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Anthony Miller is the Next …? Historical Comparables for the Bears WR

Bears rookie wide receiver Anthony Miller is next up as we take a look at the most comparable players for the 11 best rookie WRs from the 2018 class.

Chicago took Miller 51st overall out of Memphis. He was the sixth WR selected in the 2018 NFL Draft.

Among the rookie class, he finished:

  • Eighth in targets and seventh in receptions
  • 11th in yards
  • Second in touchdowns (7)
  • Eighth in expected points
  • Fifth in efficiency (reFPOE)
  • Sixth in fantasy points
PLAYER reRECS. reTRGS reYDS reTDS reEP reFPOE PPR
Calvin Ridley 64 92 821 10 150.5 55.6 208.8
D.J. Moore 55 82 788 2 135.1 10.7 160.2
Courtland Sutton 42 84 704 4 136.1 0.3 136.3
Antonio Callaway 43 81 586 5 136.2 -4.6 132.3
Christian Kirk 43 68 590 3 102.7 17.3 123.5
Anthony Miller 33 54 423 7 93.2 24.1 120.3
Marquez Valdes-Scantling 38 72 581 2 113.2 -5.1 111
Dante Pettis 27 45 467 5 75.2 28.5 103.5
Tre’Quan Smith 28 44 427 5 74.2 26.5 100.7
Robert Foster 26 44 522 3 71.5 24.7 96.2

The bottom line isn’t bad, but it’s concerning that 29 percent of his total yardage came in a 122-yard game against the Lions, and his sixth-place fantasy finish was mostly fueled by his seven TDs.

To be fair, he did battle a persistent shoulder injury for a good part of the year, which likely limited his production.

The Comparables

Using inputs of target volume, production, efficiency, age, weight, and draft position, I used the RotoViz Screener to come up with the most similar rookie seasons to Miller’s since 2000.

download (26)

The Screener doesn’t put much stock in his seven TDs — even if I include TDs as a variable, the list doesn’t really improve, depending on your feelings on Martavis Bryant.

Miller was a late breakout (22.2), an older draft pick, and did not score well on the Phenom Index. His ceiling appeared limited entering the league, and his rookie year didn’t do much to change his outlook.

Roddy White represents his best-case comparison, though White commanded more targets and had seven pounds on Miller. It’s a bit of a stretch considering White was a first-round pick.

The Screener likes Malcolm Mitchell as the closest comparison, and indeed, the two bear striking similarities across the board, outside of draft position.

What Did They Do in Year Two?

Who knew Quincy Morgan was such a stud in his second season?

download (28)

Morgan would blow up as a sophomore with nearly 1,000 receiving yards for the Browns, but after a 516-yard season in year three, he’d fade into irrelevance.

If Miller doesn’t become the next White, maybe he can be the next Brian Hartline. After taking a step forward in his second season, Hartline would go on to put up back-to-back seasons of 1,083 and 1,016 yards.

Darius Watts had 22 yards in his sophomore season, which would also be his last.

Conclusion

It doesn’t look great, but considering Miller’s shoulder injury, we probably shouldn’t put too much stock in these comps. However, they’re not all bad, and if he can continue to be a red zone threat, he’ll be of use to fantasy owners.

Still, pair the unexciting comps with a gaudy but overvalued college profile, and it’s hard to be overly optimistic when projecting Miller.

Check out the top comparables for the rest of this rookie WR class:

11. Michael Gallup

10. Robert Foster

9. Tre’Quan Smith

8. Dante Pettis

7. Marquez Valdes-Scantling

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