It was a very strong draft class for wide receivers. Six were selected in the first round, and 15 in the first three. That's the most on the first two days since 2014, a stellar group that included Mike Evans, Odell Beckham, Allen Robinson and Davante Adams (Watkins-Cooks-Landry too). Over the weekend I saw an item about a wideout that fell just outside the top three rounds, Buffalo's Gabriel Davis.
Granted, it's a story that appeared at the team website, and it's their job to promote their players. But it noted that the University of Central Florida product is different than the team's top 3 wideouts (Stefon Diggs, John Brown and Cole Beasley). At 6-foot-2 and 210 pounds, he's at least 2 inches taller and 20 pounds bigger than all of them. In that, he's similar to Duke Williams, who stood out in last year's playoffs, but is now being mentioned as a roster longshot.
Davis caught 23 touchdowns in three seasons at Central Florida, and the linked article speculates that he could be a red-zone weapon for the team this year. Strong draft class or no, though, relatively few fourth-rounder wideouts make much of an impact.
Since 2000, 94 wide receivers have been drafted in the fourth round. Just two, Tampa Bay's Mike Williams and Indianapolis' Austin Collie, have ranked in the top 40 at their position (PPR scoring) in their rookie seasons. Just 22 have made it into the top 100 -- about one per season.
|4TH-ROUND WRS, ROOKIE RANKS, 2000-PRESENT (TOP 100)|
|2010||Mike Williams, T.B.||129||65||964||14.8||11||227.4||16|
|2009||Austin Collie, Ind.||89||60||676||11.3||7||169.7||29|
|2016||Malcolm Mitchell, N.E.||48||32||401||12.5||4||96.1||50|
|2015||Jamison Crowder, Was.||78||59||604||10.2||2||135.6||51|
|2018||Antonio Callaway, Cle.||79||43||586||13.6||5||134.3||54|
|2010||Jacoby Ford, Oak.||54||25||470||18.8||2||129.5||56|
|2012||Chris Givens, St.L.||80||42||698||16.6||3||133.0||57|
|2014||Martavis Bryant, Pitt.||48||26||549||21.1||8||130.1||61|
|2013||Ace Sanders, Jac.||87||51||484||9.5||1||110.9||64|
|2009||Louis Murphy, Oak.||96||34||521||15.3||4||113.2||67|
|2009||Brian Hartline, Mia.||56||31||506||16.3||3||108.5||69|
|2009||Mike Thomas, Jac.||62||48||453||9.4||1||107.9||70|
|2012||Travis Benjamin, Cle.||37||18||298||16.6||2||72.4||85|
|2006||Demetrius Williams, Balt.||45||22||396||18.0||2||73.6||86|
|2017||Dede Westbrook, Jac.||51||27||339||12.6||1||66.9||90|
|2012||Jarius Wright, Min.||36||22||310||14.1||2||66.1||91|
|2006||Brandon Marshall, Den.||37||20||309||15.5||2||64.1||92|
|2000||Danny Farmer, Cin.||33||19||268||14.1||0||45.8||92|
|2005||Roydell Williams, Ten.||39||21||299||14.2||2||62.9||95|
|2004||Ernest Wilford, Jac.||35||19||271||14.3||2||60.1||97|
|2003||Brandon Lloyd, S.F.||30||14||212||15.1||2||49.2||99|
|2018||DaeSean Hamilton, Den.||45||30||243||8.1||2||66.3||100|
The year Williams did it, second-year quarterback Josh Freeman looked like he was going to be a legit franchise quarterback. (Collie was catching passes from Peyton Manning.) For Davis to make much of an impact with Josh Allen at quarterback, he's probably going to need either Diggs or Brown to run into some kind of soft-tissue injury, helping him move into the starting lineup.
As the first wideout drafted in the fourth round in a deep draft, I'm interested in Davis in dynasty. But there's not enough there to merit even a last-round selection in redraft leagues. That's also true of the other fourth-round selection this year, Washington's Antonio Gandy-Golden (out of Liberty).