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2024 Dynasty Rookie Draft Primer: Wide Receivers (Fantasy Football)

2024 Dynasty Rookie Draft Primer: Wide Receivers (Fantasy Football)

It’s that time again. Dynasty rookie fever SZN is here! The NFL Draft will come and go before we know it and rookie drafts will start flying daily. Before you dive head first into our Draft Simulator and run 3,000 rookie drafts in preparation, please read up on this talented prospect class as I roll through my quarterback, running back, wide receiver and tight end positional primers.

Motrin and Tylenol can’t quell this fever. The only medicine is more rookie mock drafts.

2024 Dynasty Fantasy Football Guide

2024 Rookie WR Primer

Marvin Harrison Jr. (Ohio State)

Stats:

  • 2023 (among all FBS WRs, minimum 50 targets)
    • Yards per route run: 5th
    • PFF receiving grade: 6th
    • YAC per reception: 67th
  • 2022 (among all FBS WRs, minimum 50 targets)
    • Yards per route run: 7th
    • PFF receiving grade: 3rd
    • YAC per reception: 206th

Scouting Report:

  • Harrison Jr. has the entire tool belt to pull contraptions from to make corners’ lives a living hell on the football field. He has superb route nuance and sneaky afterburners (legit 4.4 speed). If a corner plays off him, he can quickly drop it into fourth and beat them deep or run away from them on a drag route. His route tree isn’t missing any branches.
  • Harrison Jr. has plenty of field stretching reps where he exhibits strong ball tracking. He made a few basket catches at Ohio State that’ll leave your jaw on the floor.
  • He has the skill set to be an elite WR in the NFL for a long time. He can threaten a defense at every level. Harrison can get open off the line with any combination of speed, physicality or footwork. Harrison Jr. is strong at the catch point with high point skills to be a yearly 8-10 touchdown guy.
  • The only small knock on Harrison’s game is that he isn’t a huge yards after the catch (YAC) threat. He amassed only 14 missed tackles at Ohio State and 5.1 yards after the catch per reception. This depressing number can partially be attributed to quarterback play in 2023, which, funny enough, is the best season he had in YAC per reception (6.4). He has the size and speed to produce some YAC but it likely will never be the biggest selling point of his skillset.

Player Comp: A.J. Green

Malik Nabers (LSU)

Stats:

  • 2023 (among all FBS WRs, minimum 50 targets)
    • Yards per route run: 3rd
    • PFF receiving grade: 1st
    • YAC per reception: 58th
    • Missed tackles forced: 4th
  • 2022 (among all FBS WRs, minimum 50 targets)
    • Yards per route run: 49th
    • PFF receiving grade: 54th
    • YAC per reception: 110th

Scouting Report:

  • It’s not the LSU jersey. I swear. As soon as I turned on the film, I felt like I was watching Ja’Marr Chase as a prospect all over again. Nabers plays with a special blend of power, twitch, and blinding speed. His imposing physical strength at 6-foot-0 reminds me the most of Chase. Nabers can break tackles and churn out YAC.
  • He can win versus zone as he has strong pacing in his routes and sits down in the soft spots. Nabers can also hand fight, get physical and defeat press and man coverage. Last year he was the second-highest graded wide receiver, per PFF, against man while also ranking 20th in Yards per route run against the coverage type (minimum 25 man coverage targets).
  • Nabers can go toe to toe with Marvin Harrison Jr. for the title of  “best route runner” in this class. He weaves together a ton of high-end nuance in his routes from dropping his head to selling a vertical push, varying the tempo in his routes and the raw physical power of his hand fighting and at the catch point. He can snap off a double move in a heartbeat. Against Arkansas, he tossed the corner a double move and when the defensive back didn’t bite, Nabers just ran past him anyway with his blinding speed.
  • Nabers snatches targets with arrogant hands away from this body. He’s a beast at the catch point and adjusts easily to lowly thrown balls. Nabers had only a 5.3% drop rate in each of the past two seasons.

