The RotoViz Wide Receiver Prospect Sweet 16 Tournament matches the top incoming prospects in a head-to-head March Madness style format. Various RotoViz writers break down each match-up with the winner moving on to the next round.
Catch up on any of the previous match ups in this series by clicking one of the links below.
(6) ANTHONY MILLER VS. (11) EQUANIMEOUS ST. BROWN
Anthony Miller has certainly been one of the most productive WRs in college football over the last two years and maybe the most productive option in the 2018 draft. With a College DR of 39.9-percent, Miller managed to put up almost 1,900 yards and 32 touchdowns his last two years in Memphis. As a former walk on, Miller doesn’t boast the kindest of breakout ages (22.2) and will be over 23 years of age when drafted. Adding to the mystery of Miller is an incomplete athletic profile due to a foot injury that did not allow Miller to complete drills at the combine. With concern over the injury, Miller is an older prospect with solid production that is a bit of a gamble. Will his profile be enough to advance?
Equanimeous St. Brown experienced a production collapse in 2017. Some of that can be attributed to horrible QB play at Notre Dame and Deshone Kizer leaving for the NFL. With Kizer at the helm in 2016, St. Brown accounted for a respectable 31.5-percent of the receiving yardage to go along with 9 TDs. With the Irish offense sputtering, St. Brown only managed to produce 33 receptions for 515 yards and 4 TDs in 2017. Standing 6-foot-5 and 214 pounds, St. Brown is quite the specimen and tests with athletic similarities to names like Kenny Golladay, DeVante Parker, Mike Williams and Braylon Edwards. Will his athletic profile be enough to push St. Brown on to the next round?
Anthony Amico – Anthony Miller: Despite being the higher seed in this tournament, Miller is going over 50 picks later in DLF startup ADP. That seems wrong. Miller’s projection is better than St. Brown’s straight up, so I will definitely take him at a major discount.
John Lapinski – Anthony Miller: While they are two totally different players, this matchup is pretty even. St. Brown holds an advantage in age and breakout age, however Miller’s advanced age is partially because of starting as a walk-on and a season lost to injury. Currently, Miller projects to go about a round later in rookie drafts, so I’ll take the cheaper player here.
Scott Smith – Equanimeous St. Brown: Stats will not tell the story in this matchup. Miller has been more productive at a smaller school. He was a former walk-on and has excelled in the underdog role. Miller put together a nearly 40 percent DR in college and is regarded as one of the better route runners in this draft. My issue is that we really don’t know what Miller’s athletic profile is at this point due to his injury. Whispers are that Miller will not be able to complete combine drills or run before the draft. That’s a big red flag for me. St. Brown is a physical specimen with above average athleticism who played at Notre Dame with a less than ideal QB situation. Given the two-year difference in age, I just like the overall profile a bit better. While I have to project a bit and have faith, I will take St. Brown.
Cort Smith – Equanimeous St. Brown: A tough decision that will ultimately come down to cost of acquisition. Based on what he’s been able to do at a young age with poor QB play, I’m willing to pay a slight premium on St. Brown. But these two are trending in opposite directions in terms of rookie ADP, and if that continues, there comes a point where I’d rather take the age discount on the more productive Miller.
Matt Wispe – Anthony Miller: I’ve been the sole person on #TeamOldAsDirtWR this offseason, and at this point, I’m just riding for Miller. He had over 40 percent TD market share for two consecutive seasons and over 30 percent MS of receiving yards. St. Brown is an interesting prospect because of athleticism and age, but his production never matched his hype. Miller advances.
Jordan Hoover – Equanimeous St. Brown: Miller’s market share metrics are strong, but he broke out late against softer competition. St. Brown is almost the polar opposite (tall, young, and lacking in production). This is a bet on upside and the belief that if deployed in a functional passing game – which he didn’t have at Notre Dame – St. Brown could flourish at the X.
Blair Andrews – Equanimeous St. Brown: Although Miller looks to have the statistical edge, his market share numbers are not enough to give him a profile with a historically high success rate. Neither are St. Brown’s, of course, but he’s significantly younger and just ran a 4.48 at 6-foot-5, giving him the third-highest Freak Score in the class. That’s got to count for something.
Ryan Bobbitt – Anthony Miller: I think Miller is getting a bit of the Cooper Kupp syndrome from last year. He got a late start due to being a walk-on and then injury. Once on the field he produced and showed out against the toughest competition. St. Brown and the rest of the Notre Dame offense struggled without Kizer. Age and combine testing are on his side, but Miller is significantly cheaper and gets the nod here.
Hasan Rahim – Equanimeous St. Brown: A WR’s breakout age is key when projecting NFL production. St. Brown broke out at a younger age (20.3 years old) than Miller (22.2 years old), and it’s likely that he has the higher ceiling. Although St. Brown’s drop in production is worrisome, I’d rather take a shot on a player who has the higher ceiling.
With this matchup going down to the wire, St. Brown pulls out the 5-4 upset with the final vote. Size/athleticism and especially breakout age appeared to be the deciding factors in the end. Both of these prospects should be in consideration for dynasty owners come draft day. It will be important to monitor Miller’s injury as it may ultimately decide what round he is drafted in. With both of these prospects offering different traits, owners will have to decide what profile they like more. While Miller offers the production, St. Brown offers better physical traits and possibly more upside. Expect owners to remain split on two prospects who should go in the second round of dynasty drafts.
Equanimeous St. Brown will move on to face the winner of (3) James Washington vs. (14) Allen Lazard.