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NFL Draft 2016: Rankings the receivers

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Here we go. My rankings for the draft receivers, plus scouting reports on each. Written in shorthand.


JOSH DOCTSON, TCU: A bit overaged.  Smooth athlete who skies into the air and wins contested balls with incredible leaping and body control.  Snatches the ball & can take over games.  I don't think you can go wrong if you considered Doctson 1A and Coleman 1B or flipped them.  6020, 202 lbs -- slender with a 77 inch wingspan and big 9 7/8 inch hands.

Ran a 4.50 and that matches the tape, but had an incredible 41 inch vertical (that also matches the tape) and 94% SPARQ percentile.  Racked up 14 TDS and 1326 yards as a senior (17.0 ypc).  I think Treadwell deserves consideration in Round 1, but I put Doctson and Coleman above him with a bit of a gap.

COREY COLEMAN, BAYLOR: Biletnikoff winner who racked up 20 TDs in 2015 on 1474 yards (18.4 ypc) stacked on top of a sophomore 2014 season with 1119 yards and 11 TDs (17.5 ypc).  Home run hitter with suddenness and RAC (run after the catch) agility/ability.   Maybe the best WR with ball in his hands in this class.  Baylor will even give him a few touches at RB in between the tackles because he is electric.

Undersized at 5105, 194 lb with only 73 inch wingspan -- he is going to win primarily with his feet -- not size or body control.  Ran a 4.40 with a 1.51 ten yard split coupled with a 40.5 inch vertical.  94% SPARQ tester.  Essentially tied Josh Doctson as the best tester of the Combine WR.  Probably not the top WR on some NFL teams draft boards, but would thrive with a QB that possessed a Big Ben type skill-set.

LAQUON TREADWELL, MISSISSIPPI: Big, masculine silhouette evokes images of how you want your WR to look getting off the bus.  Very natural player with good hands and strength and knows how to use his body against a defender.  80.5 inch wingspan.

28% SPARQ percentile does not worry me one bit -- he can get it done running a 4.63.  Same height as Doctson at 6020, but he does it at 221 lbs.  Could very well be the first WR off the board.  11 TDs, 1153 yards (14.1 ypc) in his 2015 Junior season.  I would not give him the comp of Dez Bryant, but he is worthy of a 1st round selection.  Prototypical X on the left side.


WILL FULLER, NOTRE DAME: There are games you flip on and he jumps out and appears a lock for the 1st round as a natural football player and a home run hitter.  Can't teach speed.  At other times he is dropping the ball repeatedly and getting choked out and erased by better corners -- looking quite terrible.

Not a big WR, but not tiny -- 6001, 186 with limited wingspan at 73.6 inches.  57% SPARQ percentile.  What you are buying here is the 4.32 speed that can pull away from defensive backs and strike you dead.  Last year put up 14 TDs with 1258 yards, and a whopping 20.3 ypc.  Could be a very good complimentary #2 for the right QB that can use his abilities.

STERLING SHEPHERD, OKLAHOMA: Slot dominator who can also win on the outside when called upon to do so.  Has RAC jukes and 4.48 speed.  Hips a bit tight with a 7.0 cone and has limited wingspan at 71.6 inches, but has a monster 41 inch vertical and 9 ¾ inch hands.

Production hog last season with 86 catches, 1288 yards and 11 TDS 9 (15.0 ypc).  Can win short, intermediate and deep.  Has a bit of Randall Cobb and Golden Tate to his game.  Reminds me of Lockett -- not in his play style, but the fact that his dad played WR at the same Big-12 school and he followed in his footsteps.  1st round intangibles.  May go high, and I don't think will slip much past 40.  75% SPARQ percentile.

MICHAEL THOMAS, OHIO STATE: Has all the external traits of a #1 WR at first glance, but not the type of player that consistently takes over games.  Never had more than 800 yards in a season, has had only two games with 100 yards in the last two years, and has never had a game in the last two season with 2 TDs.

One of the best testers in this class at 6026, 212 lbs with 10 ½ inch hands and ran a 4.57.  Wins deep more on double moves than blazing by a corner.  83% SPARQ percentile.  If a team is hunting a bigger WR he may go higher than this.

