Our NFL rookie profile series continues with this analysis of 2019 NFL Draft Prospect David Sills, WR of West Virginia. You can also check out all of our NFL Draft Prospect articles here. We will continue to provide you with these in-depth rookie profiles and a ton of other fantasy football rookie analysis right up through the NFL Draft. Stay tuned, and stay ahead of your league!
We are only a few weeks from draft day and there are going to be a few very intriguing wide receivers drafted in the later rounds who could make an impact in fantasy. Usually, these players have some interesting components to their profile, whether it’s athleticism, production or scheme fit, making them a potential breakout candidate in fantasy leagues. These are the players that we need to keep a close eye on because they could be develop into late-round steals in rookie drafts.
David Sills, from West Virginia, is another player projected to get drafted in the final rounds. He’s not an athletic specimen, but his two very productive seasons at the collegiate level are an indicator that he has the potential to flash at the next level.
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Statistics from of sports-reference.com.
Sills verbally committed to USC at the age of 13. At that time, Lane Kiffin was the head coach, but his tenure at USC expired in 2013, causing Sills to find his way to Morgantown to play for the Mountaineers. The once-regarded quarterback prodigy found himself playing wide receiver instead of lining up under center. The coaching staff fell in love with his athleticism and thought he would be better utilized as a receiver.
Sills still wanted to chase his childhood dream of being a starting quarterback for a big-time collegiate program, so he packed his bags and transferred to El Camino Junior College for his sophomore season. There, he passed for 1,636 yards and 15 touchdowns but only completed 53.4 percent of his passes. After not receiving any interest from any division one schools, Sills decided it was time to change things up and play wide receiver for the Mountaineers.
He immediately started producing and was a red zone monster, catching 18 touchdowns, leading to a 32.72 percent total touchdown share. Sills was a major component to the offensive game plan, owning a 24.34 percent market share of the team’s passing offense. He also had four games with over 100 yards receiving and seven multi-touchdown games. His performance in 2017 allowed him to be a Biletnikoff Award Finalist.
After a successful junior season, he didn’t take his foot off the gas, catching 65 balls for 986 yards and 15 touchdowns. He was targeted on 25 percent of the team’s passing targets and averaged 8.9 yards per target while also establishing a large ownership of the offensive production with a 23.39 percent market share of his team’s receiving output.
With back to back seasons where he eclipsed the 30 percent threshold for Dominator Rating, Sills is entering the draft with a respectful production profile. He exceeded 60 receptions and 900 yards in his only two full seasons as a wide receiver. Before that, he was either transitioning to the position or trying to be a quarterback. Even though we have the context to his late breakout age, it’s still something we have to pay attention too.
One of the reasons why age is important is that older prospects are more physically developed compared to their younger counterparts and they have less room for development. Younger players are still filling into their frames and developing their athleticism.
Sills transitioned quickly to the wide receiver position, but we don’t know how much of that is due to him being maxed out at his physical capabilities. There’s a chance that he’s just a natural receiver and he was going to shine regardless, but we don’t fully know. What we do know is that his physical development should be close to leveling off if it hasn’t already.
In this game against Tennessee, Sills caught seven passes for 140 yards and two touchdowns. This was one of his best performances of his career. He received a decent-sized workload in this game, providing a good view of his skill set.
Sills isn’t a speedster and he will never be the guy who is used to stretch the field on a consistent basis. It takes him some time to build up speed and he’s usually not in full stride until he’s around ten yards downfield. Even when he’s in fifth gear, he still has average speed. This also hurts him after the catch. Defenders will easily catch up to him in the open field. He’s not going to pull away from defenders often in the open field.
His hands are inconsistent. He can extend his arms overhead or to either side of his body and pluck balls out of the air with no problem. In other instances, he can be a mess, letting the ball get into his body and he can even experience concentration drops. He has decent ball skills and can high-point the football while it’s in the air. However, he’s not exactly pristine at timing his jump and he can get pushed out of position while trying to box out the defender.
There are mixed reviews concerning his route running. I find him to not be too appealing. He does a good job at creating separation along the perimeter and can sell the fade to get a little extra space on the curl route. Quick cuts like skinny post routes aren’t a problem, but anything that causes him to move laterally could create some issues. Digs, outs or anything that requires a sharp lateral break will force him to take extra steps and possibly round out the route.
At the combine, Sills measured in at 6-foot-3 and weighed in at 211 pounds. He has the size to compete at the NFL level. However, his 75 5/8 inch wingspan which ranks in the 37th percentile among wide receiver prospects is a concern. Even though his catch radius is compromised by lack of arm length, it still doesn’t mean he won’t be able to earn a roster spot.
He didn’t exactly set the track on fire at the combine with his 4.57-second 40-yard dash. This wasn’t a surprise, because he didn’t win on the field with his speed at West Virginia. His 6.97 three-cone time wasn’t exciting but it was more than palatable. The most encouraging metric that came from his performance at the combine was his 37.5 inch vertical, proving that he does have some juice in his step.
If anything, Sills’ combine performance proved that he’s an average athlete. Some of his marks were suboptimal but when you blend all his numbers together, it’s quite apparent that he’s not going to consistently win on the field with his athleticism.
Sills currently has a rookie ADP of 46.30, making him a late fourth-round pick in rookie drafts. He should hover around this price point throughout the draft season. Getting drafted by a team with a high powered offense like the Green Bay Packers or the Kansas City Chiefs would be the only way we would see an increase in value for Sills. At this point in the draft, he’s worth taking a flier on, but with how deep this year’s wide receiver class is this year there might be a better option with more upside on the board. Either way, he’s going to be dirt cheap and you are going to be able to draft him on the cheap.
Not every player is going to have a typical timeline of success while in college. Sills had to figure a few things out before he was able to produce on the football field. It was all systems go once he figured out that he’s a wide receiver and not a quarterback. He’s a developmental prospect with a lot of room for growth. There are some red flags with his athleticism, but they aren’t enough to keep him from carving a role with an NFL team. At his price point, there’s nothing to lose, making him a value in rookie drafts.