One of the things that’s really difficult to know when it comes to projecting prospects is what role strength of schedule plays in the translation. College football is a large universe composed of lots of teams with differing schemes and abilities. Some conferences feature a lot of run heavy teams, while other conferences are the wild west when it comes to passing offenses. But one thing we can do is look at prospects by comparing them against common opponents. Today I’ll look at Donte Moncrief and Odell Beckham Jr. and all of the common opponents they’ve faced while they’ve been in college.
In the table below I’ve listed every game log for the two players where they faced a common opponent in the same season. Then I show the defensive passing rating for that opponent (SOS = lower is tougher).I also note which of the receivers “won” the yards and market share yards battle for the matchup. You can sort the table so that it’s viewable in whatever way is easiest for you to compare. Also if you have a seizure trying to read this table you can skip to the bottom of the post where there’s a summary table.
|DONTE MONCRIEF||2011||Mississippi State||4||20||0||0.18||0.27|
|DONTE MONCRIEF||2012||Mississippi State||7||173||3||0.59||0.32||X||X|
|DONTE MONCRIEF||2012||Texas A&M||6||73||1||0.24||0.61||X|
|DONTE MONCRIEF||2013||Mississippi State||3||24||0||0.12||0.15|
|DONTE MONCRIEF||2013||Texas A&M||1||3||0||0.01||0.76|
|ODELL BECKHAM||2011||Mississippi State||8||61||0||0.29||0.27||X||X|
|ODELL BECKHAM||2012||Mississippi State||4||55||0||0.2||0.32|
|ODELL BECKHAM||2012||Texas A&M||4||35||0||0.36||0.61||X|
|ODELL BECKHAM||2013||Mississippi State||9||179||2||0.53||0.15||X||X|
|ODELL BECKHAM||2013||Texas A&M||5||50||0||0.26||0.76||X||X|
Because summaries are always easier to read, here’s a table that averages out the performances of the two receivers against those common opponents:
*WINSOS = the average SOS of the opponent in the matchups where the player won the yards battle. Lower is tougher defense.
This information spans three seasons, so I suppose there’s probably some argument for trimming it down to the most recent season. But the thing I like about this comparison is that it features 14 games for each player, or about a full season. You can see that Moncrief actually compares pretty well to Beckham. I don’t think you could really call this anything other than a tie. My plan is to do this exercise with a few more prospects, as well as going back for previous years to see how current NFL players would have done against each other using the same criteria. In the end my goal is to cut through some of the noise that is presented to us by the wildly varying schedules that prospects have during their college careers.