TYLER BOYD, PITTSBURGH: Testing was not great, and does not offer much beyond being a possession WR, with little RAC, but is worth this type of Late Round 2 value for the right QB and right system.  The type of player that a QB would trust in key situational play.  Attacks the football and great body control.  6014, 197 lbs.  4.58 speed and 22% percentile SPARQ tester.  May have peaked already early in college career and lately Pitt moves him around all over the place to scheme to get him the ball.  Used a lot as a runner and I don't see that really continuing on the next level.  Only 10.2 ypc on 91 catches last season (926 yards) and Pitt created 40 more touches (8.7 ypc) as a runner.


BRAXTON MILLER, OHIO STATE: Not enough production as a WR for me to justify taking him in the 1st round.  He probably goes Round 2 somewhere, but Miller has caught only 25 passes in his college career for 340 yards and 3 TDs.  Miller has the good open field moves and hands seem solid, but probably still a project.  He has produced much more on big time college level as a passer and runner but his future is at WR.

6013 and 201 lbs.  74 inch wingspan and ran a 4.50 flat.  Good L-cone at 6.65.  Boom or bust type prospect -- goes somewhere Day 2, not exactly sure where.  69% SPARQ percentile.  May start out as a gadget type player first.

CHARONE PEAKE, CLEMSON: Height/Weight/Speed type WR who may get a little too much shine because of the WR that have gone before him at Clemson.  I don't think he is Martavis Bryant, but I think he will have value somewhere in Round 3.  Hands just ok and probably could use to get a bit stronger on some contested balls.  6023 and 209 lbs with massive 81.5 inch wingspan.  Popped a 4.38 forty and 64% percentile SPARQ tester.  A bit of a one year wonder -- but his best football may be ahead of him. Only 5 TDs as a senior and 10 for his entire career.

MALCOLM MITCHELL, GEORGIA: Converted defensive back who is only 5115, 198 but has a massive 78 ¾ inch wingspan and monster 10.5 inch mitts.

Over-aged.  Ran a 4.45 but not used to consistently blow by CB and hit home runs.  73% SPARQ percentile.  Makes me wonder if he could have been a 1st round CB?  Production was solid in 2015 but not spectacular with 865 yards, 5 TDs and 14.9 ypc.  Missed 2013 with injury.  Will run him on slants as a non-traditional looking split end -- but that's what he played (on the ball).  Hands are good and plays tough.

KOLBY LISTENBEE, TCU: The more I watched him, I had to lower him down a bit, but I think a player who possesses a unique trait (in this case- SPEED) has value in the NFL, and previous drafts show this to be the case.  Rumor is the numbers he posted recently with a 4.35 forty were done with a hurt groin.

Collegiate track star.  6000 and 197 with decent 76.75 inch wingspan but hands only 8 ¼.  Hands are just ok.  73% SPARQ percentile.  Racked up back to back 600-700 yard type seasons playing second fiddle to Doctson at TCU with a YPC around 19.  Role type player in the NFL who can take the top off.

LEONTE CARROO, RUTGERS: Sure-handed on line drive balls, doesn't have great size or catch radius or blazing speed.  Short, thick type WR.  5117 and 211 lbs.  4.5 speed.  Tough.  49% SPARQ percentage, probably can be a solid 3rd option as an NFL WR, perhaps a 2, but not sure exactly how he wins in the NFL game.

Was The Guy at Rutgers, and had back to back 10 TD seasons, one in which he played in only 8 games.  Career YPC of 19.5.  I worry a bit about him on the next level, but feel pretty confident his value lies somewhere in Round 3.

MIKE THOMAS, SOUTHERN MISS: Lit the field on fire in the bowl game versus the UW Huskies and even left another sure TD on the table.  Yet, in other games I have watched, he gets snuffed out.  Add it all up and he still posted 14 TDs and almost 1400 yards with YPC of 19.6.  Does not get a ton of separation, wins by working his release to the correct shoulder of the CB -- but can win over the top and coming back underneath.

Has a little more RAC than one would think, too.  Will suffer from drops.  Did not test off the chart, but I think it matches what you see on tape -- 6012, 193, 4.54 with 36 inch vertical and 7.06 L-cone.


KEYARISS GARRETT, TULSA: Big production hog at a small school.  Led the nation in yards in 2015.  Testing numbers were quite good except for his agility drills. 53% SPARQ percentile but that assumes a 4.53 forty and I have seen faster times claimed for his speed.  Big frame at 6033, 220 with wingspan almost 83 inches.

