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First Round WR vs. TEs (2016-2022)


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1. Wide Receiver

Over the last 7 years-- there were 9 'home runs' selected in the first round out of the SEC, Ohio State, and Oklahoma + 1 hit (Jeudy) and only 3 misses (early but not looking great for Toney, Ruggs was coming on but now in jail, and Treadwell).  Obviously too early to call on 2022 Williams and Burks.  That is a home run rate of 70%, many of them in the first year.  

All other schools ... 2 home runs + 2 hits out of 10.  Too early to call on Bateman but he was off to a slow start this year.

2. Tight End

No home runs out of 7 picks.  Only 1 semi bust in OJ Howard.  Pitts looked like a generational TE but is now on IR after a very slow start in year 2.  Is he just a big WR that teams now know how to stop?  

 

What could this mean as we debate how to take this offense to new heights and possibly support a Mike White or other affordable starting caliber QB in 2023?  For those who want another shot at an immediate stud WR, round 1 in 2023 from the SEC, Ohio State or Oklahoma is a great place to look.

For those who want a stud Tight End, the draft is more of a crapshoot and free agency or trade might be the place to get one.  That said, you would then be paying 3 veteran TEs serious coin in a league that doesn't seem to value them nearly as much. 

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Green denotes home run.  

Purple denotes hit. 

2022 draft

WR:  London (USC), Wilson (Ohio State), Olave (Ohio State), Williams (Alabama) -- injured, Dotson (PSU), Burks (Arkansas)

TE:  None

2021

WR:  Chase (LSU), Waddle (Alabama), Smith (Alabama), Toney (Florida), Bateman (Minnesota)

TE:  Kyle Pitts (Florida)

2020

WR:  Ruggs (Alabama), Jeudy (Alabama), Lamb (Oklahoma), Reagor (TCU), Jefferson (LSU), Aiyuk (Arizona State)

TE:  None

2019

WR:  Marquise Brown (Oklahoma), Harry (Arizona State)

TE:  Hockenson (Iowa), Fant (Iowa)

2018

WR:  DJ Moore (Maryland), Ridley (Alabama)

TE:  Hurst (South Carolina)

2017

WR:  Corey Davis (Western Michigan), Mike Williams (Clemson), John Ross (Washington), 

TE:  OJ Howard (Alabama), Evan Engram (Ole Miss), Njoku (Miami)

2016

WR:  Will Fuller (ND), Doctson (TCU), Treadwell (Ole Miss)

TE:  None

 

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I know its early, but London (with a bad QB) has flashed, and Burks (with not a great QB) has flashed as well. Jameson Williams will probably also be a hot eventually. It was quite the year for WR's, no Jamar Chases but who knows?

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'Home Run' TEs are just much more rare in general. The only reason FA and trades are better is because you know what you're getting most of the time, and that applies to WRs too. Wide Receivers have a much larger impact on offensive production from a statistical point of view than Tight Ends and so obvious there are going to be more 'home runs'. If you look at the 'home run' TEs compared to the 'home run' WRs in the entire league you will find many more WRs in general. It's all about the position.

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Just now, Wit said:

I know its early, but London (with a bad QB) has flashed, and Burks (with not a great QB) has flashed as well. Jameson Williams will probably also be a hot eventually. It was quite the year for WR's, no Jamar Chases but who knows?

Yep, USC has produced some very good receivers.  St. Brown + everyone's second favorite player from San Francisco.  Another place to look.  

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1 minute ago, Hex said:

'Home Run' TEs are just much more rare in general. The only reason FA and trades are better is because you know what you're getting most of the time, and that applies to WRs too. Wide Receivers have a much larger impact on offensive production from a statistical point of view than Tight Ends and so obvious there are going to be more 'home runs'. If you look at the 'home run' TEs compared to the 'home run' WRs in the entire league you will find many more WRs in general. It's all about the position.

Agreed, but there are home run tight ends and over the last 7 years, they weren't found in round 1.  Guys like Kelce, Andrews, and Kittles were drafted in rounds 3,3, and 5.

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Toney seems as busty as it gets to me.  Like Dolly Parton level.  One year in and he is traded for a compensatory 3rd and a 6th?  That is a horror show return on investment.  I am really not a huge fan of targeting schools for prospects.  Yes, some places have great pipelines, but I say you draft the prospect, not the school. 

Tight ends are going to rely more on fit.  Most of the "home run" TEs are basically going to be acting as WR.  You are probably better off ******* with a unicorn level athlete and trying to develop one. I can't see the Jets drafting any early.  Get a guy like Waller - a killer athlete and hope to swap him around.  Like they did with Cager, or to a lesser extent Yeboah.  With what they have now it is a developmental position and you try to work one up like they tried with Cumberland.  I was honestly surprised they drafted Ruckert with what they have now because he seems like a true TE.  I thought they would go more developmental guy with crazy traits, but that is what I would expect for 2023.

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Thanks for the research.

However it’s a bit like comparing apples to oranges. One’s a premium position the other is becoming a complimentary position. A true #1 WR is way more valuable than a #1 TE.
The unicorn type TEs like PItts are the outliers because they seem to be a hybrid of the two.

I’d expect more down the road.

This is a passing league, unfortunately.

3rd and  1 1/2 ish has become a passing play.

 

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12 minutes ago, #27TheDominator said:

Toney seems as busty as it gets to me.  Like Dolly Parton level.  One year in and he is traded for a compensatory 3rd and a 6th?  That is a horror show return on investment.  I am really not a huge fan of targeting schools for prospects.  Yes, some places have great pipelines, but I say you draft the prospect, not the school. 

Tight ends are going to rely more on fit.  Most of the "home run" TEs are basically going to be acting as WR.  You are probably better off ******* with a unicorn level athlete and trying to develop one. I can't see the Jets drafting any early.  Get a guy like Waller - a killer athlete and hope to swap him around.  Like they did with Cager, or to a lesser extent Yeboah.  With what they have now it is a developmental position and you try to work one up like they tried with Cumberland.  I was honestly surprised they drafted Ruckert with what they have now because he seems like a true TE.  I thought they would go more developmental guy with crazy traits, but that is what I would expect for 2023.

Possibly, but those are certainly intriguing stats.

The SEC is a hotbed of NFL talent and they’re starting to come in NFL ready.  Ohio State, Oklahoma, and USC are becoming proven pipelines.

But yes, the individual attributes have to be there as well.  And these schools often win the recruiting and transfer wars..

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2 hours ago, Wit said:

I know its early, but London (with a bad QB) has flashed, and Burks (with not a great QB) has flashed as well. Jameson Williams will probably also be a hot eventually. It was quite the year for WR's, no Jamar Chases but who knows?

Man, I’ve totally forgotten about London. Poor QB play really drags everything down. 
Im hoping Jameson Williams doesn’t debut against the Jets. 

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1 hour ago, Beerfish said:

The jets this off season should see if they can trade for pitts, yes he is coming off an injury but the falcons do not use him at all anyways.

I haven’t seen them play.  Why were his stats down so much?  Has got to be more than just QB.  Mariota used to target TEs a lot in Tennessee. 

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10 minutes ago, OtherwiseHappyinLife said:

I haven’t seen them play.  Why were his stats down so much?  Has got to be more than just QB.  Mariota used to target TEs a lot in Tennessee. 

They just did not throw to him, I have him on my FF team, most games almost no targets.  Arthur Smith comes from TEnn and seems to want to run the ball.  It is not as if they were targeting him a lot.

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