thebrowns

2018 Rookie WR Class

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I want to start talking about the 2018 WR rookie class, now that we are to the FF offseason. I find it helpful to have a feel for players prior to knowing they when and where of the draft. Fit will determine ultimate value; this conversation is about the overall talent of players and their potential to succeed. The assumption is that they will land in an average spot. Neither the outlier ideal nor outlier flawed fit. 

 

This is my initial list. What push back do you have? Who is overrated? Who needs to be moved up? Disclosure: I value youth - size - hands - athleticism - technical skill - production in that order. (eventually fit will be king) This helped me grab JuJu last year. It doesn't always work out well for me; notice that it has greatly affected how I see players like Calvin Ridley and Anthony Miller (he's old). 

 

1 WR Courtland Sutton SMU
2 WR Auden Tate Florida State
3 WR Christian Kirk Texas A&M
4 WR Equanimeous St. Brown Notre Dame
5 WR Michael Gallup Colorado St
6 WR DJ Moore Maryland
7 WR Richie James Middle Tennesse St
8 WR Tre'Quan Smith UCF
9 WR Allen Lazard Iowa St
10 WR James Washington Oklahoma State
11 WR Calvin Ridley Alabama
12 WR Simmie Cobbs Indiana
13 WR Deontay Burnett USC
14 WR Antonio Callaway Florida
15 WR Deon Cain Clemson
16 WR Jaleel Scott New Mexico
17 WR Jake Wieneke South Dakota ST
18 WR DJ Chark LSU
19 WR Jordan Lasley UCLA
20 WR Darren Carrington Utah
21 WR DaeSean Hamilton Penn State
22 WR Cedrick Wilson Boise ST
23 WR Anthony Miller Memphis
24 WR Jester Weah Pittsburgh
25 WR J'Mon Moore Missouri
26 WR Trey Quinn SMU
27 WR Brandon Shed Hobart
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For me, your rankings of Ridley, Washington and Miller are laughably low. 

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Agree with petekrum. I had christian kirk a little lower in my rankings as well. Miller seems criminally low. James washington at 10 doesnt bother me as much as the rest. Comp thats been thrown around is "anquan boldin" with Washington's thicker frame.  I like him but i think he will have limitations at the next level. Id love to see how he is going to use his frame to box out the bigger corners at the next level. I think gallup is a little high too.

 

Id have ridley alot higher. Hes probably the most pro-ready receiver in this draft. His ability to get of the line is explosive, i found him able to get inside or outside the coverage almost at free will. His size may leave you wanting more but i think he has the easiest transition.

 

Jaleel scott seems a little high too, not a wr that gains a ton of seperation. His stature it great at 6'6 but reports out of senior bowl were him looking very "heavy footed" and may only be a redzone type weapon at the next level.

 

I can understand your rankings based on the things you listed. Size seemed to have a big factor in your rankings. Overall, not a bad list. More upside based. Its a good list of names id probably just have them in a slightly different order.


 

 

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1 hour ago, vikingapocalypse said:

Agree with petekrum. I had christian kirk a little lower in my rankings as well. Miller seems criminally low. James washington at 10 doesnt bother me as much as the rest. Comp thats been thrown around is "anquan boldin" with Washington's thicker frame.  I like him but i think he will have limitations at the next level. Id love to see how he is going to use his frame to box out the bigger corners at the next level. I think gallup is a little high too.

 

Id have ridley alot higher. Hes probably the most pro-ready receiver in this draft. His ability to get of the line is explosive, i found him able to get inside or outside the coverage almost at free will. His size may leave you wanting more but i think he has the easiest transition.

 

Jaleel scott seems a little high too, not a wr that gains a ton of seperation. His stature it great at 6'6 but reports out of senior bowl were him looking very "heavy footed" and may only be a redzone type weapon at the next level.

 

I can understand your rankings based on the things you listed. Size seemed to have a big factor in your rankings. Overall, not a bad list. More upside based. Its a good list of names id probably just have them in a slightly different order.


 

 

 

2 hours ago, petekrum said:

For me, your rankings of Ridley, Washington and Miller are laughably low. 

 

I think i probably do need to drop Jaleel Scott down. I think most agree that 2019 is the year of the WR. This is a weak class. I will change my mind on Miller and Ridley if they show out at the combine. I'm supposed to bite on 24 year old rookies? Ridley is higher on my list because he has the highest floor. Ridley and Miller are six and four months younger than Amari Cooper. 

 

The combine will change some. Just like the senior bowl helped me on Gallup. I'm very interested in Chark testing. 

 

When evaluating rookies for fantasy I'm looking for the guys who will have the longest sustained success (clearly format affects this to a degree, but not a ton imo). If I was rating this class for next year alone it would look different. Clearly, Washington, Ridley, and Miller are some some of the most polished in this class. I'm evaluating diamonds not rings; I don't care if a player isn't ready to "wear" yet. 