Some of his numbers are inflated with the system he is in, and he won't get a lot of separation against NFL cornerbacks, but he can win contested balls.  For an NFL team hunting this type of size profile WR -- he may go earlier than this.

CHRIS MOORE, CINCINNATI: 6010 and 206 with only 4.53 speed but he can beat you over the top.  82% SPARQ percentile had good L-cone agility at 6.76 and big broad jump at 10 foot 10 inches.

Probably a #3 type option in the NFL who averaged 19.3 ypc during his four year career at Cincinnati but never more than 45 catches in any one season.  Good at tracking the ball, and can come back to it when underthrown with defenders draped or in close quarters.  Will adjust to deep ball to time the catch in stride.  May need right QB and right system in a vertical type offense.   37 inch vertical and can play the ball in the air in non RAC situations.

RASHARD HIGGINS, COLORADO STATE: Type of player who a year ago had production type numbers up there with Amari Cooper (had more yards, more YPC and more TDs than Amari Cooper if you can believe that).  In 2014 the WR leaders in college football were (1) Higgins (2) Cooper (3) Lockett.

Tested surprisingly bad and his production went down in 2015 with a new QB and a new coach.  Production went from 1750 yards in 2014 to only 1062 yards in 2015.  More smooth than explosive.  Can track the ball and win deep because he runs routes and is natural and has good hands.  Not looking to overpower others but will scrap a bit -- but wins more with savvy.  6013, 196 with 9 ¾ inch hands and 76.5 inch wing.  Only ran a 4.64 and vert only 32.5.  Bad tester at 4% SPARQ percentile, but some NFL team is going to ignore that at this value I think.

PHAROH COOPER, SOUTH CAROLINA: Would fall into the category of "good player, bad tester".   Sub 6 feet and does not have big wingspan, plus ran a 4.63 at his Pro Day with only 30.5 inch vertical.  Has special teams ability and good intangibles -- type of player a coach would like.  Productive.  Not every NFL team cares about combine testing as much as tape, and he plays faster than he tests.  Probably a slot type player in the NFL and college would manufacture a couple rush touches per game for him.  Tough with good hands.


JALIN MARSHALL, OHIO STATE: Sort of a RB/WR hybrid who also can return punts.  Plays faster than he tested.  Looks electric and can shake opponents in the open field.  Strong to break tackles despite his size.   Still tested solid despite the 4.60 40 time with 73% SPARQ percentile.  5104, 200 lbs with 9 5/8 inch hands.  37 inch vert and 6.80 cone.  Has a lot of value as a gadget type player and special teams player.  I could see him going Round 5.

BRYCE TREGGS, CALIFORNIA: Not a big guy but may have been Jared Goff's best target last year.  In 2015 posted a 45 catch, 956 yard season with 7 TDs and 21.2 ypc.  He did all that with a QB who sprayed the ball around to many different targets.

54% SPARQ percentile.  5113 and 190 lbs and ran a 4.39.  Will have some drops.  Can adjust back to the low throw and hit homeruns over the shoulder.  Slot type WR that can pose a vertical threat.  43 WR were invited to the Combine but he was not one of them.  I don't think there are 43 better WR in this Draft.

DEVIN LUCIEN, ARIZONA STATE: Recent transfer out of UCLA, perhaps to get out from under the shadow of Jordan Payton. I think he may be better than Payton on the next level.

Another Combine snub- this dude can flat out play.  6004, 201, and ran a 4.49 at his Pro Day.  Showed up for only one year at ASU and still posted 66 catches and 1074 yards with 8 TDs (16.3 ypc).  A bit of a one year wonder, but his transfer paid off I think.  Can catch everything from back shoulders, stop routes & good sideline work.  Not blowing by corners and may not have one defining trait.  Has a little RAC too.  42% SPARQ percentile.

DEVON CAJUSTE, STANFORD: Big hands, big man and tested well but does not explode off the line.  Can adjust to balls high and low and towers over defenders at 6036 and 234 with 80 inch wingspan and massive 10 ¾ hands.  Good agility with 6.49 cone, but only ran a 4.62.  84% SPARQ percentile.  Bit of a tweener between a WR and a TE.  Production has been dropping (been with same QB and same system) for 3 seasons in terms of yards and yards per catch.  Senior season only 27 catches for 383 yards and 3 TDs (14.2 ypc).

