The NFL draft has passed, questions have been answered, and we can project some fantasy dynasty value. As stated in the Pre-Draft article, we are now coming back after the NFL draft for a readjustment, landing spot analysis, and some long and short-term expectations. I will be copy&pasting the pre-draft analysis for the reader’s ability to compare

  • Analytics
  • Pre-Draft analysis
  • Post-Draft Analysis
  • Short and long-term expectations
  • Rankings with Tiers
  • My rookie rankings since I started evaluating

    Tier 1

    WR1 – Jaxon Smith-Njigba

    Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba (11) will participate in all drills, except the 40-yard dash, at the 2023 NFL scouting combine. File Photo by Aaron Josefczyk/UPI
    File Photo by Aaron Josefczyk/UPI
    • Pre-Draft Rank: WR1
    • Age: 21.0
    • HT/WT: 6’0”/196lbs
    • wDOM: 29.86%
    • AYPTP: 3.5
    • RYPTPA: 3.25
    • Early Declare
    • (Stats from 2021)
    Historical
    • 2022 WR1: Treylon Burks
    • 2021 WR1: Ja’Marr Chase
    • 2020 WR1: Jerry Jeudy

    Pre-Draft Analysis

    JSN is a producer. He was breaking receiving records as a high schooler in Texas against some of the toughest competition. He takes his talents to the greatest WR coach in college, Brian Hartline, and becomes the best route runner in the draft. JSN continues producing elite numbers while outproducing upperclassmen and first-rounders in Chris Olave and Garret Wilson. JSN is a possession-style wide receiver that separates through crisp routes and sharp cuts. He is smooth in transitioning into a runner after the catch and displays great lateral agility in making defenders miss as a YAC threat. JSN has great hands and does a decent job attacking the ball rather than letting it get in his body. He’s also shown the ability to a high point in jump ball situations. Given his pro size and technique, he shouldn’t struggle against press coverage at the next level. There are questions about health, with the 2022 season missed due to injury, but JSN crushed his combine performance. The downside to his game is straight-line speed. He is not a burner, so big plays may not be his future but should be a consistent chain mover with some YAC upside.

    Post-Draft Analysis

    JSN gets drafted in the first by the Seahawks, who tried to get the area passing game going last year but using DK, a recent change in their offensive philosophy. JSN’s skillset compliments DK and Lockett perfectly and provides the team with the perfect weapon for the middle of the field. DK and Lockett, who are both outside deep specialists, will open up the middle perfectly. The post-Russ Seahawks have been a surprise, and many have counted them out, but it’s hard not to see success with the offense Pete Carroll has built in two short years. JSN is a perfect fit for Seattle.

    2-3 year Projection

    Lockett hitting the typical age cliff, combined with the change in depth of target, both signal high usage for JSN. Surrounded by high-end talent, JSN should find success early and possibly be ranked as a yearly WR1 in his second season.

    WR2 – Quentin Johnston

    Photo Courtesy of TCU Athletics
    • Age: 21.5
    • HT/WT: 6’3”/208lbs
    • wDOM: 25.42%
    • AYPTP: 2.09
    • RYPTPA: 2.35
    • Early Declare
    • Projected DC: 1st round
    Historical
    • 2022 WR2: Garrett Wilson
    • 2021 WR2: Elijah Moore
    • 2020 WR2: CeeDee Lamb

    Pre-Draft Analysis

    This year’s size/speed freak wide receiver and his ability to move at his size go against physics. There was a disappearing act the first five games of the season, but TCU did bring in a new coaching staff and starting QB going down the first game. I believe this period was mainly from a lack of team chemistry, but production wasn’t an issue down the stretch. Johnston has an amazing ability to turn and moves as if he is a sub-six-foot wide receiver prospect. He’s shown flashes of elite ball skills, and versatile usage as a multi-level threat.  He’s great at stacking DBs using his vertical speed. Johnston has shown an elite ability to do it all but shows a lot of inconsistencies as well. He has great hands but will also body catch and has some drops. We’ve seen crisp routes and some rounded routes. Johnston needs more refinement as a route runner, often rounding his routes but winning base off his athleticism. He has traits to be an AJ Green, Julio-level prospect, and being the only size/speed prospect in this draft makes him an easy projection as a first-round pick with a team investing heavily in his development.

