Rashee Rice elected to remain in Texas and signed on with the SMU Mustangs, where he started his final three seasons and gained national attention with a monster senior year. Rice was a semifinalist for the Biletnikoff Award and on the All-ACC First Team, and the AP All-American Second Team.
He led the Mustangs in receiving stats in each of his three seasons as a starter, increasing his production and value to the team. He dominated the receivers with 96 catches, while no one else had more than 37 receptions.
Weight: 204 pounds
40 time: 4.51 seconds
Rice is a big-bodied, capable receiver that could potentially sneak into the bottom of the first round but will likely be later. He’s been a very productive player and leaves for the NFL as more mature and experienced than most other rookie wideouts.
Table: Player NCAA stats (2019-22)
- Prototypical blend of height, weight and speed to be a No. 1 receiver
- Tall frame and soft hands make for a huge catch radius
- Helps out his quarterback when plays break down
- Improved in each of his four seasons
- Elite short-area burst helps with separation
- Reliable possession receiver with run-after-catch ability
- Capable in the slot or on the outside
- Mature 23 year old with 233 career receptions.
- Limited route tree while playing in spread offense
- Boosted stats with a possession role but will face far better defenses in the NFL that won’t give him the short middle
- Has enough speed but hasn’t been much of a deep threat
- Occasional concentration drops
Rice expects to be a Day 2 selection. He’s a dynamic athlete who checks plenty of boxes to become a primary wideout and a productive receiver with plenty of fantasy value. He’s been a high-volume weapon for the Mustangs for four years and can make a quarterback look even better working with him when plays break down.
His biggest limitation – which may only be temporary – is that he played a possession role with underneath routes in a spread offense. He’ll have to adjust to playing against a secondary that is not only faster, bigger, stronger, but also not as spread out all over the field. Rice has the speed and after-catch ability to find NFL success if only eventually, as he’ll have a learning curve.
Unlike so many of his fellow rookie wideouts, Rice combines enough weight and height to deal with press coverage and contested catches. He has the speed to break off a long gainer, but he can be used all over the field and succeed at all three levels of the defense.
If Rice reaches the second or third round, he’ll offer excellent value for any team looking to develop a new primary wide receiver or add a very capable No. 2 wideout that can be used in many roles. He’s been linked to potential suitors of the Chicago Bears, New Orleans Saints, New England Patriots, and Baltimore Ravens.