I was fortunate enough to take part in a three-round, 12-team rookie dynasty mock draft, and with its conclusion we now have a chance to examine how the dynasty markets might develop heading into the Combine. This draft was done for a standard-scoring league starting QB/RB/RB/WR/WR/WR/TE.
I will include my general takes on the players and picks, with round projections and a pro comparison. At the end of the article I will quickly list my 40 best remaining players on the board.
Thanks so much to the college football/draft minds who took part in this. Listed in draft order, those people are Russell Clay, John Laub, Paul Perdichizzi, Matt Kelley, John McKechnie, Thor Nystrom, Bryson Vesnaver, Matt Caraccio, Mike Bainbridge, Anthony Amico, and Chris Kay.
1.1. Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State (Russell Clay)
It seems that the dynasty/devy community is more fond of Cook (5-foot-11, 213 pounds) than the mainstream commentators, who generally tend to rank Cook behind Leonard Fournette. Although I'm a fan of Fournette, I'm definitely more in line with the first group. I fully agree with Russell's selection here.
For me, Cook is the superior option for two reasons: (A) greater quickness and burst that lends itself to greater schematic versatility, and (B) better pass-catching upside in the NFL. Cook showed great receiving upside in three years, totaling 79 receptions for 935 yards and two touchdowns as Fournette showed mere adequacy as a receiver, finishing his LSU career with 41 receptions for 526 yards and one touchdown.
Comparison: Clinton Portis
1.2. Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU (John Laub, Football Diehards)
Despite my preference for Cook, I still think Fournette is a great running back prospect and an elite dynasty asset going into the 2017 season. Listed at 6-foot-1, 235 pounds, Fournette was one of the most hyped recruits at any position in the last 10 years or so, and he generally met expectations despite a slow start and some ankle troubles in his final season.
A 40-yard dash time around 4.40 or better wouldn't surprise at all, but Fournette is still behind Cook for me because Fournette functions best with a fullback in front of him, leaving him less formation-versatile than Cook, and I don't think he has the standout pass-catching upside Cook does (though Fournette should still be an adequate receiver at the least).
Comparison: Larry Johnson
1.3. Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford (Paul Perdichizzi, Saturday2Sunday)
I would have gone with Corey Davis here, but since McCaffrey is the No. 4 player for me at the moment, I still think this is a good pick. I think McCaffrey has a good chance of going in the first round, which gives him tangible value as a dynasty asset if only for the playing time it likely assures him.
Playing around 6-feet, 200 pounds, McCaffrey doesn't have the build I want in a running back, but that issue is offset by the fact that McCaffrey quite simply isn't a traditional running back. He'll be one of the league's very best pass-catching threats at running back from the first play, and he's polished enough as a route runner to contribute as a slot wideout. Players like Theo Riddick and Gio Bernard have made noticeable fantasy impacts in similar roles, but McCaffrey is more talented to the point that he can redefine that particular aesthetic as a rookie.
Comparison: Reggie Bush
1.4. Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan (Matt Kelley, RotoUnderworld)
Listed at 6-foot-3, 213 pounds, I expect Davis to check it at about 6-foot-2, 215-220 pounds at the Combine. Although he might not be the first receiver selected due to playing at Western Michigan, he is the clear top receiver for me. And since he seems all but locked into the first round, this is one case where lower draft projection doesn't carry any significant risk of lower playing time opportunity.
Davis is the No. 3 dynasty asset for me among rookies, so I totally agree with Matt's selection. While I don't have a useful comparison for Davis, I feel like his college production and presumed athletic traits make it safe to say his floor is a player like Michael Crabtree. But there are some aesthetic and athletic similarities to Dez Bryant, and so long as Davis confirms at the Combine that the speed he showed on tape was no illusion, that's the sort of upside I have in mind for Davis.
Comparison: I got nothin'
1.5. Mike Williams, WR, Clemson (John McKechnie, RotoWire)
I think I would have gone with Washington wideout John Ross here, but I suspect most people tend to see it the way our own Mr. McKechnie does, so that's certainly worth noting.
At the very least, Williams (6-foot-3, 225 pounds) presents a high floor thanks to the considerable catch radius that comes with his height and standout wingspan, and he has a long history of standing out at a Clemson school that featured plenty of wideout talent as competition. As a true freshman in 2013, Williams earned praise for standing out in practices even as he played alongside Sammy Watkins, Martavis Bryant, Adam Humphries and Charone Peake. No matter my concerns with Williams, that anecdote alone is unambiguously encouraging.
Williams also stood out in game settings, though, establishing himself as the team's new No. 1 WR upon the exits of Watkins and Bryant, finishing his 2014 sophomore season with 57 catches for 1,030 yards and six touchdowns. A neck injury in the first game of 2015 ended that season for Williams, but in 2016 he caught 98 passes for 1,361 yards and 11 touchdowns in 15 games.
Still, I'm concerned Williams doesn't have as much upside as people presume. He earned an underwhelming share of the 2016 Clemson passing game, with his 1,361 yards amounting to just 27.2 percent of Clemson's 5,009 passing yards, and the 11 touchdowns just 24.4 percent of the 45. The reason to find concern with those facts is that they raise the possibility that Williams' 2016 production was due in part the volume of his surrounding offense rather than his own level of play. Consider the contrast with Davis and Ross: the two respectively posted corresponding percentages of 42.5/57.6 and 31.7/36.2 in 2016.
My suspicion is that Williams is a good but not great prospect with a high floor but limited ceiling. Alshon Jeffery is probably the best-case scenario I'm willing to concede at this point, with the floor being someone like Devin Funchess. If Williams has a great Combine showing, though, I'll have to raise my expectations.
It is worth mentioning that my reservations about Williams sound similar to me as the ones I had with Michael Thomas a year ago. I thought he was good but unlikely to be a WR1, and for now that appears quite off the mark.
Comparison: Michael Westbrook
1.6. John Ross, WR, Washington (Thor Nystrom, NBC Sports)
Given that I liked Ross at the fifth pick, I have to like him for Thor at the sixth pick. Ross (5-foot-11, 190 pounds) doesn't have the standout size of Davis or Williams, but he makes up for it by possessing highly rare athleticism.
The biggest concern with Ross is his medical situation – he tore one of his ACLs and tore both meniscuses in his Washington career. On the field, he consistently showed off his blurring speed and unique big-play ability. Ross is a burner who should run better than a 4.40, posing the big-play danger of a DeSean Jackson or J.J. Nelson but at about 25 pounds heavier than either of those two.
