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Running Backs and Receivers draft prospects by the numbers

gogiants : 4/15/2017 10:20 pm
I was reading some articles on what to look for in running backs and receivers. How can you project NFL success based on measurables, combine results and college performance.

Here's an article on Running Backs How To Draft an NFL Running Back: Part Four. It is part 4 of a 6 part series. Using that as a start I came up with my list of selection criteria. The article specifies my number 2, 3, and 4 below. I modified the forty time up by 0.02 of a second to pull in two additional backs. I added my own criteria in 1, 5, 6 and 7. Here is the criteria followed by backs that qualify.

Running Backs

1. No significant character concerns.
2. Forty time less than or equal to 4.57 seconds
3. Broad Jump greater than or equal to 9' 8"
4. At least one season of 1000+ yards at average of 5+ yards/attempt
5. Last year average yards/attempt greater than 5
6. Third down to first down conversion rate greater than 45%
7. First down conversion rate on 3rd Down, 1-3 To Go greater than 60%.

Anthony Wales
Christian McCaffrey
Kareem Hunt,
Jeremy McNichols,
Donnel Pumphrey,
Leonard Fournette,
D'Onta Foreman,
Aaron Jones,
Samaje Perine,
Marlon Mack,
Brian Hill,
De'Angelo Henderson,
Tarik Cohen

For wide receivers some data shows that receiver height is one of the most important factors to consider. Running the Numbers: Size, Not Speed, Matters Most for Wide Receivers. Also looking at combine data I added some minimum red flag thresholds for the 40 and vertical jump based from this article Todd McShay’s guide to every combine drill. This article Projecting the Draft and NFL Performance of Wide Receiver and Tight End Prospects put a significance on college TDs. Here is my criteria and the 2017 draft prospects that qualify.

Wide receivers
1. No significant character concerns.
2. Height greater than or equal to 6'2"
3. Forty time less than 4.63 seconds
4. Vertical jump greater than 32"
5. At least one season of 900+ receiving yards.
6. Career TDs per game greater than 0.34.

Corey Davis, Western Michigan
Mike Williams, Clemson
Zay Jones, East Carolina
Josh Reynolds, Texas A& M
Kenny Golladay, Northern Illinois
Tanner Gentry, Wyoming
Robert Davis, Georgia State
Jerome Lane, Akron
Krihawn Hoganm, Marian (IN)
Zach Pascal, Old Dominion
Chad Hansen, California
Alfred Morris and Odell Beckham demur.  
TC : 4/15/2017 11:18 pm : link
.
Your newfangled criteria  
lugnut : 4/16/2017 12:05 am : link
don't do anything to shake up the accepted pool of RBs -- the guys you've named are exactly the ones who have been talked about all along. You might have dug up more and/or different WRs, though.
back when I used to look at this stuff  
idiotsavant : 4/16/2017 7:50 am : link
for example, WRs:

If you are not looking at a simple, simple, simple and obvious number first,

-number of college career or previous seasons total # of catches-

(as opposed to but also not totally neglecting YAKs per, yards per etc),

then you are probably outsmarting yourself to a . certain . degree . with the size and speed stuff.

Look for guys from less well known programs who produced heavily, our own Victor Cruz, for example is one way to cut those numbers, or in differentiating between two players. I would suggest start with that basic number and work backwards. As opposed to starting with the smaller pool of 'known prospects from big schools' and working from there.
obviously take out the non eligible ones  
idiotsavant : 4/16/2017 7:58 am : link
Looks like average per game, total receptions, yards on season, TD receptions, average yards per catch.

Find ones where the numbers jump out, lower predicted draft spots for whatever reason, then go back at your size and speed stuff after.


