The WRs of the 2024 Draft

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This 2024 WR class is deep with talent and that talent covers a broad spectrum of specific roles for teams with a few players who can do everything well. The 2014 class of WRs is the best in my memory - Mike Evans, Odell Beckham, Brandin Cooks, Davante Adams, and Jarvis Landry is an excellent start then add in Sammy Watkins, Allen Robinson, Kelvin Benjamin, John Brown, Martavis Bryant, and Paul Richardson that round out how talented this class was. That's a dozen players with legitimate game for at least 2 seasons. Considering the average player’s career is three years, 2 seasons of strong productivity by 12 players is impressive.

Is this class great? An emphatic yes. It has a chance to be remembered as 1 of the best ever. Last year the NFL drafted 32 WRs. In '22, 28 WRs were drafted and in '21, 34 were drafted. I have given 48 WRs in this class a draftable grade and I've never given more than 32 WRs a draftable grade in any one year. I've averaged 27 draftable WRs each year for 10 years. Yes, this class has exceptional potential. Like always, success depends on health, situation and fit for each individual prospect. This class has 17 players with immediate starter grades and another 8 with significant promise to become starters quickly. And not many of them have boom-bust potential. There's really not a Harry among them although 1 comes close.

WRs who can separate? 50% of the players in this class have the speed or route running skill to separate. No worries.

Let's get into it.
I'll list them in the order I have them ranked by category & then I'll get into individual player notes in the coming days.

SMALL SLOT: * indicates a versatile player who can play other WR positions and isn't limited to the Slot role. I want all of these first 9 guys listed.
Some of the players placed at the top of this fit-based section are ahead of higher-ranked players in the overall rankings. That’s because a narrower range of skills are considered here

1. Malik Nabers, LSU*: The best receiver on my board capable of playing all three positions due to his athletic ability, route running, reliable hands, positioning and toughness at the catch point, and open-field work. The best route runner I've seen since Keenan Allen.

2. Xavier Worthy, Texas*: Likely a split end due to his speed and catch-point positioning and toughness but he could get bumped inside enough to wreak havoc on opposing defenses. He's small but this kid has the smarts, speed and toughness to succeed. I'm talking Steve Smith tough. Love this kid.

3. Ricky Pearsall, Florida*: He’ll likely play outside immediately but he could thrive inside and will likely earn looks there in situational packages. An under-rated WR. A semi-sleeper I'd love for the Pats

4. Jermaine Burton, Alabama*: A route technician who can play all three positions and is best considered a flanker or flanker-slot combo. Reliable and smart. Excellent use of hands against defenders. Another great route runner in the same vein as Malik Nabers and MHJ.

5. Ladd McConkey, Georgia: McConkey might be the first true slot on this board. He can produce as a flanker, but with his size, quickness, and skill over the middle, it could be a waste of resources to use him anywhere else than the slot. A smart runner in traffic and capable of big plays in the vertical game and after the catch.

6. Ainias Smith, Texas A&M: Although the physical dimensions differ, Smith’s play reminds me of Derrick Mason - ultra-reliable, more dynamic than characterized, tough, and versatile. He could be a flanker, but probably best for the slot and the backfield. One of the best open-field runners in the receiver class. Elusive with great vision after the catch. A DUI with unlawful gun possession will drop him on many boards but that was 2 1/2 years ago and no trouble since. This is the best WR you've never heard of until now.

7. Malik Washington, Virginia: A powerful and efficient runner in space and behind blockers, Washington can win the ball over defenders and has enough speed to pose mismatches from the slot. Smart and reliable.

8. Luke McCaffrey, Rice*: A budding technician in the route game who has well-developed skills with the ball in his hands and skills at the catch point. Explosive enough that he’ll be considered for a perimeter role.

9. Jalen McMillan, Washington: McMillan does his best work from the slot but could be cast as a flanker. He has excellent footwork with his routes and good hands.

10. Xavier Weaver Colorado*: He has been a perimeter deep threat, but his explosion is just a notch below what teams may project for X receivers in the NFL. He could make a good slot option because he’s a reliable receiver with big-play ability and enough route skills to transition inside.