Perhaps that weight distinction is what allows Ross to not only get open deep, but also pose a danger in the red zone. He totaled 1,150 yards and 17 touchdowns on 131 targets, which is highly impressive for a player returning from an ACL tear.
Comparison: Santana Moss
1.7. Joe Mixon, RB, Oklahoma (Bryson Vesnaver, ProFootballFocus)
You probably know the Mixon story by now, so I'm not going to go over it here. The bottom line is we have an obvious elite talent – a player capable of breaking games open both as a runner and pass catcher – but whose employability is up in the air.
I generally believe Mixon will get drafted, just not until a point in the draft where the selecting team can rationalize the decision through the premise that the involved draft pick and the resulting potential cap penalty for cutting Mixon would prove insignificant. Every team wants Mixon, but there's a real possibility that public pressure toward advertisers could make it financially painful to keep him on a roster. The public's specific reaction to Mixon getting picked is something that can't be foreseen, but we know from cases like Ray Rice and Michael Vick that it won't be silence.
If Mixon does manage to stay on a roster, in any case, he will play and play well eventually. In such a scenario, getting him at the seventh pick in a rookie draft will pay off in a huge way.
Comparison: Ahman Green
1.8. Alvin Kamara, RB, Tennessee (Matt Caraccio, Saturday2Sunday)
A former Alabama transfer, Kamara (listed at 5-foot-10, 215 pounds) is a name long known in the scouting community as a former high-ranking recruit whose true arrival was delayed by the transfer process. When he finally did arrive at Tennessee, though, the results were immediately encouraging.
Kamara's quickness is clearly elite, and despite generally showing modest strength, he breaks plenty of tackles thanks to similarly elite balance. There's also a good chance his straight-line speed is top-grade or close to it. Kamara is an excellent pass catcher and a dangerous punt returner, so he should get plenty of touches even if, as expected, he doesn't secure a workhorse-type role in the NFL.
The fact that Kamara played off the bench at Tennessee behind Jalen Hurd will likely be held against him by evaluators, but the reason this occurred was nothing to do with Kamara's talent level – Tennessee's coaches just screwed that one up. It is fair to wonder if he can physically hold up under a bigger workload, however.
As far as grading this pick goes, I am a definite fan of Kamara but probably would have gone with Samaje Perine or Juju Smith-Schuster.
Comparison: Charlie Garner
1.9. D'Onta Foreman, RB, Texas (Mike Bainbridge, Athlon)
Foreman arrived to Texas as the two-star recruit while his identical twin Armanti joined the Longhorns as a much more hyped high four-star recruit. Their eventual trajectories could hardly be more curious – despite the identical genetics, Armanti has been a disappointment as a 200-pound receiver, while D'Onta became a feared hulk of a running back at around 6-feet and 250 pounds.
Foreman rose above his two-star status and ran wild over the last two years, showing unnatural speed for such a big runner while stomping his way to 2,700 yards and 20 touchdowns on just 417 carries – good for 6.5 yards per attempt. His pass-catching skills are a question mark after totaling just 12 catches for 139 yards over that span, but it should be noted that the Texas offense just didn't throw the ball to the running back – Longhorns running backs as a whole caught just nine passes in 2016, and in 2015 the number was 16. However limited Foreman's receiving volume was, in other words, he still caught about half of the available passes despite only starting in 2016.
Either way, Foreman is at best unproven as a pass catcher, and any runner as big as he is runs the risk of sacrificing agility in exchange for bulk. Unless he drops his weight to around 235 pounds for the Combine, I imagine his agility testing will prove discouraging. But even if that occurs, I think it's safe to say his combination of brute strength and breakaway speed make his floor that of LeGarrette Blount. Foreman is faster, though.
Comparison: LeGarrette Blount
1.10. Samaje Perine, RB, Oklahoma (Me)
I can only be so objective given that I made this pick, but I like Perine's dynasty value at the moment more than all of Mixon, Kamara and Foreman, so I think he's a really good value at the 10th pick.
Perine (5-foot-10, 235 pounds) likely has less straight-line speed than Foreman, but he offers similar size and power with better flexibility and more testing as a pass-catcher. He ran for 4,122 yards (6.0 YPC) and 49 touchdowns in 36 games, adding 40 receptions for 321 yards and two touchdowns. He quite notably set the single-game NCAA record for rushing yardage by thrashing Kansas for 427 yards and five touchdowns on 34 carries as a true freshman in 2014.
Perine dealt with some minor injuries in each of the last two years, so it's fair to wonder whether he'll deal with similar issues as a power runner in the NFL. I tend to think he's no more vulnerable than most other running backs, but that's just a guess.
Comparison: Michael Turner
1.11. Juju Smith-Schuster, WR, USC (Anthony Amico, RotoViz)
When I was on the clock for the 10th pick, I was considering Perine, Taywan Taylor and Smith-Schuster. So when Anthony took him at 11, I certainly considered it a strong pick.
Smith-Schuster (listed at 6-foot-2, 220 pounds) has lost some of his luster in the past year – he headed into it almost universally ranked ahead of Williams and Ross – but it wouldn't surprise me if this former five-star recruit rehabilitated his stock with a strong showing at the Combine. That's not because JSS looks particularly fast on the field, but I do think there's at least a good chance he establishes himself as more athletic than Williams, the main big WR competition for JSS.
JSS was immensely impressive as a true sophomore in 2015, turning 138 targets into 1,454 yards and 10 touchdowns while playing all but one week of the regular season at age 18. That anecdote alone pretty much clinches his viability as a prospect for me, but in addition to that the pedigree is quite strong, too.
Comparison: Donte Moncrief
1.12. Curtis Samuel, RB/WR, Ohio State (Chris Kay, DailyRoto)
Samuel (5-foot-11, 197 pounds) is a strange case, but his talent isn't in any question for me. A true RB-WR tweener, his fantasy value is somewhat up in the air due to the uncertainty over how he'll be used in the NFL and which position he'll receive eligibility for in fantasy leagues. He arrived to Ohio State a running back, even starting one game as a freshman ahead of Ezekiel Elliott in 2014, before switching into a role more resembling that of a wide receiver.
