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Final Pre-Draft RB and WR Model Projections

Anthony Amico has spent time this offseason developing models to predict the performance of incoming rookies. With the Draft coming this week, he has finalized his projections. This will be the final installment of both the running back and wide receiver projections prior to Thursday’s NFL Draft.

Running Backs

PlayerSchoolAgeBreakout AgeBreakout Age*Log(DS)ADJ APYPGPredict
Saquon BarkleyPenn State20.919.919.90.000179.2282.9
Derrius GuiceLSU20.519.519.50.301114.6216.7
Rashaad PennySDSU21.920.920.90.845250.3197.4
Ronald JonesUSC20.420.420.40.602131.9177.8
Nick ChubbGeorgia22.019.0190.69991.7158.2
Nyheim HinesNC State21.
Sony MichelGeorgia22.9-22.90.47794.5155.1
Kerryon JohnsonAuburn20.520.520.50.778132.1154.0
Royce FreemanOregon21.919.919.90.954136.6138.2
Mark WaltonMiami20.8-20.81.000130.8121.8
Ito SmithSouthern Mississippi22.
Justin JacksonNorthwestern21.720.720.71.146122.099.5
John KellyTennessee21.2-21.21.04197.997.5
Josh AdamsNotre Dame21.2-21.21.204117.885.6
Kalen BallageArizona State22.0-221.07992.183.0
Akrum WadleyIowa22.822.822.81.230133.375.8
Jarvion FranklinWMU22.
Terry SwansonToledo21.4-21.41.322119.869.4
Darrel WilliamsLSU22.7-22.71.11464.759.6
Phillip LindsayColorado23.423.423.41.431144.249.5
Larry Rose IIINew Mexico State22.
Kamryn PettwayAuburn21.020.0201.39867.446.9
Dalyn DawkinsColorado State23.023.0231.462132.743.5
Bo ScarbroughAlabama23.3-23.31.17650.439.6
D'Angelo BrewerTulsa21.921.921.91.653147.735.0
Jordan WilkinsMississippi23.4-23.41.447104.328.7
Chris WarrenTexas21.5-21.51.36245.328.4
Mike BooneCincinnati22.4-22.41.41571.726.1
Justin CrawfordWest Virginia22.8-22.81.47791.523.9
Demario RichardArizona State21.1-21.11.62392.119.6
Dontrell HilliardTulane22.8-22.81.556100.517.8
Ray LawryODU21.3-21.31.66399.716.3
Diocemy Saint JusteHawaii23.823.823.81.756138.91.2
  • One of the biggest losers was Kerryon Johnson, who went from a top-five option to just inside the top 10.
  • Nick Chubb now finds himself inside of the top five.
  • Scrolling down, you’ll see that the 11th-rated RB in the model is Ito Smith, who had a fantastic college career, but was not invited to the Combine.
  • One interesting name that stood out to me was Kamryn Pettway, who broke out at 20 years old before character and injury issues led to a bust of a 2017 season. There could be some deep sleeper appeal.

Wide Receivers

PlayerSchoolF AgeBreakout AgeAdj AgeAdj DomNFL DS RankLog(DS)Predict
D.J. MooreMaryland20.719.719.90.53220.301221.5
Calvin RidleyAlabama23.
Courtland SuttonSMU22.
Christian KirkTexas A&M21.
D.J. CharkLSU21.4-21.40.29950.699131.1
Anthony MillerMemphis23.
Michael GallupColorado State21.820.821.00.347101.000123.1
Tre'Quan SmithUCF21.519.519.80.286111.041121.8
James WashingtonOklahoma State21.820.821.00.31590.954120.5
Equanimeous St. BrownNotre Dame21.320.320.50.23570.845119.1
Dante PettisWashington22.
Keke CouteeTexas Tech21.
Cedrick WilsonBoise State22.
Allen LazardIowa State22.
Ricky JeuneGeorgia Tech24.
Steve IshmaelSyracuse22.419.419.90.375431.63394.6
Deontay BurnettUSC20.
Deon CainClemson21.4-21.40.249131.11491.3
Jordan LasleyUCLA21.
Korey RobertsonSouthern Mississippi22.522.522.50.383231.36285.9
Trey QuinnSMU22.
Thomas OwensFIU21.719.720.00.438901.95481.3
J'Mon MooreMissouri22.621.621.80.261191.27977.6
Antonio Callaway*Florida20.0-20.00.256351.54477.1
Simmie CobbsIndiana22.4-22.40.275171.23076.4
DaeSean HamiltonPenn State22.8-22.80.238121.07975.8
Auden TateFSU20.920.920.90.282341.53172.6
Richie JamesMTSU22.321.321.50.306381.58067.5
Jester WeahPitt22.921.922.10.313331.51966.3
Javon WimsGeorgia22.322.322.30.296281.44765.6
Marcell AtemanOklahoma State23.3-23.30.226151.17660.9
Darren CarringtonUtah23.
Jaleel ScottNew Mexico State22.922.922.90.279251.39859.1
Braxton BerriosMiami22.2-22.20.240271.43157.3
Byron PringleKansas State24.
Cam PhilipsVirginia Tech22.
Marquez Valdes-ScantlingUSF23.2-23.20.283301.47750.7
Dylan CantrellTexas Tech23.5-23.50.190181.25546.0
Wyatt DempsNevada21.820.821.00.297861.93445.5
Kalib WoodsFAU23.323.323.30.394841.92437.6
Devonte BoydUNLV24.
Keith KirkwoodTemple24.0-24.00.235291.46233.7
Alfonso OnunworIdaho21.821.821.80.3611352.13033.4
Linell BonnerHouston22.722.722.70.319961.98226.3
Darren AndrewsUCLA22.422.422.40.297951.97825.7
Quadree HendersonPittsburgh21.3-21.30.057391.59121.5
Ervin PhilipsSyracuse22.9-22.90.245671.82621.4
  • The top three WRs in the model are D.J. Moore, Calvin Ridley, and Courtland Sutton. All have a shot to go in the first round on Thursday.
  • Despite not being invited to the Combine, and being ranked outside of the top 40 at NFL Draft Scout, Ricky Jeune and Steve Ishmael both make it into the top 16 of the model projections. They are attractive sleepers.
  • Marcell Ateman and Dylan Cantrell look like clear bust candidates. Both are ranked inside of the top 18 at NFL Draft Scout, but didn’t make the top 30 of the model projections.


