Amari Cooper, Kevin White, and the Pre-Draft Rookie Wide Receiver Rankings
The 2014 rookie wide receiver class was an incredibly fun one to study pre-draft because there was so much to like. That’s not even a judgment that you can only make in hindsight. There were so many players that had something going for them – size, speed, production, or all three – that you almost couldn’t go wrong no matter what your preferred flavor was. The 2015 class seems different somehow.
There are still a lot of names to like. The top WR in this class has to compare favorably to the first WR picked from the 2014 class. But then the rest of the receivers seem riddled with question marks. Does it matter that Kevin White was such a late breakout? Does it matter that Devante Parker has such a short history of production? What will Devin Funchess’ size or sketchy production mean for his NFL prospects?
In some ways all of those question marks make this a more fun draft in the same way that March Madness is more entertaining than the NBA Playoffs. It’s always fun to be surprised.
The RotoViz crew got together via Google Doc over the past week to rank the major fantasy rookie positions. In total 14 writers ranked WRs, which actually creates something of a display issue as it’s tough to get a table that wide into our article.
In order to get you all of the information you need we have a few strategies. First, we have the composite ranks in a table below. If you want to drill down and see how various writers ranked specific prospects then we have a Google Doc that you can also view. But because it’s also easy to get caught up in the ranks and ignore relative valuation, we have a graph. This graph shows ranking versus composite score. It shows for instance that while we have Devante Parker ahead of Kevin White, the difference is so small that you could say that we have them tied. You can click the image for a more legible PDF. Note that in the past we’ve included lots of blurbs and write ups with the ranks. But this year we came to the realization that lots of the same data points kept getting squeezed into every write up, so we’re just publishing the rankings this time. The writers all now know where they differ from the crowd most on their rankings, so individual articles should follow to explain why people are more or less high on certain players. Hit us up in the comments with any thoughts you have.
One note on methodology when you’re viewing the Google Doc – we actually went through and ranked 1-30 (or 1-10 for QB/TE). But then we converted those ranks into a score so that we can better differentiate between a missing rank and a low rank. I’m sure you’ve seen ADP where something happens like Tim Tebow being taken in the first round but it only happened once. It screws up the ranks. But if you had an assigned value for how many times Tebow was drafted that would solve things. So that’s what we’ve done here. The number score you’ll see in the Google Doc is essentially a ranking. We’ve just transformed it.
|KEVIN WHITE||WEST VIRGINIA||WR||390||3|
|DORIAL GREEN BECKHAM||OKLAHOMA||WR||378||4|
|JAELEN STRONG||ARIZONA STATE||WR||370||5|
|BRESHAD PERRIMAN||CENTRAL FLORIDA||WR||351||6|
|TYLER LOCKETT||KANSAS STATE||WR||292||9|
|DEVIN SMITH||OHIO STATE||WR||266||10|
|TRE MCBRIDE||WILLIAM MARY||WR||241||14|
|DEANDRE SMELTER||GEORGIA TECH||WR||181||17|
|DARREN WALLER||GEORGIA TECH||WR||175||18|
|JUSTIN HARDY||EAST CAROLINA||WR||150||20|
|RASHAD GREENE||FLORIDA STATE||WR||127||21|
|TITUS DAVIS||CENTRAL MICHIGAN||WR||100||24|
|TONY LIPPETT||MICHIGAN STATE||WR||77||26|
|DEZMIN LEWIS||CENTRAL ARKANSAS||WR||66||27|
|VINCE MAYLE||WASHINGTON STATE||WR||47||29|
|DEANDRE CARTER||SACRAMENTO STATE||WR||33||30|
|MARIO ALFORD||WEST VIRGINIA||WR||13||34|
|RASHEED BAILEY||DEL VALLEY||WR||9||35|
|JAKE KUMEROW||WISCONSIN WHITEWATER||WR||7||36|
|DAVARIS DANIELS||NOTRE DAME||WR||7||37|
|DA RON BROWN||NORTHERN ILLINOIS||WR||6||38|
|EZELL RUFFIN||SAN DIEGO STATE||WR||6||39|
|RANNELL HALL||CENTRAL FLORIDA||WR||5||40|
|RJ HARRIS||NEW HAMPSHIRE||WR||4||42|
|JOSH HARPER||FRESNO STATE||WR||2||45|