Player Comp: Ja’Marr Chase 2.0

Rome Odunze (Washington)

Stats:

  • 2023 (among all FBS WRs, minimum 50 targets)
    • Yards per route run: 18th
    • PFF receiving grade: 8th
    • YAC per reception: 107th
  • 2022 (among all FBS WRs, minimum 50 targets)
    • Yards per route run: 44th
    • PFF receiving grade: 43rd
    • YAC per reception: 185th
  • 62nd percentile collegiate target share
  • 84th percentile collegiate breakout age

Scouting Report:

  • Odunze makes special plays look easy so often that you have to remind yourself of the difficulties of some of the plays. He adjusted to an underthrown ball against Cal while splitting two incoming defenders like it was just another pitch and catch crosser. His film is littered with back-shoulder supremes and basket catches
  • He has special start/stop ability at his size, which helps him earn quick separation with ease. Odunze doesn’t have the most fluid hips but he has extremely quick feet, which do the heavy lifting when he needs to decelerate.
  • His skillset accesses another level when we discuss his body control and ball tracking. Odunze has an enormous catch radius with the ability to high point as well as easily adjust to poorly thrown balls behind him. There are numerous fade routes where he had to adjust to the ball in the air and he did so marvelously without losing speed using his effortless change of direction.
  • Odunze’s run after the catch skills are a treat as he gets up to top speed quickly. He also shows off his power from time to time, weaving through the interior with the vision and physical presence of a running back. In 2023, he was tied with Malachi Corley for 25th in missed tackles forced.
  • Odunze should be the immediate WR1 for whatever offense he lands with. He has alpha upside with the ability to threaten a defense at all three levels.

Player Comp: Terrell Owens

Troy Franklin (Oregon)

Stats:

  • 2023 (among all FBS WRs, minimum 50 targets)
    • Yards per route run: 6th
    • PFF receiving grade: 15th
    • YAC per reception: 58th
  • 2022 (among all FBS WRs, minimum 50 targets)
    • Yards per route run: 59th
    • PFF receiving grade: 80th
    • YAC per reception: 193rd

Scouting Report:

  • Franklin is a double-move demon. He has no issues snatching a corner’s soul with a double move and then pressing the accelerator to the metal as he blows past them for a long gain. His easy and immediate ability to hit the gas shows up all over his film in his routes and after the catch. He transitions from receiver to rusher, seamlessly dodging defenders immediately after the ball is in his hands.
  • He has a fluid change of direction ability, which shows up on his short area routes as he can cut on a dime on stop routes and comebacks. His special burst allows him to deploy a varied release package. He’ll offer corners a change up at times, with his first step or two being exaggerated before exploding into his route.
  • Franklin was utilized in line at times and caught his fair share of screens with some gimmicky usage but don’t let his route-running prowess get lost in that Oregon sauce. He has a route tree with plenty of branches. He has “teach tape” skills when it comes to stacking corners on deep routes. Franklin’s upper body strength and hand fighting serve him well against physical corners.
  • Concerns with Franklin’s drop issues are warranted but will likely be overstated in the process. His nine drops in 2023 are nothing to ignore but some of those were on poorly thrown balls by Bo Nix or in highly contested situations. He does have a few costly drops related to ball tracking and technique that can’t be overlooked but he also has some tough grabs made in the end zone and in traffic that lead me to believe this is a correctable issue at the next level.

Player Comp: Robbie Chosen with route running chops

Xavier Worthy (Texas)

Stats:

  • 2023 (among all FBS WRs, minimum 50 targets)
    • Yards per route run: 89th
    • PFF receiving grade: 125th
    • YAC per reception: 27th
  • 2022 (among all FBS WRs, minimum 50 targets)
    • Yards per route run: 135th
    • PFF receiving grade: 146th
    • YAC per reception: 123rd
  • 2021 (among all FBS WRs, minimum 50 targets)
    • Yards per route run: 41st
    • PFF receiving grade: 48th
    • YAC per reception: 8th
  • 89th percentile collegiate target share
  • 97th percentile collegiate breakout age

Scouting Report:

  • Worthy is a speed merchant who can win at all three levels. He has some textbook reps on film of stacking corners on go balls with good deep ball tracking. If he had better quarterback play in 2023 with the deep ball, his full-season stat line would have been beefier. There are plenty of reps where he burnt a corner deep only to get underthrown by his quarterback. Many of these resulted in incompletions or would be walk-in touchdowns only counting as long gains in the box score.
  • His speed will steal the show when the real conversation starter for Worthy is his route running. Worthy has crisp gear downs on a dime on comebacks while also flashing easy change of direction on slants and outs. He varies his pacing in routes while also tossing in jab steps mid-route to invite indecision into a corner’s skull. He has a good understanding of leverage. His short-area quickness shows up in conjunction with his blinding straight-line speed. It makes him tough to guard in close quarters as he’ll break off a whip route and leave a corner looking silly.
  • Worthy’s size shows up at times, as corners can give him issues at the catch point. He can be pushed off his routes at times but it’s not consistent as corners have to hang with him to do so.