Since you will obviously be drafting these players from the same pool, I wanted to give a brief snapshot of how they compare with players at other positions. Here are the composite RB and WR projections.

Saquon BarkleyPenn State282.9
D.J. MooreMaryland221.5
Derrius GuiceLSU216.7
Rashaad PennySDSU197.4
Calvin RidleyAlabama187.5
Ronald JonesUSC177.8
Nick ChubbGeorgia158.2
Nyheim HinesNC State157.6
Courtland SuttonSMU156.9
Sony MichelGeorgia155.1
Christian KirkTexas A&M154.4
Kerryon JohnsonAuburn154.0
Royce FreemanOregon138.2
D.J. CharkLSU131.1
Anthony MillerMemphis126.1
Michael GallupColorado State123.1
Mark WaltonMiami121.8
Tre'Quan SmithUCF121.8
James WashingtonOklahoma State120.5
Equanimeous St. BrownNotre Dame119.1
Dante PettisWashington113.9
Keke CouteeTexas Tech102.7
Ito SmithSouthern Mississippi101.0
Justin JacksonNorthwestern99.5
Cedrick WilsonBoise State98.6
John KellyTennessee97.5
Allen LazardIowa State96.0
Ricky JeuneGeorgia Tech95.5
Steve IshmaelSyracuse94.6
Deontay BurnettUSC94.5
Deon CainClemson91.3
Jordan LasleyUCLA90.3
Korey RobertsonSouthern Mississippi85.9
Josh AdamsNotre Dame85.6
Trey QuinnSMU83.8
Kalen BallageArizona State83.0
Thomas OwensFIU81.3
J'Mon MooreMissouri77.6
Antonio Callaway*Florida77.1
Simmie CobbsIndiana76.4
DaeSean HamiltonPenn State75.8
Akrum WadleyIowa75.8
Jarvion FranklinWMU74.7
Auden TateFSU72.6
Terry SwansonToledo69.4
Richie JamesMTSU67.5
Jester WeahPitt66.3
Javon WimsGeorgia65.6
Marcell AtemanOklahoma State60.9
Darren CarringtonUtah59.9
Darrel WilliamsLSU59.6
Jaleel ScottNew Mexico State59.1
Braxton BerriosMiami57.3
Byron PringleKansas State57.0
Cam PhilipsVirginia Tech51.2
Marquez Valdes-ScantlingUSF50.7
Phillip LindsayColorado49.5
Larry Rose IIINew Mexico State47.7
Kamryn PettwayAuburn46.9
Dylan CantrellTexas Tech46.0
Wyatt DempsNevada45.5
Dalyn DawkinsColorado State43.5
Bo ScarbroughAlabama39.6
Kalib WoodsFAU37.6
Devonte BoydUNLV36.4
D'Angelo BrewerTulsa35.0
Keith KirkwoodTemple33.7
Alfonso OnunworIdaho33.4
Jordan WilkinsMississippi28.7
Chris WarrenTexas28.4
Linell BonnerHouston26.3
Mike BooneCincinnati26.1
Darren AndrewsUCLA25.7
Justin CrawfordWest Virginia23.9
Quadree HendersonPittsburgh21.5
Ervin PhilipsSyracuse21.4
Demario RichardArizona State19.6
Dontrell HilliardTulane17.8
Ray LawryODU16.3
Diocemy Saint JusteHawaii1.2
  • Saquon Barkley projects as the 1.01 as expected, but you may be surprised to see that Moore is the player you should be taking at 1.02. He should be a huge value in rookie drafts.
  • Overall, there are seven RBs and just three WRs inside of the top 10. That speaks to the the relative strength of the RB class, and relative weakness of the WR group.
  • Nyheim Hines projects as a huge steal.
  • If you are looking for FCS studs like Justin Watson, you won’t find them here. The models are trained on and predict only FBS players.

Keep playing around with the projections, and see what you can come up with. Happy Draft Week!

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