If I had to guess, I figure it's the receiver position where Samuel ends up. That would be ideal for his fantasy value – he'd still get carries occasionally like an RB, but he'd be eligible at a position where volume is less plentiful. He has the burning athleticism to pose a deep threat to a defense or split the safeties after the catch, so it makes sense to get his 200-pound frame in space rather than have him mostly run between the tackles.
There's a chance that Samuel torches the Combine – 247Sports quoted him at some very impressive testing numbers as a recruit – and in that event I like his chances of pushing for the first round, especially after Tyreek Hill had so much success as a similar player. I definitely like Chris' pick here.
Comparison: Eric Metcalf
2.1. Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson (Russell)
Russell later implied that he regretted this pick, and I should note I wouldn't have made it myself. However, I am a believer in Watson and don't feel the need to actually criticize the pick. I think Watson possesses significant dual-threat upside and, especially if he ends up on the Browns, I'll like his chances of succeeding in the NFL.
If he doesn't end up in Cleveland... well, I might get more nervous then. I love the idea of Watson playing in an offense with what I consider a good offensive coach and two dangerous deep threats in Terrelle Pryor and Corey Coleman, but barring that Watson probably isn't a consideration for me until the third round of rookie drafts.
Comparison: Don't have one
2.2. Jamaal Williams, RB, BYU (John L.)
Williams checked into the Senior Bowl at 6-feet, 211 pounds after the previous expectation was something over 220, but he remains one of the draft's better bets to emerge as a starting running back in the NFL. After a one-year absence from BYU during the 2015 season for unclear reasons, he returned in 2016 to end his college career on an emphatically positive note. He finished this season with 1,375 yards (5.9 YPC) and 12 touchdowns in 10 games and, while his seven receptions for 80 yards might make some question his pass-catching abilities, it should be noted that he showed good hands on plenty of earlier occasions before BYU changed its offensive scheme this year. In 2012 and 2013, for instance, he combined for 45 receptions.
Williams is a bit long-limbed and I would like to see him get up to about 225 pounds at his frame, but in the meantime he offers an encouraging cutback burst and the eyes to spot the lane. He also shows a good motor as a runner, resulting in a productive leg drive. I think he's a bit limited laterally, though, and best suited as a straight-ahead runner. If he puts forth a good 40 and strong jumps at the Combine, he could get into the second day.
Comparison: Kevin Smith
2.3. O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama (Paul)
Despite annually disappointing with his statistical volume at Alabama, I'm a big believer in Howard and think he's a very good pick for Paul at this spot. Dynasty league owners have to be prepared for the historical tendency of tight ends to start their careers slowly, but I don't think it's too much to ask Howard to be a top-8 fantasy tight end by 2018.
Howard (6-foot-5, 249 pounds) was attributed excellent workout numbers coming out of high school and his game film made his athletic gifts similarly obvious. He will have his fair share of critics over the fact that he totaled just 1,726 yards and seven touchdowns in four years, but those critics will quickly disappear once the Combine arrives. They should consider retraction in the meantime, too – Howard's lack of volume was clearly due to offensive scheme. His 1,726 yards were accumulated on just 161 targets, giving him a strong YPT of 10.7.
Comparison: Greg Olsen
2.4. Jeremy McNichols, RB, Boise State (Matt K.)
In terms of peak production, McNichols (5-foot-9, 212 pounds) was one of the best running backs in college football history over the last two years. Over that span he established himself as a workhorse runner with remarkable pass-catching skills, totaling 3,046 yards (5.5 YPC) and 43 touchdowns in 26 games while adding 934 yards and 10 touchdowns on 88 catches. That receiving production is impressive enough, but consider that he accumulated it on just 99 targets (9.4 YPT).
McNichols appears a bit athletically limited – I expect him to run in the 4.6 range – but his lack of long speed is offset by his quick feet and ability to see through a defense. His floor as a prospect is certainly founded to no small extent by his rare passing-formation fluency, as he can serve in all of blitz pickup, screen pass and wide receiver capacities. I think his ceiling is as high as a Brian Westbrook/Devonta Freeman type, with his floor somewhere around Justin Forsett. I'm an optimist with McNichols, though.
Comparison: Devonta Freeman
2.5. David Njoku, TE, Miami (FL) (John M.)
Njoku (6-foot-4, 245 pounds) is an athletic marvel who some like to get picked over Howard as the first tight end selection. I don't think that will happen, but Njoku still stands a good chance of getting picked in the first round. He doesn't look as heavy on film as his listed weight – I can't help but wonder if he's closer to 230 – and in any case his frame is not filled out.
His frame is so thin, in fact, I wonder if he's just a receiver in the NFL. At a glance he really looks a lot like Marques Colston to me, but if Njoku bulks up a bit for the Combine we can forget about that idea. This is in any case a player with springs in his feet – he high jumped just under seven feet out of high school, and he shows plenty of speed, albeit in a lanky stride, once he really hits the pedal. He broke out this year by snagging 43 receptions for 698 yards and eight touchdowns in 13 games.
Comparison: Marques Colston
2.6. Cooper Kupp, WR, Eastern Washington (Thor)
Kupp is a player I have trouble deciphering. He's been getting subtle NFL hype going back to at least the summer, and he was hugely productive at Eastern Washington, but I do have a couple concerns over the meaning of that production given the level of competition and Kupp's advanced age (he'll turn 24 in June).
The volume of his production is almost incomprehensible – he finished his Eastern Washington career with 428 catches for 6,464 yards (15.1 YPC) and 73 touchdowns in 52 games. I had trouble finding reliable stats going pre-2015, but if the numbers I accumulated are correct, over the last four years Kupp possessed 33.4 percent of Eastern Washington's receiving yardage – a highly impressive figure regardless of age or competition level.
As of this article, Kupp (6-foot-2, 198 pounds) headed into the Senior Bowl with a lot of buzz from nearby scouts, and it seems like his hype is of a magnitude such that he's all but locked into the first three rounds. NFL.com analyst Gil Brandt even suggested Kupp could go in the first. That's worth keeping in mind regardless of my personal assessment of Kupp – you can't get stats if you're not playing, and the higher you're drafted, the more likely you are to play. It seems that Kupp will be playing early in his career. The Combine should be illuminating – strong athletic metrics would allow me to look past his age and level of competition, which would strengthen my confidence in him as a Round 2 prospect.
