Execs, coaches rank NFL draft’s top WRs

daves

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Today the Athletic had eight NFL execs and coaches rank the top 3 WR prospects in the draft:
WRpoints (3, 2, 1)first place votes
Marvin Harrison Jr.204
Malik Nabers152
Rome Odunze132

Here are some excerpts from the commentary. Probably nothing we haven't all read before, but provides a nice summary a few days before the draft. The only surprise to me was three different quotes stating that Odunze is the safest / cleanest prospect with the highest floor.
Harrison Jr:

The Athletic’s Dane Brugler’s second-ranked overall prospect.

“Bigger, stronger, route refinement, polished, great ball skills,” a scout said.

While Harrison is mostly viewed as the first receiver off the board — even a couple of voters who ranked him second on the scale of personal preference admitted Harrison would probably go first — there are ways to nitpick.

One coach pointed out Harrison’s tape and production were better in 2022, even saying Nabers and Odunze produced better tape than Harrison in 2023. Harrison struggled to break tackles last season and wasn’t a consistently effective blocker. He also had six drops in 2023, compared to four total in the previous two seasons.

Harrison also chose not to work out at the combine or run the 40-yard dash during the pre-draft process. Surely, he showed plenty of ability to play with speed at Ohio State, but the pre-draft decisions raised some eyebrows, particularly in comparison to Nabers, whose speed is his greatest asset.

“Why not run?” a coach said. “Competitors compete.”

An executive added there is, “So much unknown with the way he handled the process.”

Another executive: “It’s an incomplete picture, at least from a comfort standpoint,” an executive said.

It’s more than plausible none of this will matter. Harrison is likely to be drafted somewhere between the fourth and sixth picks, and he’s displayed plenty over the past two years to suggest he’ll have a terrific NFL career.


Nabers:

Brugler’s third overall prospect.

“Pure explosion,” a scout said. “Burst, separates out of his breaks.”

A couple of the executives who ranked Harrison first and Nabers second added that it’d be more accurate to describe them as “1A and 1B.”

At 6 feet and 199 pounds, Nabers may not have the prototypical size for a No. 1 wideout, but he makes up for it with his speed and home run ability. He’s unique in that sense compared to Harrison and Odunze, which adds to the mystery of his standing on the draft board. Nabers ran a 4.38-second 40-yard dash at his pro day.

If a team wants a game-breaking threat who can turn a short pass or end around into a long gain, it’d be understandable why Nabers could be the first receiver selected. A couple of teams thought Nabors [sic!] could be in play for the Arizona Cardinals at No. 4.

“Flip a coin,” a scout said. “It depends how I’m feeling that day, but I’ve mostly leaned toward Harrison.”

“He’s a classic West Coast receiver who can take a slant and score from anywhere,” an executive said.


Odunze:
Brugler’s sixth-ranked prospect, the 6-foot-2, 212-pounder kept it close with Nabers in the voting. Odunze was well-coached at Washington, had terrific film, improved each season and does just about everything well.

“He’s a gazelle,” a coach gushed.

An executive added, “He’s a freaking stud of a human.”

Odunze is a good route runner for his size, attacks the ball in the air and wins battles for off-target throws. He drew rave reviews for his blocking and effort when the play wasn’t designed for him or the ball went elsewhere.

“He’s the safest pick of the three,” a coach said.

One scout said Odunze has the best ball skills among these receivers. A couple of executives said he’s the safest pick with the highest floor of the trio.

“Very well-rounded, good hands, consistent with everything he does,” an executive said. “He’s productive and effective even when he doesn’t have the ball.”

“He’s maybe the cleanest prospect out of the three,” an executive said.
 

Chopper0080

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Competitors compete. Glad they included that. Very important insight.
Note none of them said that Odunze/Nabers had a better season than MHJs season in 2022, and no person acknowledged that Odunze and Nabers needed to have 1st round level QBs to put them in the same category as MHJ with first year starter Kyle McCord as his starting QB.
 

Mulli

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Note none of them said that Odunze/Nabers had a better season than MHJs season in 2022, and no person acknowledged that Odunze and Nabers needed to have 1st round level QBs to put them in the same category as MHJ with first year starter Kyle McCord as his starting QB.
What about catch rate though?
 

oaken1

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Another classic example of the white man holding the black man down.

(this intended to be funny...if I get banned I know it missed the mark)
I used the laugh emoji because I found it funny.

Too bad I can't use it again if you get banned because that would be even funnier
 

Fitz4Ever

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Gotta be happy with any of these 3...they are all really good prospects.

My personal preference right now...assuming that some of the rumors are true would be to trade down from #4 but do whatever is needed to still grab Odunze. Maybe thats a trade down to #6 with the Giants...or maybe its down to #11 and then back up to #7 or 8.

If I could draw up my ideal WR room for the Cards next year....its Odunze, Wilson, Dortch, Tyler Boyd, and a 2nd rookie WR. I cant say who that is, but I would be fine taking one at any point from 27-90.

This group is too highly rated, and we lack so much talent at WR, that it would be silly to not take at least 2 shots. I really like Keon Coleman...I think hes going to be at worst a Courtland Sutton type redzone threat...and at best he could be very similar to Tee Higgins.
 

Ouchie-Z-Clown

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Today the Athletic had eight NFL execs and coaches rank the top 3 WR prospects in the draft:
WRpoints (3, 2, 1)first place votes
Marvin Harrison Jr.204
Malik Nabers152
Rome Odunze132

Here are some excerpts from the commentary. Probably nothing we haven't all read before, but provides a nice summary a few days before the draft. The only surprise to me was three different quotes stating that Odunze is the safest / cleanest prospect with the highest floor.
Interesting that they tabbed odunze as the safest with highest floor. Hadn’t seen that much.
 

Krangodnzr

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Note none of them said that Odunze/Nabers had a better season than MHJs season in 2022, and no person acknowledged that Odunze and Nabers needed to have 1st round level QBs to put them in the same category as MHJ with first year starter Kyle McCord as his starting QB.
How does the QB play account for how many less broken tackles MHJ had compared to Odunze and Nabers, pray tell?

You're arguments have essentially turned into "neener, neener, neener, I'm right, you're wrong".

Odunze bested Harrison in nearly every measurable category of performance, and in some categories, it wasnt even close.

I'm not saying either guy is better, but to just ignore objective data because you don't want to believe it is silly.

I'm not trying to call you out in particular, because other people are doing the same, but this post is a clear example of narrow-mindedness.

Id still take MHJ for a multitude of reasons...he was the most double covered receiver in the nation and was still close to as productive as the other two. He was also raised to be a top prospect, so you know he already has an understanding of what it takes to be successful. I especially question if Malik Nabers will handle success because he already has a gun charge from a few years ago
 

Krangodnzr

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Interesting that they tabbed odunze as the safest with highest floor. Hadn’t seen that much.
Odunze is the most versatile of the three. He gets this label of jump ball guy...by people who clearly didn't dig deep.

Odunze lead the nation in deep ball catches, so he's not just a big possession receiver, he's really good at tracking balls downfield and winning at the catch point by superior understanding of positioning, elite vertical (39"), and great hands (his drop rate was the lowest of the three).
 

Chopper0080

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How does the QB play account for how many less broken tackles MHJ had compared to Odunze and Nabers, pray tell?

You're arguments have essentially turned into "neener, neener, neener, I'm right, you're wrong".

Odunze bested Harrison in nearly every measurable category of performance, and in some categories, it wasnt even close.

I'm not saying either guy is better, but to just ignore objective data because you don't want to believe it is silly.

I'm not trying to call you out in particular, because other people are doing the same, but this post is a clear example of narrow-mindedness.

Id still take MHJ for a multitude of reasons...he was the most double covered receiver in the nation and was still close to as productive as the other two. He was also raised to be a top prospect, so you know he already has an understanding of what it takes to be successful. I especially question if Malik Nabers will handle success because he already has a gun charge from a few years ago
Where are you pulling college advanced receiving stats from?
 

kerouac9

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Where are you pulling college advanced receiving stats from?
Take a look around here:

 

kerouac9

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It's pretty bizarre that there's so much peacocking about contested catch rate here. Look beyond the percentages and you'll find out that there's just a lot of noise.

Odunze: 77 targets, 18 contested targets, 16 contested catches
Harrison, Jr: 73 targets, 20 contested targets, 14 contested catches.
 

Cheesebeef

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It's pretty bizarre that there's so much peacocking about contested catch rate here. Look beyond the percentages and you'll find out that there's just a lot of noise.

Odunze: 77 targets, 18 contested targets, 16 contested catches
Harrison, Jr: 73 targets, 20 contested targets, 14 contested catches.
Watching Cardinals fans routinely talk themselves into lesser prospects in preemptive attempts to defend baffling upcoming draft decisions is a delightful rite of spring.
 

RON_IN_OC

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It's pretty bizarre that there's so much peacocking about contested catch rate here. Look beyond the percentages and you'll find out that there's just a lot of noise.

Odunze: 77 targets, 18 contested targets, 16 contested catches
Harrison, Jr: 73 targets, 20 contested targets, 14 contested catches.
The disparity is glaring.
 
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