bowl measurements were noisy) then you would expect to see that height was uncorrelated with Senior Bowl arm length measurements after control for Combine arm length measurements.

1

Good question.

For Goff, it was a Jacksonville coach who took the measurement.

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000645558/article/goffs-hand-measures-larger-at-pro-day-than-it-did-at-combine

... a Jacksonville Jaguars rep took the measurement Friday ...

------------------

I am sure that at the Combine they had an official person or team to check and double check for accuracy but at Jared Goff's Pro Day they had an un-named Jag's coach so I doubt the Prod Day measurements are weighed more heavily than the Combine measurements.

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On 3/7/2016 at 9:22 PM, ZWK said:

Matt Harmon's big Reception Perception analysis of this year's draft class came out last week, with a bunch of great stats that he compiled from his game charting. He has 21 WRs in his data set, including all of the big names and all of my top 10 (including Roger Lewis and USM's Mike Thomas). On average, he charted 175 routes run for each of the receivers, using the all-22 tape.

The most interesting stat that he tracks, which you can't get anywhere else, is success rate. "Success" here means getting open, and a receiver's "success rate" is the fraction of his routes on which he got open. Harmon breaks down success rate by coverage (man vs. zone, with further breakdowns into press coverage and double teams) and by type of route (screen, slant, curl, nine, corner, ...). You can see his Success Rate Versus Coverage (SRVC) and SRVC By Route tables in his post to look at questions like who struggles to get open versus press coverage, or who does the best job of getting open on nine routes (though you do want to be careful about small sample sizes with some of these).

I crunched some numbers to get an overall Adjusted Success Rate for each WR. This is just the receiver's success rate (the fraction of routes that he got open on) adjusted up if he ran more routes that are hard to get open on (e.g., double coverage, nine routes, corner routes) and adjusted down if he ran more routes that are easy to get open on (e.g., zone coverage, screens). Here are how the 21 WRs came out by that metric:

81.4%    Sterling Shepard
79.5%    Josh Doctson
77.3%    Rashard Higgins
75.6%    Corey Coleman
74.3%    Laquon Treadwell
74.2%    Michael Thomas
73.5%    Malcolm Mitchell
72.9%    Mike Thomas
69.9%    Leonte Carroo
69.6%    Kenny Lawler
(69.2%    average)
69.1%    Keyarris Garrett
67.4%    Will Fuller
67.0%    Braxton Miller
67.0%    Demarcus Robinson
65.4%    Tajae Sharpe
62.6%    Pharoh Cooper
62.3%    De'Runnya Wilson
62.0%    Roger Lewis
61.1%    Charone Peake
59.7%    Aaron Burbidge
58.7%    Tyler Boyd

Interesting that the top 6 contains 3 of my top 5 WRs (Coleman, Doctson, Shepard), 2 highly-touted WRs who my numbers have been down on (Laquon Treadwell & OSU's Michael Thomas), and Rashard Higgins. The other 2 WRs in my top 5 (Carroo & Fuller) both come in averageish.

I am planning to incorporate this in my WR ratings, along with some of Harmon's other stats like contested catch rate.

Nice list

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  • 2 weeks later...

Pro day results are pretty much all in. Nfldraftscout is one of the few sources of pro day 40 times that I trust (Xue is another), and they have finally updated their site include pretty much all of the pro day numbers. Looking over the prospects who we didn't already have a 40 time for (or who had notable changes to their workout numbers), I count 7 players who helped themselves and 7 who did not.

Very brief summary: huge boost for RB Darius Jackson, more flags for Treadwell, WR class looks deeper, TE class looks shallower.

(Note: I haven't included links to each player's pro day results. You can easily find the page by googling the player's name + nfldraftscout.)

