2019 WR Prospect Rankings: Who’s On Top?
So far this draft season I’ve given you three different regression-based methodologies to deliver WR prospect rankings. The first two were regression tree models, and the third was a linear regression model.
Now I’m going to use all three to deliver my first set of WR prospect rankings.
The methodology is simple. We have success rates for the prospects as well as projected point totals. It is difficult to compare them that way because they are on different scales. So I will scale each data point one to 100, then combine the numbers. I’ll scale that composite total one to 100 as well so that it is easier to digest – almost like Madden ratings for incoming players.
This is what we get:
|NKeal Harry||Arizona State||196.20||0.35||0.35||92|
|Greg Dortch||Wake Forest||102.85||0.50||0.15||71|
|David Sills V||West Virginia||86.99||0.30||0.15||50|
|Deebo Samuel||South Carolina||92.62||0.35||0.02||48|
|Kelvin Harmon||North Carolina State||121.97||0.01||0.35||45|
|Scott Miller||Bowling Green State||68.31||0.12||0.38||43|
|Preston Williams||Colorado State||55.43||0.30||0.15||42|
|Jamarius Way||South Alabama||41.78||0.35||0.02||35|
|Parris Campbell||Ohio State||111.66||0.01||0.20||33|
|KeeSean Johnson||Fresno State||84.40||0.01||0.02||16|
|Hakeem Butler||Iowa State||82.58||0.01||0.02||16|
|Penny Hart||Georgia State||72.22||0.00||0.02||12|
|Gary Jennings Jr.||West Virginia||68.59||0.01||0.02||12|
|Miles Boykin||Notre Dame||65.93||0.01||0.02||12|
|Antoine Wesley||Texas Tech||64.07||0.01||0.02||11|
|Stanley Morgan Jr.||Nebraska||55.42||0.01||0.02||9|
|Felton Davis III||Michigan State||53.25||0.00||0.02||8|
|Anthony Ratliff-Williams||North Carolina||46.60||0.01||0.02||7|
|Dredrick Snelson||Central Florida||46.52||0.01||0.02||7|
|Nyqwan Murray||Florida State||45.48||0.01||0.02||7|
|Keelan Doss||UC Davis||44.86||0.01||0.02||6|
|Tyron Johnson||Oklahoma State||41.34||0.01||0.02||6|
|Travis Fulgham||Old Dominion||40.64||0.01||0.02||5|
|Terry McLaurin||Ohio State||39.80||0.01||0.02||5|
|Olabisi Johnson||Colorado State||39.79||0.01||0.02||5|
|Jovon Durante||Florida Atlantic||38.80||0.01||0.02||5|
|Teddy Veal||Louisiana Tech||32.56||0.01||0.02||4|
|Brad Stewart||Georgia Tech||30.33||0.01||0.02||3|
|James Gardner||Miami (OH)||31.69||0.00||0.02||2|
|Jaelan Austin||Texas Christian||25.51||0.01||0.02||2|
|DeAndre Thompkins||Penn State||24.88||0.01||0.02||2|
|A.J. Richardson||Boise State||21.53||0.01||0.02||1|
|Vic Wharton iii||California||21.05||0.01||0.02||1|
|Johnny Woods||Kent State||20.40||0.01||0.02||1|
|Matthew Eaton||Iowa State||20.01||0.01||0.02||1|
|Dylan Collie||Brigham Young||17.89||0.01||0.02||0|
“Projection” represents the linear model projection for each WR. “p(noDS)” is the probability of success for the WR without a scouting component. “p(wDS)” is the probability of success for the WR with a scouting component.
WR Prospect Rankings: Tiers and Analysis
It may surprise you, but Marquise Brown comes out as the top-rated WR for me in this class. He had the fourth-highest projection in the model, and was dominant in both of the regression trees. In fact, he was the only player to satisfy each of the key data points in the tree that included scouting. He has an NFL bloodline (Antonio Brown is his cousin) and was outrageously productive in his final season at Oklahoma. I am extremely bullish on him.
The nice thing about scaling the scores is that it very naturally sorts the WR prospect rankings into tiers. The only WR prospect in proximity to Brown is N’Keal Harry, who is a more traditional top prospect given his age and production.
The next tier contains two of my favorite players in the class in Andy Isabella and Greg Dortch. Isabella has very balanced success across all of the evaluative methods, while Dortch seems to thrive most in the scouting agnostic regression tree.
After those two groups, the scores flatten out a good bit. Someone who finds himself grouped very tightly with supposed studs such as D.K. Metcalf and A.J. Brown is David Sills of West Virginia. Sills was originally recruited by WVU as a quarterback, but made the transition to WR after transferring from and back to the school. He scored an insane 33 TDs in his final two seasons.
Preston Williams and Tyre Brady are two intriguing transfer prospects. Both struggled to find the field much in their first stops (Tennessee and Miami respectively), but dominated at their new schools. Williams owned a 0.45 Dominator Rating in 2018 at Colorado State, while Brady posted back-to-back 0.42 DRs at Marshall.