Comparison: Tyler Boyd
2.7. Kareem Hunt, RB, Toledo (Bryson)
I really like this pick for Bryson. Although Hunt checked into the Senior Bowl at a whopping 17 pounds lighter than his listed weight – 225 down to 208 – his prospect profile should still look quite good if he shows as well at the Combine as his film would lead someone to expect. Hunt finished his Toledo career with 4,945 yards (6.3 YPC) and 44 touchdowns in 44 games, breaking out as a pass catcher his senior year by snagging 41 passes for 403 yards and a touchdown.
Although he played at a lower level of competition in the MAC, Hunt was a menace against schools from bigger conferences, too. He ran for 148 yards and three touchdowns on 15 carries against Missouri in 2014, 79 yards and two touchdowns against Temple in 2015, and in 2016 he ran for 146 yards and a touchdown against BYU on 27 carries. His 2014 season in general was one of the most impressive running back seasons in recent memory, as he took 205 carries for 1,631 yards and 16 touchdowns – good for 8.0 yards per carry, which is insane efficiency over 200-plus carries.
Comparison: Kenneth Dixon
2.8. Evan Engram, TE, Mississippi (Matt C.)
Engram looked more like a wide receiver than a tight end for most of his Mississippi career, playing much of it under 230 pounds, but he arrived to the Senior Bowl at a height/weight of 6-foot-3, 236 pounds, locking him in as a viable tight end prospect. Given the success of similar prospects like Jordan Reed, Delanie Walker and Charles Clay, there's reason to believe Engram can produce like a top-eight fantasy tight end by 2018. I think this is a really nice value for Matt.
Engram posted only modest numbers in his first three years at Mississippi, compiling 97 catches for 1,394 yards and seven touchdowns on 139 targets, but he broke out as Mississippi's best skill position player in 2016. He finished the season with 65 catches for 926 yards and eight touchdowns on 95 targets, confirming a turned corner in his development. If he can run below the 4.70-second threshold in the 40-yard dash, I wouldn't rule out the possibility of Engram even going in the first round.
Comparison: Dustin Keller
2.9. Wayne Gallman, RB, Clemson (Mike)
Gallman (6-feet, 210 pounds) is a player I'm just not high on. Most people in the draft community like him at least a little bit, so it should be noted that my evaluation of Gallman is not at all widely embraced. He might go as high as the third round, but if I were picking for a team I wouldn't draft him.
Gallman looks reasonably athletic on tape and should test well at the Combine, but I think his skill set as a runner lags behind whatever athletic gifts he might possess. I just don't see much from him on tape, and his production at Clemson was not of a standout quality. I usually try to ignore my gut thoughts on film if the runner in question has strong production to show otherwise, but Gallman fails that test, too.
Adequate as he was as a starting college running back, Gallman's career average of 5.1 yards per carry is a red flag for me. Barring extremely unfavorable surrounding circumstances, you want to see a running back average at least 5.5 yards per carry in college. Gallman's circumstances were quite favorable but fell nearly a half yard short of that. If Gallman struggled to clear five yards per carry in a Deshaun Watson offense – with the defenses perpetually terrified of both the vertical and horizontal threats posed by Watson – I'm not optimistic that he'll be able to move the ball in the NFL.
Comparison: Jeremy Langford
2.10. Taywan Taylor, WR, Western Kentucky (Me)
Taylor (5-foot-11, 198 pounds) is a player I'm almost unreasonably high on. I have the utmost confidence that he's a standout starting NFL wide receiver, and I expect his stock to rise as the draft nears.
Taylor was incredibly good at Western Kentucky, producing at a combined volume/efficiency level almost no other players approach. In his four-year career he totaled 234 receptions for 3,988 yards and 41 touchdowns on just 298 targets – that's 13.4 yards per target and a touchdown every 7.3 targets. The clincher for Taylor's prospect profile should be his athletic testing – CBS' Bruce Feldman published an article in November citing the following workout numbers for Taylor: 4.33-second 40-yard dash, 137-inch broad jump and 39.5-inch vertical. I don't expect his actual testing to prove nearly as impressive, but anything in that neighborhood would give Taylor a sterling prospect profile for me.
The only potential issues with Taylor are his age, which I haven't been able to find out, and a history of unspecified high school injuries that all but wrecked his recruiting grade coming out of high school.
Comparison: Stefon Diggs
2.11. Shelton Gibson, WR, West Virginia (Anthony)
It was between Taylor, Chris Godwin and Gibson for me at the pick before this, so I love Anthony's pick here. Gibson (6-feet, 198 pounds) is a player similar to Taylor – lacking WR1 build but displaying big-time athleticism while producing at a high level of efficiency in college.
To me, Gibson's game tape is reminiscent of Will Fuller, who I'm still very high on despite some rocky points in his rookie year. But Gibson never showed the drop issues that Fuller did, so I have to leave open the possibility that Gibson is better.
Gibson is in any case a lethal deep threat – he averaged 23.0 yards per catch while totaling 1,838 yards and 17 touchdowns over the last two years, averaging 11.9 yards per target. It's easy to look at those numbers and figure he exclusively made his living downfield, but that's not what happened. Gibson did a lot of his work after the catch on shorter and intermediate targets, too. Indeed, Gibson's quarterback was a very limited passer, and a more capable downfield passer could have seen significantly bigger numbers from Gibson.
Comparison: Will Fuller
2.12. Isaiah Ford, WR, Virginia Tech (Chris)
Ford is a player I was high on heading into 2016, but I've cooled off a bit on his prospect profile since then. This year was generally an underwhelming one for Ford, who I had very high expectations for as Virginia Tech transitioned into an uptempo offense under new coach Justin Fuente. Ford was a very good college receiver who will have a place in the NFL, but at this point I'm worried it won't be as a starter.
Listed at 6-foot-2, 195 pounds, Ford generally looks more like 6-feet, 185 pounds. Always successful for his age, Ford looked like a potential star in the making after finishing the 2015 season with 75 catches for 1,164 yards and 11 touchdowns on 127 targets at 20 years old. But his production regressed in 2016 despite vastly superior quarterback play to the prior season. He finished 2016 with 79 catches for 1,094 yards and seven touchdowns on 138 targets. That's a drop from 9.2 yards per target down to 7.9, and he lost ground to fellow wideout Cam Phillips as last year went on. From 2015 to 2016, Ford saw his share percentages in receiving yardage and touchdowns drop from 39.6/45.8 down to 29.8/22.6, respectively.
