Top 5 Rookie Wide Receivers || 2021 Dynasty Fantasy Football
Another deeeeeeeeeeeep ass rookie class at the wide receiver position has those back-end of round 1, early round 2 picks looking like absolutely oreo cakester level snacks again in 2021. For those of y'all that missed out on the Justin Jeffersons, Tee Higgins, Claypool, Viska, Jeudy, Aiyuk, luckily for you, you get to run it byke in 2021. Don't fuggitup this time around.
1. Ja’Marr Chase (LSU)
- Not thinking too hard about this one - WR1.
- Chase dominated while Justin Jefferson was on the field: At just 19 years old, Chase led the nation in receiving yards (1,780), touchdowns (20) and receptions on targets 20-plus yards downfield (24). He also was uber efficient, ranking seventh in average yards per route run (3.52) and sixth in PFF receiving grade (91.3).
- Routinely doing it against the top corners - Surtain, Diggs, AJ Terrell.
- And seeing press coverage at that: He faced the third-most targets against press coverage looks and posted the No. 1 PFF receiving grade (92.2) against it. (Per PFF)
- Opted out of 2020 season after winning the Belitnikof Award in 2019, where he led the nation with 20 touchdown catches
- Great hands, always catching with hands not body
- So great at keeping concentration, going up and plucking the ball on deep shots
- Good yac - not elite but def an asset
- Breakout age 19.5 (75th %tile)
- He's going to be a top-5 pick, like 8 the latest. Seen him mocked routinely to MIA at 3, CIN at 5, PHI at 6, DET at 7. Like he's not falling past those.
Active NFL Player Comp: DJ Moore, Marvin Jones
2. Devonta Smith (Alabama)
I'll never forget last offseason turning on the Alabama film to watch Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs. And one thing became apparent to me very, very quickly. Devonta Smith was the best receiver on that 2019 Alabama team. Every once in a while players truly jump off the screen to me. This was one of those few instances. He somehow walked away from that season as somewhat of an afterthought because you had 3 top-16 NFL draft picks coming off of that offense (Tua, Ruggs and Jeudy).
But people are acting like Smith didn't lead the receiving group, in 2019, in both receiving yards (1286) and receiving touchdowns (14), while sharing the field with 3 other 1st round NFL WRs.
3. Rashod Bateman (Minnesota)
Talked about Bateman in-depth on Tuesday's video - the whole ass video was literally only about Bateman lol. Go watch that if you want to know my thoughts and tbh I might move him ahead of Smith by draft time. I like him that much.
Active NFL Player Comp: Justin Jefferson/Keenan Allen
4. Jaylen Waddle (Alabama)
The amount of WR talent to come out of Alabama over the last two years is absolutely mind-bending. It's quite literally disrespectful to the human brain.
- Tyreek Hill type speed beat
- First thing to note is that this guy is competing for targets with 3 legitimate 1st round WRs (Ruggs, Jeudy, Smith). He finished his freshman year (‘18) second in yards despite competing with these guys. 7th in the SEC in yards as a freshman
- Most of the argument this year is going to be Waddle vs. D Smith. Most people would scoff….. But when you look at the numbers from the first four games of 2020 when both players were on the field together….
- He averaged more than a full yard per route run than Smith (4.68 versus 3.63) to start the season.
Our very own MikeMeUpp of BunkBed Breakdowns is taking Waddle over Devonta Smith.
- While I understand it.. I’m not looking at this and saying that’s it like some people are.
- We can also look at 2019.. Where Devonta Smith led the team in receiving yards…. With Ruggs, Jeudy and Smith on the field, while Smith regressed playing on less than 60% of their snaps while dropping from 850 yards to 560 his sophomore year.
- Led the SEC in YPR (21.1)
- Smith is a more complete WR in my eyes. Waddle is younger Doesn’t mean Waddle isn’t awesome, Waddle has some elite skills for sure, but I’m taking Smith here all day.
- This is nowhere near a good comparison lol Waddle is so much better than Ruggs in nearly every aspect of football.
- 360 of Waddle’s 591 (61%) yards came on deep balls
- Electric in the return game, led the NCAA in yards/punt return
5. Rondale Moore (Purdue)
I think Moore has an incredible amount of upside, depsite his size.
- Undersized, but low to the ground, not flimsy at all
- Wildly versatile - out wide, RB, returns kicks
- So agile, can make a phone booth feel like a 4-bed room apartment - YAC on gawd level
- focus drops on screens and shit, but catches everything over the middle, he's like slant gawd michael thomas on those routes
- elite breakaway speed, foot in dirt, one cut and acceleration is next level
- Purdue used him on end arounds like a mf
- Went nuts the minute he stepped on the field. Broke out as a true freshman, broke out at 18 years old, 99th percentile. As we know, younger breakouts are one of the more predictive success stats when it comes to WR prospects.
- High school numbers:
- 40-yard dash: 4.33s
- Vertical jump: 42.7"
- Short Shuttle: 4.01s
- Take that for granted obviously its high school where the guy holding the stopwatch is your head coach doubling as the school janitor
- 72% of his yards (906/1258) during that freshman year came after the catch. His 37 broken tackles after the catch were 1st among 156 qualified WRs in the country while his total Yards after Contact (426) also paced the NCAA.
- He fully put himself on the radar of devy dudes when they played Ohio State and he caught 12 passes, 194 total yards and scored twice.
- All sounds gravy, but after 2018 we dont have much to go off on with Moore outside of a few big games sprinkled here and there. He's played in a total of 7 games since his breakout freshman year in 2018.
- The concerns around Moore other than his size might be his availability: in 2019, Moore played in four contests as was excellent early on before a hamstring injury hamstrung his health and explosiveness. He played three full games, a quarter of the fourth, and never touched the field again.
- Moore initially opted out of the 2020 season, then opted back in, but then didnt play at the beginning of the year (weird not sure why)
- He finally got byke onto the field in November and played in the final three games
- By this point in the season, they were basically lobbing balls from the QB directly parallel to Moore.
- Comparable to Steve Smith. And speaking of, would be a great fit in that Panthers offensive as a pumped up replacement of Curtis Samuel. And similar player to that of DJ Moore.
- He's a borderline 1st round pick in the NFL Draft. It might not happen, but it might. He was that good in 2018.
- From what I've seen he's not close to a one-trick pony, but the system he was in and the way Purdue used him really stunted how good he probably is. It's going to be really interesting to see where he goes in the draft, and i think capital is almost equally important as the coaching staff he goes to. We saw what happens to a guy like Curtis Samuel when you don't have a creative coaching staff. It's going to come down to whether or not his team sees him as a YAC guy, or a guy with elite YAC in his repertoire.