2019 College Market Share Report: Wide Receivers
The Market Share Report is a great resource to prep for the NFL Draft. It’s also a great tool for devy players because it spotlights breakouts and future draft prospects.
If you are new to market share, the metric is used to determine a player’s ownership within their offense. The more they own, the more important they were to their team’s offensive scheme. If you want to take it a step further, you can evaluate a player’s dominator rating which takes into account a player’s ownership of his team’s yardage and touchdowns. I talk about dominator a lot because it’s a major focal point of my process.
This installment highlights the most productive wide receivers in college football. Currently loaded with exceptional talent at the position, we are going to see at least the next two draft classes stacked with wideouts. The 2022 draft might also be deep at wide receiver. The wide receiver landscape for the NFL is going to rapidly change with this youth movement in the coming years.
To create this installment of the report, I determined the market share rates for the top 200 receivers in yardage for 2019. From there, I separated them by class, allowing us to zoom out to analyze how these players produced compared to other players in their class. I also provide an indication of breakout ages, considering freshman and sophomores are usually around 18-19 years old.
The younger a player breaks out the better. When a player produces at a high level in their freshman or sophomore seasons, the transition from college to the NFL is smoother compared to your average player.
Of course, there’s context to take into consideration: offensive scheme, other stud players who are playing in the same offense, and injuries. Market share and dominator rating aren’t the end-all-be-all, but it’s a solid starting point for the evaluation process.
Here are the reports from the previous four years:
- 2018 College Market Share Report: Wide Receivers
- 2017 College Market Share Report: Wide Receivers
- 2016 College Market Share Report: Wide Receivers
- 2015 College Market Share Report: Wide Receivers
The data from this report is best paired with film analysis and other metrics. Market share is used best as a guide when evaluating players; it shouldn’t be used as a stand-alone process. The more data we have for our analysis the stronger our evaluation will be.
Stats courtesy of NCAA
Tyler Johnson, MINNESOTA
Johnson could have gone through the draft process last year but chose to stay for his senior season at Minnesota. He has been highly productive during the course of his career. This was his third year in a row with a market share of at least 40 percent. He gave his career the sendoff it deserved with 12 catches for 204 yards and two touchdowns against Auburn in the Outback Bowl.
His dynasty value will fluctuate between now and the NFL Draft. He was very productive in college and he looks good on tape, but he did not participate in the Senior Bowl and won’t be in any other all-star games this off-season – we won’t see him again until the combine.
Nonetheless, I’m still placing him high in my rankings until I see something tangible that tells me that I shouldn’t. Johnson proved himself to be one of the best wide receivers in the country throughout his career. He achieved a 40.98 percent dominator rating with stud wide receiver Rashod Bateman lined up on the other side of the field from him eating targets, yards and touchdowns.
Antonio Gandy-Golden, LIBERTY
Gandy-Golden posted two straight 1,000-yard seasons at Liberty. He’s a big 6’4” 220-pound wide receiver who excels at making plays downfield which led him to a 15-yard average depth of target. He produced seven games with 100-yards or more this season which helped him reach a 35.82 percent dominator rating.
I’m going to remain bayesian with Gandy-Golden. I want to see how he performs at the combine because I question his ability to get off the line of scrimmage and eat cushion against tougher competition. I do love his size and how he tracks the ball while it’s in the air. I’m also impressed with his 2.2 percent drop rate. A large portion of his targets are contested and his ability to reel in the football without putting it on the turf is another testament to how good he is in contested catch situations. The guy has ball skills.
Devin Duvernay, TEXAS
Everyone thought Collin Johnson was going to be the team’s main pass catcher. However, Duvernay broke out this season, catching 106 passes for 1,386 yards and nine touchdowns. This was the first productive season of his career.
Duvernay is a speedster who is very aggressive after the catch. He transforms into a running back once he gets the ball in the open field and looks for contact. Per Pro Football Focus, he forced 23 missed tackles on the season. On top of that, he has the speed to stretch the defense, making him a very interesting prospect in this year’s draft.
Brandon Aiyuk, ARIZONA STATE
If you are interested in pure speed, then Aiyuk is your guy. This was his first year with meaningful production, catching 65 balls for 1,192 yards and eight touchdowns. He averaged an incredible 18.3 yards per catch and 30 percent of his touches went for 15 yards or more. Aiyuk was also very efficient with 3.04 yards per route run. He is very explosive after the catch and he is very tough to tackle with 14 broken tackles last year.
