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Can Athletic Rookie WR Bend the “Production Over All” Rule?

Source: Ravens Minicamp Day 3 Wrap-Up – The Secondary Shines

Rookie wide receiver Chris Moore had his best practice of the offseason running with both the first and second team offenses. During 7-on-7 red zone drills, Moore caught two touchdown receptions against fellow rookie Tavon Young.

Moore, the Ravens second 4th round draft pick in 2016, spent time running with the first team and second team offenses. He and Keenan Reynolds will make the receiver battle a tough one for just a few remaining roster spots.

While we won’t see how they fare in pads until training camp, the battle is certainly going to be a good one to watch.

What’s that thing we say all the time — for wide receiver prospects, “collegiate production isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.” It’s hyperbole, of course, but if you’re high on a rookie WR who wasn’t productive in college, you’d better have a darn good reason.

So what’s the darn good reason for my fascination with Chris Moore?1 First, the physical profile, which prompted Shawn Siegele to call Moore a Michael Thomas (Saints) arbitrage play:

Chris Moore dynasty

Not too shabby, but certainly not enough to offset Moore’s lack of collegiate production.

I’m more influenced by Moore’s fourth-round draft pedigree, where he ranks better than at least a dozen WRs who are being drafted ahead of him in rookie drafts. Whether it’s because of extra opportunity for high draft picks or NFL front offices’ informational advantage (or some combination of the two), draft position matters. I’ll rarely pass on a fourth-round NFL draft pick in the fourth round of dynasty rookie drafts.

But it’s not just draft pedigree. Jon Moore is excited about Moore because of the latter’s top-notch efficiency in college.2 In the NFL, yard-per-target efficiency isn’t a very predictive statistic. But Jon presents an argument for using collegiate efficiency as a back door for WRs who fail the production test.

Finally, there’s good old fashioned situation. Breshad Perriman has an ACL injury somewhere in the range of “meh” to career-ending. Steve Smith may retire after he catches 39 passes. And Mike Wallace hasn’t topped 1000 scrimmage yards since 2011. Oh, did I mention that the Ravens led the league in pass attempts in 2015 under returning offensive coordinator Marc Trestman?

So, yeah, Moore is worth that fourth-round rookie pick. And if I haven’t convinced you, maybe Anthony Amico can.

  1. In my seven dynasty leagues that have held rookie drafts, I’ve drafted him in four — probably the most I’ve drafted any rookie in 2016.  (back)
  2. I have no information about Jon’s collegiate efficiency.  (back)
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