11. Roman Wilson, Michigan: Athletic enough to get opportunities to develop as an outside receiver but kicking him inside could ease the burden of having to become great at releases and nuanced route running.
12. Tahj Washington, USC: A good zone player with big-play ability who must develop more nuance as a route runner to earn primary usage in the slot and not as a fourth or fifth option.
13. Jacob Cowing, Arizona: Ditto above.
14. Lideatrick “Tulu” Griffin, Mississippi State: He has potential to become a big-play slot option. He’s a good
pass-tracker and understands how to earn the optimal position against coverage on throws above his head.
15. Anthony Gould, Oregon State*: Explosive vertical threat and runner on plays designed to get him behind blocks
or into space early on, Gould must develop a better man-to-man game.
16. Jeremiah Hixon, New Mexico St.*: A quick-twitch and bendable athlete at the catch point and in the open field.
17. Isaiah Williams, Illinois: Excellent short-area quickness and ball skills who can produce in shallow zones.
18. Tayvion Robinson, Kentucky: A former running back who is developing as a route runner but still has a ways to
go.

Big Slot coming tomorrow am. I'll get into individual prospects after I've completed my positional lists.
 
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Xaiver Weaver is someone that I know nothing about. I'll have to check him out.
This is the year for Xaivers though, mostly at the WR position.
 
Great thread, and great intro. It sucks the Pats have so many needs, but at least the biggest positional needs of the team line up with the positional strengths of this draft class. Im looking forward to this thead.
 
Great thread, and great intro. It sucks the Pats have so many needs, but at least the biggest positional needs of the team line up with the positional strengths of this draft class. Im looking forward to this thead.

Which is exactly why I've spent hours and hours studying these WRs, more this year than ever before. It used to be that I knew the type of WR Bill liked so it was easy
to pick the ones he had on his board. That's all changed now, of course, so all these WRs will be ranked in order for the league and not necessarily for the Patriots specifically
since I have no idea what Wolf & Co. prefer. This is my 11th year studying the draft classes for WRs. I think I've gotten pretty good at it but let's see how I do.
 
BIG SLOT

Anquan Boldin and Michael Thomas are the prototypes for a big slot WR along with Larry Fitz in his later years. AJ Brown is the new comer prototype.
These players have the quickness and route skills to beat a wide range of defensive athletes with guile, but they can also use their size and strength as
mismatches. A lot of the players listed below have the athletic ability to win outside but there are good reasons for teams to consider moving them to the middle.

1. Marvin Harrison, Jr., Ohio State: Likely a perimeter option, Harrison could kick inside and work to the boundary or up the seam where he can have a clear
advantage against slower and/or smaller coverage.

2. Keon Coleman, FSU: He’s skilled enough to play outside but he could easily create mismatches with his size, quickness, toughness, and route running. Rumors of
intangible issues may ultimately drop him lower on this list.

3. Johnny Wilson, FSU: More likely an outside player, but if he’s used like a move tight end like Darren Waller, he could spend a lot of time inside the numbers.

4. Malachi Corley, Western Kentucky: Built like an every-down back, Corley is short but not small. He already holds up well in the middle of the field at the catch point
and can work his way outside where he bullies defensive backs. He's short so I could have put him with the small slot category...but he plays BIG.

5. Jalen Coker, Holy Cross: If he proves too slow to be an outside receiver, Coker has the hands and positioning ability to develop into a 'good' Smith-Schuster type.


WR/RB HYBRIDS

This is a new class for me to write about here but this class has been around for years. These are guys who can easily switch from 1 to the other without missing a beat.
The class began with Percy Harvin and now we have Tyreek Hill and Christian McCaffrey. You get the idea. Think James White on 'roids.


1. Ainias Smith: A capable running back who can do work from the backfield as a receiver and deliver between the tackles as a scatback.

2. Malik Washington: Rugged enough with an efficient running style to take some attempts from the backfield and leak from the backfield as a receiver.

3. Malachi Corley: The size, power, and comfort in traffic to deliver in these schemes.

4. Isaiah Williams: A former quarterback used to working from the backfield and has the quickness to find space and set up blocks.

