2019 NFL Draft: Wide Receiver Prospects that Produced in 2018

Don Hutson is considered to have been the first modern receiver. (1940)

The following receivers are the draft eligible receivers (including declared underclassmen) that have 1000+ receiving yards in 2018 and whose reception yards are 30% or more of their team’s passing yards. The latter based on historical data appears to correlate to NFL Pro-Bowl and All-Pro careers.

Andy Isabella

Massachusetts

5’10” and 190 lbs

Senior

Isabella is one of only three receivers in the FBS since 2000 that had 300+ receiving yards on 10 or less receptions in a game. His 2018 regular season production totals of 1,697 receiving yards and 13 receiving touchdowns puts him in an elite group of 27 receivers since 2000 that had 1500+ yards and 12+ touchdowns in the regular season.  Isabella is the only player in that group from the 2018 season  and is ranked seventh in the group for receiving yards. Among current players Isabella’s  1,697 receiving yards in 2018 was number one in the nation and 287 yards more than the second place receiver.  He made Phil Steele’s Independent First Team each of his last three seasons. Isabella was one of three finalists for the 2018 Biletnikoff Award given to the nation’s top receiver and was a 2018 FBS Consensus First Team All-American. Isabella had an astonishing 47.5% market share of his team’s passing yards. According to Pro Football Focus his quarterback had a 130.1 passer rating when targeting Isabella. He has accepted an invite to play in the Reese Senior Bowl on January 26th.

Scott Miller

Bowling Green

5’11” and  166 lbs

Senior

In 2018 Miller was one of 31 receivers that had 1000+ receiving yards and Miller was ninth on that list for yards per reception (16.2). Miller’s receptions accounted for 40% of his team’s passing yards. Scott Miller made the 2018 Second-Team All-Mac. His 1,148 receiving yards was tops in the MAC. His six receptions of 40+ yards in 2018 was tie for tenth in the nation and in the top twenty receivers. In 2018 sixty-eight percent of his receptions went for a 1st down and thirty-eight percent were for 15+ yards. Among active players Miller ranks sixth in career receptions (214) and seventh in career receiving yards (2,872). He has speed and out of high school had offers to run track at several Big Ten schools. According to Pro Football Focus Miller averaged 5.7 yards after the catch per reception which was 16th among the 33 receivers with at least 69 catches. In 2017 Scott Miller had a 72.4% catch rate on 87 targets and a 58.6 success rate. Success rate is a factor of down and distance and computed by Football Study Hall. In 2017 receivers with 80+ targets averaged a Catch Rate of 62.9% and a Success Rate of 49.5%.

Preston Williams

Colorado State

6’4″ and 210 lbs

Junior

Williams is third in the nation in receptions (96) and receiving touchdowns (14).  He is fourth in the nation in receiving yards (1,345). Williams is 2018 All-Mountain West First-Team. As reported by Pro Football Focus, Preston Williams was the nation’s most targeted receiver in 2018 and he accumulated the second most first downs plus touchdowns (65). Half of his twelve games were 100+ receiving yard games. Williams has a great combination of size and athleticism. He was on the Colorado State track and field team. He made the 2017 All Mountain West team for the triple jump and was the Mountain West Indoor Track & Field Men’s Field Athlete of the Week (2/21/17).

KeeSean Johnson

Fresno State

6’2″ and 199 lbs

Senior

Johnson is a two year All-Mountain West Second Team selection in 2017 and 2018, as well as an Honorable mention in 2016. In 2018 he was fourth in the nation in receptions (95) and sixth in receiving yards (1,340).  KeeSean Johnson is one of only five active players whose last two seasons each had 1000+ yards receiving and 7+ receiving touchdowns. The others are Andy  Isabella, N’Keal  Harry,  Trevon  Brown and Marquise  Brown. According to Pro Football Focus Johnson caught 63.6% of his deep passes (20-plus yards) to go with 14 missed tackles forced and a passer rating when targeted of 132.9. KeeSean has developed into a big physical player.

N’Keal Harry

Arizona State

6’4″ and 213 lbs

Junior

Harry made the All Pac-12 Conference First Team for each of the last two seasons.  Harry has elite size, strong hands and is good at making contested catches. He needs to improve his route running and release in press coverage. Going to school in Arizona has allowed Harry to be seen often by future Hall-Of-Fame receiver Larry Fitzgerald. This is what Fitzgerald has to say on N’Keal Harry. “I’ve pretty much watched every game he’s played,” Fitzgerald said. “He’s a phenomenal talent.” “He’s a much better college player than I was,” Fitzgerald said. “He’s so physical. His hands are so strong. He can really track the ball over either shoulder. It’s been a real delight to be able to watch him play.” In 2017 Harry had a 68% catch rate on 120 targets. Harry is a excellent hands catcher and rarely body catches. He was one of eleven semifinalists for the Biletnikoff award.

