In this series, I’m breaking down the top-10 returning college wide receivers from 2016 by dominator rating (DR), using our FBS WR database. If you’re unfamiliar with dominator rating, it’s a receiver’s combined market share for yardage and TDs. While it’s only one element in receiver evaluation – and requires age and experience adjustments to tell the full story – it provides an excellent snapshot of a player’s role within his offense.
Consider this an early look at potential rookies next year. Some of the names may surprise you. Coming in at number eight, Steven Sims Jr.
Sims Jr. is a five-foot-ten, 176-pound junior from Travis High School in Richmond, Texas. He was rated a three-star prospect by 247 sports and ESPN. Sims completed his high school career with 137 receptions for 2,040 yards and 29 touchdowns. A first team all-district selection his senior year, Sims was also a finalist for Houston Touchdown Club Offensive Player of the Year. Kansas, McNeese State, Prarie View A&M, Southeastern Louisiana, Southern, and Stephen F. Austin all offered scholarships. Sims took official visits to Colorado and McNeese State before signing with Kansas.
Unlike Corey Willis and Richie James, Steven Sims Jr. was not redshirted his freshman year. Sims contributed immediately for the Jayhawks, posting 30 receptions for 349 yards (13 percent market share) and two TDs (18 percent market share), all second best on the team. A six-catch game against TCU and 58 yards against Kansas State were his top individual performances. Overall, a 16 percent dominator rating from a true freshman in a Power Five conference is very encouraging.
Sims Jr. built upon his freshman campaign and was the primary option in the passing game last season. He grabbed 72 receptions for 859 yards (30 percent market share), and seven TDs (44 percent market share) for a 37 percent dominator rating. His 859 receiving yards ranks ninth in Kansas history for a single season. He finished fourth in the conference in receptions, and ninth in yards and TDs. That earned him a spot on the Honorable Mention All-Big 12 team.
|Year||Class||G||Rec||Rec Yds||Rec TD||Team Passing||Team TDs||MS Yards||MS TD||Dom|
Sims Jr. is the first WR in this series from a Power Five conference. The downside, of course, is that he plays for a woeful Kansas program that was winless his freshman year and won two games in 2016. To help the anemic offense, the Jayhawks hired Doug Meacham to install the Air Raid system. Through four games, the team is averaging over 30 points per game and Sims Jr. is picking up right where he left off. Thus far he has 16 receptions for 298 yards (24 percent) and three TDs (43 percent) despite leaving the Central Michigan game early with an ankle injury. On top of his receiving work, Sims is returning punts and kicks this season, which could have hidden value.
Sims will be draft eligible after this season, but so far the draft “buzz” has been minimal. He made an immediate impact as a freshman and really took off last year as a sophomore. Without the redshirt year, Sims is likely the youngest WR profiled so far and is building a strong profile of production. You can watch Steven Sims Jr. and Kansas battle Texas Tech this Saturday, 10/7.