In PPR leagues, productive rookie wide receivers can be a huge benefit early in their careers. I’ll examine the Top-4 wide receivers on most scouts boards and give you my evaluations on their NFL prospects so far in the scouting process.
Courtland Sutton (SMU)
Easily my favorite wide receiver prospect in this year’s class. He is a long framed wide receiver (6’4, 225) that is quick and knows how to use his body as a tool with the ball in the air. Some scouts have already declared him A.J. Green 2.0, and I cannot argue with their logic.
Against Houston: 11 catches, 160 yards
(Disclaimer – Only 9 catches shown in footage)
1st Catch: 5 yard hitch. Turns a 5 yard gain into a 15+ yard play do to his physical presence after the catch.
2nd Catch: Screen. Shows off a little bit of the speed, but I loved the physical finish at the end putting his shoulder down and destroying a secondary player.
3rd Catch: In motion, 5 yard hitch. Well covered, waited too long to throw from QB.
4th Catch: Corner route against safety in zone coverage. Easy play for Sutton.
5th Catch: Can’t tell what the route was, but great over the shoulder catch in between coverage. You will also notice he got both feet down.
6th Catch: Safety valve route in soft zone.
7th Catch: Screen. Showed great vision and elusiveness for a bigger receiver.
8th Catch: Slant in off man. He is not going down without a clean tackle. Pretty good route with corner being a few yards off and creating space before underneath zone.
9th Catch: Find the soft spot in the zone. Made himself available to his quarterback quickly down the field.
Calvin Ridley (Alabama)
Calvin Ridley is a big play threat with or without the ball. He can beat you deep over the top, or run through the defense running the ball after the catch. He is the only real pass catching threat in the Alabama offense.
Against Mississippi State: 5 catches, 171 yards
1st Catch: Off zone coverage and run after the catch. He has great vision to see the running lanes with blockers in front of him. The two moves he made against secondary players are ankle breakers.
2nd Catch: QB scramble drill. He was able to recognize the QB leaving the pocket and find the open area of the field so his quarterback can make a completed pass for a big gain.
3rd Catch: Quick Screen. Nowhere to go.
4th Catch: Press Man. #2 was on defense, was 5+ yards away when Ridley caught the ball. The safety had to make the play that was in a zone coverage. Seemed like an in-route.
5th Catch: Off Zone from the slot. Quick Slant and run after the catch. Ridley makes them pay by not making him work for it off the line.