The big winner is Eastern Michigan RB Darius Jackson, who blew up his pro day to pass Daniel Lasco as the most athletic RB in this draft class (including size as a component of athleticism). At 220 pounds, he ran a 4.40 40, had a 41" vertical, and a 11'1" broad (vs. Lasco's 4.46, 41.5", 11'3" at 209 lb.). By my formula (and nflcombineresults' data) Jackson comes in as the 5th most athletic RB since 1999 (and the best since Ben Tate), which is a big positive but far from a guarantee of NFL success (see: Ben Tate). It is enough to vault him all the way up to #3 in my purely-formula-based RB rankings, just behind Henry and with a clear gap on the field. On the other hand, this video of his game against LSU (plus a few highlights from other games) doesn't leave me especially excited about him.

The most improved award goes to Bowling Green WR Roger Lewis, who cut 0.12 seconds from his combine 40 time, and added 2.5" to his vertical and a whopping 9" to his broad jump. His new numbers (4.45 40, 36" vert, 10'5" broad) are good enough to move him up to 7th by my formula, just behind Higgins (though in my opinion that's a few spots too high). Pro day 40 times are sometimes sketchy, but I generally expect the jump measurements to be pretty reliable. The fact that he showed clear improvements at all 3 drills leads me to suspect that he wasn't 100% at the combine for whatever reason (nfldraftscout mentions that he had a hamstring issue).

5 other players with relatively good workout numbers at their pro days:
Cal TE Stephen Anderson ran a 4.64 40. That's a good number for a TE, especially in combination with his combine jumps of 38" vert & 9'11" broad.

Cal WR Bryce Treggs ran a 4.39 40, though his jumps were not so special (34" vertical, 10'2" broad). He isn't getting buzz, but his numbers make it look like his success as a speedy deep threat could transfer over to the NFL.

USM WR Mike Thomas had a 4.54 40, 36" vertical, and 10'6" broad. Solid numbers, although he is on the thin side (25.3 BMI, where anything below 26 is a warning sign).

Texas Tech WR Jakeem Grant ran a 4.37 40. He is tiny, though, at 5'6", 165 lb. (his BMI is solid, he's just really short). PFF also has him with a high drop rate. So he's probably just a return man in the NFL, though there's some chance that he'll find a role on offense as a shorter Tavon Austin.

Arizona State WR Devin Lucien had an okay pro day, with a 4.49 40, 34.5" vertical, and 9'9" broad jump. Good enough to stay on the fringe of consideration.

On the other end of the spectrum, 7 players had disappointing pro days.

Western Michigan WR Daniel Braverman I already mentioned - he had a decent 40 but terrible jumps and came in skinny with a 25.2 BMI.

Arkansas RB Jonathan Williams ran a slow 40, at 4.63, and didn't do the jumps. It's possible that he's not fully recovered yet from his foot injury.

Arkansas TE Hunter Henry had a better-than-average 40 time of 4.68, but was a bit below average for a TE on the other drills (31.5" vertical, 9'5" broad, 7.16 3cone, 4.41 shuttle). Not what you want to see if you're using an early pick on a TE.

Mississippi WR Laquon Treadwell ran a 4.67 (according to Xue), to go along with his combine jumps of 33" vert & 9'9" broad. As you might be able to guess by comparing these to Hunter Henry's numbers, Treadwell's workout numbers would be slightly better than average for a tight end but are a flag for a WR. They're similar to the workout numbers of Austin Hooper, Jerrell Adams, Charles Clay, Dennis Pitta, Jermaine Gresham, or Fred Davis (see also the longer list which I posted here). Given that I already had him flagged for not especially impressive production, it's safe to say that I won't wind up with Treadwell on any of my dynasty teams this year.

3 other TEs who chose not to run at the combine all posted slow 40 times at their pro days: Virginia Tech's Ryan Malleck (4.81), Florida's Jake McGee (4.84), and Ohio State's Nick Vannett (4.89).

Western Kentucky TE Tyler Higbee is still recovering from his knee injury so he didn't do any drills besides the bench at his pro day. But PFF is pretty glowing about him, as the #2 receiving TE in the draft class. So I'm pretty excited about him as a sleeper TE (which is a valuable sort of prospect in some league types).

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I heard Braverman on a podcast. He believes that he is a slot guy and also believes that he has mastered the college level slot position. 