Ford is still a fine player who should stick in the NFL for a long time, but barring a strong Combine I think his ceiling is as a Marvin Jones type. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with that, but I did have higher hopes not long ago.
Comparison: Nate Washington
3.1. Carlos Henderson, WR, Louisiana Tech (Russell)
Henderson is one of my favorite receivers in the draft, and I certainly like him in the third round of a dynasty draft. Listed at 5-foot-11, 191 pounds, Henderson is an absolute rocket who had one of the best wide receiver college football seasons ever in 2016.
On just 114 targets this year Henderson totaled 82 receptions for 1,535 yards and 19 touchdowns, adding two kickoff returns for a touchdown, and 133 yards and two touchdowns as a runner. He had an incredible two-game stretch where he caught 20 passes for 558 yards and eight touchdowns, giving a glimpse of the truly rare explosiveness he's capable of. For his Louisiana Tech career he has 2,878 yards and 28 touchdowns on just 221 targets.
Henderson is a player who will be doubted due to the school he played at, but if the athleticism he shows on tape translates into the Combine setting, it'll be hard to rationalize holding him out of the first 40 picks. He appears to have it all – long speed, quickness, acrobatic ability – and the production is almost perfect. Henderson breaks ankles on short routes and loses defenses deep – he should be desirable for any offense.
Comparison: T.Y. Hilton
3.2. ArDarius Stewart, WR, Alabama (John L.)
I don't think Stewart (6-foot-1, 204 pounds) looks like much of a playmaker at the NFL level, but the NFL College Advisory Committee evidently gave the early entrant a second-round grade. That means Stewart is one of the highest-ranked dynasty prospects at receiver just by virtue of his placement in the draft order. Even if I'm skeptical of his effectiveness, he projects better than all but about five or six receivers in this draft when it comes to immediate NFL playing time.
Stewart finished his three-year Alabama career with 129 catches for 1,677 yards and 11 touchdowns on 202 targets. Over the last two years, he averaged 8.3 yards per target in offenses that combined to average 7.6 yards per pass. That's encouraging enough, but nothing that jumps out to me. Stewart's share percentages for yardage and touchdowns over that same span – 20.5/18.2 in 2015 and 27.4/30.8 in 2016 – are not particularly encouraging, on the other hand.
When I watch film of Stewart, I see a lot of well-rounded traits but few standout qualities. My nature when scouting is to prefer players with traits that jump out, so Stewart is someone I generally doubt emerges as a big-time asset in fantasy. But as mentioned earlier, he should at least get a more lengthy and favorable audition than most other receivers in this draft.
Comparison: Jordan Payton
3.3. Malachi Dupre, WR, LSU (Paul)
Dupre was a five-star recruit who was mostly quiet and unconvincing at LSU, making him a raw material prospect rather than any sort of finished product. His athletic background is very convincing and implies rare upside, however, as at 6-foot-3, 190 pounds he very plausibly has a 40-plus inch vertical. He was the Louisiana state champion in triple, long, and high jumps as a high school junior.
The production at LSU, on the other hand, never really materialized. Whether you buy into Dupre as a prospect depends on whether you attribute that to him, or the objectively awful quarterback play he dealt with at LSU. Playing on teams that cumulatively totaled a completion percentage of 54.1 and YPA of 7.7, Dupre finished with a catch percentage of 53.8 and YPT of 8.8. The low catch percentage is concerning, but the 1.1-yard positive divergence between the YPA and his YPT is encouraging and indicative of big-play ability.
Given the general profile as a big, hyper-athletic receiver with lacking production, I for now have to use a comparison coined by Russell – Justin Hunter.
Comparison: Justin Hunter
3.4. KD Cannon, WR, Baylor (Matt K.)
Cannon is a player I'm lower on than most, but I still think he's a good pick here. He just turned 21 a couple months ago, yet he concluded his Baylor career with 195 catches for 3,113 yards and 27 touchdowns to his credit on 327 targets.
Listed at 6-feet, 180 pounds, Cannon is ostensibly a big-play wideout who certainly amounted to as much at Baylor, but I'm concerned he's not as athletic as someone of his build needs to be for that effectiveness to translate to the NFL. The Baylor web site attributes workout numbers to Cannon that are basically the same as teammate and fellow early draft entrant Ishmael Zamora, who's listed at four inches taller and 35 pounds heavier.
Still, if Cannon can run a 4.40 or better at the Combine at at least 180 pounds, his prospect profile would look quite good when you throw in his age-adjusted production.
Comparison: John Brown
3.5. Elijah Hood, RB, North Carolina (John M.)
Hood is under the radar at the moment, but as a former blue chip recruit with obvious athletic gifts, it wouldn't surprise if he generated a lot of chatter at the Combine. Listed at 6-feet, 220 pounds, Hood is very well built and possesses the leg drive to grind between the tackles at the NFL level.
Hood might catch an 'underachiever' label after having an up-and-down career production-wise, but Hood's struggle points were due merely to playing injured. When healthy, he was emphatically convincing. The 2015 season is the best example of this, and Hood ran for 1,463 yards (6.7 YPC) and 17 touchdowns. Pass-catching isn't his strength, but after securing 25-of-27 targets in 2016, he at least shouldn't be a liability in that regard.
According to Bruce Feldman, North Carolina's strength and conditioning coaches needed to intervene and prohibit Hood from increasing his max squat from 635 pounds. That absurd anchor strength shows up constantly on film, and his anchor-hop-cut style of running reminds me quite a bit of Jonathan Stewart.
Comparison: Jonathan Stewart
3.6. Mitch Trubisky, QB, North Carolina (Thor)
Trubisky (6-foot-3, 220 pounds) is a trendy projection to be the first quarterback selected, and it's easy enough to understand why. He resembles the prototype as an NFL quarterback, showing adequate size, steady mechanics, a strong arm and standout running ability.
He had a superb breakout season in 2016, completing 68 percent of his passes for 3,748 yards (8.4 YPA), 30 touchdowns and six interceptions while running for 308 yards and five touchdowns. Those rushing yards aren't a product of the North Carolina system – Trubisky can really run with both speed and power. Something around or below the 4.70-second threshold wouldn't surprise in the 40.
Trubisky will see his share of doubters after starting just one season at North Carolina, but that fact is easily rationalized when noting that it was Marquise Williams who Trubisky sat behind, and Williams was an excellent college quarterback.