Player Comp: DeSean Jackson

Javon Baker (Central Florida)

Stats:

  • 2023 (among all FBS WRs, minimum 50 targets)
    • Yards per route run: 8th
    • PFF receiving grade: 24th
    • YAC per reception: 35th

Scouting Report:

  • Baker is a well-rounded receiver. Quick feet eat, and Baker has them. Lightning fast in and out of breaks with crisp change of direction. Baker is a strong route runner with a blazing first step who deploys head fakes, subtle changes of direction and jab steps to earn separation.
  • He has good long speed, but it’s not elite speed. On go routes, there are some corners he can run by, but in many instances, he has to earn space with those routes with his savvy, which he does regularly. Since 2022, he has ranked 18th among all FBS wide receivers in explosive plays.
  • He offers some YAC ability with a combination of shifty feet, play strength, and good vision in traffic. Baker offers a nice pairing of quick twitch and toughness.
  • Baker’s strong hands and impressive body control equal a large catch radius. He has plenty of back-shoulder catches made in the air on tape while also sporting some shoestring grabs as well. Last season, among 98 qualifying receivers, he was 20th in contested catch rate. Baker can develop into a high-volume receiver at the next level. He could walk into an NFL offense as the immediate WR2.

Player Comp: Chris Godwin

Ladd McConkey (Georgia)

Stats:

  • 2023 (among all FBS WRs, minimum 35 targets)
    • Yards per route run: 8th
    • PFF receiving grade: 34th
    • YAC per reception: 95th

Scouting Report:

  • McConkey is a solid underneath option but lacks the extra gear to take the top off a defense. Corners, even when beat off the line, can close on him downfield. He likely ends up as a 50/50 receiver, with half of his snaps coming as a slot receiver in the NFL.
  • His route-running prowess allows him to get open in the short and intermediate, as he is sudden in his movements and crisp at the top of his stem. He plays through contact well in his routes, using a good swipe and upper body strength to work through press coverage.
  • McConkey runs like a running back in traffic. Good vision in chaos with the shiftiness to break some tackles and provide YAC. He offers some run game utility with 13 collegiate carries for 216 rushing yards (16.6 yards per carry) and four scores.

Player Comp: Jordan Addison

Johnny Wilson (Florida State)

Stats:

  • 2023 (among all FBS WRs, minimum 50 targets)
    • Yards per route run: 51st
    • PFF receiving grade: 95th
    • YAC per reception: 226th
  • 2022 (among all FBS WRs, minimum 50 targets)
    • Yards per route run: 4th
    • PFF receiving grade: 25th
    • YAC per reception: 42nd

Scouting Report:

  • As a receiver, Wilson’s height shouldn’t have the fluidity that he does. His quick feet and smooth hips allow him to be a weapon in the short and intermediate areas. He sinks his hips better than you’d expect from a player with his height. Wilson can get open on a comeback or drag route for days. He has the quicks to get open versus corners and the raw strength to punish them after the catch. The sum of his skill parts allows him to produce YAC either from his surprisingly quick footwork or his upper body strength and leg drive.
  • This is not a knock on Wilson’s ability as a perimeter wide receiver but I want to see him converted to tight end in the NFL. He already has the requisite size with the ability to put on 10 pounds or so without losing his speed and quickness. If there’s a smart NFL franchise out there, they will be handsomely rewarded. Wilson can more than hold his own as a wide receiver. However, he would have ridiculous upside as a tight end. He has the skills to win versus linebackers and nickels all day.
  • Another reason to believe Wilson can make the jump to tight end is his blocking. As a run blocker, he is a dawg. He has the total strength package to drive guys off the mark and anchor them. Over the last three seasons, among all wide receivers with at least 90 run-blocking snaps, he has ranked eighth, 21st and first in Pro Football Focus’ (PFF) run-blocking grade.
  • Wilson has a huge catch radius. He will adjust for low throws while also reaching high-point throws that few defenders can get to because of his size. He has plenty of catches in traffic on film to prove his strong hands. His 40.9% contested catch rate last year isn’t truly indicative of his talent — ball placement on some of his tight-window throws was sketchy at best. We also have to talk about his 12.8% drop rate in college. Wilson has plenty of concentration drops on film but I think this is something he can get cleaned up in the NFL. There are too many instances of him making special catches on his film (i.e., the one-handed grab versus Oklahoma in 2022).

