ArDarius Stewart, WR, Alabama
(percentile rank among all WRs at the Combine since 1999, courtesy of mockdraftable.com):
40-yard dash: 4.49 seconds (58th)
Vertical: 34” (33rd)
Broad: 124” (75th)
20-yard shuttle: DNP
A do-it-all star in high school (he spent time at QB, RB, WR and safety), Stewart was recruited to Alabama as a 4-star “athlete.” He settled in at WR and redshirted his 1st year for a stacked Crimson Tide offense that featured Amari Cooper and T.J. Yeldon.
Stewart debuted in 2014 but watched Cooper hog nearly 50% of the team’s receptions. Stewart ranked just 7th on the squad in catches and 8th in receiving yards.
Cooper’s departure in 2015 freed up a bigger role for the redshirt sophomore. His 63 catches and 700 yards were good for 2nd on the team behind only true freshman Calvin Ridley.
Stewart became more of a big-play threat this past season, averaging a career-best 16.0 yards per catch. And he still hauled in a strong 67.5% of his targets, giving him a 10.4 yards-per-target mark that ranks near the top of this WR class.
Stewart led ‘Bama in receiving yards and TDs in his final season, although Ridley bested him with 72 receptions. Stewart's 20.4% share of his team’s catches this past year is actually dead last among the 15 WRs we've looked at so far. He ranks 11th in market share of receiving yards and 9th in market share of TDs.
Courtesy of DraftBreakdown.com
Games watched - USC, Mississippi St., Auburn
Stewart’s production yo-yoed in 2016, with 4 games of 100+ yards but 4 others with 42 or fewer. The 3 games available on Draft Breakdown happen to be his 3 most productive, which is certainly worth keeping in mind.
There's definitely some juice to Stewart’s game. Alabama regularly used him on jet sweeps to take advantage of his acceleration and speed.
Stewart also flashes some wiggle in the open field.
The Tide deployed Stewart both out wide and in the slot, giving him plus versatility heading into the NFL. He’s also adept against zone coverage (which he saw a lot of), showing an understanding of where to sit down to give his QB a throwing lane.
We don't see Stewart facing man coverage very often. That doesn't mean he can’t beat it, but it’s a question mark in his evaluation.
Stewart will enter the NFL as even more of a projection than your average rookie. Neither his raw production nor his market share numbers impress — although we definitely need to factor in that he played for a program that's regularly stocked with NFL talent.
While much of Stewart’s production was aided by the impressive supporting cast or offensive scheme, you certainly see flashes of his own playmaking ability. He confirmed that athleticism with a solid showing at the Combine. (I think he plays even faster than his 4.49-second 40 time.)
Stewart figures to go in the back half of the NFL Draft. And you should only consider him in the later rounds of your dynasty rookie draft. But there’s at least the potential for him to emerge as a situational, big-play guy at the next level.