Rookie Profile – De’Runnya Wilson, WR Mississippi State

Adam Tzikas

De’Jogya, De’Walkya, De’Slowya and DadRunnya.

The parody names are near endless for the rookie receiver out of Mississippi State after his poor combine performance. I wanted to dig into him because to me, he will always be De’Largeya Wilson. He is hard for me to avoid at 6’5” 224 pounds, and is cascading down draft boards everywhere.

Runnya, can I call you that? Thanks. Runnya only started playing football in his senior year of high school, after playing, you guessed it, basketball. That being said, Runnya walked on to the Mississippi State team as a true freshman and began learning the position. Clearly very raw, his size is undeniable as a redzone threat. In his freshman year he pulled in three touchdowns in ten games on 26 receptions. Meaning one in almost every nine catches resulted in a touchdown. He improved on this rate in his sophomore year, still only playing ten games, he managed nine touchdowns on 46 catches or a touchdown on every five catches. He continued to improve in his senior year, this time playing a full season with 59 catches, nearly a thousand yards and ten more touchdowns to his name. Clearly a matchup nightmare in the end zone, Wilson ended his college career with a touchdown on every six catches. Just to compare to some of his contemporaries: Josh Doctson scored a touchdown at the same rate, and Laquon Treadwell scored one every ninth catch. While Wilson isn’t going to put up a 12 catch game, he is going to be very heavily utilized in the endzone and do the main thing you need to win a football game, get points on the board.

Unfortunately, for fantasy, a lot more goes into owning a player than them just scoring touchdowns, let’s try to take a look at some of the metrics for Runnya and see if we can paint a picture of his other attributes.

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Metric spider chart for De’Runnya Wilson courtesy of

Clearly his size for a receiver is quite rare, especially his height and arm length. This is all the evidence needed to show how devastating he can be in the end zone. 28 inches from a vertical jump added to his 6’5” height and he can snag a ball that’s nine or more feet in the air, without factoring in his massive, inflatable tube man esque 33 inch arms. It may seem like he should be a tight end, but he isn’t quite heavy enough to be a normal sized tight end and his blocking will need a ton of work.

I asked my editors if I could skip the metrics from, but was denied, might have to avert your eyes here.

wilson profiler

Ouch. OUCH. Not really much to harp on here in a positive way. Slow, skinny, low burst, low catch radius, low dominator, low breakout age, low sparq, low college YPR, but hey look at that arm length percentile! Let’s go straight to the tape, least then we can watch him score touchdowns.

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This video of Wilson vs LA Tech showcases what he can do even with low athleticism. He looks like a monster on slants, due to his size. He uses his hands well to fend off the corners first attacks. His best skill is clearly his hands. Catches well away from his body when he can and is decent in controlling the ball after the catch. His first touchdown shows good knowledge of the zone to sit in an empty spot. Second touchdown was on a bit of a broken play, but shows good body control and hands catching. Looked like he was open on two more touchdown plays, one was tipped and the other was a bit of a drop.

Route running was a bit limited in this tape and even his touchdown here was a very rounded route around a defender. You can see they had to start him a bit behind the line so he could get some speed going before making cuts or routes. A bit stiff off the line as well, but seemed open a ton more than he was thrown to. One thing which jumped out to me was effort. Some guys just jump off the tape that they want to be there and need the ball in their hands, need the extra inch, he didn’t seem like he wanted to be there all that much.


One thing I wanted to highlight is his improvement year to year in college. This shows a willingness to learn and potential to develop. It’s hard to really pull a good comp for me but I can see someone that can succeed at the NFL level with some work. He is never going to be the top option in an offense, but his size is coveted by the NFL. Wilson is a project player, not someone that’s going to beat the world year one. He is excellent value in the third round of rookie drafts or later, and is someone who’s going to be a great stash with some future upside if he can put it together.


adam tzikas