The NFL Draft is behind us, rookie drafts are taking place, and as dynasty managers, we are looking ahead to the upcoming season. In our Dynasty Rookie Post-Draft Update series, we break down all the incoming fantasy-relevant rookies, looking at their profiles and where they fit. The basis of the rookie profile involves the usage of STORM analysis, focusing on five key components: Situation, Talent, Opportunity, Risk, and Market.
Name: AT Perry
Position: Wide receiver
Pro Team: New Orleans Saints
College Team: Wake Forest
Draft Status: Round six, 195th overall
A.T. Perry is a player that was barely on my radar before April’s NFL Draft. Coming into the process as my pre-draft WR12, I knew who Perry was, but I never got overly excited about him. In most years, players outside of the top 10 of their respective positions have substantial hurdles to deal with before seeing the field or possibly breaking out. Luckily for Perry, he may have been drafted to one of the best landing spots for a player trying to work his way up a depth chart.
The New Orleans Saints wide receiver corp may be the most ambiguous group in the NFL, with very few proven players. Add in Perry’s size, athleticism, and college production, and we may have one of the rare day-three success stories from the NFL Draft.
A.T. Perry Combine Results:
Weight: 198 pounds
Arm: 33 ¼”
Hand: 9 ¼”
40-Yard Dash: 4.47 seconds
Vertical Jump: 35 Inches
Broad Jump: 11’1″
A.T. Perry has an ideal combination of size and athleticism, which we don’t see as much of in the NFL anymore. In the clip, you see Perry use both attributes to take advantage of defenders, especially in the red zone. Perry’s 40-yard dash, height-adjusted speed score, and burst metrics all fall into around the 75th percentile for NFL players.
In the clip, we regularly see Perry getting open, whether by play design or via ad-libbing. Perry’s athleticism is on display as he separates from defenders with his routes and after the catch as well. There are at least a couple of plays that could have led to an even bigger day against Florida State, with Hartman missing Perry in the endzone and then again on a deep shot later in the game.
The film shows Perry has what it takes to be an “X” receiver in the NFL, so now the question becomes, will he get the opportunity as a sixth-round pick?
Courtesy of 4for4.
As I said earlier, the Saints have one of the most ambiguous and open depth charts for the wide receiver position. Chris Olave proved himself to be a stud in the making in year one and will look to continue that progression, but the only other player that would truly impede Perry from seeing the field would be Michael Thomas.
While Thomas was once considered a top-tier WR, he has struggled to stay healthy over the past three seasons, combining for only ten total games, 609 yards, and three touchdowns during that time. While Thomas still flashed his talent in 2022, it was only three games before he had another season-ending injury. Thomas had surgery this offseason to remove some hardware from his foot and is still not practicing in full at this time, so betting on some more missed time this season isn’t out of the question. If he were to miss time, Perry could step into that role, especially as the season progresses.
Beyond Thomas, we see players like James Washington and Bryan Edwards, two players that have already been dismissed by multiple teams while producing very little in the NFL. Rashid Shaheed and Tre’Quan Smith are both slot receivers, so they will likely have no effect on Perry seeing the field.
It’s not out of the question for Perry to work his way up the depth chart and, at the very least, be an injury away from having a solid role for the Saints.
Courtesy of Sports-Reference.
Perry had a slow start to his college career, but he broke out in a big way in his junior season. With a 30% receiving yard market share, almost 40% of the teams receiving touchdowns, and 2.55 yards per team pass attempt, while averaging an elite 18.2 yards per reception, Perry showed us that he belongs in the NFL. His senior season saw his efficiency come down a bit, but Perry still led the team in yards and receptions while almost doubling the next closest player in receptions.
While the college production is there, there is risk involved when drafting or trading for a player who was a sixth-round pick in the NFL draft. While I believe he deserves a shot, players with such little invested in them are quick to flame out without ever getting substantial playing time.
Courtesy of MFL Rookie ADP.
Perry is currently being drafted in the late fourth and even the fifth rounds of rookie drafts. With such a cheap cost of acquisition, the upside of drafting or trading for Perry seems immense! While the odds of him hitting may not be high, they are higher than most of the players in the above image, and that’s just the rookie wide receivers.
In my personal drafts, Perry usually went in the mid to late fourth round, almost always to my team because I loved the price. DLF’s Trade Analyzer agrees with that fourth-round price, matching him to pick 4.09.
Courtesy of DLF’s Trade Analyzer.
The odds may be stacked against A.T. Perry, but his prospect profile has many promising aspects. I’m hoping we will start to hear more and more good things coming out of the Saints’ camp during their off-season programs, but I also acknowledge that it may take some time. Get Perry on your team, be patient, and you may just end up with a cheap new stud!
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