Stanley Morgan Jr.

Nebraska
6’1″ and 200 lbs

Senior

Stanley Morgan was a Big-Ten Conference Second Team for each of the last two seasons.  Morgan excels in route running and creating separation off the line of scrimmage.  He is a physical receiver with a good stiff arm. He is a hands catcher and has made some amazing catches including a couple of one-hand catches in 2017. Recognized on his team with the 2018 Offensive MVP and the Guy Chamberlin Trophy  given to the outstanding senior football player. Morgan is one of only eleven draft eligible players (including declared underclassmen) that have 1000+ yards receiving, 7+ receiving touchdowns and 14+ yards per reception in 2018.

Antoine Wesley

Texas Tech

6’5″ and 185 lbs

Junior

Wesley was named to the All Big-12 Second Team. He was second in the nation in receiving yards (1,410) and ninth in receptions (88). Wesley’s 16 yards per reception was fourth among draft eligible receivers (including declared underclassmen) with 1000+ receiving yards. Wesley had 17 receptions of 30+ yards which was most in the nation. His average 117 receiving yards per game was second in the nation. He excels in tracking and adjusting to throws and in contested catches. His height and leaping ability make him difficult to cover. Wesley had a 67.2% catch rate on 131 targets and he did this with three different quarterbacks. He also is elusive and has had at least three plays this year where he got 20+ yards after the catch. One of eleven semifinalists for the Biletnikoff award.

Trevon Brown

East Carolina

6’2″ and 215 lbs

Senior

Trevon Brown made the AAC 2018 All-Conference First Team after making the Second Team in 2017.  He was tied at seventh in the nation in receiving plays of 10+ yards with 48. Pro Football Focus ranked Brown third among 2018 draft eligible receivers for 2017 yards on deep passes (548).  Over the last two seasons Brown had 37 receptions on third down and 81% made the first down. Brown has a strong work ethic and never missed a practice his senior year. Head coach Scottie Montgomery described Brown as a team player who works hard. His hard work has played off in making the ECU records book. In ECU records he stands fourth in career receptions and career receiving yards, third and eighth  in single season receiving yards, first and sixth in single game receiving yards, and second in career touchdowns. In 2017 Brown led the nation in number of 90+ yard receiving plays with two 95 yard plays. Trevon Brown accepted an invitation to the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl.

A.J. Brown

Ole Miss

6’1″ and 225 lbs

Junior

Named to the All-SEC First Team each of the last two seasons. One of eleven semifinalists for the Biletnikoff award. Fourth in the nation in receiving plays of 20+ yards with 24. A big, tough, physical receiver that can get yards after the catch by making defenders miss and breaking tackles. In 2017 A.J. Brown had a 79.8% catch rate on 94 targets and a 63.8 success rate.  Those figures are amazing as the average was a Catch Rate of 62.9% and a Success Rate of 49.5%. Sure hands and good route running distinguish A.J. Brown.

Travis Fulgham

Old Dominion

6’3″ and 215 lbs

Senior

Fulgham was a 2018 C-USA All Conference Second Team. He was number one in Conference USA in receiving yards (1,083).  Fulgham had nine receiving touchdowns, one in each of his last nine games. He made the Pro Football Focus (PFF) Conference USA Team of the Year. According to PFF, Fulgham had a combined 51 first-down and touchdown receptions to tie for the conference lead. Seventy-six percent of his receptions were for a first down. He had 22 receptions of 20+ yards which was tie for seventh in the nation. Fulgham was a walk-on at Old Dominion when it was transitioning from FCS to the FBS. His high school receiver coach, Myron Curtis, had this to say about Travis – “special type of player that, if you’re lucky, you get to coach once in your career.”  He raved about his all around game from speed  to his ability to win jump balls. Fulgham is also a good blocker. Travis Fulgham will play in the Reese Senior Bowl.

Kelvin Harmon

North Carolina State

6’3″ and 214 lbs

Junior

After making the 2017 All-ACC Second Team, Harmon improved to make the 2018 All-ACC First Team. He was tenth in the nation in receiving yards (1,186) and first in the ACC. Harmon has a reputation for making difficult catches. He is a physical player demonstrating power and strength. Harmon had 81 receptions in 2018 and 73% were either a touchdown or first down. NC State ranked eighth in third down conversions (49%). Harmon helped on third downs where on 15 third down receptions he made 14 first downs and one touchdown.

The 2019 NFL draft is looking to be strong at defensive interior linemen, edge rushers and wide receivers. As the NFL moves more towards a passing league this looks like a good draft to pick up a receiver. These were some that stood out based on 2018 production.

 

 

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