His ability to stretch the field and blow by defenders with his speed will get him plenty of attention from scouts during drafts season. He could be a trending option in the middle rounds of rookie drafts. His overall value could jump through the roof if he lands in a high-powered offense.
Jauan Jennings, TENNESSEE
Jennings played in a low volume passing offense that generated 221.4 passing yards per game. Even though he didn’t reach the 1,000-yard mark this year, it was still enough for him to command a 37.89 percent dominator rating a 33.67 percent market share of the passing offense. Per Pro Football Focus, Jennings led all wide receivers in college football with 30 missed tackles.
He’s going to be an interesting prospect to monitor this draft-season because at 6-foot-3 and 208-pounds he definitely has the requisite size to compete at the next level. Jennings flashed a lot of talent with some big plays over the course of his career. If he runs well at the combine and works out well at his pro-day, he could develop into a trendy mid-round option in rookie drafts.
Bryan Edwards, SOUTH CAROLINA
We are looking at a wide receiver who broke out at 17 years old. He was a key staple of the offense, owning a 23.20 percent target share and a 50 percent share of the team’s passing touchdowns. South Carolina had a below-average passing game in 2019 which caused Edwards to post less than optimal counting stats. His ownership of the team’s offensive production is a testament to how highly he was valued in the team’s offensive game plan.
Bryan Edwards just made the catch of the year 😨🔥 pic.twitter.com/XqapssEN9i
— Athlete Tweets 🔥➐ (@AthleteTweetts) October 27, 2019
Edwards profiles as your prototypical alpha-receiver. He stands at 6-foot-3 and weighs 215-pounds. He is known for coming down with spectacular one-handed contested catches. Even though he’s a bigger wide receiver, he’s still very fluid when it comes to breaking off his routes. In the right situation, he could be the most productive wide receiver in this year’s draft class.
Michael Pittman, USC
Injuries hampered Pittman’s production during the early stages of his career. He officially broke out during his junior season when he achieved a 29.35 percent dominator rating. His production spiked the following year when he finished his season ranked tenth in the nation with 1,275 receiving yards while owning a 31.43 percent share of his team’s passing touchdowns.
Michael Pittman Jr. extends USC’s lead 🔥
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 21, 2019
Pittman is very aggressive both at the catch point and with the ball in his hands. I love the way he snaps off his routes and is assertive while the ball is in the air. He attacks the football while it’s in transit, making it hard for the defender to crash down and disrupt the play. He’s also a bully with the ball in his hands and is not afraid to lay down a shoulder to bulldozer over a defensive back. This mentality allowed him to break 14 tackles after the catch last year.
Denzel Mims, BAYLOR
The 6’3″ 215-pound wide receiver has been very productive over the course of his career, achieving ownership of his team’s passing game at a rate of 21 percent or higher every year over the last three years. This year, he managed to score 50 percent of Baylor’s passing touchdowns. He ranked 14th in the nation with a 39.28 percent dominator rating.
Mims has a physical presence while the ball is in the air. Even when he’s facing lock down coverage, he’s still open. He has tremendous ball skills and does a good job of reading the ball while it’s in transit. One reason he’s so stout at winning contested plays: he knows how to maximize his catch radius.
Overall, he’s a very fun prospect to watch. He is one of my favorite players in this year’s draft. I would like to see him get drafted into a situation where he’s paired with a veteran quarterback who is not afraid to fit the ball into tight windows.
Mims doesn’t excel at creating separation off his breaks. With his ability to make plays on the ball, his skill set will be best suited to a quarterback and offensive system that can enhance his abilities.
Isaiah Hodgins, OREGON STATE
If you watched a lot of PAC-12 after dark last season, then you are well aware of Hodgins. He’s a 6’4” wide receiver who has an extended highlight reel of dazzling catches.
He originally broke out last season as a 19-year-old sophomore. During that year, he owned a hefty 29.30 percent share of the team’s passing production. He kicked things into gear during his junior season, catching 86 passes for 1,171 yards and 13 touchdowns while ranking ninth in the nation among wide receivers with a 40.79 percent dominator rating.
Hodgins can track airborne footballs with the best of them. Ball placement doesn’t matter as he will find a way to make the catch. He’s also a threat in the red zone.
Considering his production, he’s kind of flying under the radar right now. He’s a player who has the potential to take a significant step forward in dynasty value if he has a good combine and lands with the right team.
