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Data Entry: Looking at WR fits in the Draft

| March 20th, 2018

 

Before the Combine, I looked at WRs who found success in coach Matt Nagy’s offense in Kansas City and identified physical traits that they all shared. When examining their Combine performance, I found three drills they all typically excelled at:

  • 40 yard dash: 4.51 seconds or better
  • Vertical jump: 35.5 inches or higher
  • Broad jump: 10 feet or longer

Now that major free agency dominoes have fallen and attention is starting to turn more towards the draft, let’s look at all the WRs from the Combine and see how they fared in these three drills. This will help identify what wide receivers might be good fits for the Bears in the draft this year.


Hit All Three

Out of the forty-four WRs at the Combine, there were 7 who hit all three physical thresholds. They are shown in the table below.

A few thoughts on this group:

  • For my money, DJ Moore is the best WR in the draft for this offense, and I’ve thought that since before the Combine. He’d be a great pick for the Bears in round 2 if he’s still on the board, but it’s also unlikely they look at a WR that high given their investment in the position in free agency.
  • It’s important to remember that simply hitting these three thresholds does not make a good WR. It just means that physically they would be a good fit in this offense, and probably warrant looking into to see how good of a WR they actually are. I am not saying these are the 7 best WRs in the draft.
  • Many of these players are actually projected to go on day 3, including Antonio Calloway, Richie James, Tre’Quan Smith, and Jester Weah. All are very good fits for this offense and are names to keep in mind for the Bears in the later rounds. Michael Gallup has a chance to still be there in round 4 as well.
  • Antonio Calloway is an interesting case. He’s had a laundry list of off-field problems but is immensely talented. If he wasn’t such a problem, he’d likely be drafted in the first two rounds. Could the Bears look for a late-round flyer there?
  • Richie James also jumps out to me as a guy who fits really well. He’s a small school prospect projected to go in the late rounds, and is a small, shifty WR who profiles well into this offense.

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Da Saturday Scout: Equanimeous St. Brown, WR, Notre Dame

| October 28th, 2017


Player: Equanimeous St. Brown, WR, Notre Dame

Game: vs. North Carolina State (#14), 2:30 PM CT


Video


What They’re Saying

From a PFF prospect preview of ESB:

Notre Dame junior WR Equanimeous St. Brown, a 6-foot-5, 204-pounder, exploded in first season with a significant workload a year ago. Hauling in 58 receptions for 961 yards and nine touchdowns, Brown ranked No. 5 among returning Power 5 and Independent (FBS) wide receivers in yards per route run (2.69).

Dropping just three of his 61 catchable targets in 2016, St. Brown ranked No. 7 among that same group of wide receivers in drop rate.

St. Brown still needs to develop as a big-play threat on the outside to become a complete package at the next level. He ranked No. 42 and No. 46 in the 2018 draft class in deep pass yards and deep pass catch percentage last season, respectively.


I Think…

  • Special talent. Truly special talent. But there’s no way to evaluate him in this Notre Dame offense that (a) runs for like 300 yards a week now and (b) starts a quarterback from my high school (P-R-E-P PREP! PREP! PREP!) who isn’t good at throwing passes.
  • One thing the Bears will like is watching him run block 20 times a game. Because if he’s drafted into this Bears offense that’s a seriously valuable skill set. (Right now it’s the most valuable.)
  • As always with wide receivers in the draft, nobody will know where he’s going to be taken until he runs. But ND lists this kid as 6-5, 203 lbs. That size with decent speed is lethal in this league.

Why Watch This Week

A good writer named Tom Shanahan cites commentary from a Raleigh radio host, Steve Logan, in a recent blog post:

But Logan thinks N.C. State can turn Notre Dame’s strong running game to its advantage. The Wolfpack have one of the top defensive lines in the nation, led by projected first-round draft pick Bradley Chubb at defensive end. The Wolfpack are ranked sixth, allowing only 91.3 yards a game.

“It can happen,” Logan said of an upset. “Notre Dame is generating 470 yards a game — 300 on the ground. That’s good news from this standpoint for Dave Huxtable, the defensive coordinator at N.C. State: He can bring his safeties in to stop the run. It’s easier to bring the safeties to stop the run and make somebody beat you throwing the ball as opposed to the other way around. This is where N.C. State has an advantage.”

Logan seems to believe this is a week Notre Dame may struggle to run the ball. If that’s the case, this is the week to tune in and watch their top receiving threat; a serious Bears prospect in the coming draft.

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