Have you watched him at all? Would the fact that he's strictly a slot guy change anything for his metrics? I'm guessing that his numbers may be better when stacked against other slot only players. Or it may mean more weight is put on certain numbers?

Keep up the excellent work. 

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On Darius Jackson, Eastern Michigan @ LSU is just about as big a mismatch as you could create between two Division I opponents.  A lot of questions about the guy (obviously), but that LSU game probably shouldn't be one of them.

FWIW, in terms of build, athleticism and NCAA efficiency he's an elite prospect -- along the lines of Murray, Matthews and Addai, but with more raw athleticism.

The questions are about volume/total production and draft position (which do matter a lot independent of the other stuff).  But, like CJ Anderson (not quite elite, but a very good profile), sometimes the guys who check the first three boxes pan out despite one year of production and a low draft pedigree.

 

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8 hours ago, Borden said:

I heard Braverman on a podcast. He believes that he is a slot guy and also believes that he has mastered the college level slot position. 

Have you watched him at all? Would the fact that he's strictly a slot guy change anything for his metrics? I'm guessing that his numbers may be better when stacked against other slot only players. Or it may mean more weight is put on certain numbers?

Keep up the excellent work. 

There haven't been many slot receivers with significant fantasy value. Welker, Edelman, Cobb, Landry. Probably not a coincidence that 3 of those 4 have had a HOF QB. I'm probably forgetting some others. Colston, I guess, although he was a very different type of WR. So if a WR looks like he's only a slot guy, I typically downgrade him and put more weight on which team he ends up on.

I don't do anything else in my formulas which is special for slot receivers, although it does seem plausible that the numbers which are most important for slot receivers are different from other receivers. e.g., Maybe agility drills & broken tackles are more important, and height and long gains are less important. So that's somewhat good for Braverman. I'd guess that BMI is just as important for slot receivers, which is bad for Braverman.

I don't watch much video of WRs. Partly that's because I have a hard time evaluating what I'm seeing when I do watch them. I get more from watching RBs and QBs, although mostly my ratings are based on numbers rather than that.

3 hours ago, wdcrob said:

On Darius Jackson, Eastern Michigan @ LSU is just about as big a mismatch as you could create between two Division I opponents.  A lot of questions about the guy (obviously), but that LSU game probably shouldn't be one of them.

FWIW, in terms of build, athleticism and NCAA efficiency he's an elite prospect -- along the lines of Murray, Matthews and Addai, but with more raw athleticism.

The questions are about volume/total production and draft position (which do matter a lot independent of the other stuff).  But, like CJ Anderson (not quite elite, but a very good profile), sometimes the guys who check the first three boxes pan out despite one year of production and a low draft pedigree.

 

My impression watching the LSU game was that there were a lot of carries where Jackson went down relatively easily, and someone like Alex Collins or Jordan Howard could've picked up an extra yard or two. Since Jackson weighs 220, I was hoping to see better. But I do feel like I don't have as much data as I'd like; I haven't found other game videos of his.

I think my numbers basically agree with yours. I think is NCAA efficiency is only averageish, not elite. But averageish production plus his build & athleticism makes for a very promising prospect.

36 minutes ago, Run It Up said:

Hooper is creeping up boards as he should. But I agree that Higbee and Mcgee are flying under the radar, I believe after Hooper those are the two guys to watch.

My numbers aren't that high on Hooper & McGee, although my numbers aren't that good at picking out TEs. I like Hooper more than McGee. Significantly better workout numbers. I'm tempted to put Higbee as the #2 TE in this class.

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I watched the clip of Darius Jackson you linked last night. Not sure I could give a fair assessment of how he did from what I watched because I found myself cheering for him and his team to do anything almost right away. They were so overmatched. Some of those plays you see their entire offensive line being destroyed by the defensive line. Lots of blitzing as well. 

He has one run up the middle where the commentator (who seems to be rooting for the Tigers) calls a simple zone play but the MLB does not get over to fill the hole. Jackson gets a pretty nice gain out of this. 

It is tough sledding for sure, but from what I saw Jackson is often able to make the first tackler miss if he has any space to work with and he finishes runs hard at times as well.

Those work out numbers are amazing. I would like to try to find more video on him.

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If I was drafting today for a PPR league, my draft board would look something like this (tier breaks included):

1    Ezekiel Elliott    RB

2    Josh Doctson    WR
3    Corey Coleman    WR
4    Derrick Henry    RB

5    Leonte Carroo    WR
6    Laquon Treadwell    WR
7    Kenneth Dixon    RB
8    Sterling Shepard    WR
9    Will Fuller    WR

10    Paul Perkins    RB
11    Michael Thomas    WR
12    Jared Goff    QB
13    C.J. Prosise    RB
14    Carson Wentz    QB
15    Jordan Howard    RB
16    Alex Collins    RB

17    Tyler Boyd    WR
18    Hunter Henry    TE
19    Rashard Higgins    WR
20    Jonathan Williams    RB
21    Darius Jackson    RB
22    Devontae Booker    RB
23    Daniel Lasco    RB

24    Kenyan Drake    RB
25    Keith Marshall    RB
26    DeAndre Washington    RB
27    Malcolm Mitchell    WR
28    Mike Thomas    WR
29    Roger Lewis    WR

30    Tyler Higbee    TE
31    Pharoh Cooper    WR
32    Braxton Miller    WR
33    Keyarris Garrett    WR
34    Jerell Adams    TE
35    Austin Hooper    TE

36    Tyler Ervin    RB
37    Moritz Boehringer    WR
38    Jordan Payton    WR
39    Paxton Lynch    QB
40    Wendell Smallwood    RB
41    Thomas Duarte    TE
42    Devin Lucien    WR
43    Aaron Burbridge    WR
44    Bryce Treggs    WR
45    Kelvin Taylor    RB

This is attempting to take into account all relevant information, including other people's rankings & predictions of draft order.

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Good stuff ZWK.

In regards to Booker, everything I have heard is that he is still expected to be a 2nd round pick. Is that expectation baked in to your above ranking? Or are you expecting him to be drafted later than that? April 12 in when he will work out IIRC. So perhaps some more information becomes available then.

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6 minutes ago, Biabreakable said:

Good stuff ZWK.

In regards to Booker, everything I have heard is that he is still expected to be a 2nd round pick. Is that expectation baked in to your above ranking? Or are you expecting him to be drafted later than that? April 12 in when he will work out IIRC. So perhaps some more information becomes available then.

The experts have him as a borderline 2nd/3rd round pick, on average (according to massraider's spreadsheet from the Tracking the Outliers thread). If he winds up actually being drafted there then he'll move up a bit in my rankings. I put less weight on predicted draft position (relative to my own analysis) than I do on actual draft position.

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15 minutes ago, Biabreakable said:

Where is the consensus list on massraiders sheet? Is this on page two? That is the only possible combined list I see. On page two Booker is ranked 29th overall.

There isn't one. But if you search for his name, you'll see that it appears 21 times and the median one (11th of 21) is in row 70 of the spreadsheet, which is pick 68. It's similar if you only look at the ones since March 15.

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I may have already asked but what's your opinion on Jordan Howard. If you exclude the 2 QBs he's at 13. Did you end up get a 40 time for him? I saw something from April 2015 that says he ran a 4.39

http://www.sportingnews.com/ncaa-football-news/4640997-jordan-howard-injury-uab-transfer-indiana-hoosiers-running-back-freeuab-kevin-wilson-report-big-ten

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9 minutes ago, Borden said:

I may have already asked but what's your opinion on Jordan Howard. If you exclude the 2 QBs he's at 13. Did you end up get a 40 time for him? I saw something from April 2015 that says he ran a 4.39

http://www.sportingnews.com/ncaa-football-news/4640997-jordan-howard-injury-uab-transfer-indiana-hoosiers-running-back-freeuab-kevin-wilson-report-big-ten

Nfldraftscout estimated Howard at a 4.57 at the start of the offseason, so that's what I have him at. This article has him at a 4.50 at his pro day, and those sorts of reports tend to err in the direction of a faster time, so that's roughly consistent with the nfldraftscout estimate. He's a downhill power back, good at picking up yards after contact. Has a shot to be a solid starter. Hasn't done much in the passing game. Would be ahead of Prosise in non-ppr.

