My impressions after a watch of the Combine:
The Bills want high completions; McDermott said it this week. I’m tempted to take the lowest 9 in catch rate OFF my BillsMafia War Chart, or drop them down a color. Here are the worst-in-class catch rates:
- Donovan Peoples-Jones — Least-Worst at 67.5%, but explosion was amazeballs: Best broad and vertical jump for receivers. 4.48 forty time was expected.
- Denzel Mims — 8th-worst catch rate, met at Combine, Combine winner with 6’3, 207, 4.38s 40-yard dash (90th %ile ), 38.5” vertical jump (84th %ile), 10’11 broad jump (94th%ile)
- Jauan Jennings – not scouted
- Collin Johnson – no speed plus no catch rate = drops 1 round, despite his height.
- CeeDee Lamb
- John Hightower – not scouted
- Tee Higgins – Third-Worst of the Day 1-2 WRs, despite having next year’s #1 pick as QB
- Justin Jefferson — Second-Worst of the Day 1-2 WRs, despite having this year’s #1 pick as QB
- Jalen Reagor — Lowest Catch Rate at 48.3%, punt returns are great
Now, despite his poor catch rate, Justin Jefferson is still in play for a RD1 trade-down. Face it; he’s no longer making it to RD2#54. He’s likely going to Saints, Vikes, Chiefs in RD1 or to the Bengals RD2#33
.So, who had 2019’s best catch rates in this Day 1-2 WR class, and what was their DraftTek Big Board rank before Combine? Note: Van Jefferson and Tyler Johnson were not scouted. I’ve highlighted the Bills’ post-season contact:
- K.J. Hill Ohio State —best catch rate in class with 87% COMBINE, #54
- Omar Bayless Arkansas State #103
- Brandon Aiyuk Arizona St SR BOWL #101
- Devin Duvernay Texas — Now RD3#86 as he dropped an inch to 5-10
- Laviska Shenault Jr. Colorado First College Player Visited; COMBINE #22
- Tyler Johnson Minnesota # 38
- Jerry Jeudy Alabama #7
- Michael Pittman Jr. USC #55
- Van Jefferson Florida # 148 (injured, surgery)
- Henry Ruggs Alabama — 10th-best catch rate with 69%; COMBINE #26
- Chase Claypool Notre Dame was 11th, SR BOWL & COM #86
Rising after Combine results (which don’t sway players as much as people think):
- Chase Claypool 4.42 at his new weight vaults him up. Asked to try out in 2 positions, he’s still the 11th in catch rate! Was #154 (Bills’ RD5a will be right there), but he could go early as a WR/TE, Funchess type.
- Antonio Gibson 4.39 and being asked to try out in 2 positions makes me swoon. He was #174, realistic for the Bills’ RD5b pick, but as a fan, wouldn’t you draft him in RD3? Earlier?
- Joe Reed, Virginia. He’s a meatier Nick Easley at 6-0, 224, 4.47. Not quite Nick’s explosiveness, but elite nonetheless. Top 5 bench. Bills need more Reeds.
- Binjimen Victor,Ohio State, 6-4 199, 4.6 forty (we expected 4.57) – such natural hands. Best Gauntlet.
Steady in my mind after Combine results (which don’t sway players as much as people think):
- Omar Bayless — RD3
- Tee Higgins. He wasn’t there, so he didn’t lose much, still #4-5 best WR, and 3rd-best pure receiver. Ruggs passed him up. RD1#25
- KJ Hill dropped an inch, now 5-11, 196, and his 4.6 forty was well under the 4.42 we expected. His class-best catch rate keeps him in RD2-3, and still a consideration there. #95
Laviska Shenault was a tenth slower and iced up afterwards. We expected 4.47 and got 4.58. I used to think he was the DK Metcalf –now it’s Claypool.
Devin Duvernay — We expected 4.3, got 4.37, could reach 86 as he dropped an inch to 5-10″, and his 4.2 shuttle was < Easley’s 3.77
Jauan Jennings: 4.72 –RD3
Quintez Cephus: 4.73 –Day 3
Jalen Reagor 4.47
Collin Johnson — tall guy who can’t catch or run routes.
Editor’s babble: Was hoping we would get ‘The Dean’s” thoughts on the first day of the 2020 NFL Combine. You can find Dean on Twitter @TCBILLS_Astro. Also, be sure to bookmark Dean’s “BillsMafia War Chart” to follow along during the Combine. Thanks to Dean for all his contributions to our blog. On to Day 2!!!