Last Friday, I unveiled my current top 10 wide receivers for the 2019 NFL Draft. That list will surely be adjusted as the draft process comes along due to multiple factors; performance down the stretch, underclassmen remaining in school, individual performance at all-star games, and athletic testing. However, the initial ranking is a good starting point for my feelings of the class as a whole.
The first thing that stands out among the wide receiver class is the size of many of the top prospects. Of the top 10, none of them were shorter than 6-foot-0 or under 200 pounds. Despite the size being strikingly similar among many of the top prospects, there are still some examples of different flavors in the class.
For example, Marquise Brown, Riley Ridley, and Collin Johnson all offer unique skillsets from each other.
I decided that I would build the ultimate "Frankenstein" wide receiver prospect using specific traits of the wide receivers in the class, to show some of the best attributes among them.
Physical Profile: D.K. Metcalf
Standing a towering 6-foot-4 and 230 pounds, Metcalf is a prototype for the build of an NFL wide receiver. He's rocked up and has thickness distributed throughout his body, as well as long arms to extend well past his frame. The scariest part is that he's just 20 years-old, and likely still adding size.
[caption id="attachment_25096" align="aligncenter" width="650"] Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports[/caption]
Hands: KeeSean Johnson
“KeeSean catches everything” might as well be Johnson’s slogan. With magnets for hands and effortless tracking ability, Johnson has been a vacuum for Fresno State this season.
Body Control: Damarkus Lodge
Damarkus Lodge can make some remarkable plays at the catchpoint with his body control. He's able to position his frame in order to high point passes, or effortlessly make acrobatic receptions along the boundary.
Route Running: Riley Ridley
Similar to his older brother Calvin, Riley Ridley is a smooth operator who understands ways to threaten the leverage of defensive backs. His double moves are a thing of beauty.
Long Speed: Marquise Brown
"College Tyreek Hill" has burners, and defensive backs still get beaten deep by him despite allowing for extra cushion. As a ball carrier, Brown is able to knife through small creases while maintaining his pace.
Elusiveness: Deebo Samuel
There's a reason Deebo Samuel has 4 career punt return touchdowns and 7 career rushing touchdowns on just 24 carries. His elusiveness stems from how he operates in space while being able to glide past potential tacklers.
Catch Radius: J.J. Arcega-Whiteside
Arcega-Whiteside is the poster-child for former basketball players playing wide receiver. He easily boxes out defensive backs, which allows him to high point passes extended away from his frame and enlarge an already massive catch radius.
Contact Balance: Hakeem Butler
The creator of "Big Boy YAC," Hakeem Butler is a nightmare for defensive backs to bring down to the ground. His combination of power, balance, and play strength allows him to pick up massive chunks of yards through contact.
Ball Skills: Denzel Mims
Mims has the length, but what really allows him to make contested catches is the way he plucks ball out of the air and tucks them into his body with ease. No matter the position of the defensive back, expect Mims to beat him to the catchpoint.
Beating Press Coverage: Collin Johnson
Collin Johnson has long arms, but he has the refinement in his hand usage and footwork to go with it in order to abuse cornerbacks who dare press him.
Stalk Blocking: Antonio Gandy-Golden
Using his combination of size and strength, Gandy-Golden can latch on to smaller defenders and drive them off the spot as they struggle to disengage. He's blocked with a good motor so far this season.
Clutch Gene: Hunter Renfrow
Need I say more:
Technical Prowess: Tyler Johnson
A technical wizard, Johnson consistently gets open because of his seamless footwork, breaks and sixth-sense for open windows.
Combined, the “Frankenstein” wide receiver prospect would have all of the best traits of players in the class, and be impossible for mere mortal defensive backs to contain.