Editor’s Note: As our coverage of the 2016 NFL Draft and its impact on fantasy football continues, we bring you our 2016 Rookie SWOT series. These articles will feature video highlights, combine reviews, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats, short-term expectations, long-term expectations and rookie draft advice for over 30 of the best dynasty league prospects from this year’s draft. We’ll follow that up with team-by-team draft reviews because, you know, that’s kind of what we live for.
Make sure you’re ready for your dynasty league rookie draft by staying up on all these articles, checking out our rookie draft guide, rookie rankings, rookie draft cheat sheet and mock draft rooms. There are simply no better resources out there for dynasty fantasy football enthusiasts.
Weight: 209 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.45 seconds
Vertical: 35.5 inches
Broad Jump: 122 inches
3-Cone Drill: 6.96 seconds
20-yard shuttle: 4.46 seconds
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Despite having lackluster numbers for much of his college career, Peake is an interesting NFL prospect due to an impressive mixture of size, height and speed.
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Good at the line of scrimmage due to his size and strength, Peake is able to run through press coverage and get into his route quickly. With a good first step as well as deceptive quickness and elusiveness, he gains separation on short to intermediate routes by shaking defensive backs better than most wide outs with his size. Also quite savvy as a deep threat, Peake has the ability to turn on the jets to get over the top of the defense. Along with his impressive long speed (he ran a 4.37 40-yard dash at his pro day), he tracks the ball exceptionally well and has a knack for running under it to make an over the shoulder catch, much like Randy Moss did coming out of Marshall.
Peake has also flashed playmaking ability in the red zone. Due to his height, he can tower over opposing defenders and because of his overall size and power, he has the ability to subtly nudge corners out of his way to give him a path to the football on jump ball and back shoulder throws. (See the touchdown catch Peake made against Syracuse at the 2:14 point of the video above.)
The most glaring weakness in Peake’s game is a big one for a wide receiver. It’s his hands. Charged with five drops in his senior year, his film is maddening as he’d make a highlight catch for a touchdown (like the one against South Carolina State above), followed by a boneheaded drop on what should be a routine catch for an NFL caliber wide out. Many blame his drops on small hands (9 ¼“) but many of them could be attributed to lack of focus – which will have to be fixed if he’s going to make an impact at the next level.
Outside of the drops, the other issue with Peake coming into the NFL is his lack of college production.
Despite his solid route running and ability to make plays as a deep threat, Peake struggled to become a consistent playmaker for the Tigers. Unable to become a full time player until his final year on campus, he played behind DeAndre Hopkins, Sammy Watkins, Martavis Bryant and Mike Williams throughout his career and also suffered a pair of knee injuries while in college which drastically slowed his development and kept him from carving out a role until 2015 – when he had his biggest season, hauling in 50 passes for 716 yards and five touchdowns.
On the surface, this doesn’t look like an ideal landing spot for Peake. The Jets’ starting lineup looks like a tough one to crack with the duo of Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker, who combined for 189 receptions for 2,529 yards and 26 touchdowns, still in place and signed for at least two seasons and New York not being known for using three wide outs. Plus, despite Ryan Fitzpatrick’s big season in 2015, he’s going to turn 34 during the season and still hasn’t signed with Gang Green.
Again, the landing spot may appear to be less than ideal but looks can be a tad deceiving.
Peake is very much a developmental prospect. He struggled throughout his time at Clemson to realize the five-star potential he had coming out of high school and will no doubt require some time to adjust to the speed of the game now that he’s playing on Sundays.
Throughout the NFL season a year ago, I saw a commercial on TV featuring Brandon Marshall where he praised Rod Smith for taking him under his wing in Denver when Marshall was a rookie and how Marshall looked forward to doing the same in the latter years of his career. That’s exactly what Peake needs.
Peake has potential to be a playmaker as a deep threat as well as in the red zone, much like Marshall has been for years. If he can learn from the veteran, he could be his replacement someday.
It’s been reported that Peake will be given the opportunity to battle a slew of other receivers in New York for the number three pass-catching role. Peake is already better than Kenbrell Thompkins, along with a pile of other camp bodies, but will likely face competition from Quincy Enunwa and Devin Smith for the number three receiver job in New York.
Enunwa was the team’s third receiver in 2015 but didn’t make much of a splash in his first opportunity to see the field and Smith tore his ACL in December so it’s unknown if when he’ll be ready to contribute.
Overall, there’s no clear frontrunner for playing time among the Jets’ receivers after Marshall and Decker so there is a path to early playing time for Peake if he’s able to develop quickly this summer.
As I mentioned above, Peake is a developmental prospect. While the possibility exists that he makes a splash in 2016, it will most likely be 2017 – or even 2018 – before dynasty owners get any production from the Jets’ rookie.
With that said however, I truly believe that Peake’s best football is ahead of him and that he has the potential to be a dynasty contributor.
Peake compares very favorably to former Notre Dame wide out Michael Floyd. During the 2012 combine, Floyd measured very similarly to Peake in many ways.
|Arm Length||34”||32 7/8”|
|Hand Size||9 ¼”||9 3/8”|
|Vertical Jump||35 ½”||36”|
|3-Cone Drill||6.96||7.11 *|
|20-Yard Shuttle||4.46||4.37 *|
|*From Pro Day|
As you can see, Peake and Floyd are extremely comparable in both size and athletic measurables. Both players entered the league as tall, athletic receivers with playmaking ability. Floyd has overcome the stigma that his small hands put on him (at least to some extent) and has developed into a low-end WR2.
Although Floyd entered the league with far more fanfare as a top -15 overall pick, Peake shares much of the same skills and has a similar upside to that of Floyd, for dynasty owners.
Rookie Draft Advice
Currently being selected late in the third round of rookie drafts according to the latest DLF rookie mock drafts, Peake is one of my favorite late round fliers to take. With a very compelling combination of size, speed and raw athletic ability, he’s exactly the type of lottery ticket I like to buy late in rookie drafts.
Find Dan on Twitter at @dmeylor22
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