The Fantasy Footprint is a visual comparison tool that plots multiple player measurables on a radar graph. With this tool we are then able to compare a player to other individual players or against average measurables for past known top performers. The Fantasy Footprint not only gives you a numerical point of reference but also a visual reference for comparison. In case you are unfamiliar with this tool, please click here for a primer to the Fantasy Footprint.
In this installment we are going to scour the footprint database and compare two players who are getting a lot of run: Odell Beckham and Brandin Cooks. Beckham has seems to be a steady riser among the draft community with many mock drafts pegging him to go in the top 15 picks of the NFL draft. Brandin Cooks put up a stellar season last year at Oregon St. and is being called the best small WR to come out in a long time. These two players actually went head-to-head in our WR Prospect Sweet Sixteen Tourney.
Odell Beckham starred this past year for the LSU Tigers putting up 57 catches for 1117 yards and 8 touchdowns. While these numbers are good from first view, further investigation gives Beckham the reputation of beating up on the little guys and under-performing in the SEC. As Jon Moore pointed out Beckham has only scored in 2 of 26 SEC games. Shawn Siegele also pointed out here that Beckham also failed to put up a DR of .39 in any season in college. For many that doesn’t matter. A solid combine and a reputation for good hands and route running have Beckham looking to be a first round selection come May. Lets take a look below at Beckham, his Footprint Score (FS) and the player the database says he compares best to.
As we can see from he footprint above, the database chose Golden Tate as the player most similar to Odell Beckham. The two players share a Sim Score (SS) of .93, being separated in physical stature by only one pound and one inch. As you can see in MsTDs, Tate was a bit more productive in the TD department at his time at Notre Dame. Other than that the players are pretty similar in their historical outputs. While Beckham’s Footprint Score (FS) of .35 is short of the WR1 output of .57, it’s not a death-blow to his odds of producing at the NFL level.
The footprint suggests that Beckham has a .61 Breakout Score, meaning that he has a good chance at carving out a niche as a productive player. The Golden Tate comparison seems to me to be a fair comparison both in terms of production and in terms of the type of player that ODB can become. A lot will depend upon the opportunity and scheme that Beckham is drafted into, but I think a rookie projection between 600-850 yards and 2-5 tds based upon Tate’s past performance is fair. Beckham fits more into a WR2/ Slot mold than he does the WR1 mold based upon his traits within the Fantasy Footprint. In rookie drafts I will be tempering my expectations for Beckham as there are a number of other wide receivers I would rather have. For more Beckham comps check out this article as well as his Freak Score.
Brandin Cooks seems to be everyone’s small WR darling…and with good reason. All he did was put up 1730 yards and 16 TDs as a junior at Oregon St. More than a one trick pony deep threat, Cooks was able to run the full route tree and do damage in the slot as well as on the outside. One of the harder things to do was find a player that was as productive as Cooks was at his size. From a physical and athletic comp there were a number of players that Cooks compared to. The Fantasy Footprint data base chose Percy Harvin as the player most similar to Cooks.
Brandin Cooks (FS) was .328. Cooks gets obvious deductions when compared to WR1 comps due mostly to size. As we can see with the above comparison to Harvin, the big differences are in the college production metrics. Harvin and Cooks share a Sim Score of .841. While Harvin had a slightly different role at Florida, I think the Fantasy Footprint hit the nail on the head when it comes to the comp. Cooks is basically Percy Harvin with better skills as a receiver. I fully expect the team that drafts Cooks to use him similar to the way that Harvin has been used over his NFL career. In his rookie year Percy Harvin went for 790 yards and 6 tds. I feel that those numbers are more than attainable for Cooks as a rookie.
If you take a look at the Brandin Cooks comps, you will see Golden Tate listed here and Harvin listed in the comps for Beckham. With a (BS) of .575 both Cooks and Beckham have a very similar trajectory in many models. I could easily see both players having similar careers. With that said I have far fewer reservations when it comes to Cooks. In rookie drafts I would be happy to have Cooks anywhere at the 6-7 range or after.
It is important to note that players in the mold of Cooks and Beckham have gone on to put up WR1 numbers. Most notably other players that compare to Cooks and Beckham in the Fantasy Footprint are Antonio Brown, Steve Smith and Randall Cobb. All three of those players have gone on to put up successful seasons. Even though the players fall short of the .57 WR1 (FS), if either player falls into the right opportunity, they both have the ability to be high volume performers just as Brown was last year. Stay tuned in to RotoViz for further coverage after the draft.