Player Comp: Darren Waller

Brian Thomas Jr. (LSU)

Stats:

  • 2023 (among all FBS WRs, minimum 50 targets)
    • Yards per route run: 32nd
    • PFF receiving grade: 92nd
    • YAC per reception: 102nd
  • 2022 (among all FBS WRs, minimum 40 targets)
    • Yards per route run: 301st
    • PFF receiving grade: 290th
    • YAC per reception: 184th

Scouting Report:

  • Thomas is a traits-based prospect with a legit 4.4-lifting speed. He can take the top off a defense and burn by a corner in the blink of an eye. Thomas faced a ton of off-coverage in college, with corners afraid to get beat over the top by him. As a field stretcher, he offers solid ball tracking deep and a “my ball” mentality at the catch point. He has good body control for a receiver his size. He’ll be a good fit in an offense built upon creating explosives and with a strong deep ball rate.
  • Thomas was tasked with a limited route tree at LSU. His game logs consisted of a ton of stop routes, go routes and fade routes. He was tasked with running to space against zone. You won’t find many in-breaking routes on his film outside of the occasional crosser.
  • Thomas has a decent gear down for his size with the ability to gain separation on comebacks but he saw hefty cushions in coverage. It’ll be interesting to see how he handles corners pressing him or playing tighter in the NFL. He has the upper body strength and hand-fighting to put up a fight against press but it’s more of a projection since we haven’t seen him do it much.
  • He’s not much of a threat after the catch with only 5.3 yards after the catch per reception in college. His transition from receiver to rusher is methodical, considering his size. He’s not a twitchy player, as his hips look stiff once he has the ball in his hands and is asked to create after the catch.

Player Comp: Tyrell Williams

Jermaine Burton (Alabama)

Stats:

  • 2023 (among all FBS WRs, minimum 50 targets)
    • Yards per route run: 25th
    • PFF receiving grade: 30th
    • YAC per reception: 256th
  • 2022 (among all FBS WRs, minimum 50 targets)
    • Yards per route run: 113th
    • PFF receiving grade: 101st
    • YAC per reception: 150th

Scouting report:

  • Burton has the speed to burn. His acceleration is one of the first standout traits that jump off the film. He can erase cushions and make defensive backs hate life in an instant with double moves. It’s insane and so much fun to watch. 
  • He’s not just a field stretcher. Burton has big-time route-running chops. He flashes smooth changes of direction and the ability to cut on a dime. He has some red zone whip routes that make corners look absolutely silly. He deploys jab steps, pace variations, and leverage manipulation in his routes. He can win at all three levels. 
  • Burton has top-shelf deep ball tracking. He secured a big-time throw, illuminating this perfectly against Ole Miss in 2023. He also has consistent late hands as he leaves corners guessing. 
  • He needs to improve his boundary awareness, but he displays good body control on back shoulder throws with the ability to sky and secure balls outside of his frame and behind him. 
  • Burton has a strong set of hands at the catch point. He sports only a 2.9% drop rate and a 52.6% contested catch rate in college. Burton also flashes some physicality after the catch with a strong enough base to slip tackles. 

Player Comp: Rashod Bateman

Roman Wilson (Michigan) 

Stats:

  • 2023 (among all FBS WRs, minimum 50 targets)
    • Yards per route run: 29th
    • PFF receiving grade: 22nd
    • YAC per reception: 178th
  • Career
    • In four years at Michigan, he didn’t earn more than 39 targets or finish with higher than 2.3 YPRR until 2023.
    • 59.9% collegiate slot rate

Scouting Report:

  • Wilson can rip zone coverage with hot, nasty speed and fluid hips. He can slice through off coverage as a steady target (2.0% drop rate in 2023).
  • Wilson has a quick first step and speed, which allows him to gain separation on shallow crossers and stop routes. He can stretch a defense vertically but he’s not a YAC threat or a wondrous tackle breaker. Wilson had only nine missed tackles forced and 5.4 yards after the catch per reception in college. He can make plays with the ball in his hands but it’s reliant upon his speed.
  • Wilson needs to continue to hone his releases. Wilson can beat zone coverage but the instances he has faced press coverage have given him fits. He hasn’t exhibited the necessary release package or upper body strength to beat press coverage. Once a corner gets their hands on him, it is game over. Wilson struggles to play through contact during his routes. He should continue to operate as a slot receiver in the NFL.