    Post-Draft Analysis

    Johnston gets drafted in the first to the LA Chargers and will have Justin Herbert for potentially five years. QJ physically is comparable to Mike Williams, who deals with health issues and has two more years left of his three-year deal. Keenan Allen is also getting up there in age. By all appearances, QJ looks to be the heir to the WR core, and with his athletic traits, I want all the QJ I can get. He’ll be connected to a top QB and to the new OC, Kellen Moore, who runs a high tempo high scoring offense.

    2-3 year Projection

    QJ is still unrefined, and OC Kellen Moore can cover that up. Look for him to be in WR3 conversations in Year 1, but jump to WR2 conversations going into Year 2.

    WR3 – Jordan Addison

    Photo by Ric Tapia/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
    • Pre-Draft WR3
    • Age: 21.0
    • HT/WT: 5’11”/173lbs
    • wDOM: 18.63%
    • AYPTP: 1.81
    • RYPTPA: 1.7
    • Early Declare
    Historical
    • 2022 WR3: Jameson Williams
    • 2021 WR3: Rashod Bateman
    • 2020 WR3: Justin Jefferson
    Pre-Draft Analysis

    The slim reaper Devonta Smith walked so that Jordan Addison could run. Addison has elite athletic ability with amazing hip flexibility. He has long speed, and he’s explosive out of his cuts. Addison has some elite ball skills with sticky hands and circus-level body adjustments.  He is a good manipulator during his routes, whether it’s getting a defender to flip his hips or using his speed to bring a defender in before exploding out. He does show some rounded routes but makes it up with raw athleticism. As a YAC threat, he’s an elusive runner in the open, can make multiple defenders miss, and shows decent toughness for his size. Addison has a ton of tools, but his biggest concern will be his size. The Eagles sought out additional help and got AJ Brown, which helped Devonta see lighter coverages. There’s a legit concern that Addison gets bullied at the next level or becomes dependent on the offense around him. The combine was not kind to Addison, posting a one percentile speed score. I doubt this affects his draft capital much, but maybe get bumped down a couple of NFL boards a few spots. As an individual skillset, there’s not much more that can be asked of Addison, pro-ready.

    Post-Draft Analysis

    Another great landing spot, Addison finds himself drafted to the Vikings in the first round. Addison’s skill profiles as a dynamic high-end WR2, and now he’ll play across from Justin Jefferson. Kirk Cousins, who’s always been disrespected, should find no trouble getting him the ball. This passing offense lost Adam Thielen but gained Addison. They have different skill sets but can be another great tandem. My only concern is usage, we saw Addison move from Pitt to USC, and they tried to use him as a deep threat. I hope the Vikings do not try to do the same.

    2-3 year Projection

    Addison should be valued as a fantasy WR2 by his second season. His ceiling will be capped by never being a WR1 for his own offense but will be a solid starter with a high floor.

    Tier 2

    WR4 – Jonathan Mingo

    • Pre-NFL Draft Rank: WR7
    • Age: 21.8
    • HT/WT: 6’1”/220lbs
    • wDOM: 26.66%
    • AYPTP: 1.72
    • RYPTPA: 2.23
    • 4th year
    Historical
    • 2022 WR7: David Bell
    • 2021 WR7: Devonta Smith
    • 2020 WR7: Laviska Shenault