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5 minutes ago, thebrowns said:

 

 

I think i probably do need to drop Jaleel Scott down. I think most agree that 2019 is the year of the WR. This is a weak class. I will change my mind on Miller and Ridley if they show out at the combine. I'm supposed to bite on 24 year old rookies? Ridley is higher on my list because he has the highest floor. Ridley and Miller are six and four months younger than Amari Cooper. 

 

The combine will change some. Just like the senior bowl helped me on Gallup. I'm very interested in Chark testing. 

 

When evaluating rookies for fantasy I'm looking for the guys who will have the longest sustained success (clearly format affects this to a degree, but not a ton imo). If I was rating this class for next year alone it would look different. Clearly, Washington, Ridley, and Miller are some some of the most polished in this class. I'm evaluating diamonds not rings; I don't care if a player isn't ready to "wear" yet. 

 

I'm not a big fan of older rookie WRs, but Cooper Kupp just proved me and many others wrong this past season. So much is landing spot-dependent, as always.

 

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24 minutes ago, thebrowns said:

 

 

The combine will change some. Just like the senior bowl helped me on Gallup. I'm very interested in Chark testing. 

 

 

 

Chark is very interesting, his speed and length are almost martavis bryant - like. He had some trouble with drops, and id like to see him attack the ball rather then let it come into his body. But i have a feeling he is going to test extremely well at the combine. I feel chark is a late riser, on upside alone, similar to penny for RBs. Wether he deserves it or not remaims to be seen, but i really like his measurables.

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11 minutes ago, boltup15 said:

@thebrowns James Washington #10? Strongly disagree. 

 

Where does he fit in the NFL?The talent ous undeniable. But he is 5' 10" and doesn't have Tyreek Hill speed. Will he thrive in the slot? 

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4 minutes ago, vikingapocalypse said:

 

Chark is very interesting, his speed and length are almost martavis bryant - like. He had some trouble with drops, and id like to see him attack the ball rather then let it come into his body. But i have a feeling he is going to test extremely well at the combine. I feel chark is a late riser, on upside alone, similar to penny for RBs. Wether he deserves it or not remaims to be seen, but i really like his measurables.

 

That Penny reference is spot on. I'm guessing both will rise. I tend to avoid those guys because of the price tag. That is the value of starting evaluation prior to the combine and draft. That way the lip stock doesn't make you forget that you're missing a pig.

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1 minute ago, thebrowns said:

 

Where does he fit in the NFL?The talent ous undeniable. But he is 5' 10" and doesn't have Tyreek Hill speed. Will he thrive in the slot? 

 

5'10'' 7/8 so basically 5'11''. 

(AB, Golden Tate, Baldwin, Cooks, TY are all 5'10'' and under)

 

"He doesn't have Tyreek Hill speed" 

 

No other WR's have Tyreek Hill speed. 

 

Washington can play on the outside. 

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6 minutes ago, boltup15 said:

Washington can play on the outside. 

 

 

This was my main concern. I had something in my notes regarding his separation. When I read the note I realized it was open-ended. I found the follow-up. Thank you for the feedback, I definitely knee-jerked on Washington. There are guys I think can develop in most situations, it seems that Washington has a decent ceiling and a high floor.

 

Matt Bowen, ESPN, Jan 23: "

"After checking and separating are key to getting the ball in the pros."tape on Washington, I wanted to see him work against press coverage and showcase enough lateral speed to shake defensive backs. Even with the highlight reel of deep ball shots he put together versus Big 12 defenses, beating pressout

 

Matt Bowen, ESPN, Jan 26: "In Mobile, Washington did display the lateral quicks to shake coverage at the line of scrimmage, his route running was much cleaner than I expected, and he knows how to get over the top. Stack and go. Use that long speed. Washington was the top wide receiver during Senior Bowl workouts, and he could put up some WR3/flex numbers as a rookie if he lands in the right situation."

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1 hour ago, 96mnc said:

@thebrowns, if you're an ageist Washington should be higher. 

 

lol, my concern with Washington was separation.  I've already said I'm going to move him up.  Washington's age is average IMO. I expect seniors to be drafted at age 22.

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47 minutes ago, petekrum said:

Ridley will end up being one of the top three WRs in this class. 

 

But does that matter if the WR class this year is the worst in years and light years worse than the 2014 class? 

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5 hours ago, boltup15 said:

 

5'10'' 7/8 so basically 5'11''. 

(AB, Golden Tate, Baldwin, Cooks, TY are all 5'10'' and under)

 

"He doesn't have Tyreek Hill speed" 

 

No other WR's have Tyreek Hill speed. 

 

Washington can play on the outside. 

 

Can Washington beat press coverage? Anyone seen him do it consistently?

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5 hours ago, joshua18 said:

 

But does that matter if the WR class this year is the worst in years and light years worse than the 2014 class? 

The 2014 class was ridiculous.  It's like the 2011 edge rusher class or the 2012 QB class. 

 

I actually like this class.  I only think there's one star player at WR (and it's a total homer pick and relying on projection and an assumption of bad development coaching in college), but there's a lot of guys I think can be productive WR2 or WR3 types.  

