Welcome to 20/20. As part of our continued Dynasty Scouts coverage and in preparation for the NFL Combine later this month, we’ll be profiling 20 of the top incoming rookies of the class of 2016 by giving you 20 facts you must know.
1.) Player Name – De’Runnya Wilson
2.) College – Mississippi State
3.) Height/Weight – 6-foot-5, 215 pounds
4.) Birth date – 9/14/94 (21)
5.) Class – Redshirt Junior
6.) Basic college stats – 2015 – 60 catches, 918 yards (15.3 ypc), 10 touchdowns
2014 – 47 catches, 680 yards (14.5 ypc), 9 touchdowns
2013 – 26 catches, 351 yards (13.5 ypc), 3 touchdowns
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7.) NFL Draft round projection – Wilson could get drafted anywhere from the second round to the fifth round, depending how he tests at the NFL Combine. I see Wilson going in the third to fourth rounds
8.) Current NFL comp – While some have compared Wilson to Panthers wide receiver Devin Funchess, he actually reminds me more of Funchess’ teammate Kelvin Benjamin. Like Benjamin, Wilson is a receiver with a huge frame. Both receivers were also very raw at the technical aspects of the position coming out of college, but had a knack for catching touchdowns and boxing out small defenders.
9.) Best possible destination – Detroit Lions
Someone has to fill the void left by Calvin Johnson’s retirement, and Wilson can likely do an admirable job. He has prototypical wide receiver one size, and Golden Tate is better suited as a second wide receiver. After a few years in Detroit’s pass happy scheme Wilson could become a top fantasy asset.
10.) Worst possible destination – Carolina Panthers
The Panthers already have two receivers (Funchess and Benjamin) with similar skill sets to Wilson. They also have a speedster in Ted Ginn and one of the top tight ends in the league in Greg Olsen. While Wilson would get to learn from one of the best receiver coaches in the NFL, it would be hard for him to get the targets and red zone looks necessary to become a viable fantasy option.
11.) Best current skill – Wilson uses his size to his advantage. As a former basketball player, he boxes out defenders very well. He also excels in jump ball situations and in the red zone. As he continues to develop Wilson could use his size to his advantage by becoming more physical with defenders.
12.) Skill that needs to be improved – Consistency and a lack of speed appear to be areas for Wilson to improve upon. While it will be hard for him to make up for his lack of speed, his consistency should continue to grow as Wilson gains more experience playing the position. Currently he lacks consistency in route running (rounds off routes, not always the sharpest breaks), and with his hands (has some drops, tendency to body catch when unnecessary).
13.) Past/current rookie ADP – 10th overall, 8th wide receiver (February ADP). 8th overall, 6th wide receiver (September ADP)
14.) Projected dynasty value – If Wilson continues to develop his skills as a wide receiver (route running, consistency, hands) he could eventually be a mid-high end WR2. I see Wilson as a Kelvin Benjamin-lite, someone who could catch a lot of touchdowns in the right situation. His body control and knack for making exciting plays will definitely make him entertaining to watch.
15.) Former Standout Basketball Star – Was named Mr. Basketball in the state of Alabama as a senior in high school. Played basketball for one season while at Mississippi State, and had offers to play both basketball and football at other schools.
16.) Recruiting – Consensus Three-Star prospect according 247sports. Ranked as the 180th wide receiver in the country, the 37th best player in the state of Alabama, and the 1282nd player overall.
17.) One of Mississippi State’s Best – Wilson currently ranks fifth in catches, sixth in receiving yards and second in touchdowns in Mississippi State history. Wilson and Dak Prescott combined to form the most prolific quarterback-to-receiver TD combo in Mississippi State history, with 19 touchdowns over three seasons.
18.) Lacking Experience – Only played football during his senior year of high school, and thus has only played four years total. This lack of experience should mean that he will continue to grow as a receiver during his first few seasons.
19.) Red Zone Dominance – Lead the SEC with seven red zone receiving touchdowns in 2015.
20.) Honors – Named to Second Team All-SEC in 2015. Named a Parade All-American Basketball player in high school after leading his team to three straight state titles.
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This year’s WR class lacks size for sure. Seems everyone is topping out at 6’1″ to 6’3″ pre-combine, and those measurements tend to go shorter once they hit the combine. Wilson is one of, if not the tallest guy which is going to keep his pre-draft rookie ADP pretty high. I think who he gets drafted by will determine his true ADP though. I don’t think Detroit is his best fit because I don’t think he projects as a WR1 that early in his career. I think he would be a good fit in NYG assuming they cut bait with Reuben Randle and Cruz maybe comes back in the slot…i think he’s a piece not a cornerstone.