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I not sure if it was you or Faust that posted about Tony Pauline liking Ole Miss WR Cody Core. Either way he didn't make your list but I was wondering if you any numbers/opinions on him. 

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45 minutes ago, Borden said:

I not sure if it was you or Faust that posted about Tony Pauline liking Ole Miss WR Cody Core. Either way he didn't make your list but I was wondering if you any numbers/opinions on him. 

I guess that was Faust. Core is not in my spreadsheet because he didn't make the top 100 in receiving yards. That's not a good sign. Looking up his numbers, he doesn't have a very promising profile. Tiny market share (15% of rec yds, 11% of rec TDs). 9 25+ yard receptions is below average. One bright spot in terms of production is a pretty good YPT at 10.1. His 2014 stats were a bit worse, on the whole (16% of rec yds, 25% of rec TDs, 4 25+ yd rec, 9.2 YPT). Average athleticism (better than average 40, but bad vertical). Tall (6'2.6"), but on the thin side (25.8 BMI) and with relatively short arms (0.8" shorter than expected for his height).

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On 4/6/2016 at 1:29 AM, ZWK said:

Western Kentucky TE Tyler Higbee is still recovering from his knee injury so he didn't do any drills besides the bench at his pro day. But PFF is pretty glowing about him, as the #2 receiving TE in the draft class. So I'm pretty excited about him as a sleeper TE (which is a valuable sort of prospect in some league types).

Quote

Former #WKU TE Tyler Higbee was arrested Sunday in BG and charged with 2nd-degree assault, 2nd-degree evading police, alcohol intoxication.

Putz

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On 4/6/2016 at 1:37 PM, ZWK said:

My impression watching the LSU game was that there were a lot of carries where [Darius] Jackson went down relatively easily, and someone like Alex Collins or Jordan Howard could've picked up an extra yard or two. Since Jackson weighs 220, I was hoping to see better. But I do feel like I don't have as much data as I'd like; I haven't found other game videos of his.

I think my numbers basically agree with yours. I think is NCAA efficiency is only averageish, not elite. But averageish production plus his build & athleticism makes for a very promising prospect.

Darius Jackson's game against Toledo is now also online. I had a similar impression that he wasn't using his size. He seems kind of hesitant in traffic, instead of driving forward with power to pick up a few extra yards (or wiggling forward, as some RBs do).

Toledo basically kept Jackson bottled up for 3 quarters. He did break a few big runs in the 4th quarter, though (after EMU was behind by 50), where he made a guy miss in space. The net effect is that his elusiveness numbers went up a bit and inched him ahead of Henry to the #2 spot in my RB rating formula. My impression of him went down, though (and his yards after contact in traffic is still pretty bad).

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18 hours ago, ZWK said:

I guess that was Faust. Core is not in my spreadsheet because he didn't make the top 100 in receiving yards. That's not a good sign. Looking up his numbers, he doesn't have a very promising profile. Tiny market share (15% of rec yds, 11% of rec TDs). 9 25+ yard receptions is below average. One bright spot in terms of production is a pretty good YPT at 10.1. His 2014 stats were a bit worse, on the whole (16% of rec yds, 25% of rec TDs, 4 25+ yd rec, 9.2 YPT). Average athleticism (better than average 40, but bad vertical). Tall (6'2.6"), but on the thin side (25.8 BMI) and with relatively short arms (0.8" shorter than expected for his height).

