Each new crop of wideouts spawns comparisons and contrasts between players. What did they do in 2019? We also know how past rookie classes fared in the NFL, so it’s interesting to see what stats they left behind in college and how predictive that was of their future performances.
Below are different groups of wide receivers and their respective production from college. Can you match the player with his NCAA career? The list of names is alphabetical and the stats array from least to most productive while at school.
Past production is a critical measurement in valuing rookie receivers but by no means the only one. Unlike their future seasons in the NFL, none of the players faced the same teams.
The quality of their quarterback and overall offense, and the defenses that they faced varied greatly and makes a 1:1 comparison between wideouts impossible to rely on. Bottom line – teams that faced the toughest schedules and had the highest success usually spawned the most reliably talented receivers.
Perhaps the toughest one to see coming was Michael Thomas. Ending up on the receiving end of a pass thrown by a Hall of Fame quarterback never hurts.
The matched number and names are in the white text next to “Answer”. Just hit your left mouse button and drag it across that line to see the correct order.
Amari Cooper, Jerry Jeudy (R), Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, Henry Ruggs (R)
Answer: 1 Ruggs, 2 Jones, 3 Jeudy, 4 Ridley, 5 Cooper
Tee Higgins (R), DeAndre Hopkins, Sammy Watkins, Mike Williams
Answer: 1 Higgins, 2 Williams, 3 Hopkins, 4 Watkins
Penn State, Ohio State
PSU Chris Godwin, Allen Robinson OSU Terry McLaurin, Michael Thomas
Answer: 1 McLaurin, 2 Michael Thomas, 3 Godwin, 4 Robinson
Odell Beckham, D.J. Chark, Justin Jefferson (R), Jarvis Landry
Answer: 1 Chark, 2 Landry, 3 Beckham, 4 Jefferson
Keenan Allen (CAL), Antonio Brown (Cen. Mich), CeeDee Lamb (R – Oklahoma), Laviska Shenault Jr. (R – Colorado)
Answer: 1 Shenault, 2 Allen, 3 Brown, 4 Lamb
Davante Adams (Fresno St), Mike Evans (Texas A&M), A.J. Green (Georgia), Jalen Reagor (R – TCU)
Answer: 1 Reagor, 2 Evans, 3 Green, 4 Adams
Top Draft picks for the last three years
Excluding Mike Williams (2017-1.07) and Calvin Ridley (2018 – 1.26) who are already listed above, these are the first four wideouts taken each year. Definitely more than a few whiffs on those early picks. 2020 is expected to be a banner year for wide receivers and the position hasn’t served up many stars from recent years, at least not from those wideouts drafted first.
2019 was better with both Deebo Samuel and A.J. Brown coming to life down the stretch. By the stats below, there weren’t many players that had generated high stats and Corey Davis was the most productive and yet hasn’t remotely lived up to his lofty selection.
1 Corey Davis (1.05), Western Michigan
2 John Ross (1.09), Washington
3 Zay Jones (2.05), East Carolina
4 Curtis Samuel (2.08), Ohio State
1 D.J. Moore (1.24), Maryland
2 Courtland Sutton (2.08), SMU
3 Dante Pettis (2.12), Washington
4 Christian Kirk (2.15), Texas A&M
1 Marquise Brown (1.25), Oklahoma
2 N’Keal Harry (1.32), Arizona State
3 Deebo Samuel (2.04), South Carolina
4 A.J. Brown (2.19), Mississippi