Chris Godwin, WR, Penn St.
(percentile rank among all WRs at the Combine since 1999, courtesy of mockdraftable.com):
40-yard dash: 4.42 seconds (83rd)
Vertical: 36” (57th)
Broad: 126” (83rd)
3-cone: 7.01 seconds (36th)
20-yard shuttle: 4.00 seconds (92nd)
A 4-star recruit out of Middletown High School in Delaware, Godwin appeared in all 13 of Penn State’s games as a true freshman. He tied for 4th on the squad in catches, ranked 4th in yards and tied for 2nd in TDs. That Nittany Lions team finished a mediocre 56th in the country in passing yards and 102nd in TDs.
They weren’t any better in 2015, ranking 69th in yards and 61st in TDs. But that didn’t stop Godwin from turning in a breakout sophomore campaign. He became the 3rd player in school history to top 1,000 receiving yards in a season, joining Allen Robinson and Bobby Engram. Godwin’s 1,101 yards ranked 24th in the nation.
Godwin’s 2015 numbers are even more impressive from a market-share perspective. He accounted for 32.1% of his team’s catches, 39.5% of the receiving yards and 25% of the TDs. Here’s how those marks compare to the sophomore seasons of the top 2 WRs in the class:
His slice of the pie shrunk this past year: 26.1% of the team’s receptions, 26.9% of the yards and 37.9% of the TDs. But he still led the squad in all 3 categories and set career highs in TDs and yards per catch. Godwin’s 11 scores were tied for 2nd most in school history — with the aforementioned Robinson and Engram. He left Penn State 4th all-time in both career yards and TDs, despite playing only 3 seasons.
Courtesy of DraftBreakdown.com
Games watched - Michigan St. (2015), Michigan, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan St., USC
It can be tough to notice progress from a college player when we’re only watching a handful of games of a 3- or 4-year career. But Godwin’s growth was impossible to miss.
Among the 6 games I watched, Michigan St. (2016) and USC were easily his 2 best performances. Those happened to be 2 of his final 3 outings. They were part of a stretch that saw Godwin rack up 34 catches, 618 yards and 8 TDs over 7 games to close his college career.
The USC game, in particular, was 1 of the best performances I’ve seen from any WR in this class. Godwin put it all on display …
And some super sticky hands:
It’s certainly worth noting that Godwin was decidedly less impressive earlier in the 2016 season. I was particularly disappointed in his contested-catch performance. Neither of these are easy grabs, but you’d like to see your #1 WR come down with them:
Godwin also had trouble beating the press and separating against man coverage in some of the earlier games.
More consistent was his after-catch ability. Godwin isn’t especially elusive, but he’s a heavy runner who’s tough to bring down.
One final note: Godwin is the best blocking WR I’ve seen in this class so far. That doesn’t score us fantasy points, but it’ll help him get and stay on the field for his NFL team.
Godwin is an interesting case. His tape as late as even the middle of this past season is underwhelming. But he lit up the stat sheet down the stretch and looked dominant on film.
That momentum continued at the Combine, where Godwin ranked among the top 6 WRs in the 40-yard dash, 20-yard shuttle, 60-yard shuttle and bench press. He earned a SPARQ score that ranked 4th among this year’s WR class and landed him in the 90th percentile among all WRs.
Considering he declared as a true junior and just turned 21 in February, this sure looks like a talented WR who’s on the ascent. With continued development, Godwin boasts the potential to emerge as one of the top WRs in this class — both in real life and fantasy football.