CeeDee Lamb, OKLAHOMA
Lamb is arguably the best wide receiver in this year’s draft class. He has been productive since his freshman year at Oklahoma. His junior season was another hallmark to his success. He finished sixth in the nation with 1,327 receiving yards while also achieving a 35.38 percent dominator rating. Even with there being multiple weapons in Oklahoma’s high-powered offense, Lamb still commanded a 24.40 percent target share.
Just throw it up.
— ESPN (@espn) December 28, 2019
Even casual fans of the college game couldn’t ignore Lamb’s play on Saturdays. He routinely dominated on the football. Whether it was after the catch or out-muscling defenders to make a grab in the end zone, Lamb routinely proved why he is one of the best players in all of college football. He’s going to be a first-round pick in both the NFL Draft and rookie drafts. We are going to hear a lot about him between now and draft day.
Devonta Smith, ALABAMA
Smith was one of Alabama’s top-flight wide receivers. Unfortunately, for us, he is returning to the college game for his senior season. He would have added some extra depth to this year’s draft class.
He led his team in yards and touchdowns last year and commanded a 28.40 percent dominator rating. The competition for targets was immense last season, but he still owned a 22.63 percent target share.
He’s a very explosive athlete who will run right by defenders when given the opportunity. Smith just simply blows by the opposition when he has the ball in his hands, making him a threat to score on any given play. The deep ball is another factor that defensive backs must be ready for since he can easily eat cushion at the line of scrimmage and get on the heels of the defender at the top of his route.
Next year’s wide receiver class is already stacked with talent. Smith has the potential to be a first-round pick if he continues to add to his resume. He’s definitely a player to monitor over the course of the 2020 season.
Tee Higgins, CLEMSON
Higgins exploded with the best season of his career. The junior wide receiver delivered four games with 100 receiving yards or more. Clemson constantly had a lot of talent on the field, so the fact that he was able to produce a 29.74 percent dominator rating is incredible.
Trevor Lawrence is an elite level college quarterback who doesn’t lock onto one target and likes to spread the ball around. Even with Higgins competing for targets against one the best wide receiver depth charts in the nation, he still was able to muster an 18.45 percent target share.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 29, 2018
At 6’4” and 215 pounds, he’s a big physical athlete who is very strong at the catch point. He knows how to use his body to box out defenders while the ball is in the air. He does a very good job reeling in passing outside of his frame. He’s going to be an easy first-round option in rookie drafts this off-season.
Laviska Shenault, COLORADO
Shenault rolled into the 2019 season with a lot of hype. He’s very physical after the catch. Defensive backs don’t want to tackle him in one-on-one situations. At Colorado, he proved to be a multifaceted player who played along the perimeter and in the slot. He’s a player you want to get the ball to in space because he can make a lot of things happen once he gets into gear. Shenault could blossom at the next level.
Jerry Jeudy, ALABAMA
From a sheer ownership perspective, Jeudy’s 26.14 percent market share of Alabama’s offense isn’t considered dominant. However, he still shared the field with some high-level wide receiver prospects. In that context, his ownership of the offense is more than palatable, and his production profile is good enough to keep him in the top end of rookie drafts.
Jeudy is a lock to go in the first round of this year’s draft. Many consider him the top wide receiver in the draft. He produced back to back 1,000-yard seasons. He is a route running technician who can easily create separation from defenders. Once he hits the open field, he’s a threat to eat up a ton of yardage, because he’s very slippery once he gets the ball in his hands. Jeudy’s short area quickness makes him tough to tackle in space and his elite level footwork allows him to slip by defenders.
Justin Jefferson, LSU
After torching opposing defenses during his junior season, Jefferson is NFL Draft bound.
He was one of four wide receivers to catch 100 or more passes this year. Even with his teammate Ja’Mar Chase dominating the college landscape, Jefferson still managed to produce at a high level, owning a 25.56 percent share of LSU’s passing production. He also owned a 29.51 percent share of his team’s receiving touchdowns. His most notable game came against Oklahoma in the College Football Playoff where he caught 14 passes for 227 yards and four touchdowns.
