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 matchup with the winner moving on to the next round.
(5) D.J. MOORE VS (3) JAMES WASHINGTON
D.J. Moore has been a favorite among panel members. He got to the finals by taking out Deon Cain, Christian Kirk and Courtland Sutton. Moore has an impressive resume that places him as one of the top WRs both athletically and from a Dominator Rating standpoint. Is that enough to become our 2018 Champion?
James Washington was said to be over-seeded in our tournament. That hasn’t stopped him from dispatching the likes of Allen Lazard, Equanemious St. Brown and Calvin Ridley. While the battles have been close, Washington’s high yards per reception and raw production have carried him through to the finals. Can he do it one more time?
John Lapinski – D.J. Moore: Moore checks all the boxes: production, age, breakout age, size, and athleticism. He’s not a flawless prospect, but he also doesn’t have any clear weaknesses. From a pure metrics perspective, he’s easily the best WR in this draft, and yet he may not even be drafted in the top half of the first round in rookie drafts, or be the first WR off the board. His combination of upside and affordability make him an easy choice.
Scott Smith – D.J. Moore: Moore is quite simply the sexiest prospect we have among WRs in the 2018 NFL draft. While his raw numbers aren’t what you would hope they could be earlier in his career, it’s easy to explain away. Moore’s athleticism and market share numbers are elite. Being able to get him in the mid-to-late first round makes him a value compared to where the top WRs in past draft classes have gone. So with the value portion there as well, Moore is the easy selection.
Matt Wispe – D.J. Moore: Moore tested in the elite final node of Kevin Cole’s regression tree with a strong career MS receiving yards and a dominant final year. He’ll likely cost at most a mid-first-round rookie pick and may not even be the first WR off the board, despite being a much more attractive prospect than those ahead of him.
Cort Smith – D.J. Moore: I view the value in this WR class as being mostly flat. Moore looks like good value as a mid-first-round pick, but the lack of early-age production is concerning. The choice between the top WR prospects is ultimately going to come down to landing spots. If Moore goes to the Packers, he becomes a top-three dynasty pick. If he goes Buffalo or Baltimore… meh.
Blair Andrews – D.J. Moore: There’s a plausible case to be made that Moore is a more valuable rookie pick than Saquon Barkley: Every other WR prospect has red flags — no one comes close to providing the combination of athleticism and production that Moore does.1 Barkley is certainly the best RB prospect in recent memory, but Rashaad Penny is pretty good too, and so is Derrius Guice. Nick Chubb, Sony Michel, Ronald Jones, Royce Freeman, and maybe even Kerryon Johnson round out a list of RBs who could potentially make for a halfway decent arbitrage play on Barkley. Moore is less replaceable. Both Barkley and Moore are better than their positional peers, but perhaps Moore is more better.
Anthony Amico – D.J. Moore: Moore is currently my preferred 1.02 selection, and you don’t have to pick anywhere near that to acquire him right now. He is the 8th pick off the board in rookie drafts according to DLF, and the second WR off the board. In fact, Washington is going just two picks later on average. That tight price difference between the two makes this a layup for Moore, who is the eighth best WR in my model since 2000.
Hasan Rahim – D.J. Moore: Not only is Moore the second youngest WR in the draft, but he checks all the boxes you want in an NFL prospect. Moore’s been productive from a young age, and has performed well on special teams. The fact that he aced all athletic testing at the NFL Combine is icing on the cake. Given that Washington is going two picks after Moore per DLF’s Rookie ADP, he makes for an easy no-brainer selection in rookie drafts.
Shawn Siegele – D.J. Moore: I’ve picked against Washington for two consecutive rounds when it was close. This one … is not. Moore lacks the raw production – especially early in his college career – that helps a player into the top-10 picks of the reality draft, and he’s not the height/weight/athleticism freak that you get with a Calvin Johnson or Julio Jones. In this RB-heavy draft, those minor blemishes are going to make him one of the easiest to acquire elite prospects in recent memory.
Moore puts on yet another dominant performance en route to being crowned our 2018 WR Champion. The athletic profile, young age, and market share numbers have been too much for any of the other prospects to overcome. Moore officially gets the RotoViz stamp of approval as our top rookie WR draft target for dynasty owners. Moore’s last hurdles to overcome will be draft position and landing spot. If Moore is drafted by a team with both a reliable QB and opportunity, owners have a solid shot at seeing an early return on their investment. Tune into the NFL draft at the end of April to see where he lands and check back with RotoViz for post-draft analysis to see if the hype continues for Moore.
- Except maybe Justin Watson, but he might not even be selected in the NFL Draft. (back)