Comparison: Blake Bortles
3.7. Pat Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech (Bryson)
Mahomes (6-foot-3, 230 pounds) was all but written off as a prospect just because he played for Texas Tech, but savvy draft observers have realized the strong case he makes as an NFL quarterback, and I fully expect his stock to rise as the draft approaches. A first-round selection can't be ruled out.
As a fantasy asset, Mahomes has enormous upside, so for Bryson to get him a round and a half later than Watson is a very good value, I think. Despite never having an especially good surrounding cast, Mahomes was ridiculously productive in the Air Raid offense, throwing for 11,257 yards, 93 touchdowns and 29 interceptions (8.3 YPA) in 29 starts, and he showed rare rushing ability while he was it, accumulating 845 yards and 22 touchdowns on the ground. If he gets drafted high and ends up in a reasonably pass-heavy offense in the NFL, Mahomes' rushing skills give him the potential to be an elite fantasy asset.
Comparison: Donovan McNabb
3.8. Joe Williams, RB, Utah (Matt C.)
This was a pick that surprised me – I didn't expect Williams (5-foot-11, 205 pounds) to get drafted at all in this mock – but it's hard to argue against it considering Williams' remarkable 2016 season, which almost didn't happen at all after he initially retired from football near the season's start. But injuries piled up in the Utah backfield and the team asked him to consider a return. Williams is certainly happy he did.
In the final seven games of the season, Williams almost impossibly piled up 1,332 yards and 10 touchdowns on just 188 carries, meaning he averaged 7.1 yards per carry in that stretch. Williams' accomplishments in 2016 were highly impressive, but I still worry that his prospect profile will turn out underwhelming. His production before those seven games was consistently poor, and his 2016 production carries a slight asterisk since he'll be 24 by the start of the NFL season. He's untested as a pass catcher, and I have no idea how to guess how he might fare in athletic testing.
Williams is a player who needs a strong Combine or/and pro day, because his brief production could be viewed as an anomaly, and NFL teams will question his commitment to the game after the retirement episode last year.
Comparison: Kelvin Taylor
3.9. Gerald Everett, TE, South Alabama (Mike)
Everett was the talk of the draft at the beginning of Senior Bowl week after NFL.com analyst and former scout Daniel Jeremiah projected him as a first-round pick. That's not gonna happen, but Everett is still a standout athlete with the skill set to emerge as a productive pass-catcher at tight end, or perhaps even wide receiver.
Everett played as the top star of the South Alabama offense the last two years after transferring there from UAB's cancelled program. He transferred to UAB after playing in JUCO, the result of light recruitment after not playing football until his final year of high school. In the last two years he caught 90 passes for 1,292 yards and 12 touchdowns on 115 targets, putting him well over the 10.0 YPT ideal. The main negatives in his prospect profile are his age (he'll be a 23-year-old rookie) and hands that some teams may consider prohibitively small after measuring at 8 and ¼ inches.
Comparison: L.J. Smith
3.10. Chris Godwin, WR, Penn State (Me)
Godwin (6-foot-1, 205 pounds) is another player I might be unreasonably high on. He's a top-five receiver in my personal receiver rankings and, if he tests well enough at the Combine, I won't rule out moving him to No. 1. But unlike Taylor's case, I couldn't find any intel on how he might run and jump, so for now I have to rank him with the acknowledged possibility that he might not be above average as an athlete.
But if he does test well as an athlete, I'll be all-in on him. Godwin's film is tremendously good, and his age-adjusted production is excellent as well. He finished his three-year career with 154 catches for 2,421 yards and 18 touchdowns on 263 targets, giving him a YPT of 9.2 on three offenses that cumulatively averaged just 7.3 yards per pass. He did that despite the fact that he won't turn 21 until the end of February.
Comparison: Amari Cooper
3.11. Dede Westbrook, WR, Oklahoma (Anthony)
Anthony said he didn't like this pick but felt compelled to make it anyway, and I totally understand where he's coming from. We're both low on Westbrook (6-feet, 176 pounds) relative to the public, but I was shocked to see Westbrook fall this far. I thought he'd go in the second round, not almost fall out of the third.
It was only about a month ago that people were talking about Westbrook as potentially the top receiver in the draft. They were wrong, but Westbrook is still a decent bet to emerge as at least an average starting NFL wideout, and he's certainly worth the dynasty pick at this spot.
My reason for skepticism with Westbrook – and I assume Anthony's reasoning is similar – has to do with his late bloomer status and his small, skinny frame. In other words, I was lower on Westbrook than most even before the disclosure of his domestic violence history, which is what I presume most other people are knocking him for. That certainly is worth noting since it harms his real life draft stock and therefore projects him for fewer snaps early in his career.
The good news with Westbrook is there are definitely encouraging, tangible traits in his possession. His standout speed is obvious, he showed the ability to run after the catch, he showed the ability to make acrobatic catches and, at least in 2016, he showed the ability to produce at an elite level. He finished the 2016 season with 80 catches for 1,524 yards and 17 touchdowns on just 101 targets – good for a remarkable 15.1 yards per target. That production is a bit inflated, though, due to his age (he'll be 24 in November) and a lack of competition for targets in the Oklahoma offense.
Comparison: Paul Richardson
3.12. Bucky Hodges, TE, Virginia Tech (Chris)
The deal with Hodges is simple: he's a skilled runner who should test well as an athlete, but sometimes you have to deal with drops. His size, presumed athleticism and college production make me a believer in his ability to eventually stand out as a fantasy tight end asset despite any drops issues.
Listed at 6-foot-7, 245 pounds, 247Sports quoted a 4.45-second 40-yard dash for Hodges coming out of high school, though that time would have been made at 20 pounds lighter than the listed weight he had as of last year. Still, he should earn very good numbers in the pre-draft athletic testing, which should help stoke some hype as the draft nears.
His career total of 133 catches for 1,747 yards and 20 touchdowns on 233 targets is not very good – that's a completion percentage of 57.1 and a yards-per-target of 7.5, but I think Virginia Tech's poor quarterback play prior to 2016 is largely to blame for that. During Hodges' one season with Jerod Evans, Hodges had a catch percentage of 58.5 and YPT of 8.4. I think this is a strong pick by Chris.
Comparison: Eric Ebron
Best of the Undrafted
Here are my personal rankings for the best players still on the board after three rounds.