TREVOR DAVIS, CALIFORNIA: Has special teams value as a kick returner and can run.  Never had a 700 yard season as a WR.  Leggy long strider type player who has to build up.  6011 and 188 lbs skinny.  Wingspan only 74.5.  Hands are 10 inches.  Ran a 4.42 with a 6.60 L-cone.  38.5 inch vertical and 85% SPARQ percentile.

I think NFL teams will start him as a returner and see if he can become more than that.  Can hit vertical home runs.  Had 600+ yards receiving as a senior, but over 600 yards as a returner as well.

6th ROUND:

JORDAN PAYTON, UCLA: A lot of predetermined short area passing inflates his numbers somewhat.  Good hands on bubbles and short comebacks and good hands on the deep ball, but not going to pull away deep on NFL corners.  41% SPARQ tester and does not explode off the line.  Not big, but not small at 6011, 207.  Ran a 4.47 but doesn't look that fast on tape.  Super productive, and an NFL team could select him before this area based on that.

RICARDO LOUIS, AUBURN: Was a gadget type player who has shown a bit more as a traditional WR of late.  Big time tester with 88% SPARQ percentile at 6016 and 215 lbs.  9 ½ inch hands and 77.5 inch wingspan.  Ran a 4.48 with 38 inch vertical and 11 foot broad jump.  Cone was 7.07.

Louis had had 66 carries the last 3 seasons as a runner on sweeps but not a ton of WR production with only 8 career WR TDs.  Has cool movement as a runner and can cut.  Senior season he posted 46 catches, 716 yards and 3 scores.   Will drop the ball & a better tester than player at this point.   A bit of a one year wonder and will disappear in some games.

JAY LEE, BAYLOR: Very smooth player.  Good height/weight type guy with 4.53 speed.  Second fiddle to Corey Coleman.  Looks the part at 6016, 215 with solid 45% SPARQ percentile.  Cone was 6.75, vert only 33.5.

Lee put up a 41 catch, 633 yard, 6 TD Junior season and followed that up with a 38 catch, 758 yard and 8 TD senior season (19.9 ypc).   Hands a bit iffy and can look lackadaisical and numbers may be a bit inflated by the system.

DJ FOSTER, ARIZONA STATE: Personally was hard to jump on this train early because I was not sure he is really good at either the WR thing or the RB thing.  But, he can both, and I do believe there is value to some NFL teams for a player that can provide this type of skillset -- perhaps more so as a runner with WR attributes.  Tested well at 72% SPARQ percentile.  Ran a 4.46 at 5102, 193 lb with a 4.07 shuttle.

MARQUEZ NORTH, TENNESSEE: Really a Height/Weight/Speed type of projection on a player who has not played meaningful snaps recently.  Has all the exterior traits you want in that he is 6024, 223 lb with 80 inch wingspan and 10 ¼ hands.  Ran a 4.48 and 76% SPARQ percentile.  A team could draft him higher than this or he could fall out of the Draft.  Last time he played a lot was 2014 and has only 5 career TDs.  I would probably stay away until the Draft was over unless I had some compelling inside type information

TAJAE SHARPE, UMASS: Good hands even though he has small hands.  Production hog.  Has good length but not sure he gets a ton of separation in the NFL, but I think provides better value than many options here at this juncture.  Will have a market here.  17% SPARQ percentile.  6020 and 194 lbs.  Wingspan is 77.5 inches.  Ran a 4.55 and that feels about right.  Racked up back to back 1200+ yards seasons.


I think once you get to Round 6, or perhaps even Round 5, there are going to be WR coming off the board that I have never heard of.  WR is the position that is almost impossible to scout, because the amount of names in every draft is so massive.  Once you get to Day 3 I think a lot of it is "what type of flavor of player are you looking for" and rankings get even more difficult.  Good WR that can play fall out of the draft, and teams take flyers on bust WR in Round 4 on down and cut them with no real concern if they don't pan out.  I did look at a few more names but am running out of time to write blurbs on them -- but I would put all of them in the Rd 6-7-UDFA type area in terms of value:


Next up? Centers!


The tl;dr version: