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2019 NFL Draft Prospect: Lil’Jordan Humphrey

After finishing 15th nationally in yards receiving in 2018, Lil’Jordan Humphrey has decided to forgo his senior season at Texas and enter the NFL Draft. Aside from his solid final-season production, the 6-foot-4, 225-pound wide receiver is noted for his size and run-after-catch abilities. Does Humphrey warrant consideration in the first round of dynasty rookie drafts?

THE EARLY YEARS

A three-star recruit from Southlake, Texas, Humphrey was a dynamic athlete. He rushed for 3,120 yards and 43 touchdowns in his final two high school seasons while also posting an 83-1,161-11 receiving line. He enrolled at Texas in the summer of 2016 after receiving numerous offers from other Power Five programs. As a freshman, Humphrey saw limited action playing mostly on special teams.

2017 AND BEYOND

As a sophomore in 2017, Humphrey’s 37-431-1 receiving line accounted for just nine percent of his team’s receiving yards and TDs. Aside from Collin Johnson, Texas was generally lacking high-end WR talent which makes Humphrey’s performance a bit concerning. But Humphrey has really emerged in his junior season. He’s posted a 86-1,186-9 receiving line in 14 games, leading the team in all three categories. Humphrey’s career statistics aren’t very noteworthy. But to get a better understanding of his true production we need to incorporate age into the mix.

DRAFT PROSPECTS

All thing being equal, younger prospects are more likely to succeed, making the fact that Humphrey will play his rookie season at age-21 extremely important. Blair Andrews has shown that 21-year-old rookie WRs have gone on to have at least one WR2 season more than 40 percent of the time:

Humphrey’s final-season 0.32 Dominator Rating registers as a true breakout season, an important threshold found to be predictive of future success. Adding age into the equation, Humphrey’s breakout looks even more promising landing in a group of prospects with a 35 percent hit rate:

SplitHitsTotal%Average Draft
BA <=20183946.2%38.1
20 < BA <= 21123435.3%46.4
21 < BA <= 2242119.0%52.3
BA > 221156.7%62.3

On the other hand, when we reference Anthony Amico’s WR Breakout Regression Tree, we see that Humphrey falls into a cohort of historical prospects with a measly two percent success rate largely due to his lack of career per-game TD production:

WR Full Snip

Humphrey is a candidate to end up as a top-100 draft pick which would greatly increase his chances to become fantasy relevant. A large investment of draft capital is one of the best signals we have when predicting immediate opportunity and would curtail the worries about his slim statistical output. But if he slips in the draft for whatever reason, I’d be more hesitant to spend premium rookie draft capital on him this summer. As of this writing, I’d consider drafting Humphrey in the early-to-mid second round of most dynasty rookie drafts based on his age, weight, and final-season production.

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