The draft is a day away, and I will be most interested to see how things play out with the wide receivers. There are a lot of good ones, and will that large supply result in reduced demand?
Nothing against guys like Jerry Jeudy, CeeDee Lamb (pictured) and Justin Jefferson. They’re great prospects. But with there being a huge pile of good pass catchers, it would seem reasonable that many teams might prefer to see what they might be able to get in the second or third rounds. There definitely will be some viable receivers in that range.
As good as some of these receivers seem to be, the level of quality drops off a lot more at the other positions, I think. If you were locked into selecting a wide receiver and a tackle with your first two picks, for example, the combination of going with a tackle and then a wide receiver would result in a better combination of talent than going with a receiver followed by a tackle.
Take the Raiders at No. 12, for example. They certainly need a wide receiver, and they’re a good candidate to be the first team to select a pass catcher. But I wouldn’t be surprised if they instead go with another position, knowing that they’ll have the opportunity to add a good receiver later.
Over the last five years, second-round wide receivers have actually been more productive than those selected in the first, on average.
Since 2015, 17 wide receivers have been selected in the first round. They have averaged 26 catches for 351 yards and 2.2 TDs in their first seasons. The 22 selected in the second round have averaged 10 more catches for 161 more yards, with almost 2 more touchdowns.
In the last five years, 19 wide receivers have put up at least 100 points of PPR production in their first season. All but five of those guys were selected in the second rounds.
In the chart below, players selected in the second round are in bold. The worst six on this chart were all chosen in the first round (including three picked in the top 10): Kevin White, Breshad Perriman, John Ross, Laquon Treadwell, Josh Doctson and Mike Williams.
It’s always exciting to see the ball-handling players selected. They’re the ones that help put fans in the seats. But it sure looks like a year where it’s smarter to instead initially focus on the less-glamorous talent.
|FIRST- AND SECOND-ROUND RECEIVERS (last 5 years)|
|2016||Michael Thomas, N.O.||47||92||1,137||9||259.7||7|
|2019||A.J. Brown, Ten.||51||52||1,051||9||217.1||22|
|2015||Amari Cooper, Oak.||4||72||1,070||6||214.7||21|
|2018||Calvin Ridley, Atl.||26||64||821||10||208.8||20|
|2017||JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pitt.||62||58||917||8||197.7||20|
|2019||DK Metcalf, Sea.||64||58||900||7||193.1||29|
|2019||Deebo Samuel, S.F.||36||57||802||6||191.1||31|
|2016||Sterling Shepard, NYG||40||65||683||8||184.4||36|
|2018||DJ Moore, Car.||24||55||788||2||163.0||36|
|2019||Marquise Brown, Balt.||25||46||584||7||146.4||46|
|2018||Courtland Sutton, Den.||40||42||704||4||136.3||50|
|2016||Will Fuller, Hou.||21||47||635||3||128.2||61|
|2016||Tyler Boyd, Cin.||55||54||603||1||126.1||63|
|2018||Christian Kirk, Ariz.||47||43||590||3||123.5||58|
|2019||Mecole Hardman, K.C.||56||26||538||7||123.5||59|
|2018||Anthony Miller, Chi.||51||33||423||7||120.3||60|
|2015||Dorial Green-Beckham, Ten.||40||32||549||4||112.9||59|
|2015||Devin Funchess, Car.||41||31||473||5||108.3||65|
|2018||Dante Pettis, S.F.||44||27||467||5||103.5||71|
|2015||DeVante Parker, Mia.||14||26||494||3||93.4||78|
|2016||Corey Coleman, Cle.||15||33||413||3||93.3||82|
|2017||Corey Davis, Ten.||5||34||375||0||71.5||85|
|2017||Zay Jones, Buff.||37||27||316||2||70.6||87|
|2015||Nelson Agholor, Phil.||20||23||283||1||57.3||101|
|2015||Phillip Dorsett, Ind.||29||18||225||1||48.2||110|
|2018||James Washington, Pitt.||60||16||217||1||43.7||125|
|2019||Parris Campbell, Ind.||59||18||127||1||40.1||121|
|2019||N'Keal Harry, N.E.||32||12||105||2||39.4||124|
|2019||Andy Isabella, Ariz.||62||9||189||1||35.4||131|
|2017||Curtis Samuel, Car.||40||15||115||0||32.9||126|
|2019||J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, Phil.||57||10||169||1||32.9||136|
|2018||DJ Chark, Jac.||61||14||174||0||31.4||141|
|2015||Devin Smith, NYJ||37||9||115||1||26.5||142|
|2017||Mike Williams, LAC||7||11||95||0||20.5||139|
|2016||Josh Doctson, Was.||22||2||66||0||8.6||169|
|2016||Laquon Treadwell, Min.||23||1||15||0||2.5||187|
|2017||John Ross, Cin.||9||0||0||0||1.2||199|
|2015||Breshad Perriman, Balt.||26||0||0||0||0||--|
|2015||Kevin White, Chi.||7||0||0||0||0||--|