Not sure if this is the type of thing worth trying to take into account in future years, but in addition to Core and Treadwell, Ole Miss had a pair of WRs who are relatively highly regarded NFL prospects for next year (Adebojeyo and Stringfellow). They also have a future NFL TE who is a tweener in the mold of Jordan Reed (Engram) who is arguably the top prospect at the position for next year. Beyond those top 5 pass catchers, even 5th WR Markell Pack and backup DaMarkus Lodge are also potential NFL guys. 

Mentioned this before, but my big hangup on market share is that it doesn't account for how talented the other players on the same roster are. Ole Miss had a really impressive stable of pass catchers last year and I wonder if that skews some of these numbers and causes a guy like Core to look worse than he would if he played as a lesser program without any other NFL caliber receiving talent. 

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21 minutes ago, Dan Hindery said:

Not sure if this is the type of thing worth trying to take into account in future years, but in addition to Core and Treadwell, Ole Miss had a pair of WRs who are relatively highly regarded NFL prospects for next year (Adebojeyo and Stringfellow). They also have a future NFL TE who is a tweener in the mold of Jordan Reed (Engram) who is arguably the top prospect at the position for next year. Beyond those top 5 pass catchers, even 5th WR Markell Pack and backup DaMarkus Lodge are also potential NFL guys. 

Mentioned this before, but my big hangup on market share is that it doesn't account for how talented the other players on the same roster are. Ole Miss had a really impressive stable of pass catchers last year and I wonder if that skews some of these numbers and causes a guy like Core to look worse than he would if he played as a lesser program without any other NFL caliber receiving talent. 

There is something to that. In an ideal setup, I would have a way to adjust for that. I don't see an easy way to incorporate it into my formula, though.

I have made an effort to look for those sorts of players after underrating Kelvin Benjamin & Martavis Bryant. My main shift has been paying more attention to YPT, which is a stat that good receivers with good teammates should excel at (especially if they're downfield threats like Benjamin, Bryant, and Core). Core's 10.1 & 9.2 YPT are above average but not great, and well behind Bryant & Benjamin.

In Core's case, it's also worth noting that he was outproduced by his teammate Vince Sanders in 2014, and Sanders wasn't much of an NFL prospect even before he tore his ACL at the end of that season. Sanders had 696 rec yds and 11.2 YPT, both of which are better than Core's career high.

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PFF has included data on drop rate in many of its writeups, but they haven't put all those numbers in one place. So, here they are for WRs & TEs. Where possible, I'm using the drop rate over the past 2 seasons (because sample size), though in some cases I only have data for this season (or, in Treadwell's case, for part of this season).

Drop%    Player        (# catchable balls)
2.1%    Leonte Carroo    (96 catchable balls)
2.2%    Hunter Henry    (90 catchable balls)
2.4%    Jake McGee    (42 catchable balls)
3.4%    Tajae Sharpe    (204 catchable balls)
3.6%    Tyler Higbee    (55 catchable balls)
3.9%    Jordan Payton    (154 catchable balls)
4.3%    Malcolm Mitchell    (93 catchable balls)
4.3%    Nelson Spruce    (93 catchable balls)
4.3%    Michael Thomas    (115 catchable balls)
4.4%    David Morgan    (68 catchable balls)
4.5%    Sterling Shepard    (89 catchable balls)
4.7%    Nick Vannett    (43 catchable balls)
5.0%    Devin Lucien    (100 catchable balls)
5.3%    Josh Doctson    (151 catchable balls)
5.5%    Tyler Boyd    (182 catchable balls)
5.6%    Daniel Braverman    (198 catchable balls)
6.0%    Rashard Higgins    (182 catchable balls)
7.1%    Keyarris Garrett    (154 catchable balls)
7.4%    Mike Thomas    (122 catchable balls)
8.0%    Thomas Duarte    (87 catchable balls)
10.1%    Laquon Treadwell    (69 catchable balls)
11.0%    Corey Coleman    (155 catchable balls)
11.5%    Aaron Burbridge    (131 catchable balls)
11.8%    Derrick Henry    (17 catchable balls)
11.9%    Austin Hooper    (84 catchable balls)
11.9%    Jakeem Grant    (176 catchable balls)
13.2%    William Fuller    (159 catchable balls)
14.3%    Daniel Lasco    (42 catchable balls)
15.2%    Jerell Adams    (33 catchable balls)

Fuller, Coleman, and Treadwell are WRs who have had some issues with drops (though note the small sample size with Treadwell). At TE, Jerell Adams & Austin Hooper have had drops issues. I don't have data on most RBs, but drops are a concern for Daniel Lasco who has a lot of his potential value riding on his role in the passing game.