    Pre-Draft Analysis

    Every off-season, there has been a train of momentum for a huge Mingo breakout, and we haven’t seen it, but we’ve seen flashes of excellence and high-ceiling abilities. He’s had some amazing performances this year, and he’s had some flat-out disappearing acts. He has shown improvement this year with his hand cleaning up drops. Mingo can be seen making one-handed grabs, even catching balls on a defender’s back, and making good adjustments to poor ball placement. He’s physical, consistently beats press, and is hard to bring down in YAC situations. At the Senior Bowl, Mingo showed off some excellent footwork that I didn’t think was possible for a player his size and demonstrated some great short-area bursts. He does struggle in long speed but had an absolutely amazing combine performance, and certainly beat expectations. During our interview early in the week with Mingo, he stated that he wanted to show off that he could run a full route tree. He did just that, winning virtually every rep during the 1-on-1 drills. Mingo has a featured WR skill set, it’s the inconsistencies that worry me, but I loved his Senior Bowl performance, and if an NFL takes a serious investment in him, then so will I.

    Post-Draft Analysis

    Jonathan Mingo gets drafted 39th overall to the Panthers and their rebuilding offense. They have a decent returning line unit and drafted Bryce Young first overall. The opportunity to have Mingo develop alongside his rookie QB is huge. The current WR room in Carolina is thin and lacks any standouts. I, and everyone else, have reservations about Mingo, but he had the perfect off-season with draft capital and a clear path to fantasy relevance. I will be taking shots everywhere on Mingo, who I view as one of the highest-upside picks in a rookie draft. Rookie QBs don’t support many fantasy-relevant options the first year, so Mingo is more of a stash and monitor for his first year. In the second year, I would be concerned with getting drafted over or a FA coming in. Mingo will have one year to convince fantasy managers that he is the WR1 for the future.

    2-3 year Projection

    Mingo won’t be relevant his first year; I’d consider back-end WR3 numbers a huge win. With the lack of internal competition, he should be WR1 by the second year, and put up more WR2/3 numbers as a fantasy asset, with the more likely route being a WR3.

    WR5 – Zay Flowers

    Zay Flowers – Football – Photo Courtesy of Boston College Athletics
    • Pre-Draft Rank: WR9
    • Age: 22.4
    • HT/WT: 5’9”/182lbs
    • wDOM: 40.49%
    • AYPTP: 2.73
    • RYPTPA: 2.45
    • 4th year
    Historical
    • 2022 WR9: Jahan Dotson
    • 2021 WR9: Kadarius Toney
    • 2020 WR9: Brandon Aiyuk

    Pre-Draft Analysis

    Flowers has some intangible talent and boasts some of the fastest feet in this wide receiver class. He’s a decent route runner, showing a decent ability to manipulate defenders. Flowers has a mix of amazing body control catches, but he also has some questionable drops. His skill set is more suited as a slot at the next level. He does get hit off his routes and struggles against press coverage if he lets the defender into his frame. Flowers is more ‘quick’ than he is fast, although his combine says otherwise. As a YAC threat, he’ll make a guy miss in the open field and attack angles but won’t break any tackles at the next level. He should make a fine complimentary WR for an NFL roster at the next level.

    Post-Draft Analysis

    Flowers was drafted in the first round to the Baltimore Ravens and joins a very crowded WR core along with newly signed franchise QB Lamar Jackson. This offense was a relatively low-volume passing offense, only surpassing 3,500 passing yards once in the last four years. The Ravens brought in the OC from Georgia to hopefully get the offense on track. Mark Andrews will be the lead target, and the current mix for second in targets are Rashod Bateman, Odell Beckham, and Flowers. The ceiling seems low, and the floor is not high enough for me to prioritize drafting him in my rookie drafts

    2-3 year Projection

    Zay should be a complete non-factor as a rookie, Odell is only on a one-year deal, and it appears they are giving up on Batemen. Look for Zay to establish himself as the second target in this passing offense coming into year 2. I wouldn’t expect Zay to do more than a few flashes in year 2 and look for him to jump into the WR3/4 conversation as a second-year WR