Player Comp: Devery Henderson

Malik Washington (Virginia)

Stats:

  • 2023 (among all FBS WRs, minimum 50 targets)
    • Yards per route run: 11th
    • PFF receiving grade: 2nd
    • YAC per reception: 67th
  • 2022 (among all FBS WRs, minimum 50 targets)
    • Yards per route run: 168th
    • PFF receiving grade: 110th
    • YAC per reception: 132nd

Scouting report:

  • Washington is a dynamic player in the open field. He can slip tackles like a running back and has good vision in traffic. Last year, he was fifth in missed tackles forced. His low center of gravity helps with breaking arm tackles and his twitchy change of direction ability. 
  • He has immediate burst with the ball in his hands. Washington’s fluid hips allow him to uncover quickly and transition seamlessly to running after the catch. 
  • Washington was utilized in the slot in college (87.9% slot rate in 2023). He’ll likely work inside at the NFL level. Washington has a good feel for finding the soft spots in zone. He was heavily utilized on screens and stop routes. Washington needs to continue to add nuance to his routes (mid-route), but he does display good footwork in his releases and bend in his routes to believe that he can continue to evolve in this area at the next level. 
  • His size can show up during his routes as he can get pushed off his line against physical corners, but he plays bigger at the catch point. He flashes good body control, snagging plenty of balls outside of his frame with adjustments to high throws and ankle biters. 

Player Comp: Demario Douglas

Keon Coleman (Florida State)

Stats:

  • 2023 (among all FBS WRs, minimum 50 targets)
    • Yards per route run: 175th
    • PFF receiving grade: 148th
    • YAC per reception: 72nd
  • 2022 (among all FBS WRs, minimum 50 targets)
    • Yards per route run: 107th
    • PFF receiving grade: 79th
    • YAC per reception: 206th

Scouting Report:

  • Coleman relies upon being a catch-point bully. He is saved at the catch point by his ridiculous wing span and strong hands. He is adept at corralling high-point balls but doesn’t display the ability to adjust well to low throws or passes that might be behind him, which hinders me from saying he has a huge catch radius. It also has to be stated that he dealt with poor ball placement from his quarterbacks in 2023.
  • He has a lot of rounded routes, lacking suddenness and nuance on his ledger. Coleman doesn’t display the route running or release package skill set at this juncture to look at him as a consistent separator off the line or during his stem. Corners have no issues hanging with him on most routes. He doesn’t have the raw speed to stack corners, but he flashes strong ball tracking downfield.
  • Coleman should translate as a red zone weapon to the NFL. With his size and high point skills, that should be an avenue of usage from Day 1. He also boxes out defenders well, like a power forward going up for a rebound.
  • He’s not a consistent YAC threat. Coleman doesn’t have the quick twitch or raw speed to do a ton after the catch with screens. He can break tackles, though, simply because of his upper body strength, especially against smaller defenders.

Player Comp: Poor man’s Kenny Golladay

Ricky Pearsall (Florida) 

Stats:

  • 2023 (among all FBS WRs, minimum 50 targets)
    • Yards per route run: 86th
    • PFF receiving grade: 53rd
    • YAC per reception: 131st

Scouting Report:

  • Pearsall has nuanced route running using head fakes, jab steps, and leverage to his advantage. He is a versatile receiver who can play the slot and perimeter and is one of the best route runners in this class. He has a good feel and pacing in his routes against zone coverage as a quarterback-friendly target. 
  • Pearsall can win at all three levels. He has fluid change of direction and long speed to get open on anything from a five-yard out to a go ball. His route-running chops help his speed play up. 
  • He has plus body control and catch radius. He’s no stranger to acrobatic catches in the air or one-handed grabs. His highlight tape is some of the sickest reps in this class. Pearsall has good ball tracking on deep balls with some nice basket catches and textbook stacking.

Player Comp: explosive Adam Thielen

Xavier Legette (South Carolina)

Stats:

  • 2023 (among all FBS WRs, minimum 50 targets)
    • Yards per route run: 11th
    • PFF receiving grade: 18th
    • YAC per reception: 68th
  • Career
    • 73.6% of his snaps as a boundary receiver

Scouting Report:

  • Legette is a long-striding boundary receiver. He plays bigger than his listed size suggests. He has superb back-shoulder ball skills and body control in the air. Legette has a big catch radius as he high points the ball well with a pair of strong hands.
  • He is a developmental wide receiver who needs to improve on the little things of the position. Legette has good deceleration at the top of his stem for his size but it can be inconsistent. He’ll have a few routes where he sharply drops his hips and decelerates, leaving corners searching, and then he’ll be lax and get clunky with his footwork at the top of his stem.
  • Legette needs to sell his vertical push more consistently. Many routes look strong but then he’ll sneak in some reps where he’s telegraphing his intentions. The need for consistency bleeds over into other areas of his game. He lacks consistent spatial awareness against zone drifting on some routes where he should put the brakes on in space.
  • His releases need work. Legette opts for speed releases on many routes, but he needs to continue to hone his footwork and add more release tactics to the tool bag. His footwork has to continue to improve if he hopes to gain separation off the line in the NFL, especially on short-area and intermediate routes. He plays bigger than his size would indicate, which is a plus in some areas, but it’s not here as he runs and has the footwork speed of a bigger-bodied wide receiver.

Player Comp: David Givens

Devontez Walker (North Carolina)

Stats:

  • 2023 (among all FBS WRs, minimum 50 targets)
    • Yards per route run: 71st
    • PFF receiving grade: 177th
    • YAC per reception: 271st

Scouting Report:

  • Field stretcher. Walker finished his collegiate career with 16.8 yards per reception and a 17.1 average depth of target (aDOT). He was a limited route tree player, with the majority of his opportunities coming on stop routes and go balls with some screens and posts tossed in. I would have loved to have seen Walker utilized on slants more where he could take advantage of his size and strong hands in traffic.
  • Walker must continue to add to his bag of tricks as a receiver. He will round off his routes and routinely leaves corners unstacked on nine routes, which leads to issues at the catch point. Walker’s strong mitts and solid ball placement by Drake Maye helped to mitigate corners at the catch point but this will be an issue for him in the NFL. He does have some good reps, exhibiting good body control and the ability to play above the rim.
  • Walker needs to continue to improve his gear down and sink his hips on comebacks and curls. He’s a long strider with build-up speed that plays better with downfield assignments. Walker likely slots in as a situational deep threat in the NFL unless he can continue to improve in these other areas.

Player Comp: Jalin Hyatt

Adonai Mitchell (Texas)

Stats:

  • 2023 (among all FBS WRs, minimum 50 targets)
    • Yards per route run: 179th
    • PFF receiving grade: 98th
    • YAC per reception: 260th

Scouting report:

  • A boundary field-stretching speed demon. Mitchell’s wheels are evident immediately when you turn on the film. He can eat up a cushion in the blink of an eye. Mitchell doesn’t lose speed with subtle changes in direction, but he does have issues with throttling down during routes. It’s noticeable on double moves as he will have issues getting back to full throttle, and it affects his pacing on these routes. 
  • Mitchell adds subtle movements and changes of direction to his downfield routes, but he needs to continue to add to that tool bag. He relies a lot on a stutter step and direction change to get corners to bite, but if corners are diligent in their film study at the NFL level, they won’t bite on this after seeing it religiously. 
  • Mitchell can eat up off coverage, but corners can give him fits once they get their hands on him. Corners that can run with him and also have decent play strength can hang with him and give him problems at the catch point. He can get pushed off his line. 
  • Mitchell relies upon speed to generate YAC. He won’t force many missed tackles (only nine in college) and isn’t a twitchy player. 
  • He displays good ball tracking on deep patterns with late hands. Mitchell has no problems with securing balls outside of his frame. He had only one drop over the last two seasons. 

Player Comp: D.J. Chark

Luke McCaffrey (Rice) 

Stats:

  • 2023 (among all FBS WRs, minimum 50 targets)
    • Yards per route run: 95th
    • PFF receiving grade: 26th
    • YAC per reception: 84th
  • 2022 (among all FBS WRs, minimum 50 targets)
    • Yards per route run: 77th
    • PFF receiving grade: 58th
    • YAC per reception: 179th

Scouting Report:

  • A savvy player who could carve out a long career in the NFL, McCaffrey’s background as a quarterback serves him well as a receiver. He has good situational awareness in the red zone, making catches near the boundary and finding soft spots in zone coverage.
  • McCaffrey has a slender build with easy speed and a fluid change of direction. He will be a quarterback’s best friend in the NFL with his strong hands. He had only a 4.1% drop rate last year and came down with plenty of tough catches in traffic while taking huge hits. He has a nice catch radius with the ability to adjust to targets over his head, as well as ankle biters in the red zone.
  • McCaffrey isn’t a burner but he can be utilized downfield. He has strong ball tracking and displays late hands consistently.