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Football Outsiders' QBASE formula ranks Goff as the top QB in this class, and one of the top QBs of the past several years (a bit behind only Russell Wilson & Marcus Mariota, a bit ahead of RG3, Stafford, and Luck). Their formula is pessimistic about Wentz and the rest of the QBs who are projected for the first 3 rounds, including especially low projections for Hackenberg & Cook.

Goff looks to me like an obvious top 2 fantasy pick in 2QB/superflex leagues (probably behind Elliott). Although if Wentz winds up being the Rams' pick at #1 then there will be a strong case to move him up ahead of Goff in fantasy as well.

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Does drop rate/target info go back a few years? Interested in AB, ODB, Dez, Juilo to see their numbers in comparison.

BTW...interesting reads. You are definitely working...thank you.

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2 minutes ago, Dope said:

Does drop rate/target info go back a few years? Interested in AB, ODB, Dez, Juilo to see their numbers in comparison.

BTW...interesting reads. You are definitely working...thank you.

Thanks!

Data on college drop rate is scattershot, and the earliest that I have is from the 2012 college season. Beckham had a 6.5% drop rate (according to Greg Peshek) which is pretty good; I don't know about the others. Average is about 7.4% for the prospects who are good enough to have their stats reported. Some other players are in my WR stats spreadsheet. The only WRs who I have at 10% or higher before this year are Justin Hunter, Markus Wheaton, Marqise Lee, Martavis Bryant, Sammie Coates, Breshad Perriman, and Vince Mayle. Apparently the Steelers don't mind a high drop rate.

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How did I miss that spreadsheet. Whoa dude.

 

Anyway, I see drop rate stuff but am I missing the column with target totals? I see yards per target, but not target total.

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18 minutes ago, Dope said:

How did I miss that spreadsheet. Whoa dude.

 

Anyway, I see drop rate stuff but am I missing the column with target totals? I see yards per target, but not target total.

I didn't include targets in those spreadsheets. I do have them somewhere (along with various other stats which went into creating those spreadsheets). In fact you could calculate target totals based on games, yds/g, and yds/tg (which are all in the spreadsheet). Also, drop rate is not calculated based on targets - the formula is drops/(rec + drops).

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1 hour ago, ZWK said:

Thanks!

Data on college drop rate is scattershot, and the earliest that I have is from the 2012 college season. Beckham had a 6.5% drop rate (according to Greg Peshek) which is pretty good; I don't know about the others. Average is about 7.4% for the prospects who are good enough to have their stats reported. Some other players are in my WR stats spreadsheet. The only WRs who I have at 10% or higher before this year are Justin Hunter, Markus Wheaton, Marqise Lee, Martavis Bryant, Sammie Coates, Breshad Perriman, and Vince Mayle. Apparently the Steelers don't mind a high drop rate.

This is fantastic.  Thanks for sharing.

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Looking at some deep cuts at RB, New Mexico RB Jhurell Pressley shows some promise. Good speed, and reasonably good power for a guy his size. Hard to be that confident when the only videos of him that I've found online are against a terrible New Mexico State defense, and 9 touches against Boise State. But those videos, plus his 4.40 40 at his pro day, plus his good rushing efficiency numbers are enough to bring him into the picture as a sleeper. There are some concerns with his limited workload (career high 147 carries) and limited role in the receiving game (career high 7 receptions). Some of that comes down to New Mexico's weird option offense, although Kasey Carrier did have 255 carries in 2012 and 21 receptions in 2010. Bottom line is that he goes somewhere between 30-36 on my if-I-drafted-today prospect list.