    WR6 – Rashee Rice

    Rashee Rice - Football - SMU Athletics
    Rashee Rice – Football photo courtesy of SMU Athletics

    • Age: 22.8
    • HT/WT: 6’1”/204lbs
    • wDOM: 31.89%
    • AYPTP: 2.7
    • RYPTPA: 2.64
    • 4th year
    • Projected DC: 3rd

    Historical

    • 2022 WR13: Wan’Dale Robinson
    • 2021 WR12: Amari Rodgers
    • 2020 WR11: Denzel Mims

    Pre-Draft Analysis

    Rice had a huge year for SMU and excels against zone coverage. He eats up space and knows where to find the holes, and sits in them to make himself a target. Rice struggles against man competition, press coverage, and contested situations. He is a bit soft when it comes to physical play styles. Rice does have a drop issue with too many body deflections for an interception. He should still be considered a Day 2 prospect with the upside to be a consistent WR2/3 for an NFL offense.

    Post-Draft Analysis

    There are only a few places that a player could land better than the Chiefs; Rice lands in an open wide receiver core with one of the best QBs. Rice had a disappointing Senior Bowl because his skillset is better suited against zone coverage. I still believe that Rice is better as an offense WR2, but there’s still no standout. He doesn’t feel like a slam dunk, but it’s hard to point out anyone with long-term value. For now, I’ll bet on the scarcity of talent in this WR room and follow the draft capital of Rice, but look for the Chiefs to get a bonafide WR1 with Travis Kelce aging.

    2-3 year Projection

    Rice appears to be a safe floor player with WR4/5 production possible in Year 1, and the upside can be in the WR3 area by the end of his second season. 

    Tier 3

    WR7 – Cedric Tillman

    • Age: 22.8
    • HT/WT: 6’3”/213lbs
    • wDOM: 9.45%
    • AYPTP: 0.88
    • RYPTPA: 0.99
    • 5th year
    • Projected DC: 2nd
      (6 Games Played)

    Historical

    • 2022 WR6: George Pickens
    • 2021 WR6: Amon-Ra St. Brown
    • 2020 WR6: Michael Pittman

    Pre-Draft Analysis

    Tillman was a late breakout in his fourth season in the league, becoming a 1,000yd receiver with a 200-yard game performance against the 2021 Georgia defense and a 152-yard performance against the 2021 Alabama Defense. He received a Senior Bowl invite but declined to attend. Tillman is a physical beast; he wins 50/50 balls with strong hands and uses his body to box out defenders. He is good at controlling his speed during his routes to get in and out of break fluidly. His route tree is basic, but he does it well enough to get him separation to show off his physical YAC ability. Tillman is more elusive than most his size and also a tackle-breaking type of runner. His ability to turn is very impressive, given his size. At his ceiling, Tillman can be a Michael Pittman type of player at the next level.

    Post-Draft Analysis

    Tillman gets drafted early third round to the Cleveland Browns, who lacked size in their WR. They have plenty of technician ability behind Amari Cooper and Elijah Moore. DPJ and Anthony Schwartz are deployed as field stretchers, but the team needed that prototypical X skillset. Deshaun Watson still needs to show he can play the way he did for the Texans. He’ll never beat out Amari Cooper as the top target, but he has the opportunity to be the WR2. Elijah Moore has shown a high level of ability but has proven to be an off-field distraction in New York. Tillman should be a high-floor player because of what he provides, but Watson needs to come back into form to supply fantasy relevance to more than one WR.

