Draft Capital fills out the final piece of the Rookie Prospect Model. After combining data from the Combine Score, Production Score and Draft Capital, we arrive at a final Post-Draft Score. The Full Prospect Database is fully sortable and available for use here (desktop is best).
The Post-Draft Score sits with a stellar 0.663 correlation to NFL PPG (age 27u).
Team Adjusted Dominator Over Average
Conference Adjusted Average Receiving Yards
Launch Score (Broad/Vert/Weight Metric)
Important: The model is not my ranking. It fills in the profile side of a player's value, but his on-field talent and landing spot are obviously critically important. An athlete is more than his profile in the same way that a person is more than their resume. But you'll still read that resume.
Tier 1 Prospects
None of the rookies in this class made it into the model's top tier. Again, that doesn't mean they're not good. It means they don't check all the resume boxes. It's often said "This class is great, but there's no Julio Jones." While that's true for basically every class that didn't actually have Julio Jones in it, the model agrees.
Tier 2 Prospects
WR1: Jerry Jeudy
Although his total average Dominator Rating has been a talking point for doubters, Jerry Jeudy's sophomore Biletnikoff Breakout in 2018 at the highest rated college program gave him the edge over the rest of the class. Jeudy is one of the best route runners to ever come out of the college ranks. We can name several current NFL greats, but it would be tough to find one that was better than Jeudy while they were still in school. Jeudy has the talent to challenge Courtland Sutton for the WR1 position immediately, I expect him to be well fed working the free space while Sutton and fellow rookie KJ Hamler stretch the field. Jeudy has 2 yellow flags: lack of contested catch wins and the offseason meniscus injury following his 2018 season. I do not expect either to affect his fantasy value early in his career (which is all you can ask), but they are worth mentioning. Jeudy separates well and has solid hands, Sutton can be the contested catch weapon. For a more thorough analysis on Jeudy's knee & mechanics, checkout this thread.
WR2: Justin Jefferson
In the middle of 2019, there were murmurs that Justin Jefferson was a "discount Jerry Jeudy." By the end of 2019, those murmurs grew a little louder. After the combine, it was a trendy "unpopular opinion." Following the draft, many will have Jefferson ranked ahead of Jeudy. I do not think there is a safer WR prospect than Jefferson. On his own, he is a thoroughly talented slot with surprising speed who showed the physicality you didn't see with Jeudy. But with the Vikings, he hops into a known role: Stefon Diggs and his 94 targets. The true value of vacated targets is debatable, but if there was a good and clear application, it would be when a talented 1st round pick who has proven himself at the highest level of college football is stepping into the shoes of a similarly skilled weapon and has Bisi Johnson as his only competition. That guy will be soaking up some vacated targets.
WR3: Tee Higgins
By now you've sensed the theme. Sophomore breakouts on National Championship teams. A rather simple formula. While Tee Higgins' pro day had many analysts split, the Combine Score's premium on long arms and big hands balanced out his mediocre jumps and 40 time. Out of the box, Higgins can be a great mirror across from AJ Green. He's dynamic when attacking the ball in the air with great hands and excellent sideline awareness, and he is surprisingly slippery after the catch for a man of his size. While a true AJ Green comp would be disrespectful, I see the same potential that Sidney Rice had. Pairing him with a living legend, Joe Burrow, makes for an enticing endeavor.
Tier 2 Prospects cont'd
WR4: Henry Ruggs
I did not think it could be done, but I've done it: built a numbers-only model that puts Henry Ruggs in the top 5. With a 96th percentile Combine Score and a 49th percentile Production Score, Ruggs' huge hands, crazy speed and low productivity screams Darrius Heyward-Bey, but the tape shows more skill and confidence. Ruggs tilts the field AND he competes for jump balls. A rare combination like that should not be tossed aside, the way many tossed aside Terry McLaurin. Although he might not hit right out of the gate with checkdown champs Derek Carr and Marcus Mariota battling for the starting spot, Ruggs has massive upside with anyone who has any sort of aggressiveness.
WR5: Jalen Reagor
The model is not impressed with the Big 12's inflated productivity (13% higher than average), and the whiffs are too overwhelming (White, Coleman, Doctson, Wright, etc.) so Reagor and Lamb's productivity is devalued in comparison to their other Tier 2 classmates. Landing on the Philadelphia Eagles was an absolute dream for Jalen Reagor. His versatility at the wide receiver position is second to none. There's a lot of mixed rushing/receiving weapons in this class, but none of them burn rubber on the outside. Some have questions about his hands, but I saw impressive high point technique throughout his tape that maximizes the value of his 42 inch vert. Although he didn't run a sophisticated route tree at TCU, he has zero athletic limitations and should adapt well within the first three years. I'm expecting Percy Harvin type numbers earlier in his career, but he's attached to a legit quarterback and a creative OC, so impact fantasy touches should be there immediately.
