You need have no doubt that when Buffalo selected Marquise Goodwin in the 3rd round of the draft, they had DeSean Jackson and Mike Wallace on their mind. It’s sort of tough to blame them because Jackson and Wallace have made it look like catching 70 yards touchdowns is something that is easy for track star type football players to do. But we can also probably assume that it’s not as easy as Jackson and Wallace make it look. If it were, the NCAA is full of track programs that could give the NFL a dozen deep receivers every year.
To understand how playing receiver is its own thing (a skill set that exists on top of being fast) let’s take a look at the heatmap from the College WR app to see how these receivers differ.
I think there are two things that stick out for me when I look at the heatmap. First, Goodwin wasn’t used nearly as much in college as Wallace or Jackson. Jackson’s first year in college eclipses Goodwin’s last year on most of the measures. But it’s also the case that when the ball went to Goodwin, he wasn’t as productive with it as Jackson or Wallace were. Both Wallace and Jackson averaged more yards/target over their careers. Also, even though Mike Wallace has never been a red zone threat, he still accounted for a decent amount of Ole Miss touchdowns each year.
To put it another way, there’s basically nothing in Goodwin’s statistical profile that would lead us to believe that he can be Wallace or DJax. He does have the same speed, and that might be worth something, but then you have to think about Goodwin in terms of probabilities. Conditional upon never having had a strong college season, what are the odds that a receiver will become a strong player in the NFL? The odds are low enough (even if they’re not zero) that I’ve essentially been ignoring Goodwin from a dynasty standpoint.