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3 Non-Power-5 Devy Wide Receivers to Target

In devy leagues, Power-5 schools produce many of the top assets, and generally that makes perfect sense. Top high school prospects traditionally pick major programs to play out their college careers in hopes of improved draft stock and the chance at a national championship. But there are always a few gems at the small schools. Whether they were late-bloomers or were forced to transfer, non-Power-5-conference players have made an impact at the NFL level. As devy assets, they can be acquired at low prices.

So today, I’ll take a look at three smaller school prospects that are worth a stash on taxi squads. All devy ADP comes from DevyWatch.

Darnell Mooney, WR Tulane

The secret should already be out on Darnell Mooney, but the fact that he’s currently going undrafted in most devy mocks would indicate that the Tulane prospect is still an easily acquirable commodity in most leagues.

I previewed Mooney before his 2018 bowl game as a potential rookie draft target, but, as expected, he returned for his fourth season at Tulane.

 GReceptionsYdsAvgTDMS YardsMS TDsDominator
201692426711.120.220.200.21
2017113459917.640.350.360.36
2018134899320.780.420.530.47
Career33107185917.5140.350.390.37

His 2018 campaign is one to behold as he ranked first among FBS receivers in Dominator Rating and second to Andy Isabella in market share of receiving yards following the regular season. And Mooney is one of the key reasons to use market share rather than raw numbers, because while he failed to eclipse 1,000 receiving yards, he was the clear focal point of a limited passing game 1.

Mooney’s career market share of 35% stands out, particularly when paired with his field stretching yards-per-reception average. Along with breaking out as a sophomore, Mooney has proven capable as an offense’s focal point. With his acquisition cost being the last pick in a devy draft, Mooney is a steal.

Antonio Gandy-Golden, WR Liberty

Antonio Gandy-Golden started out last season as a super under-the-radar prospect as part of a team moving up to FBS-level competition. However, as a part of the high-flying Liberty offense, Gandy-Golden has climbed into normal sleeper range entering the 2019 season. He has a year-to-date ADP of 54 as the 26th WR taken, but with his proven production, there’s a chance he’ll rise again before he enters the NFL.

 GReceptionsYdsAvgTDMS YardsMS TDsDominator
2016112131515.030.140.170.16
2017169106615.4100.310.340.33
20181171103714.6100.360.530.45
Career13161241815.0230.270.340.31

Following back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons, Gandy-Golden has some buzz entering the season and with QB Steven Calvert, they will lead a high powered passing attack that ranked 23rd in pass attempts per game and ran the sixth most plays per game. As the focal point of the passing game, Gandy-Golden’s raw and market share numbers are boosted by the team’s scheme.

Should Gandy-Golden finish his college career with another 1,000 yard campaign, his draft stock will almost assuredly rise. Gandy-Golden enters the season just under the ideal career market share of 29%, and a strong final season will likely push him over the top. Pairing his career market share with a sophomore breakout at age 19.7, Gandy-Golden looks like a value as a late-fifth round devy selection.

James Proche, WR SMU

James Proche was named a first-team WR in the American Athletic Conference after a nearly 1,200 yard season, and he appears poised for another dominant season. While Proche looks like the definition of a late-blooming prospect, he is potentially one season away from being a sneaky NFL draft prospect.

 GReceptionsYdsAvgTDMS YardsMS TDsDominator
2016125770912.460.220.270.25
2017124081620.460.220.180.20
20181293119912.9120.360.430.40
Career36190272414.3240.270.290.28

Proche’s college career started after one season on the bench, but once he saw the field, he made an instant impact. With three consecutive seasons over 20% of his team’s yards, he’s proven to be a consistent and central part of the team’s passing attack. Finally out of the shadow of Courtland Sutton, Proche proved during his 2018 campaign that he could be more than just consistent, he could be a volume-hog.

Unlike the other two prospects, Proche was forced to redshirt during his freshman season and will likely be one of the older prospects in the class. His advanced breakout age and lack of pedigree are concerns, but with a 27% career market share of his yards, Proche’s production is unlikely to be a question as an NFL prospect.

Image Credit: Stephen Lew/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Darnell Mooney.

  1. Tulane ranked 120th in total pass attempts despite ranking 71st in plays per game  (back)

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