WR6: CeeDee Lamb
The consensus pre-draft WR1 fell a bit in the NFL draft and landed in a weird fantasy spot. A quality Team Adjusted Dominator Over Average is offset by a mediocre Combine (from a numbers standpoint), but I have no questions about his true athleticism. Lamb could end up being the best wide receiver on that roster, but I don't think anyone waltzes in and steals Amari Cooper's volume. CeeDee should find a role right away and bump Michael Gallup down the depth chart. With Dak throwing nearly 600 passes for 5000 yards, the Cowboys should have no issue supporting Lamb. All these weapons can make Kellen Moore a hot HC candidate in a couple years.
Tier 2 Prospects cont'd
WR7: Bryan Edwards
If there's a WR outside the top 2 rounds that becomes a WR1, my money is on Bryan Edwards. Edwards Dominator Rating crossed the 20% threshold every year of his career, even when 49ers' Deebo Samuel was on the field. The model loves a freshman year SEC breakout and gave Bryan a 96 percentile Production Score. Without Combine data, he falls down the model ranks a bit, but he's the fourth highest 3rd rounder since 2003 - rated just ahead of Chris Godwin and Emmanuel Sanders. Edwards play strength and toughness stood out in a conference where teams actually played defense. He could wind up as the Raiders' best WR out of this class. #GalileoGameScope film thread here.
WR8: KJ Hamler
The model loves KJ Hamler for the same reason it does Edwards: career domination in a relevant conference. As the automatic WR3 on the Broncos, Hamler's overall fantasy upside is not going to match any of the other WRs taken in the 2nd Round. His resume as an early breakout with high draft capital, overwhelms that logic and has him finishing with an 81 percentile Post-Draft Score. The names that he fall next to in the model are absolutely perfect: John Ross and Phillip Dorsett. Hamler's productive career balances out with the high draft status of Ross and Dorsett to identify highly valuable context. On tape, Hamler looks very similar to these players as well. He's a twitchy, space-eater with route running potential and sizzle after the catch. But he's small, thin and can't be relied on to win contested situations. He'll be a low volume weapon throughout his career, where he's more of an intriguing DFS play than important dynasty asset. Fully loaded Drew Lock might be the biggest takeaway from Hamler's high rating. #GalileoGameScope film thread here.
Tier 3 Prospects
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WR9: Brandon Aiyuk
Among first rounders, Brandon Aiyuk's resume falls in with many devastating busts: AJ Jenkins, Corey Coleman, Josh Doctson, Breshad Perriman, Robert Meachem...yet his fit with the 49ers is as good as it gets. Shanahan built a championship caliber team without a legitimate deep threat. Aiyuk can come in and do what Marquise Goodwin wasn't healthy enough to do (Goodwin's only full season w/ Shanahan produced an intriguing 56/962/2 statline). Aiyuk is electric with the ball in his hands and has the raw quickness and strong hands to click on the outside. Although it is not included in this dataset, Aiyuk technically brokeout as a 19 year old in community college. The value of that needs to be inspected, but unlike many senior year breakouts, Aiyuk did have early career success and it was good enough to get him on a D1 roster. He should be polarizing - a fantastic test for many different rookie assessment theories.
WR10: Chase Claypool
Chase Claypool lands with a Pittsburgh crew that has had a knack for identifying WR talent. His potent athleticism rated second in class (behind Ruggs) and he feels a lot like former Notre Dame teammate, Miles Boykin. There's no one quite like him on the Steelers' roster. He's a redzone stud with some stiffness, but shows plenty of competitive toughness. If he whiffs at receiver, he's a fantasy dream at tight end. But that's the last resort, he'll try to stick outside where the money is. #GalileoGameScope film thread here.
WR11: Denzel Mims
After nailing the entire pre-draft process (Senior Bowl & Combine), Mims slid a bit in the draft. The tape feels a lot like what we saw with Allen Robinson/Devante Parker. The Jets are getting a bouncy body control freak and there's nothing like hoping a Devante Parker type gets good usage with Adam Gase. Overall, pairing him with Darnold across from Breshad Perriman makes for a fun WR group. As he develops his physicality at the line, Mims can grow into his WR1 upside. #GalileoGameScope film thread here.