1 Zay Jones East Carolina Sr. WR 12 158 1746 8 13.2
2 Trent Taylor Louisiana Tech Sr. WR 14 136 1803 12 9.7
3 Chad Hansen California Jr. WR 10 92 1249 11 9.2
4 Noel Thomas UConn Sr. WR 12 100 1179 3 8.3
5 Linell Bonner Houston Jr. WR 12 98 1118 3 8.2
6 Richie James Middle Tenn. So. WR 13 105 1625 12 8.1
7 Amba Etta-Tawo Syracuse Sr. WR 12 94 1482 14 7.8
8 Ervin Philips Syracuse Jr. WR 12 90 822 6 7.5
9 Ryan Switzer North Carolina Sr. WR 13 96 1112 6 7.4
10 Anthony Miller Memphis Jr. WR 13 95 1434 14 7.3
11 KD Cannon Baylor Jr. WR 12 87 1215 13 7.3
- Kenny Golladay Northern Ill. Sr. WR 12 87 1156 8 7.3
13 Kevonn Mabon Ball St. Sr. WR 12 85 972 3 7.1
14 Taywan Taylor Western Ky. Sr. WR 14 98 1730 17 7.0
15 Corey Davis Western Mich. Sr. WR 14 97 1500 19 6.9
16 Austin Carr Northwestern Sr. WR 13 90 1247 12 6.9
17 Gabe Marks Washington St. Sr. WR 13 89 894 13 6.8
18 Mike Williams Clemson Jr. WR 15 98 1361 11 6.5
19 Christian Kirk Texas A&M So. WR 13 83 928 9 6.4
20 Courtland Sutton SMU So. WR 12 76 1246 10 6.3
21 Carlos Henderson Louisiana Tech Jr. WR 13 82 1535 19 6.3
22 Ishmael Zamora Baylor So. WR 10 63 809 8 6.3
23 Keevan Lucas Tulsa Sr. WR 13 81 1180 15 6.2
24 Scott Miller Bowling Green So. WR 12 74 968 10 6.2
25 Thomas Sperbeck Boise St. Sr. WR 13 80 1272 9 6.2
- Emanuel Thompson Troy Jr. WR 13 80 820 6 6.2
- Dede Westbrook Oklahoma Sr. WR 13 80 1524 17 6.2
28 Josh Atkinson Tulsa Sr. WR 13 78 1058 8 6.0
- Steven Sims Jr. Kansas So. WR 12 72 859 7 6.0
30 Evan Engram Ole Miss Sr. TE 11 65 926 8 5.9
31 Deebo Samuel South Carolina So. WR 10 59 783 1 5.9
32 Michael Gallup Colorado St. Jr. WR 13 76 1272 14 5.8
33 Adam Breneman Massachusetts Jr. TE 12 70 808 8 5.8
- T.J. Rahming Duke So. WR 12 70 742 1 5.8
35 Dylan Cantrell Texas Tech Jr. WR 10 58 675 8 5.8
36 John Ross Washington Jr. WR 14 81 1150 17 5.8
37 Jonathan Giles Texas Tech So. WR 12 69 1158 13 5.8
- Allen Lazard Iowa St. Jr. WR 12 69 1018 7 5.8
39 Curtis Samuel Ohio St. Jr. RB 13 74 865 7 5.7
40 Kalib Woods Fla. Atlantic Jr. WR 12 68 934 1 5.7
41 Isaiah Ford Virginia Tech Jr. WR 14 79 1094 7 5.6
42 Jalen McCleskey Oklahoma St. So. WR 13 73 812 7 5.6
43 Robert Davis Georgia St. Sr. WR 12 67 968 5 5.6
44 Fred Ross Mississippi St. Sr. WR 13 72 917 12 5.5
45 Keesean Johnson Fresno St. So. WR 12 66 773 6 5.5
46 James Washington Oklahoma St. Jr. WR 13 71 1380 10 5.5
- Corey Willis Central Mich. Jr. WR 13 71 1087 9 5.5
48 Nicholas Norris Western Ky. Sr. WR 14 76 1318 14 5.4
- Cam Phillips Virginia Tech Jr. WR 14 76 983 5 5.4
50 Juju Smith-Schuster Southern California Jr. WR 13 70 914 10 5.4
so, an obvious one to look at right off the bat  
idiotsavant : 4/16/2017 8:14 am : link
and big blue view did a blurb on this, noel Thomas would seem draft worthy, would have seemed, until he ran a slow 40 at combine 4.63.

However, much faster at pro day and with huge production in college, a UDFA type prospect if not a late rounder, or, have him in to run again. Not that wr is a huge huge priority for us, but obviously UConn aint the shabby place we once would have thought.
I think you can't have any hard and fast rules  
allstarjim : 4/16/2017 12:07 pm : link
You take everything into account, of course. I like big receivers, personally, but if you focus just on a bunch of numbers, you are going to miss out.

Take ArDarius Stewart, for example. Under 6'2", and never had more than 900 yards in a season, but he will be a much better pro than a lot of those guys.

You can't overvalue height. It matters, but evals have to take a lot more into account, because as we know not everything is equal. Yards and touchdowns in a bubble don't take into account strength of schedule or strength of program/level of competition, nor offensive system. It doesn't take into account the quality of players around them, which can be crucial for players who didn't play with very good QBs.

And as we know, OBJ doesn't crack 6'0", but is a generational talent. You wouldn't pass on him because he's not 6'2"... and lost in this is other physical measurements, like hand size and arm length (both on OBJ are typical of a much larger man), which can also be very important. There's so much to consider, and some of it is simply the eye test and competitiveness. How did they perform against top competition? It's all relevant.
How tall is  
XBRONX : 4/16/2017 12:10 pm : link
Antonio Brown?
OBJ is a great receiver partially  
mrvax : 4/16/2017 12:24 pm : link
because of his incredible desire to win/succeed.
You just cannot measure that.
RE: How tall is  
mrvax : 4/16/2017 12:25 pm : link
In comment 13430196 XBRONX said:
Quote:
Antonio Brown?


5'10" and 181 pounds.
RE: back when I used to look at this stuff  
dg901 : 4/16/2017 6:04 pm : link
In comment 13430034 idiotsavant said:
Quote:
for example, WRs:

If you are not looking at a simple, simple, simple and obvious number first,

-number of college career or previous seasons total # of catches-

(as opposed to but also not totally neglecting YAKs per, yards per etc),

then you are probably outsmarting yourself to a . certain . degree . with the size and speed stuff.

Look for guys from less well known programs who produced heavily, our own Victor Cruz, for example is one way to cut those numbers, or in differentiating between two players. I would suggest start with that basic number and work backwards. As opposed to starting with the smaller pool of 'known prospects from big schools' and working from there.

Amba Etta Tawo from SU, 6'1" but just shy of 1500 yd season. Just can't see him last past the 3rd round. And then there is Robert Davis, another WR who should be there as late as the 6th.
I am a big believer in the complimentary wr  
idiotsavant : 4/17/2017 10:17 am : link
that is, already having a couple of potential home run hitters, one needing to synch the whole offense as opposed to 'eli to ODB or nothing.'

and, in that light, the catch itself for such complimentary receivers looming large as opposed to yards.

'catch and fall down' was the old saw, if need be, as opposed to getting lined up for YACs as a point of emphasis and therefore not making the catch anyway. simply as a way to give an NFL point of emphasis - that it is not for highlights this complimentary wr spot, its to move the chains by play design.

first downs, move the chains, check downs, save the QB, using separation, 'finds a void', knows the role and his part in the scheme. blocks for others?

get the short, medium and long all available.

all that said, I don't see a huge need there this year.
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