1. James Conner, RB, Pittsburgh (6-foot-2, 235 pounds)
Powerful, highly-productive runner who showed some pass-catching ability in 2016. A solid Combine moves him into Day 2 discussion.
2. Zay Jones, WR, East Carolina (6-foot-2, 202 pounds)
One of the stars of the Senior Bowl, Jones set the single-season reception record in 2016 by piling up 158 catches for 1,746 yards and eight touchdowns, breaking the previous record (Freddie Barnes, 155) in one less game. Likely Day 2 pick.
3. Josh Malone, WR, Tennessee (6-foot-3, 200 pounds)
Malone has a reputation for drops, but his per-target production and past indications of athleticism give reason to think he has the potential to turn into an above average wide receiver in the NFL. He needs to test very well at the Combine, but he's a Day 2 candidate if he does.
4. Travis Rudolph, WR, Florida State (6-foot-1, 192 pounds)
Rudolph never established himself as the clear WR1 of a crowded Florida State wideout rotation, but he was reasonably efficient with his targets and stood out early in his career. He's in the same category as Malone – a strong Combine could push him into the second day.
5. Chad Hansen, WR, California (6-foot-2, 205 pounds)
Hansen was a one-year wonder at California, but as a former walk-on and Idaho State transfer, he had an uphill battle earning playing time on a California roster loaded with experienced receivers. After a convincing 2016 breakout season, Hansen can make his case for Day 2 consideration with a good Combine showing.
6. Jordan Leggett, TE, Clemson (6-foot-5, 260 pounds)
Leggett was considered a bit of a disappointment early in his Clemson career, as he didn't make much of a statistical impact despite earning high praise in Clemson practices starting his freshman season. It's easy enough to rationalize his slow start as due at least in part to Clemson's abundance of target competition, and by 2015 he had turned into the receiver everyone expected, totaling 1,261 yards and 15 touchdowns in his final two seasons. He's a solid Day 2 candidate.
7. Josh Reynolds, WR, Texas A&M (6-foot-3, 187 pounds)
A deep ball and red-zone threat in college, Reynolds ideally would bulk up to at least around 200 pounds. In the meantime, Robby Anderson is the only recent case of a player with Reynolds' build showing well at the NFL level. Anderson had borderline elite athletic testing, though, so Reynolds needs a strong Combine.
8. Fred Ross, WR, Mississippi State (6-foot-1, 203 pounds)
Slot receiver at the college level who generally projects as the same in the NFL. Earned steady praise at the Senior Bowl. Previously was the No. 1 WR for Dak Prescott.
9. Artavis Scott, WR, Clemson (5-foot-10, 193 pounds)
Scott's production declined each year at Clemson, but he deserves some credit for his extremely fast start. Even if the ceiling turned out to be limited, there's a high floor here. Scott will function as slot wideouts like Eli Rogers and Cole Beasley do, but he'll likely turn out better than either player.
10. DeAngelo Yancey, WR, Purdue (6-foot-2, 217 pounds)
Yancey's skill set is a bit limited – he can't run after the catch and is pretty much limited to deep and sideline routes – but there's reason to think he'll do well in athletic testing, and at the very least he's proven himself as a dangerous deep threat. Yancey totaled 49 catches for 951 yards and 10 touchdowns this year on 104 targets, good for a YPT of 9.1 in an offense that averaged just 6.4 yards per attempt. In other words, Purdue averaged 6.4 yards per pass this year, but just 5.7 yards per pass when throwing away from Yancey.
11. Corey Clement, RB, Wisconsin (5-foot-10, 221 pounds)
I'm willing to give Clement a pass on the 5.5 YPC standard – even though he averaged just 4.4 yards per carry last year, I think it was clearly due to his brutal schedule rather than anything Clement could control. He showed superb power and balance at many points, and he showed plenty of explosiveness early in his career. I'd confidently buy at his current price.
12. Jonnu Smith, TE, Florida International (6-foot-3, 230 pounds)
After Gerald Everett got all that hype, it bothered me that Smith, a fellow Senior Bowl attendee and similar prospect, seemed to get no attention at all. He appears an adequate athlete for his size, and his production really jumps off the page. His 2014 season was one of the most impressive from a college tight end in recent memory -- as a 19-year-old true sophomore, he caught 61 passes for 710 yards and eight touchdowns in an offense that barely threw for 2,000 yards.
13. Jerome Lane, WR, Akron (6-foot-3, 220 pounds)
A big target and former linebacker who was productive the last two years at a new position. Probably not a deep threat in the NFL, but he showed the ability to make catches in heavy traffic.
14. Jalen Robinette, WR, Air Force (6-foot-4, 215 pounds)
It's hard to evaluate his skill set in an option offense, but Robinette was very productive in college, and the size/speed variables appear safely in his favor. That he was a preferred Senior Bowl replacement bodes very well for his chances of getting drafted.
15. Michael Roberts, TE, Toledo (6-foot-4, 261 pounds)
Roberts probably isn't going to do much between the 20s, but he could be uniquely dangerous once an offense gets to the red zone. His hands are nearly a foot long, and he caught 16 of Toledo's 46 touchdown passes this year. It'd be a surprise if he fell past the fourth round.
16. Speedy Noil, WR, Texas A&M (5-foot-11, 200 pounds)
An immensely talented player with Odell Beckham-like athleticism, Noil figures to go in the third day or go undrafted after character issues led to underachievement in college. I suspect at least a few teams will be willing to gamble on this former blue chip prospect, though.
17. Matt Dayes, RB, North Carolina State (5-foot-9, 207 pounds)
Dayes is a smaller back with potentially below average athleticism, but his running back skill set is rock solid, and his overlooked pass-catching skills give him a strong chance of making game day active lists even as a rookie. I'm discouraged by his career YPC of 5.2, but I'm encouraged by his two-year stretch in 2014 and 2015 where he totaled 1,438 yards on just 238 carries (6.0 YPC). I'm also encouraged by the explosiveness he showed as a receiver, totaling 98 receptions for 933 yards and six touchdowns. I think he goes in the fifth or sixth round.
18. Damore'ea Stringfellow, WR, Mississippi (6-foot-2, 219 pounds)
Stringfellow is a former top recruit and likely standout athlete who dealt with character issues in college but ultimately proved productive. I think he's in the fourth-round conversation, depending on how he tests in workouts.
