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2020 NFL Draft Stock - Receivers

by Hayden Winks
Updated On: July 29, 2019, 12:46 am ET

Draft capital is the single most important stat for projecting NFL production for rookies, and the goal of this “NFL Draft Stock” series is to accurately project where prospects WILL be selected in the 2020 NFL Draft, not where I think these prospects SHOULD be drafted. I’m using consensus mock draft data, player production and efficiency stats, and historical draft data to guide my draft capital projections. You’ll probably think your favorite draft prospect is projected too low, but the reality is there are more legit draft prospects than actual draft picks. 

Round

WRs Picked on Average Since 2010

1

3.4

2

4.3

3

4.6

4

5.0

5

3.8

6

5.2

7

5.0

Total

31.3

 

The plan is to update the projections every few weeks. And with each update, my projections will become more precise. The goal of the first round of projections is to separate prospects by which day they’ll be drafted, but I’ll get down to the actual pick eventually. As always, hit me up on Twitter @HaydenWinks if you have any questions.

 

2020 Draft Stock

2020 Receiver Prospects Projected Draft Day

Jerry Jeudy (Alabama, JR)

1

Laviska Shenault (Colorado, JR)

1

CeeDee Lamb (Oklahoma, JR)

1

Tee Higgins (Clemson, JR)

1

Jalen Reagor (TCU, JR)

2

Henry Ruggs (Alabama, JR)

2

Tylan Wallace (Oklahoma State, JR)

2

Donovan Peoples-Jones (Michigan, JR)

2

Collin Johnson (Texas, SR)

2

Tyler Johnson (Minnesota, SR)

2

K.J. Hill (Ohio State, rSR)

2

Kalija Lipscomb (Vanderbilt, SR)

2

KJ Hamler (Penn State, JR)

3

Devonta Smith (Alabama, JR)

3

J.D. Spielman (Nebraska, JR)

3

Tarik Black (Michigan, JR)

3

Bryan Edwards (South Carolina, SR)

3

Chase Claypool (Notre Dame, SR)

3

Juwan Johnson (Oregon, SR) 

3

Michael Pittman (USC, SR)

3

Marquez Callaway (Tennessee, SR)

3

Antonio Gandy-Golden (Liberty, SR)

3

Rico Bussey (North Texas, SR)

3

Van Jefferson (Florida, SR)

3

Denzel Mims (Baylor, SR)

3

Aaron Fuller (Washington, SR)

3

Tamorrion Terry (Florida State, JR)

3

Nico Collins (Michigan, JR)

3

Nick Westbrook (Indiana, SR)

3

Tyler Vaughns (USC, JR)

3

Justin Jefferson (LSU, JR)

3

Demetris Robertson (Georgia, JR)

3

Theo Howard (UCLA, SR)

3

John Hightower (Boise State, SR)

3

 

Jerry Jeudy (Alabama, JR) - Day 1 Projection

Athleticism/Size: Jerry Jeudy (6’1/195) looks really fast #OnTape (He matched Zedrick Woods -- 4.29 forty at the Combine -- step for step on this touchdown for example), but The Athletic’s Dane Brugler reports Jeudy is expected to run the forty in the 4.48-4.54 range. That's much slower than some project, but he did run an average 4.55 forty heading into college. Overall, I don’t think Jeudy’s athleticism will be questioned, but Jeudy running the forty in 4.45 seconds at 6-foot-1 and 195 pounds would make him a solid first-round prospect, not a rare top-10 overall prospect. 

Production: Jerry Jeudy was limited to 264 yards as a freshman with Calvin Ridley dominating targets, but he checked boxes analytically during last year’s breakout season in which Jeudy totaled 1,315 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns. Both numbers beat out any single-season total from Julio Jones or Calvin Ridley. In 2019, I project Jeudy for a 60-1,065-10 receiving line across 12 regular-season games. That’s my highest receiving touchdown projection. There should be very few issues with his production metrics, especially since he won’t turn 21-years-old until after the 2020 NFL Draft.

Efficiency/Usage: Per PFF, Jerry Jeudy played 63% of his snaps in the slot (12.9 YPT) last season, but he was slightly more effective on the outside (13.4 YPT) because of his play speed and route running. That combination makes Jeudy an elite deep threat (see table below). Overall, Jeudy’s advanced metrics will be among the best in the class no matter how it’s sliced up. Jeudy profiles as an NFL team’s WR1 with the upside to be one of the league’s 15 best receivers.

Jeudy - 2018

Targets within 20 Yards of LOS

Targets of 20+ Yards

Targets

76

25

YPT

9.8

22.8

Catch Rate

72%

52%

 


 

Laviska Shenault (Colorado, JR) - Day 1 Projection

Athleticism/Size: Laviska Shenault (6’2/224) made The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman’s “Freak’s List” and those around Shenault have compared him to Julio Jones and/or Sammy Watkins. Shenault’s size and strength are elite and he should be plenty fast and plenty agile enough to be among the most well-rounded receivers in the class. The tricky part is his durability. Shenault has torn his labrum and missed time with a turf toe injury. Perhaps those setbacks were bad luck. Perhaps it’s a worrisome trend. 

Production: Laviska Shenault barely saw action as a freshman at Colorado (kinda concerning given that 2017 WR depth chart), but he went off last year, totaling 86 catches, 1,126 receiving yards, and 11 touchdowns across just nine games. His 9.6 receptions per game average was the second-best mark among FBS sophomores since at least 2000. If he can stay healthy -- that hasn’t been easy so far -- then his total production should be just fine analytically. If he misses a chunk of next season, it’s fair to be worried. I project Shenault for a 98-1,125-6 receiving line in 2019, which doesn’t include his valuable rushing production. 

Efficiency/Usage: Per PFF, Laviska Shenault played just over half of his snaps in the slot last year. Putting Shenault in the slot and as a wild cat were easy ways for Colorado to get the ball into his hands, and it was very effective. Shenault caught 81% of his targets -- that was the best catch rate among returning FBS receivers with at least 85 targets  -- and created the second-most yards after the catch (639) among Power 5 receivers (Rondale Moore was first). On deep targets, Shenault has been excellent (19.5 YPT) but it would be nice to see him work downfield more often since he was only thrown 11 passes that were 20+ yards downfield. Overall, Shenault is going to look awesome no matter where he lines up and no matter where he is targeted. Shenault profiles as a high-volume WR1 in the NFL with the potential to be among the league’s best if his health cooperates and if he continues to develop as a route runner.