If you asked around the RotoViz staff, Keyarris Garrett going undrafted was a big surprise. During the RotoViz Wide Receiver Prospect Tournament, Garrett upset Ohio State’s Michael Thomas in the first round. What may have been a bigger surprise was the team that signed Garrett immediately after the real NFL draft.
Already stocked with WRs (including the returning Kelvin Benjamin), the Carolina Panthers signed Garrett as an undrafted free agent. And just like Benjamin and Devin Funchess before him, Garrett is one of the tallest WRs in his class. So while Benjamin and Funchess are at the top of the depth chart, grab Garrett at the end of your startup dynasty drafts for his future breakout potential.
Carolina definitely has a type when adding young WRs. Funchess and Benjamin played at much larger, more notable schools than Garrett, but were they really better prospects? Using the RotoViz Box Score Scout App, I came up with the following prospect heat map:
Despite the slight height/weight disadvantages, Garrett matches up favorably with Benjamin and Funchess, especially when it comes to production, which is most important. And despite playing against lesser talent, Charles Kleinheksel showed us that Garrett matched up well with his fellow classmates against common opponents.
What the prospect heat map primarily shows is that Garrett, at worst, is a comparable prospect to Benjamin and Funchess. And with Carolina’s recent draft strategy, the Panthers have shown an affinity for big WRs as a part of their Cam Newton-centric offense. So while many drafters will be scared off by the fact that Garrett went undrafted, I believe he is one of the late-round gems in this rookie class.
Average Draft Position
Since they’re currently at the top of the Carolina WR depth chart and are both young players, Benjamin and Funchess are currently drafted earlier in dynasty startups. According to the RotoViz Dynasty ADP App, Benjamin is currently drafted as WR17 and 27th overall. Funchess is being drafted as the 42nd WR and 76th overall player. And Garrett is being drafted as WR91 and 189th overall.
Garrett’s lack of ADP data after going undrafted might be due to the fact that startup drafts that began after the NFL draft have yet to reach the final rounds. But one thing is clear, Keyarris Garrett is dirt cheap in your startup league. And since his physical tools appear to be in line with what Carolina wants, Garrett will have an opportunity to succeed and at a much lower cost than his teammates.
Don’t let the fact that Garrett went undrafted fool you. Garrett’s size/skill combination make him a fit for the Carolina’s WR plan moving forward. And while Garrett currently sits at the bottom of the Panthers’ depth chart, all of the WRs currently above him share a common problem: Drops. Both Benjamin and Funchess were near the top of the league in total drops and drop rate during their respective rookie seasons, while Garrett had a strong showing during his senior season, dropping just three of 99 catchable passes. If Funchess or Benjamin go down with an injury or fail to show improvement during the season, expect Garrett to earn a shot to impress and possibly keep a spot in the starting lineup. So, if you find yourself in the final rounds of your startup draft, “stash” Garrett on your bench. Garrett’s situation, as a fit with the Panther offense with a chance to eventually become a starter, makes him a more valuable asset than his initial cost would lead you to believe.