Final #SEC Rankings: Justin Jefferson
Receptions (#1) 111
Rec-Yards (#2) 1540
Touchdowns (#2) 18
Yards/G (#2) 102.7
Rec/G. (#1) 7.4
— Kasting Coastal (@KastingCoastal) January 20, 2020
Jefferson is a multifaceted wide receiver. He does his best work in the slot running routes over the middle, but he can also stretch the defense with his speed. He can track the ball while it’s in the air and effortlessly make the over-the-shoulder grab. After the catch, when he has the ball in space, he can be really dangerous because his low center of gravity allows him to bounce off defenders at the point of contact. Once he hits the open field, he can quickly switch gears to pull away from the opposition.
We are blessed with a deep wide receiver class. There’s something for everyone. Jefferson could prove to be a real value in the second-round of rookie drafts.
Jalen Reagor, TCU
Reagor is quite possibly the best deep threat in this year’s draft class. He might even materialize as the overall best wide receiver in this year’s batch of prospects, once everything is said and done. He’s a very explosive playmaker who also has the speed to make defensive backs pay if they fail to adequately account for it. He high-points the football like a champ and is irremovable at the catch-point.
Jalen Reagor has some elite speed to make him one of the best deep threat WR's in the 2020 draft class. He ran a 4.32 at TCU, but reportedly has gotten faster since. pic.twitter.com/YcuM2UXMFE
— Titans Tape (@TitansTape) January 23, 2020
He can extend over his head or away from his body to make tough contested catches. He also does a good job of attacking the football while it’s in transit to prevent the defender from crashing down on him to disrupt the pass. None of this is possible without having strong hands.
TCU’s offense was abysmal this year. The team only averaged 203 passing yards per game. Reagor only caught 43 passes for 611 yards and five touchdowns, but still owned a 25 percent share of the team’s passing yardage, and a 29.17 percent dominator rating. You can count this season as a lost year if you want, but he still broke out as an 18-year-old freshman with a 22.68 percent dominator rating in 2017. No matter how you spin it, Reagor is a rock-solid prospect.
Rashod Bateman, MINNESOTA
Despite having the legendary Tyler Johnson running routes on the same field, Bateman figured out a way to be one of the most productive wide receivers in college football. The future looks bright and promising for him as he enters his junior season.
Bateman produced a 36.25 percent dominator rating and owned a 35.48 percent share of his team’s receiving touchdowns. We could see those numbers increase next year when he’s the lead alpha receiver in the offense. He’s a candidate to be a first-round selection in 2021.
Rashod Bateman looking like OBJ 😧
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 19, 2019
When you flip on the tape, the first thing you notice is that Bateman wins with speed, short-area quickness and fluid route running. The king of unbelievable one-handed catches is currently a first-round pick in devy drafts and unless he suffers a significant injury, Bateman should hold his value going into next season.
Tamorrion Terry, FLORIDA STATE
He blossomed this year, catching 60 passes 1,188 yards and nine touchdowns. Outside of Cam Akers, he was one of the few bright spots in FSU’s offense. He delivered an elite level 34.15 percent ownership of his team’s passing production. He generated six plays of 60 yards or more last season. We are looking at a dangerous athlete who can explode for a massive gain on any down or situation.
Terry is one of the most underrated wide receivers in college football. He’s 6’4” with a large catch radius. He also has enough speed to burn opposing defenses. Look for him to build upon his resume next year.
KJ Hamler, PENN STATE
There’s a lot of speculation about where Hamler is going to be drafted this year. He will be one of the fastest wide receivers in the draft. With the ability to create separation from defenders at the drop of a hat, Hamler fits what a lot of NFL teams are currently looking for.
The combine will be huge for his stock. If he can light up the track with a solid 40-yard dash time and showcase his speed against some of the top wide receivers in this class, then he could cement himself as a must get talent.
Hamler owned a 31.42 percent market share of Penn State’s passing yards and 32 percent of the team’s passing touchdowns. He finished sixth in the Big Ten with 904 receiving yards. His usage on special teams as a kick and punt returner will increase his value for most NFL teams.
Seth Williams, Auburn
Williams is a physically gifted wide receiver who can win with both size and athleticism. He created multiple highlight-reel plays throughout the season. If it wasn’t for Auburn’s low-volume passing offense, he would have produced at a higher level. Still, his 30.77 percent market share is something to pay attention too considering he’s just a sophomore.
You should already be aware of him if you play in devy leagues. However, if you don’t follow college football, then you might want to write his name down. He’s definitely going to be in the discussion as one of the top wide receivers in one of the upcoming draft classes.