Player Comp: Jakobi Meyers

Ja’Lynn Polk (Washington)

Stats:

  • 2023 (among all FBS WRs, minimum 50 targets)
    • Yards per route run: 70th
    • PFF receiving grade: 75th
    • YAC per reception: 127th
  • 2022 (among all FBS WRs, minimum 50 targets)
    • Yards per route run: 153rd
    • PFF receiving grade: 215
    • YAC per reception: 201st

Scouting report:

  • Polk has the look of a big slot at the NFL level. He played in the slot on 37.3-41.1% over the last two seasons while drawing 43.5% of his target volume via the slot in 2023. 
  • He needs to continue to refine his releases and route running. Polk faced off coverage or was schemed with off coverage looks off the line with motion or bunch formations. His feet can get away from him at the top of his stem or off the line. He has to increase the efficiency of his movements at these points in his routes. 
  • Polk has an average burst, which shows up in his routes consistently, with corners able to hang with him without issues. It’s especially noticeable when tasked with out-and-ups, as corners don’t bite. He’s not the most dynamic or twitchy player in space, with only 5.2 yards after the catch per reception in college. He was able to force 15 missed tackles in 2023, many of them as a result of his strong base or his upper body strength. 
  • Polk is a clasher during this routes and at the catch point. He does a fair job of creating late separation, but he usually has company at the catch point. This is where his strong hands show up. Polk has no problems corralling passes outside of his frame or in traffic. He has only a 5.3% drop rate in college and has secured at least 53.3% of his contested targets over the last two seasons. 

Player Comp: Marquez Callaway

Jalen McMillan (Washington)

Stats:

  • 2023 (among all FBS WRs, minimum 50 targets)
    • Yards per route run: 68th
    • PFF receiving grade: 144th
    • YAC per reception: 67th
  • 2022 (among all FBS WRs, minimum 50 targets)
    • Yards per route run: 66th
    • PFF receiving grade: 56th
    • YAC per reception: 126th

Scouting report:

  • McMillan profiles as a big slot in the NFL after at least 89.2% of his snaps from the slot over the last two years. He isn’t a burner with build-up speed. He was slower in close quarters in 2023 as he dealt with injuries, but he showed some flashes of a second gear in 2022. McMillan isn’t a quick-twitch player, which is reflected in his 56th-percentile 3-cone drill and 61st-percentile 20-yard shuttle. 
  • McMillan is at his best, working against off-coverage underneath. He doesn’t have the raw speed or route nuance to be utilized as a consistent deep threat. When he was tasked with out and ups at Washington, he was always blanketed. McMillan can separate on posts via his build-up speed. 
  • McMillan doesn’t play well through contact in his routes or at the catch point. He only secured 20% of his contested targets in college. He also has some technique and concentration drops (7.9% drop rate). 

Player Comp: Marqise Lee

Malachi Corley (Western Kentucky)

Stats:

  • 2023 (among all FBS WRs, minimum 50 targets)
    • Yards per route run: 22nd
    • PFF receiving grade: 26th
    • YAC per reception: 9th
  • 2022 (among all FBS WRs, minimum 50 targets)
    • Yards per route run: 27th
    • PFF receiving grade: 10th
    • YAC per reception: 3rd

Scouting Report:

  • Corley is built like a running back. He has a compact, thick frame and a sturdy lower half. He utilizes his strong frame and low center of gravity to break arm tackles in the open field.
  • A true slot receiver. Western Kentucky tried to get the ball in his hands in any way possible with screens, pop passes and handoffs. He was utilized on a ton of screens, slants and quick-outs. Corley offers some YAC upside with a decent second gear. He has a good feel for attacking zone coverage and finding good areas to sit down in coverage.

Player Comp: Discount Rondale Moore

Jamari Thrash (Louisville) 

Stats:

  • 2023 (among all FBS WRs, minimum 50 targets)
    • Yards per route run: 59th
    • PFF receiving grade: 46th
    • YAC per reception: 57th
  • 2022 (among all FBS WRs, minimum 50 targets)
    • Yards per route run: 14th
    • PFF receiving grade: 28th
    • YAC per reception: 53rd

Scouting Report:

  • Smooth operator. Looks like he is gliding on the field. Easy change of direction laterally. His superpower and how he wins is with his quick feet, specifically gearing down on intermediate routes. Thrash can drop his hips easily on a comeback and leave a corner spinning.
  • Thrash has some nuance to his routes with jab steps and head fakes. He has a good understanding of leverage and how to set up corners. Thrash has good body control, especially when adjusting to low throws. He is not the strongest at the catch point, though, with only a 32.6% contested catch rate in college.
  • He’s not a burner. He’s a one-speed guy. I question his ability to stretch the field and get on top of corners deep. Could settle in as a possession wide receiver/ WR3 for an NFL team.