19. Amba Etta-Tawo, WR, Syracuse (6-foot-2, 202 pounds)
Etta-Tawo appears a bit stiff to me, but his straight-line athleticism is certainly well above the average. He will get a one-year wonder label after breaking out as a grad transfer at Syracuse, but he actually was productive early on in his Maryland career prior to that before an oddly quiet two-year stretch.
20. Kenny Golladay, WR, Northern Illinois (6-foot-4, 213 pounds)
Big, highly productive wideout who could make some noise if he attaches standout workout numbers to his otherwise strong production profile.
21. Stacy Coley, WR, Miami (FL) (6-foot-1, 195 pounds)
Great pedigree here – Coley will likely test well in pre-draft workouts and demonstrated real upside with early success at Miami, but character and injury issues deflate his stock.
22. Aaron Jones, RB, UTEP (5-foot-10, 215 pounds)
Dealt with injury issues, but otherwise was a highly explosive workhorse back for UTEP, where he totaled 4,114 yards (6.3 YPC) and 33 touchdowns as a runner while catching 71 passes for 646 yards and seven touchdowns. Athletic testing will be key.
23. Elijah McGuire, RB, Louisiana-Lafayette (5-foot-9, 205 pounds)
Slowed down the last two years, largely due to injury, but was an amazingly explosive player his first two years at Lafayette. If he can reestablish his health with good athletic testing, people will again take notice of how McGuire ran for 2,127 yards and 22 touchdowns on just 269 carries his first two years – good for an average of 7.9 yards per carry. He also demonstrated substantial pass-catching upside in that span, snagging 67 passes for 852 yards and five touchdowns.
24. Stanley Williams, RB, Kentucky (5-foot-9, 196 pounds)
Williams profiles almost strictly as an off-the-bench runner, but if he tests adequately at the Combine I don't see any reason to think he can't be a Gio Bernard type of player in the NFL. Williams consistently displayed huge explosiveness at Kentucky, finishing his career with 2,513 yards (6.8 YPC) and 18 touchdowns in 33 games.
25. Marlon Mack, RB, South Florida (6-feet, 210 pounds)
A highly productive player in college, Mack is a player most people are much higher on than I am. I didn't see any real standout traits when watching him – he's all floor to me – but a better than expected Combine would force me to reevaluate my stance.
26. Amara Darboh, WR, Michigan (6-foot-2, 215 pounds)
Good college player with useful NFL traits, but late-bloomer status indicates a lack of upside. Strikes me as a Kamar Aiken type.
27. Ryan Switzer, WR, North Carolina (5-foot-9, 179 pounds)
Should stick in the NFL for his punt returning skills at the least, but could establish himself as a viable slot WR prospect if he performs adequately at the Combine. I'm worried he might settle with a Daniel Braverman sort of grade.
28. Cole Hikutini, TE, Louisville (6-foot-5, 248 pounds)
A victim of an incredibly talented tight end class, Hikutini would get third-round hype in a lot of other drafts. After catching 50 passes for 668 yards and eight touchdowns in 2016, there's no need to completely rule out the possibility even for this year.
29. DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame (6-foot-4, 230 pounds)
My favorite to be the first quarterback picked, I mostly list Kizer this low because I think he'll be a pocket passer for the most part in the NFL. He can certainly do a lot of damage as a runner, but his natural inclination is to throw from the pocket.
30. Jake Butt, TE, Michigan (6-foot-5, 250 pounds)
Butt would be ranked higher if not for a fall ACL tear that figures to complicate his pre-draft testing.
31. Billy Brown, TE, Shepherd (6-foot-4, 245 pounds)
A small school WR/TE tweener, Brown earned praise at the East-West Shrine Game.
32. Keon Hatcher, WR, Arkansas (6-foot-1, 206 pounds)
A former high-ranking recruit who overcame a severe leg injury from 2015, Hatcher has flashed both athleticism and standout production at various points in his Arkansas career. A strong Combine could push him up to the fourth round.
33. Chad Williams, WR, Grambling (6-foot-1, 204 pounds)
A substitute invite to the Senior Bowl, Williams consistently earned praise during the week and can really generate some momentum for himself if he does well with a Combine invite.
34. Ricky Seals-Jones, WR, Texas A&M (6-foot-5, 240 pounds)
A former five-star recruit, Seals-Jones is mostly theoretical upside as far as I can tell. The production was never there, and for most of his A&M career he appeared a bit sluggish. A move to tight end might be necessary.
35. Gabe Marks, WR, Washington State (5-foot-11, 185 pounds)
Marks was horrifically inefficient on a per-target basis at Washington State, but the data has limited insight due to the stacked coverage he saw in an offense that doesn't functionally resemble any of the tasks he'll face in the NFL. Marks has quickness and motor fully accounted for at the very least, and it'd be a surprise if he didn't stick around the NFL for at least a few years while teams audition him as a slot wideout.
36. Jerod Evans, QB, Virginia Tech (6-foot-3, 238 pounds)
Evans' draft stock is up in the air – I could see him going anywhere from the second round to the sixth – but he has significant fantasy upside if he can earn some snaps in the NFL. He was better than 2016 first-round pick Paxton Lynch while playing in the same offense at a much higher level of competition. The comparison for me is Brett Hundley.
37. Keevan Lucas, WR, Tulsa (5-foot-10, 195 pounds)
Lucas' 2016 recovery from a patellar tendon tear was arguably even more impressive than that of Jimmy Graham. Lucas was well on his way to a Day 2 grade as an NFL slot target before cruelly suffering his injury, yet he improbably came back in 2016 to total 81 catches for 1,180 yards and 15 touchdowns. At the very least, this is a player you need to root for.
38. Noah Brown, WR, Ohio State (6-foot-2, 218 pounds)
Brown is a similar prospect to Marquez North size/athleticism-wise, but North went undrafted last year despite accumulating more on-field accomplishments than Brown.
39. Ishmael Zamora, WR, Baylor (6-foot-3, 215 pounds)
A highly talented player but quite plausibly a despicable person, Zamora has some amount of upside but could easily get ignored by the NFL after a video surfaced last summer of Zamora abusing his dog.
40. Jordan Westerkamp, WR, Nebraska (6-feet, 200 pounds)
Westerkamp is unlikely to generate much draft stock after a severe knee injury where he suffered cartilage damage, a torn meniscus, and a chipped bone this fall, but before the injury he had a legit slot receiver skill set. His age-adjusted production at Nebraska was very good. The question is if he'll be the same after that injury.