Rankings

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.
Rplot97

 

 

PLAYER SCHOOL POS SCORE RANK
AMARI COOPER ALABAMA WR 420 1
DEVANTE PARKER LOUISVILLE WR 392 2
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
NELSON AGHOLOR USC WR 329 7
DEVIN FUNCHESS MICHIGAN WR 321 8
TYLER LOCKETT KANSAS STATE WR 292 9
DEVIN SMITH OHIO STATE WR 266 10
SAMMIE COATES AUBURN WR 259 11
PHILLIP DORSETT MIAMI WR 249 12
CHRIS CONLEY GEORGIA WR 248 13
TRE MCBRIDE WILLIAM MARY WR 241 14
DEVANTE DAVIS UNLV WR 199 15
STEFON DIGGS MARYLAND WR 186 16
DEANDRE SMELTER GEORGIA TECH WR 181 17
DARREN WALLER GEORGIA TECH WR 175 18
TY MONTGOMERY STANFORD WR 161 19
JUSTIN HARDY EAST CAROLINA WR 150 20
RASHAD GREENE FLORIDA STATE WR 127 21
DEONTAY GREENBERRY HOUSTON WR 119 22
KENNY BELL NEBRASKA WR 110 23
TITUS DAVIS CENTRAL MICHIGAN WR 100 24
JAMISON CROWDER DUKE WR 84 25
TONY LIPPETT MICHIGAN STATE WR 77 26
DEZMIN LEWIS CENTRAL ARKANSAS WR 66 27
BUD SASSER MISSOURI WR 59 28
VINCE MAYLE WASHINGTON STATE WR 47 29
DEANDRE CARTER SACRAMENTO STATE WR 33 30
AUSTIN HILL ARIZONA WR 29 31
ANTWAN GOODLEY BAYLOR WR 27 32
JJ NELSON UAB WR 19 33
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
KASEN WILLIAMS WASHINGTON WR 4 41
RJ HARRIS NEW HAMPSHIRE WR 4 42
JORDAN TAYLOR RICE WR 2 43
GEORGE FARMER USC WR 2 44
JOSH HARPER FRESNO STATE WR 2 45
DRES ANDERSON UTAH WR 1 46

 

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