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The Small School Tyler Boyd? SEMO ST WR Paul McRoberts

The only consensus on this year’s wide receiver class is that there seems to be no consensus. The RotoViz Scouting Index has seen a pretty decent fluctuation with each new update, and we’ve spilled a bit of ink on most of the 34 WR prospects in the most recent update. One we haven’t touched on yet is Southeast Missouri State’s Paul McRoberts who comes in at 32nd in the most recent update of the Index. The small school product has an intriguing profile to say the least, let’s have a look-see.

The Prospect

This class has several long and lean WRs near the top.1 The Southeast Missouri State athletics site has the former basketball player listed at 6 feet, 3 inches and 197 pounds. Hopefully at the NFL combine he actually hits these marks.

Like most small school draft prospects, McRoberts is a little bit older — his senior year was his age 23 season. Very similar to fellow small school WRs T.Y. Hilton and John Brown, who took their first NFL snaps at age 23 and 24, respectively.

Big Fish Small Pond?

 Year Games Rec Yds YDS/Gm MSYds Yd/Rec TD MSTD TDPG

2015

11

76

940

85.5

49.5

12.4

9

75

0.8

2014

7

44

711

101.6

46.6

16.2

9

56.3

1.3

2013

12

44

646

53.8

38.8

14.7

9

52.9

0.8

2012

9

11

138

15.3

13

12.5

2

25

0.2

Some takeaways:

  • McRoberts was the Redhawks leading receiver in each of his final three seasons.
  • He missed five games his junior year due to a Lisfranc injury, but accounted for 46.6 percent of the team’s receiving yards and scored 1.3 touchdowns per game in the games he did play.
  • Scored 27 touchdowns over his final 30 games which accounted for 60 percent of the team’s touchdowns in that same span.
  • His career 37 percent MSYD is impressive enough, but when you leave out his freshman year — before he was really involved in the offense — he amassed 45.1 percent of the team’s receiving yards.
  • Each of his final three seasons fall well above the 150 fantasy point trend line laid out by Jon Moore.

Granted, McRoberts did play in the Ohio Valley Conference, but in his final three seasons he played one game per season against a team from a “Power 5” conference. Here’s how he fared in those games.

 Opponent Rec Yds TD MSYD MSTD
Missouri (2015)

4

40

0

71.4

Kansas (2014)

6

173

2

88.3

66.7

Ole Miss (2013)

3

44

0

16.9

0

He struggled in that Ole Miss game as a sophomore but he dominated the passing attack in the following two games and accounted for 49.8 percent of yards and 40 percent of receiving touchdowns.

Small School Tyler Boyd

Tyler Boyd

Tyler Boyd’s last season was arguably his worst, but he’s still a great prospect. In fact, our Jon Moore believes that Boyd is a legit threat to be the No. 1 WR in the class. Boyd’s best season isn’t far off from McRoberts’ junior year, and their final seasons are similar as well. Overall, Boyd has a higher career MSYD in a tougher conference and Boyd is exactly one year younger than McRoberts, but these are some of the reasons Boyd is more highly regarded prospect.

The similarities don’t end at production either. Boyd is listed at 6 feet, 2 inches and 185 pounds, which is not a far cry from McRoberts. McRoberts even started returning punts this season, which Boyd has been doing his whole career. We already know about the hidden value of special teams. Boyd posted 238 yards and a touchdown returning kicks, while McRoberts had 162 and a touchdown.

What to Monitor

The production and build of the two prospects are eerily similar, but there are still more puzzle pieces to put together, such as combine results and draft position. I mentioned earlier that that he’s ranked 32nd in the RotoViz Scouting Index. One of the publications that the index incorporates is CBSSports.com, which has McRoberts ranked as the 13th WR of the class. CBS also has him projected to be drafted in the third round of the NFL Draft. A top-100 pick on a player like this would be significant and an indicator that whichever team drafts him will have specific plans for him. I have a sneaking suspicion that the former hoopster will perform pretty well in Indianapolis, and it’s not outside the realm of possibility that he actually tests better than Boyd. Until then, you can check out McRoberts at the Senior Bowl on January 30th.

  1. Josh DoctsonTyler BoydTajae Sharpe among others.  (back)

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