Editor’s Note: Money in the Banana Stand focuses on the NFL during football season, but it’s never too early to start looking at the 2013 Draft. In order to give you a sneak peak at the WR position, we’re bringing you an early look by a true college football expert, Jon Moore. I first heard from Jon after posting about the Dominator Rating and Height-adjusted Speed Score for 2012 Draft prospects. Although we employ slightly different models, both of us believe in the use of two central concepts: market share of receiver production over raw numbers and a 40 score that incorporates height and weight elements. Jon’s current methodology results in a wide receiver projection system with an r^2 value near .5, an incredibly high number for this type of project. We won’t have the athletic variables until after the Combine – so this is only the earliest iteration of the rankings – but it’s never too early to look at how players are performing on the field. I give you the College Football Experiment’s mid-season look at the wide receiver position with numbers through Nov. 8.
The 2012 College Football season has reached November, which means it’s time to start zeroing in on the top performers. Most teams have at least three games left (plus conference championship and bowl games) so you still have plenty of time to scout these players for yourself before NFL Draft season gets here. It’s easy to watch highlight reels and get excited; it’s another to watch games as they’re unfolding to see who stands out in the moment.
College offenses are very diverse. Some will throw for 40 touchdowns over a season, some will throw for 20. We must keep things in perspective relative to the offense in which the player exists. In evaluating college wide receivers, we need to see which players achieve a ‘hurdle rate’ of production within the context of their offense. For us, we want them to have accounted for about 30% of their teams receiving yards and about 30% of their teams touchdowns. Add them together, that gives you 60%, or just 60, for the sake of simple numbers. We’ll call this their ‘productivity grade.’ 60 is the hurdle. Higher numbers are better.
Next, we want to see a player that has continually gotten better within the context over their offense across two season, but preferably three. THIS is where ‘upside’ is relevant. To see a players production level off over their final two college seasons is to assume they’ve hit their ceiling. To see their numbers continue to grow means that they’re evolving. Evolution is good.
Finally, we will check a player’s performance within the context of their program and their conference. If a player meets the above requirements and is also historically dominant within the context of his school or his conference, we might be onto something.
1) Terrance Williams, SR, Baylor (6’2” 205lbs)
81 productivity grade
#1 in last decade of Baylor
#14 in last decade of Big12
Improved in 8 of 9 metrics from 2011 to 2012
Williams might be the most dominant wide out in college football this year. He has at least 130 receiving yards in every game but one. Consider his averages: 8.9 catches–167 yards–1.25 TDs. To find some historical Big 12 comparisons, one would have to look at Dez Bryant, Danario Alexander, and Justin Blackmon. Don’t believe me? See for yourself when Baylor faces Kansas State next week. Continue reading Early Look 2013 Draft – WR Rankings