Marshall's Devon Johnson is a big guy with mediocre workout numbers who had great rushing stats in 2014. Looks ok but not that great on video - with limited tape, his size seems more useful for grinding out extra yards against bad defenses than against good ones. Might have a shot to be useful in the NFL. So he should also be on that top 47 list somewhere.

On the other end of the spectrum, Josh Ferguson, Tra Carson, Wendell Smallwood, Aaron Green, Marshaun Coprich, and Tyler Ervin all have terrible elusiveness numbers by my metrics. Ervin at least has speed & return skills, and Smallwood has good stats plus some fans at PFF. I haven't heard much about Chase Price in a while, but apparently he had one of the worst pro day workouts ever - his 8'3" broad jump was worse than any RB has done at the combine (going back to 1999), his 26.5" vertical was the 2nd worst, and at 199 lb. his 40 time was 4.74.

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  • 2 weeks later...

To see how the top of this year's WR class stacks up, here are the top 40 WR prospects since 2009, by my formula. There are 5 from this draft class, which is just what you'd expect for an 8-year top 40. Note that I had less data for the earlier draft classes, which 1) made their ratings less extreme and 2) prevented me from punishing or rewarding them for things which I didn't have data on (like Stephen Hill's drop rate).

11.74    Stephen Hill    2012
11.51    Mike Evans    2014
10.66    Sammy Watkins    2014
9.80    Amari Cooper    2015
9.62    Justin Blackmon    2012
9.55    Brandin Cooks    2014
9.29    Leonte Carroo    2016
9.29    DeVante Parker    2015
9.15    Sammie Coates    2015
8.97    Donte Moncrief    2014
8.79    Jordan Matthews    2014
8.67    Demaryius Thomas    2010
8.65    Corey Coleman    2016
8.63    Kenny Britt    2009
8.45    Dez Bryant    2010
8.42    Torrey Smith    2011
8.21    Danario Alexander    2010
8.15    Golden Tate    2010
7.94    Michael Crabtree    2009
7.78    Alshon Jeffery    2012
7.73    Josh Doctson    2016
7.72    A.J. Green    2011
7.69    Kevin White    2015
7.64    Hakeem Nicks    2009
7.50    Terrance Williams    2013
7.37    Allen Robinson    2014
7.18    Aldrick Robinson    2011
7.18    Marvin McNutt, Jr.    2012
7.06    DeAndre Hopkins    2013
7.00    Stedman Bailey    2013
6.95    Marqise Lee    2014
6.88    Sterling Shepard    2016
6.82    Tavon Austin    2013
6.80    Leonard Hankerson    2011
6.77    A.J. Jenkins    2012
6.74    Jermaine Kearse    2012
6.73    Marquess Wilson    2013
6.69    Percy Harvin    2009
6.65    Devin Smith    2015
6.50    Will Fuller    2016

And the next set of guys in this class:

5.13    Rashard Higgins    2016
4.68    Roger Lewis    2016
3.78    Mike Thomas    2016
1.85    Tyler Boyd    2016
1.79    Pharoh Cooper    2016
0.40    Bryce Treggs    2016
-0.39    Jakeem Grant    2016
-2.40    Keyarris Garrett    2016
-2.97    Devin Lucien    2016
-4.94    Chris Moore    2016

I usually think of 4.0 as the cutoff that I want a guy to hit in order to be a pretty good prospect, so 2 (and almost 3) of these guys make it. (Though I am using Roger Lewis's pro day numbers here; his combine would have him at 1.95.)

This class looks averageish by the numbers, although it's probably not quite as strong at the top as the numbers make it look given the mismatch between which players my formula likes and which players the conventional wisdom likes.

I expect that there will wind up being 5-8 guys who are drafted in the first 3 rounds of the NFL draft who I will like at or above what their NFL draft position suggests (Carroo, Coleman, Doctson, Shepard, Fuller, and maybe some of Higgins, Lewis, & Thoms MSU). And I'm probably not going to like anyone else early relative to their NFL draft position.

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