    WR8 – Josh Downs

    North Carolina Tar Heels wide receiver Josh Downs (11) runs with the football for a touchdown against the Texas A&M Aggies in the fourth quarter of the game at Hard Rock Stadium on Jan 2, 2021, in Miami Gardens, Fla.
    Courtesy of Sam Navarro of USA Today Sports

    • Pre-Draft Rank: WR5
    • Age: 21.5
    • HT/WT: 5’9”/171lbs
    • wDOM: 24.8%
    • AYPTP: 1.99
    • RYPTPA: 1.96
    • Early Declare

    Historical

    • 2022 WR5: Skyy Moore
    • 2021 WR5: Jaylen Waddle
    • 2020 WR5: Jalen Reagor

    Pre-Draft Analysis

    Downs is the short king of the 2023 draft class. He has quick feet at the LOS combined with a great release. he runs a full route tree and can find success mostly in the short and intermediate areas of the field. Downs have been inconsistent as a deep threat with drops. He rarely wins the physical game, gets hit off his routes often, won’t break a tackle as a YAC threat, and sees little press coverage. Downs does win some jump balls and does a good job of high pointing, I wouldn’t expect this success to continue at the next level. Downs will be stuck to a slot role but demonstrates elite quick twitch ability in the short area.

    Post-Draft Analysis

    Downs get selected by the Colts in the third, and the rumor was that the Colts have been trying to trade up to acquire him. Regardless, this offense is built on tall targets in both WR and TE. Downs is a quick twitch technician but, given his size, will require a more accurate passer to maximize his usage. New Colts QB Anthony Richardson has some development to do. Downs’ future appears to be that of a complimentary role. QBs with accuracy issues tend to do better with much larger targets. Although I’m not confident in Downs’s usage, he certainly offers a skillset that was not on the roster, his route-running ability, and should see field time.

    WR9 – Marvin Mims

    • Pre-Draft Rank: WR17

    Pre-Draft Analysis

    Mims had a quiet 1,000-yard receiving season and saw 38% of his target as deep balls 20+ yards downfield. He profiles heavily as a stretch slot WR, and the only successful undersized stretch slot that comes to memory is Marquise Brown. Mims isn’t a speedster on the field and struggles to stay on his route against press coverage. Mims does make some amazing body adjustments and showcases top-tier hands and ball-tracking ability. I believe his skillset is more suited for the college level rather than the NFL.

    Post-Draft Analysis

    Mims was taken in the late second to the Denver Broncos and seemed to be the perfect replacement for KJ Hamler. The Broncos have a crowded core and a QB that needs to bounce back. Mims does provide the speed, on paper, that the team lacks with the injuries to KJ. Mims will allow Courtland Sutton and Jerry Juedy to see lighter coverage while threatening the defense with his speed and keeping the defense honest to not let the Bronco break off chunk plays. Mims will be a better NFL player than a fantasy option.

    WR10 – Jayden Reed

    • Pre-Draft Ranking: WR16

    Pre-Draft Analysis

    Reed was a freshman sensation at Western Michigan before transferring to MSU and hitting the 1,000-yard mark during his fourth collegiate season.  Reed is a fifth-year senior, which is incredibly rare to become fantasy relevant. His calling card is his speed, he doesn’t win physically at the catch point or during his routes, but if he left to operate freely, he can be a house call for a TD.

    Post-Draft Analysis

    Green Bay appears to be stacking up outside speed threats like they’re scared of drafting any other archetype. Reed joins a thin WR room, but his skill set is virtually the same as Christian Watson, or that of MVS. This will be our first year seeing Jordan Love, but I believe Green Bay is putting itself into a rebuild. This team needed a weapon over the middle. Although I don’t consider Reed’s skillset to fill that role, it’s a fine shot to take late in rookie drafts.

    Closing Thoughts

    • Overall, I’m not excited about the class, typically I’d write 15 WRs, but I already felt like I was torturing myself
    • Top heavy, and the depth is very thin
    • If I had late firsts or early seconds, I would be looking to flip for next year’s class, kicking the can one year down the road, 
    • I still like Kayshon Boutte late in rookie drafts. Patriots continue to trot out a weak WR room, but now they switch out a DC calling offensive plays for Bill O’Brien. Don’t take him in the second or third, but maybe consider him in the fourth of rookie drafts. Shooting from deep!

     

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