The back end of my WR rankings for 2020 include some crushes that I hoped would have generated some buzz at the combine but didn’t, plus one athletic freak that caught everyone’s eye but I still have doubts about.
In the pre-combine top 30 rookie wide receiver rankings I laid out the key factors I was looking for and why I ranked the players where I did. As a follow up I am now adjusting based on new information such as body mass index (BMI), athletic testing and overall post-combine buzz coming out of Indianapolis.
There was a lot of movement within the WR rankings because so many players are very close and small details can cause big ripples. I did penalize the players who did not run at the combine because I think in a class so tight, that will matter on draft day, impacting projected draft round.
A Word About BMI
Numberfire ran a nice study in 2015 and their conclusion was “If we’re talking absolute, elite production, your best bet is more than likely a tall wide receiver, and a heavy one, too.” The correlation was fairly weak, but in general bigger WRs had more success. The study found that the average BMI for WRs that scored 10+ touchdowns was 27.09 and the average BMI declined in groups with less touchdowns. While that was from 2015, this past season saw 10 of the top 12 WR finishers in points per game had a BMI of >26.5 and 7 of them had a BMI >27.
Only DJ Chark (24.1) came in under 26. I don’t think it’s linear, as in a 28 BMI is better than a 26.5, but I do think a threshold is probably needed. Most WRs at the combine hit at least 26 because that’s just the typical pool of NFL players. This year is odd because the top 2 consensus WRs did not register a 26, but draft capital cures a lot of ills. The lesser known players that didn’t get to 26 got dinged for me because their draft slot was already tenuous.Please, blog, may I have some more?