5. Tayvion Robinson: A former runner who could find situational opportunities from the backfield if his game develops to earn a roster spot


View: https://twitter.com/AaronWilson_NFL/status/1775587028689641813
 
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Individual Rankings

I'm making these rankings based on the nuanced skills I see without bias from the NFL industrial draft media. I make no apologies if my rankings differ from their
general consensus. I'll give my reasons in the discussion of each player and I stand by my conclusions based on that. You have every right to see things differently
and that can lead to good discussions and high level thinking. I value players who offer a combination of the techniques, conceptual skills, athletic ability, and
potential for growth at the position that appeals to the NFL as a whole and not necessarily for the Patriots specifically as I've done in the past. The receiver in this class
who best fits those ideals is Malik Nabers

1. Malik Nabers, 6', 200 lbs, LSU. Grade: 95.3. Rare talent. Instant All-Pro with the ability to change the fortunes of a team and his QB.
Comp. OBJ/Garrett Wilson w/ the route running prowess of Keenan Allen & the smoothness of Jeremy Maclin thrown in. This kid has it all going on and has
no deficiencies in his game. He fits any scheme and plays from any WR position.

Nabers has a fully developed repertoire of release techniques to beat whatever kind of coverage he faces, from press-man to off-man and anything in between Nabers
has a sudden and violent move to release quickly & efficiently. His release toolbox is massive and he executes it well. His hands and feet work in unison to beat defenders. He
has a swat and wipe combo, a swim, a foot-switch with a shoulder reduction followed by a swim (very rare move but very effective), a shoulder dip & swim...his list of moves
goes on and on and he's in and out of them with the ease of a player who does them naturally without having to think about it. He routinely beats press coverage or even double
coverage quickly at the LOS against good SEC CBs and most often against a CB1. His release is impressive and reflects the work he's put in to perfect his technique.
The same is true with his stems and breaks. Very efficient with no wasted motion with quick breaks. He's a QB's best friend bc he arrives at the designated catch point on time and in stride.
He plays with speed and efficiency and has violent acceleration and movement skills to shed defenders. Nabers is a tough, focused, and dynamic player at the catch point
at every range and from any WR position on the field. He finds the triangle open areas against zone with ease. He's a very good hands catcher who is a big-play option after the catch by setting up blocks well to make defenders miss.
His ball tracking ability, boundary awareness and body control are first class. He shows his hands late, catches the ball underhand or overhand appropriately. He attacks and high points
balls with determination; he'll drop to his knees and dive or roll for balls to make a catch. He drops his pads to finish runs. He plays with intensity and determination.

No major injuries noted.

 
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2. Rome Odunze, 6'3", 215, Washington. Grade 93.6. Franchise WR with immediate impact and leadership anchor.
Comp. Davante Adams, Allen Robinson

Odunze has the height, size, short-area explosion, acceleration, and long-speed that NFL decision-makers covet on paper from a primary receiver.
While not as technically or conceptually as refined as Nabers as a route runner, he’s still good enough to produce immediately and there’s room for
further development. He doesn't have as broad a repertoire of release combinations as Nabers but he has some combinations that he executes well enough
to win his release early and often enough. Odunze has improved in this area in 2023 and he’s headed in the right direction. He has 4-5 well developed combinations
that he uses instinctively to gain his release and he has the violence of his hands to counter a defender's jam technique. Like Nabers, Odunze doesn't need play action
or motion to beat his defender. When Odunze gets jammed, he has shown that he can counter quickly enough to get into his route. His ability to win routes when the
defender is able to earn an early advantage is something many young receivers don’t do at all. He's already ahead of the game with his size and athleticism compared to other
rookies who became productive in year 1. His body control is excellent, his boundary awareness is well developed and he already is proficient at tapping 2 feet in
bounds, something NFL coaches will covet. He tracks the ball well over his shoulder from either side and from directly over his head - something seasoned
veterans have difficulty doing. He routinely attacks the ball and makes clutch plays look easy even against contact from double coverage. He can take hard shots and
still maintain possession. Odunze can beat cornerbacks on vertical routes in the intermediate, vertical, and deep ranges of the field. He’ll stack defenders within the
first 10 yards of the line when he earns an early lead. He also has a closing burst to the ball. He is proficient at setting up his breaks but tends to round them off as is
normal for a player his height and weight but he uses his size well against contact. He bounces off CBs and runs through arm tackles easily. He has a strong stiff-arm.
His blocking skill could be more violent but he gives good effort. He's strong enough to get the job done in most cases.
Odunze would be the best WR in most draft classes and he's a sure top 10 pick. He fits most any scheme as a boundary X receiver or flanker although he doesn't have Nabers'
versatility to also excel from the slot. He should be a top 5-10 WR1 after a year or 2 with the right scheme and situation.

Injuries: he missed 4 games in '21 with a broken collar bone and 1 game in '22 with an unknown injury.

May as well watch both Odunze and Penix together.

 
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3. Marvin Harrison Jr., 6'3", 210, OSU: Grade 92.2. Franchise Tier - Immediate production and leadership anchor
Comp. Michael Williams with some Corey Davis to his game. (I think comps to AJ Green and Ja'mar Chase are off base)

Malik Nabers has the best range of technique and nuanced acumen at the position and adds explosive athletic ability.
Rome Odunze has the best combination of size, explosion, and technical skills of this class.

What about Harrison being the best wide receiver prospect in recent years, if not a generation? That has been a narrative for the past 2 years.
Harrison is an excellent prospect who should develop into a reliable and productive player who becomes an essential part of a 1-2
punch where fans and media may believe Harrison is a true primary option based on his production and highlight-reel plays. Yet, the reason Nabers
and Odunze have overtaken Harrison in my mind is that Harrison isn’t as dynamic of a route runner or ballcarrier as the other two. Harrison has the
build-up speed to win vertically but the number of routes where he’s either better than Nabers or Odunze or offers as much future promise is lower.

The specific scenarios where Harrison struggles don't apply to every target - I'm talking about tracking and catching the ball. He miss-tracks too many balls and doesn’t use
the correct hand position to catch them. There are enough of these balls where it does apply that you may see dropped passes from Harrison that you wouldn’t expect
given the massive buzz the NFL industrial media has devoted to MHJ. He isn’t an especially powerful runner for his size nor is he a dynamic mover. He doesn’t
make multiple defenders miss and he lacks lateral cuts when avoiding defenders. He can bend away from pursuit, and he builds up speed, but he’s not a sudden, twitchy
stop-dodge-start accelerator in tight spaces as Nabers (or Odunze) is. His release from the LOS is generally very good but against press coverage needs refinement. He does
have strong hands & sudden footwork combinations, but he also has wasted movement from his stance, and he opens his chest to the defender. NFL CBs, esp. CB1s, will get into his
body to redirect his route. Harrison is physical enough to get off the LOS and has the deep speed late in vertical routes to win late, which is absolutely a terrific
skill to have, but he’ll have to stay on schedule early in his route or his QB will look for other options. Once off the LOS, Harrison is a mismatch against off-coverage
because of how he can sell a stem in the vertical game & set up defenders to guess wrong. Stacking during the stem is where MHJ wins. He also has developing skills with breaks.
Harrison’s hip drop-and-pop break is very well developed and this will help him set up double moves as well as create separation over the middle of the field and in the flat.
He does have lapses in his breaks caused by less than stellar drive step plants which makes him late out of his break and allows a defender to catch up. This won't be
a problem against off coverage but it's another reason CBs will learn quickly to use press coverage against him. There's one last flaw in his game that I should point out that
was apparent against Purdue and GA this year. He tends to catch balls on the numbers using an underhanded technique where he traps the ball against his body. This could
lead to more drops against the kind of hard contact the NFL delivers. He had 2 drops using underhanded technique in his game against GA this season and 6 drops for the year,
the most of the top WRs in this class.

Still, there is a lot to like about his game and many years he would be WR1. He displays great concentration in tight coverage and especially tight to the boundary. He catches balls high, low, away from his frame, and against contact. He’s a terrific boundary option in contested scenarios. He has the skills and speed to generate big plays, although he's more elusive than powerful, and he wins enough underneath to deliver starter production for his team right away.

He fits best with a spread offense or Erhardt-Perkins with a lot of one-on-ones at the boundary and open space in the middle of the field against off-coverage/zone.
Harrison could also thrive in a play-action passing game with a strong ground component where the quarterback is under center, and his deeper drops give
Harrison time to separate downfield.

Injuries: A grade 1 concussion in '22 and a foot strain in '21 that he played through.


 
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Not many are responding to my posts so I'll take it there's not much interest. That's fine and all but these take a long time to do so I'll just give a short summary of each
WR after this one on Worthy who deserves more than a summary.

Tier 2
4. Xavier Worthy, Texas, 5'11", 175. Grade 91.9. Franchise: Immediate production and leadership anchor
15 lbs heavier and Worthy would be the #1 WR in this class.
Comp. Desean Jackson..Isaac Bruce. Same size but Worthy is faster than either.

He's super fast but he's small so automatically that makes him polarizing. Is he any good?
He has some flaws to his game but there's more to him than speed. He's tough, too. Yes, the kid can play football at a high level.

Worthy makes a lot of difficult catches. His tracking with his back to the ball is up there with Odunze. His weight falls in the range of Isaac Bruce and DeSean Jackson and
like those, his toughness at the catch point is greater than you'd think. He’s fearless and wins targets that bigger receivers lose at the boundary, over the middle, and against hard contact.
Worthy’s speed and quickness aid his power because he can pull through reaches and bounce off glancing shots that you might not expect, but the fact that he is an aggressive runner is the root of his skill. Worthy is undersized for the projected role of a primary option, but he can hang physically because he knows how to use his speed and quickness to attack first which minimizes a lot of contact. He doesn't take many direct hits.
Worthy’s weight drop into hard breaks pairs with his speed out of those breaks is good enough to earn great separation against tight coverage and it’s also the basis for many of his double moves that suddenly become vertical routes. He’s also a promising route runner against zone coverage who should eventually read defenses well enough in the NFL game to perform well.
He uses his quick feet and shoulder reductions with a wipe to release from tight coverage. His biggest flaw is his lack of hand use at the LOS but most defenders play off bc of his speed. He uses the stem well to gain an advantage and within 15-20 yds he has separated. He’ll close on the defender’s near hip to set up breaks back to the quarterback causing the defender to completely turn around. A trailing defender has no chance leaving him wide open on in or out-breaking routes. His double moves are fantastic. His boundary awareness is superb but he could do more to prevent defenders from pushing him up against the sideline. His breaks could be sharper but his speed makes up for that. This kid is a handful.
He tracks over his shoulder and over his head as well as anyone and makes catches 40-45 yds downfield look routine as the defender gasps to keep up. His hand placement for catching a
ball is ideal whether the ball is low, high, out in front or behind him. He's tough at the contact point & his back shoulder technique is well developed. He transitions quickly to a runner and
has the elusiveness and vision to pick his path quickly. His stop-start is fun to watch as defenders freeze while he runs past them. When corraled he'll initiate contact or use a good stiff
arm to vault over a defender. He fits any offense, WC, Spread or E-P. He'd be good as a KO returner under the new rules.

Injuries - Had a broken hand in '22 and played through it with a cast

This is a long highlight reel.


This one shows his return skills more
 
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Not many are responding to my posts so I'll take it there's not much interest. That's fine and all but these take a long time to do so I'll just give a short summary of each
WR after this one on Worthy who deserves more than a summary.

4. Xavier Worthy, Texas, 5'11", 165. Grade 91.9. Franchise: Immediate production and leadership anchor
Comp. Desean Jackson..Isaac Bruce. Same size but Worthy is faster than either.

He's super fast but he's small so automatically that makes him polarizing. Is he any good?
He has some flaws to his game but there's more to him than speed. He's tough, too. Yes, the kid can play football at a high level.

Worthy makes a lot of difficult catches. His tracking with his back to the ball is up there with Odunze. His weight falls in the range of Isaac Bruce and DeSean Jackson and
like those, his toughness at the catch point is greater than you'd think. He’s fearless and wins targets that bigger receivers lose at the boundary, over the middle, and against hard contact.
Worthy’s speed and quickness aid his power because he can pull through reaches and bounce off glancing shots that you might not expect, but the fact that he is an aggressive runner is the root of his skill. Worthy is undersized for the projected role of a primary option, but he can hang physically because he knows how to use his speed and quickness to attack first which minimizes a lot of contact. He doesn't take many direct hits.
Worthy’s weight drop into hard breaks pairs with his speed out of those breaks is good enough to earn great separation against tight coverage and it’s also the basis for many of his double moves that suddenly become vertical routes. He’s also a promising route runner against zone coverage who should eventually read defenses well enough in the NFL game to perform well.
He uses his quick feet and shoulder reductions with a wipe to release from tight coverage. His biggest flaw is his lack of hand use at the LOS but most defenders play off bc of his speed. He uses the stem well to gain an advantage and within 15-20 yds he has separated. He’ll close on the defender’s near hip to set up breaks back to the quarterback causing the defender to completely turn around. A trailing defender has no chance leaving him wide open on in or out-breaking routes. His double moves are fantastic. His boundary awareness is superb but he could do more to prevent defenders from pushing him up against the sideline. His breaks could be sharper but his speed makes up for that. This kid is a handful.
He tracks over his shoulder and over his head as well as anyone and makes catches 40-45 yds downfield look routine as the defender gasps to keep up. His hand placement for catching a
ball is ideal whether the ball is low, high, out in front or behind him. He's tough at the contact point & his back shoulder technique is well developed. He transitions quickly to a runner and
has the elusiveness and vision to pick his path quickly. His stop-start is fun to watch as defenders freeze while he runs past them. When corraled he'll initiate contact or use a good stiff
arm to vault over a defender. He fits any offense, WC, Spread or E-P. He'd be good as a KO returner under the new rules.

Injuries - Had a broken hand in '22 and played through it with a cast

This is a long highlight reel.


This one shows his return skills more

I really enjoy these and appreciate the effort. didn't realize I wasn't giving Likes so just corrected that. keep up the good work :toast:
 
Chevss... in appreciation for your great work on the WR's, we passed the hat around the planet and got you something.... take your pick!
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Ok, then!
Its Happening Turn Around GIF by Britannia
 
Chevs,

The write-ups above are excellent and provide lots of interesting detail that I have not read anywhere else. I enjoy reading them and appreciate
the effort, especially since we will definitely draft at least one and that player is likely to be a day two selection that we are familiar with.

While I would prefer we get a prototype X type of WR prospect with length, but I'm intrigued by Worthy and there is a chance
he could still be available at 34. Maybe some of the traditional receiving labels don't matter as much with all the 3 and 4 WR sets
we're seeing and I should be more focused on guys that can get open, make plays and put the biscuit in the basket.

I haven't seen enough of Worthy to have an opinion, but have heard that he drops too many catchable balls, something we're
seeing too much in Foxboro, imo. Do you think that might be a valid criticism?
 
Chevs,

The write-ups above are excellent and provide lots of interesting detail that I have not read anywhere else. I enjoy reading them and appreciate
the effort, especially since we will definitely draft at least one and that player is likely to be a day two selection that we are familiar with.

While I would prefer we get a prototype X type of WR prospect with length, but I'm intrigued by Worthy and there is a chance
he could still be available at 34. Maybe some of the traditional receiving labels don't matter as much with all the 3 and 4 WR sets
we're seeing and I should be more focused on guys that can get open, make plays and put the biscuit in the basket.

I haven't seen enough of Worthy to have an opinion, but have heard that he drops too many catchable balls, something we're
seeing too much in Foxboro, imo. Do you think that might be a valid criticism?

No. I'd be more worried about MHJ's drops bc they come from bad technique with his propensity to make underhanded catches against his body instead of attacking the ball out in front with an overhanded technique. These underhanded catches he attempts have gone under reported but they are very real. 2 such drops against GA cost his team.
All WRs have occasional drops. Take a look at Worthy's highlight video and you'll appreciate his ability to make big plays against contact, especially his over
the head/shoulder catches with a guy on his hip. It's like he has a gyroscope in his head that allows him to track a ball while running full speed. He strikes fear in defenders. Odunze does this routinely, too.
Worthy's size may let him drop to us. I hope so and I hope Wolf takes him bc he could have the best career of all these WRs.
 
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5. Brian Thomas, LSU. 6'3", 210. Grade 91.8 Immediate impact and leadership anchor
Comp. Floor DK Metcalf. Ceiling AJ Green

Thomas is a big-play threat with the potential to become a legit WR1. He’s explosive and catches the ball well. There are only minor isolated errors with his attack technique.
The strength of Thomas’ game is currently as a vertical threat. He’s quick and physical enough to defeat press coverage and he has enough release combinations to succeed early in his career as a downfield option. He’s a capable route runner in the short and intermediate ranges of the field, but he has room to grow into a primary threat once he refines his
breaks to the extent that he can generate separation against tight coverage on timing routes breaking back to the quarterback.
Like A.J. Green, Thomas has wiry strength to shrug off pursuit in the open field and finish strong while also having the quick and precise feet to make opponents miss. He's skilled enough to be a productive split end as a rookie if paired opposite with a primary option at flanker or and/or a big-play complement from the slot. He’ll make contested catches at the boundary
and work free from tight coverage to run under targets from an accurate vertical passer.
He's currently more like Metcalf, limited in his route running, but could Thomas become the next A.J. Green? Thomas hasn’t demonstrated Green’s physicality and creativity at the catch point and doesn't have Green’s elite route running precision. Still, there’s enough skill in his game that with additional refinement, he could improve to Green's level.
His release is adequate but there is room for him to develop more moves off the LOS. Currently he combines a hesitation release with a two-quick to work inside and combines a foot-switch with a double up to get outside. These are effective but he'll need more moves in the NFL. He’ll stack a defender within 15-20 yards of the line and win separation within 40ish yds.
He has very good breaks at the top of his stem with excellent hip/weight drop a flat line drop although his drive plant could be flatter to break more squarely. His breaks are good enough as is. He tracks the ball effectively over his shoulder. He keeps his feet on the ground for targets above his head that don’t demand him to leap. He displays late hands against tight coverage. He can catch balls with good hand positions every time whether the ball is low, high, in front or behind him - he's very good on low balls ala Gronk. He will occasionally clap at ball but that lessened in 2023. He transitions quickly to a runner and tends to penetrate between 2 defenders rather that cut back and circle. He has quick stop-start movement and jump cuts to avoid tacklers. He uses a strong stiff-arm routinely and lowers his pads with violence into a tackler in front of him. He's an average or better blocker.
Thomas benefited from having the best receiver in the NFL Draft playing opposite him, but he’s good enough to become an instant starter and a capable producer as a rookie. Fit, situation and depth chart will determine if that happens. Long-term he’s a good bet to become a good WR2 on the verge of a WR1 like DK Metcalf. His ceiling above that could be a year or 2 of AJ Green-like production.

No injuries noted.

 
The biggest issue with Worthy. Is he just another one trick pony. Can't make tough catches & stay healthy . Thornton & John Ross are prime examples.
NEGATIVES

— Terribly skinny frame. Struggles versus press and often goes down on first contact.

— Too many careless drops in the open field.

— Poor ability to win the ball in the air. Cannot fight through contact or reach for the ball effectively.
 
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The biggest issue with Worthy. Is he just another one trick pony. Cant stay healthy & make tough catches. Thornton & John Ross are prime examples.

Worthy missed no games bc of injury. He suffered a broken hand but played through it with a cast.
Unlike Thornton, Worthy is a good tough route runner who plays with attitude.
I'm glad you mentioned Ross bc I've seen some compare him to Ross bc of the speed. Let me assure you, Worthy is nothing like John Ross.
Ross wasn’t a bad prospect on the field. but his medicals were bright red flags coming out in the draft.
-surgery to repair 2 meniscus tears
-surgery after torn ACL
-surgery to repair torn labrum

Worthy has no such issues. He is an agile and quick WR who fits the profile of Desean Jackson and Isaac Bruce before him. He has true game-breaking speed. Worthy is a twitchy mover who can consistently create separation. Worthy’s ability to elude defenders and create yardage on the ground makes him an asset in the extension run game. He has an impressive start/stop ability and shows effortless acceleration. Worthy can effectively beat a cushion, yet it’s hard to not respect him as a deep threat. As Hawg noted, I’d like to see him become more consistent at the catch point and work on drops but his highlight plays overshadow any drops. His combination of burst and play making will make him a valuable player in the NFL given the right situation and QB.
 
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