Player Comp: Russell Gage

Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint (Georgia)

Stats:

  • 2023 (among all FBS WRs, minimum 40 targets)
    • Yards per route run: 45th
    • PFF receiving grade: 98th
    • YAC per reception: 201st

Scouting Report:

  • Rosemy-Jacksaint should settle in as a dependable WR4/5 in the NFL. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him convert to a big slot or a 50/50 slot/outside player at the next level and carve out a long career. He has solid feet with the ability to gear down and turn on a dime, but his explosive ability and raw speed are questionable.
  • Rosemy-Jacksaint isn’t an above-the-rim player, but he’s an intermediate possession receiver that coaches and quarterbacks will love. He excels at slants/crossers and comebacks.
  • Rosemy-Jacksaint has vice-grip hands. He extends and plucks the ball out of the air away from his body. He had only two drops across 105 collegiate targets and a 63.6% contested catch rate in his final season.
  • He’s not a YAC threat. Rosemy-Jacksaint runs upright and is easy to bring down in the open field with only four missed tackles and 4.1 YAC per reception in four years of college.
  • Coaches will love him in the run game. He can seal the edge and consistently stands up defenders and anchors well. Over the last two seasons, among 249 and 265 qualifying wide receivers, he was 11th and 14th in PFF run blocking grade (minimum 200 run blocking snaps).

Player Comp: Zach Pascal

Ainias Smith (Texas A&M)

Stats:

  • 2023 (among all FBS WRs, minimum 50 targets)
    • Yards per route run: 72nd
    • PFF receiving grade: 39th
    • YAC per reception: 47th
  • Career
    • 70.1% collegiate slot rate

Scouting Report:

  • The former running back weaves through traffic like a back. Smith has easy speed and quick twitch after the catch, with the ability to earn yards after the catch.
  • Fluid hips and nimble feet allow him to win against corners in the short areas of the field. Smith was a slot option in college and projects for the same work in the NFL.
  • Smith operated with a healthy dose of stop routes, manufactured touches, and slants where he was asked to run to daylight versus zone.

Player Comp: Demetric Felton

Brenden Rice (USC)

Stats:

  • 2023 (among all FBS WRs, minimum 50 targets)
    • Yards per route run: 25th
    • PFF receiving grade: 39th
    • YAC per reception: 127th
  • 2022 (among all FBS WRs, minimum 50 targets)
    • Yards per route run: 143rd
    • PFF receiving grade: 123rd
    • YAC per reception: 74th

Scouting Report:

  • Average burst off the line. Rice needs to continue to add to his release package. He doesn’t have the raw speed to rely only on his wheels as he doesn’t have the raw juice to run by corners.
  • Rice can get pushed off his routes by physical corners or jammed up mid-route. He doesn’t flash the speed or route running/release chops to get behind corners deep consistently. He’s not a fluid mover, as he looks lumbering at times to get up to top speed. His change of direction can get clunky.
  • Rice is a decent underneath target with ok hands. He has issues at the catch point with physical corners — 48.6% career contest catch rate. His lack of play strength shows up here. Many times, 50/50 balls for Rice are 35/65 balls. Drops have not been a huge issue, though.

Player Comp: Nick Westbrook-Ikhine

Jordan Whittington (Texas)

Stats:

  • 2023 (among all FBS WRs, minimum 50 targets)
    • Yards per route run: 218th
    • PFF receiving grade: 208th
    • YAC per reception: 101st

Scouting Report:

  • Slot receiver with plenty of gadget usage. Whittington was utilized out of the backfield on angle and wheel routes, with screens, handoffs, etc. He is an upright runner who looks like a throw-back power back in the open field. He doesn’t run with that type of gusto, though. Whittington’s upright running style can be brought down relatively easily if he doesn’t have a head of steam built up.
  • Out of the slot, Whittington has a ton of rounded routes. He lacks suddenness at the top of his stem. There are plenty of reps where he looks like he’s running half-speed. His short-area quickness is nice at times, though, which makes it head-scratching because he has multiple whip routes on film where he leaves defenders flailing at the air.

Player Comp: Laviska Shenault with a low battery


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