NFL Draft: WR Comparables

What does an elite fantasy football wide receiver look like?

It’s a simple question with complicated answers. After all, Antonio Brown wins in a far different manner than Allen Robinson. But as the NFL Draft approaches, I wanted to explore commonalities between wideouts who have finished among the top-10 in DraftKings points per game across the last five seasons.

There are 29 different wide receivers who have cracked the top-10 since 2011 (minimum eight games):

Player NameHeight (Inches)Weight (Pounds)Forty (Seconds)Vertical (Inches)Broad (Inches)Pick Numer
Antonio Brown701864.57N/AN/A195
Julio Jones752204.3938.51356
Odell Beckham Jr.711984.4338.512212
Brandon Marshall772294.5637120119
DeAndre Hopkins732144.573611527
Keenan Allen742064.71N/AN/A76
Julian Edelman701954.5236.5123232
Allen Robinson742204.63912761
Alshon Jeffery752164.4836.512226
Larry Fitzgerald752254.4838N/A3
Demaryius Thomas752244.52N/AN/A22
Jordy Nelson752154.513112336
Dez Bryant742254.523813324
Emmanuel Sanders711864.4139.512682
Randall Cobb701914.4633.511564
Calvin Johnson772394.3542.51392
T.Y. Hilton701834.3435.511992
Josh Gordon752244.5235.5122N/A
A.J. Green762114.534.51264
Eric Decker752174.56N/AN/A87
Andre Johnson742304.41391323
Wes Welker691954.6530113UDFA
Percy Harvin711924.4137.512122
Reggie Wayne731984.4536N/A30
Victor Cruz722064.4741.5125UDFA
Roddy White73.52074.464112627
Marques Colston76.52244.5437123252
Steve Smith691844.4138.512174
Greg Jennings711974.4636.511752


HEIGHT

  • 100 percent at least 5-9
  • 65.5 percent at least 6-0
  • 51.7 percent at least 6-2
  • 37.9 percent at least 6-3
  • 34.5 percent under six feet

WEIGHT

  • 62.0 percent at least 200 pounds
  • 51.7 percent at least 210 pounds
  • 34.4 percent at least 220 pounds
  • 38.0 percent under 200 pounds

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40-YARD DASH

  • 89.6 percent under 4.6
  • 75.8 percent under 4.55
  • 51.7 percent under 4.50
  • 27.5 percent under 4.45

DRAFT POSITION

  • 17.2 percent top-10
  • 44.8 percent first round
  • 75.8 percent top-100

BROAD JUMP

  • 78.2 percent at least 120 inches

VERTICAL JUMP

  • 84.0 percent at least 35 inches


Based on the above trends, the perfect fantasy WR would look something like this: At least 6-foot-2, at least 210 pounds, sub-4.5 speed, at least 120-inch broad jump, at least 35-inch vertical jump and drafted in the first round. Unfortunately, that doesn’t exist in this draft class.

Baylor’s Corey Coleman has the best profile in this class. Although he’s below optimal size at 5’11/194, we can see that isn’t a nail in the coffin by any means. Antonio Brown, Odell Beckham Jr., Julian Edelman, Emmanuel Sanders, Randall Cobb and T.Y. Hilton have each posted top-10 DK PPG seasons in the last two years. Coleman’s 4.40 speed, 129-inch broad jump and 40.5-inch vertical are all positive indicators. He’ll almost certainly go in the first round Thursday night.

The data above does not bode well for Ole Miss’ WR Laquon Treadwell. The numbers show that 89 percent of the DK top-10s ran faster than a 4.60, 78 percent had at least a 120-inch broad jump and 84.0 percent posted a minimum 33-inch vertical. Treadwell’s numbers were 4.63, 117-inch broad jump and 33-inch vertical. If he goes on to hit the top-10 in DK points per game for a season, he’ll be an outlier from a measurable standpoint.

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The prospect who checks most of the boxes is TCU’s Josh Doctson. He stands in at 6’2/202, putting him on the plus side of the frame percentages. He also ran a 4.50 and was explosive in both the vertical (41 inches) and broad jump (131 inches). Doctson, very likely to go in the first round as well, fits the bill when we’re talking about what an elite fantasy football wide receiver looks like.

So when wide receivers come off the board in this week’s draft, I’ll be thinking about how they fit with their new team and how their measureables compare with the best in the NFL. Here are the top-15 WR prospects from this year’s draft class:

Player NameHeight (Inches)Weight (Pounds)Forty (Seconds)Vertical (Inches)Broad (Inches)
Corey Coleman711944.440.5129
Laquon Treadwell742214.6333117
Josh Doctson742024.541131
Michael Thomas752124.5735126
Sterling Shepard701944.4841123
Will Fuller721864.3233.5126
Braxton Miller732014.535123
Leonte Carroo722114.535.5120
Tyler Boyd731974.5834119
Mike Thomas731934.5436126
Charone Peake742094.4535.5122
Malcolm Mitchell721984.4536129
Pharoah Cooper71203N/A31115
Rashard Higgins731964.6432116
Devon Cajuste762344.6236123