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NFL Draft: Market Share Leaders in 2022 Rookie WR Class


It's almost time to find out who runs the fastest 40-yard dash in this rookie class of WRs. But how much does that matter?

Plenty has been shared over the past few years about how much athletic testing fails to signal NFL success at wideout. And it makes sense.

Sure, being bigger, faster, more agile and/or a more explosive jumper than your competition can help. But there are varying WR roles in the NFL. There are varying offensive schemes. And that all means varying ways to win at the position.

So it makes sense not to overrate the NFL Scouting Combine leaders in 40 time, 3-cone drill and vertical leap. But what should we look at instead?

Well, there’s no single category. But market shares have proved helpful in signaling NFL success. And again, that makes sense.

What does market share tell us? It displays the percentage of his team’s receptions, receiving yards and/TD catches that a player claimed in college. And what are we looking for? Guys who earn more opportunities and deliver more production than their peers.

Obviously, a player who leads his college teammates in 1 or more categories isn’t necessarily a lock to do the same in the pros. But we’re talking about the NFL Draft. There are no locks. (Just ask Trevor Lawrence’s rookie year.)

We’re chasing probabilities here. So it makes sense to upgrade a player who dominated college market share before running a just-OK Combine 40, and question the size-speed freak who struggled to get the ball while playing with sub-NFL teammates.

It also makes sense, of course, that comparing market shares reveals more to us than if we merely compare the base stats. If 1 team attempts twice as many passes as another – possible in college football – then a receiver for that 1st team will clearly have a much easier time racking up numbers.

We’ll dig further into this class (at every position) ahead of dynasty rookie drafts in our annual Dynasty Prospect Scouting Report series. But for now, let’s take a look at the WR class’ leaders in 2021 receiving market share.

(Note: Player shares adjusted for games they missed.)


Receptions

1. Skyy Moore, Western Michigan – 43.6%
2. Wan’Dale Robinson, Kentucky – 43.0%
3. Drake London, USC – 40.2%
4. Dai’Jean Dixon, Nicholls State – 35.9%
5. Christian Watson, North Dakota State – 34.4%
6. Josh Johnson, Tulsa – 33.9%
7. Bo Melton, Rutgers – 33.7%
8. Treylon Burks, Arkansas – 33.3%
9. Jahan Dotson, Penn State – 33.2%
10. Kyle Philips, UCLA – 31.7%
11. Khalil Shakir, Boise State – 30.3%
12. Jalen Tolbert, South Alabama – 30.0%
13. John Metchie, Alabama – 29.3%
14. Dontario Drummond, Mississippi – 28.8%
15. Calvin Austin III, Memphis – 27.6%
16. Tre Turner, Virginia Tech – 27%
17. Charleston Rambo, Miami – 26.8%
18. Tyquan Thornton, Baylor – 26.3%
19. David Bell, Purdue – 26.05%
20. Velus Jones, Tennessee – 25.5%
21. Garrett Wilson, Ohio State – 25.4%
22. Justyn Ross, Clemson – 24.7%
23. Erik Ezukanma, Texas Tech – 23.2%
24. Ty Fryfogle, Indiana – 23.1%
25. Romeo Doubs, Nevada – 23.0%
26. Jalen Nailor, Michigan State – 22.8%
27. Chris Olave, Ohio State – 21.9%
28. Jameson Williams, Alabama – 20.8%
29. Makai Polk, Mississippi State – 20.3%
30. Alec Pierce, Cincinnati – 20.2%

(All others below 20%)


Receiving Yards

1. Jalen Tolbert, South Alabama – 48%
2. Wan’Dale Robinson, Kentucky – 45.5%
3. Christian Watson, North Dakota State – 43.7%
4. Drake London, USC – 43.0%
5. Skyy Moore, Western Michigan – 41.4%
6. Treylon Burks, Arkansas – 41.1%
7. Dai’Jean Dixon, Nicholls State – 40.9%
8. Bo Melton, Rutgers – 39.3%
9. Jahan Dotson, Penn State – 36.4%
10. Khalil Shakir, Boise State – 35.7%
11. Tre Turner, Virginia Tech – 34.8%
12. David Bell, Purdue – 33.8%
13. Josh Johnson, Tulsa – 33.5%
14. Tyquan Thornton, Baylor – 33.4%
15. Isaiah Weston, Northern Iowa – 33.0%
16. Calvin Austin III, Memphis – 32.1%
17. Dontario Drummond, Mississippi – 31.7%
18. Jameson Williams, Alabama – 31.0%
19. Jalen Nailor, Michigan State – 30.8%
20. Charleston Rambo, Miami – 30.4%
21. Kyle Philips, UCLA – 29.2%
22. Romeo Doubs, Nevada – 28.3%
23. Garrett Wilson, Ohio State – 26.6%
24. Alec Pierce, Cincinnati – 26.3%
25. Justyn Ross, Clemson – 25.8%
26. Devon Williams, Oregon – 25.8%
27. Kevin Austin Jr., Notre Dame – 25.7%
28. John Metchie, Alabama – 25.2%
29. Erik Ezukanma, Texas Tech – 24.9%
30. Danny Gray, SMU – 24.4%
31. Velus Jones, Tennessee – 24.1%
32. Chris Olave, Ohio State – 22.3%
33. Makai Polk, Mississippi State – 21.3%
34. Ty Fryfogle, Indiana – 20.6%