 

Late edit:  With that said, Kirk is my guy this year.  I'm an Aggie, so I'm sure that plays into it.  The dude comes into an SEC team with receiver depth and immediately grabs over a quarter of the receiving work as a true freshman.  Despite what the NFL.com combine profile says, the guy is fast and agile.  He has good hands, although right now he does have a tendency to body catch.  He has a work ethic to match anyone in the NFL, so I'm a little willing to overlook technique flaws that he can clean up (especially with good coaching.  A&M doesn't have a great recent track record of developing players.) Combine that with questions with the other top candidates, and Kirk is the one guy I feel confident in.  I feel safe about him developing into at least an elite slot option, similar to Landry.  At his absolute best, he can be somewhere in between Hilton and OBJ.

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2 hours ago, jbshaw said:

The 2014 class was ridiculous.  It's like the 2011 edge rusher class or the 2012 QB class. 

 

I actually like this class.  I only think there's one star player at WR (and it's a total homer pick and relying on projection and an assumption of bad development coaching in college), but there's a lot of guys I think can be productive WR2 or WR3 types.  

 

Who is your homer pick?

 

I agree that this is a solid group of contributors. Which is why I graded it the way I did. I think I will move Washington up slightly. I could go to #8 with him.

  • Richie James is going to be a ridiculous slot option. He could end up with the best production in this class.
  • DJ Moore more than flashed talent at Maryland. 
  • Michael Gallup defies the rules of athleticism and creates separation regardless of competition. He did it at the Senior Bowl and did it against Alabama (the rest of CSU got thrashed)
  • Equanimeous St. Brown had a rough 2017 but I still liked what he was able to do. He isn't a do it all type guy but he is a homerun threat and should get red zone options
  • Christian Kirk might be my favorite prospect in this draft. He has great body mechanics and solid hands.
  • Auden Tate is young, super raw (drawback), but his good is so good, I'll drop him significantly if I think he lands in a bad coaching spot, which for him is probably 2/3rd of the league. But in a vacuum I like his potential.
  • Courtland Sutton is not someone I'm sold on but he seems like he should be able to put things together to be a solid WR2. He could be a contributing WR3 next year. I see him as a high floor medium ceiling guy.

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5 minutes ago, thebrowns said:

.

  • Courtland Sutton is not someone I'm sold on but he seems like he should be able to put things together to be a solid WR2. He could be a contributing WR3 next year. I see him as a high floor medium ceiling guy.

 

I think suttons ceiling is high. He has some rawness to him, but he attacks the ball. He has great body control, and a great ability to adjust to the ball in the air. Speed seems to be the question, but i think he will surprise. When hes good, he reminds me of A.J green - smooth ,fluid movements.

 

Of course, these are highlight tapes, but it really highlights his potential. Ability to go up in traffic, side-line catches, speed, seperation, one handed catches, ability to track the ball and adjust:

 

 

 

 

 

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58 minutes ago, thebrowns said:

 

Who is your homer pick?

 

Edited in above, but Captain Kirk. 

 

I like Sutton as a potential Jeffrey/Evans type, but a lot is going to depend on how he runs.  Ridley I'm just TERRIFIED of his build.  While he's taller, he's scrawny.  Great skills.  But I'm worried about durability.  Washington is definitely a guy I wouldn't be shocked if he was the top receiver when it's all said and done..  DJ Moore is sneaky (50% of receiving offense this year!) Very similar to Kirk as a prospect, although I don't know on the character (Kirk is absolutely sterling), but he doesn't have 3 years of great production. 

 

Of course, the wildcard is Antonio Callaway.  Was widely regarded as a top wide receiver prospect in this draft class.  Real (and obvious) risk with him is character/legal.   

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1 minute ago, jbshaw said:

 

Edited in above, but Captain Kirk. 

 

I like Sutton as a potential Jeffrey/Evans type, but a lot is going to depend on how he runs.  Ridley I'm just TERRIFIED of his build.  While he's taller, he's scrawny.  Great skills.  But I'm worried about durability.  Washington is definitely a guy I wouldn't be shocked if he was the top receiver when it's all said and done..  DJ Moore is sneaky (50% of receiving offense this year!) Very similar to Kirk as a prospect, although I don't know on the character (Kirk is absolutely sterling), but he doesn't have 3 years of great production. 

 

Of course, the wildcard is Antonio Callaway.  Was widely regarded as a top wide receiver prospect in this draft class.  Real (and obvious) risk with him is character/legal.   

 

Callaway...soooooo talented.  Such a knucklehead.

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34 minutes ago, 96mnc said:

 

Callaway...soooooo talented.  Such a knucklehead.

Guarantees Cowboys will take him.  

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Lance zuerlein is a writer for NFL and also a radio guy for Houston sports. I'm a big fan of his. 

 

The way he talked about ridley really made me rethink what I had thought of him. I recommend reading some of zuerlein stuff on ridley. It'll make you watch that guy really close come draft time to see where he lands. 

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3 hours ago, thebrowns said:

 

Who is your homer pick?

Carrington. He roasted Adoree when matched up, but he had to deal with QBs who can't handle passes downfield his whole college career.

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