Ja’Marr Chase, LSU
He was easily the best wide receiver in all of college football last year. The fact that he was able to command a 29.55 percent share of an offense that produced 6,024 passing yards is amazing. To put it this way, Chase’s 1,780 yards out produced Air Force’s entire passing production for the entire season.
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) January 14, 2020
The hype is real with this kid. He has the speed to eat the cushion between him and the defender while also being fast enough to stretch the field. Chase can do it all. He can high point the ball downfield, blow by defenders after the catch and break some ankles with his route running. You can’t deny his upside. He has the profile of a future first-round pick.
Sage Surratt, Wake Forest
Surratt is returning to Wake Forest for his redshirt junior season where he will be looking to build up his resume for when he comes out for the draft. He’s an under the radar prospect since he plays for a program that lacks national media exposure. He racked up 100 yards or more in five of the nine games he played in. His best game came against Louisville where he caught 12 passes for 193 yards and three touchdowns.
Next year’s wide receiver class is going to be loaded with talent. We need him to continue to develop and sharpen his skill sets before he embarks for the draft. He’s a very good player who excels at making contested catches downfield. Surratt is a player that you should monitor closely in 2020.
Amon-Ra St. Brown, USC
The former five-star recruit posted the best season of his career with 100-yard performances against Notre Dame, Arizona State, UCLA, and Iowa. He shared the field with Michael Pittman who is considered one of the top receivers in this year’s draft class and Tyler Vaughns who can also do some things with the ball in his hands. Even with the stout competition for targets, St. Brown still established a 23.87 percent market share of his team’s passing production.
He is a crisp route runner with sticky hands. He is very smooth and can easily create separation from defenders when he breaks off his routes. We may see him improve his stock in year three. He should command a larger share of the offense since Pittman is on his way to the NFL. If St. Brown was playing on the other side of the country, he’d be more of a household name.
Justyn Ross, CLEMSON
Ross is another coveted wide receiver prospect. He was an intricate part of Clemson’s high powered passing attack. He also shared the field with Higgins who is a top-flight draft prospect. Ross has the potential to be a first-round pick in next year’s draft. His 20 percent market share of a passing offense that is stuffed to the gills with receiving talent means he can produce at a high level. I can’t wait to see what he can do next year as the team’s alpha wide receiver.
Like clockwork 🔁
Trevor Lawrence with a dime to Justyn Ross for the TD!
— ESPN (@espn) October 19, 2019
To paint a picture of what Ross looks like, he’s a 6’4” wide receiver who has plenty of speed to burn. He accelerates quickly and he’s always a threat to score if he gets the ball in the open field. His hands are strong and he excels at catching the ball away from his body. Ross has all the makings of a stud wide receiver at the next level.
David Bell, PURDUE
After stud wide receiver, Rondale Moore, missed the majority of the season with an injury, Bell took the reins and didn’t look back. His six 100-yard games led to him catching 86 passes for 1,035 yards and seven touchdowns. It’s going to be interesting to see how the targets get split up between him and Moore next season.
This catch by @BoilerFootball's David Bell is simply amazing. Flat out lays out.
Indiana 21, Purdue 10 in this battle for that Bucket. pic.twitter.com/fNroa3L5DK
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) November 30, 2019
Bell can do it all. He has strong hands and can make dazzling catches downfield. He has a good release off the line of scrimmage that allows him to get on the defensive back’s heels. I love how he reads the ball while it’s in the air and at the same time maintains concentration to get into the right position to make the catch. Bell is a baller. He’s going to be a fun player to watch over the next couple of seasons.
CJ Johnson, EAST CAROLINA
I’m over-drafting CJ Johnson every opportunity I get. He’s a stud athlete and he looks like he could be the best wide receiver in the country if he continues to develop. With strong hands and an aggressive mindset, he isn’t afraid to fight for extra yardage.
He’s a dynasty asset who should rise in value between now and the end of the season. Since he plays for ECU, a lot of devy owners are going to overlook him in devy drafts. He’s the best prospect on his team and he should own a large share of his team’s passing production for the remainder of his career.
George Pickens, GEORGIA
Reminder: George Pickens is only a freshman 😳 pic.twitter.com/6L4YaDwH3N
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) November 10, 2019
I get that he was just a freshman last season, but Pickens plays like a full-grown man. He’s strong at the catch point. If he gets the ball in space, he’s as good as gone. Not to mention he has the ability to out-leap defenders to high point the football. By far, he was the best wide receiver on the field for Georgia, which is why he owned a solid 23.29 percent share of their passing production.