(All others below 20%)


Receiving TDs

1. Treylon Burks, Arkansas – 50.0%
2. Bo Melton, Rutgers – 50.0%
3. Jahan Dotson, Penn State – 50.0%
4. Kyle Philips, UCLA – 47.6%
5. Skyy Moore, Boise State – 45.5%
6. Tyquan Thornton, Baylor – 43.5%
7. Dai’Jean Dixon, Nicholls State – 42.1%
8. Drake London, USC – 41.2%
9. Dontario Drummond, Mississippi – 40.0%
10. Christian Watson, North Dakota State – 38.9%
11. Jalen Tolbert, South Alabama – 36.4%
12. Devon Williams, Oregon – 36.4%
13. Romeo Doubs, Nevada – 35.5%
14. Jalen Nailor, Michigan State – 35.3%
15. Khalil Shakir, Boise State – 35.0%
16. Josh Johnson, Tulsa – 33.3%
17. Chris Olave, Ohio State – 33.3%
18. Garrett Wilson, Ohio State – 31.6%
19. Jameson Williams, Alabama – 31.3%
20. Calvin Austin III, Memphis – 30.8%
21. Justyn Ross, Clemson – 30.0%
22. Isaiah Weston, Northern Iowa – 29.4%
23. Wan’Dale Robinson, Kentucky – 29.2%
24. Kevin Austin Jr., Notre Dame – 25.0%
25. Danny Gray, SMU – 24.3%
26. Makai Polk, Mississippi State – 24.3%
27. Alec Pierce, Cincinnati – 24.2%
28. Erik Ezukanma, Texas Tech – 23.5%
29. Charleston Rambo, Miami – 23.3%
30. Velus Jones, Tennessee – 21.2%
31. David Bell, Purdue – 20.7%
32. Tre Turner, Virginia Tech – 20.0%
33. Braylon Sanders, Mississippi – 20.0%

(All others below 20%)

Now, even market shares can be tricky. You’re not facing the same level of competition for targets at Kentucky or Nicholls State as you are at Ohio State. So we’re not merely interested in the top performers from these categories.

We’re certainly paying attention to the players who show up in every list. But it’s good to see guys who align their production across categories: Calvin Austin III, for example, garnered 28.5% target share at Memphis last season and turned that into 27.6% reception share, 32.1% yardage share and 30.8% TD share.

It can also be telling if a player outproduces vs. his share of opportunities. Austin’s numbers look good, but check out Arkansas’ Treylon Burks:

29.3% target share
33.3% reception share
41.1% yardage share
50.0% TD share

That’s why Burks has been the 1st rookie WR off the board in early best-ball drafting. He took lead-wideout level opportunity in 2021 and produced even more than could have been reasonably expected.


Cross-Category Leaders

In addition to Burks, these players posted shares of 30%+ in all 3 categories …

Skyy Moore
Drake London
Dai’Jean Dixon
Christian Watson
Josh Johnson
Bo Melton
Jahan Dotson
Khalil Shakir
Jalen Tolbert

Again, none of this guarantees success. But these measures can be valuable in sorting the WR rankings – and particularly in uncovering some later-draft sleepers.


Top Fantasy Scorers

Finally, let’s look at which WRs racked up the most fantasy points in college. This measure doesn’t account for differences in available volume. But it can show us who produced throughout their college careers, who fared best at turning opportunity into numbers and – in some cases – even who proved so valuable to his college team that coaches worked him into the run game.


Career PPR Points Per Game Leaders

1. David Bell, Purdue – 22.9
2. Drake London, USC – 21.2
3. Treylon Burks, Arkansas – 19.5
4. Wan’Dale Robinson, Nebraska/Kentucky – 18.5
5. Skyy Moore, Western Michigan – 17.4
6. Chris Olave, Ohio State – 17.3
7. Danny Gray, SMU – 16.9
8. Romeo Doubs, Nevada – 16.6
9. Dai’Jean Dixon, Nicholls State – 16.3
10. Garrett Wilson, Ohio State – 16.3
11. Calvin Austin III, Memphis – 16.0


2021 PPR Points Per Game Leaders

1. Drake London, USC – 29.8
2. Jahan Dotson, Penn State – 24.1
3. David Bell, Purdue – 23.8
4. Skyy Moore, Western Michigan – 23.8
5. Garrett Wilson, Ohio State – 23.8
6. Romeo Doubs, Nevada – 23.4
7. Jalen Tolbert, South Alabama – 23.1
8. Wan’Dale Robinson, Kentucky – 22.3
9. Dai’Jean Dixon, Nicholls State – 22.0
10. Jameson Williams, Alabama – 21.9
11. Treylon Burks, Arkansas – 21.6
12. Chris Olave, Ohio State – 21.5
13. Calvin Austin III, Memphis – 20.8
14. Khalil Shakir, Boise State – 20.3
15. Makai Polk, Mississippi State – 20.3