revolutionary tools.  groundbreaking articles.  proven results.

Is Antonio Gandy-Golden the Next Cooper Kupp? A 2020 NFL Draft Prospect Profile

On December 21, Antonio Gandy-Golden and Liberty defeated Georgia Southern 23 to 16 in the FBC Mortgage Cure Bowl. Liberty joined the FBS in 2018 and Gandy-Golden proved in those two seasons that he would remain productive even with the step up in competition.

Background

Gandy-Golden was an unheralded prospect. He wasn’t ranked by 247Sports and he was only ranked as a two-star prospect by Rivals. His offer list only featured FCS programs.

College Production

While he wasn’t a superstar prospect, Gandy-Golden made an immediate impact for the FCS program.

 ReceptionsRec. YardsRec. TDs
2016213153
201769106610
201871103710
201979139610
Career Totals240381433
FCS Career Totals90138113
FBS Career Totals150243320

As a freshman, Gandy-Golden caught 21 passes for 315 yards. He then followed it up by dominating the passing offense with a double digit TD season and over 1,000 receiving yards.

As a relative unknown, Liberty made the jump from FCS to FBS before the 2018 season. This didn’t appear to have much of an impact on Gandy-Golden, however, as he nearly duplicated his stat line from 2017.

 MS ReceptionsMS Rec. YardsMS Rec. TDsDominatorAge
20160.110.140.170.1518.7
20170.260.310.340.3319.7
20180.290.330.480.4020.7
20190.310.370.340.3621.7
Career0.250.300.340.32
FCS Career0.200.240.280.26
FBS Career0.300.350.400.38

For his career, he hit the key market share threshold of 0.29 for his career and had a relatively young breakout age. Using the 0.30 dominator threshold, Gandy-Golden qualified for a breakout season at the age of 19.7. While typically I would devalue the production at the lower level, I’m using this breakout age because he managed to duplicate his production even when his team took a step up in competition. If there are any concerns about Gandy-Golden’s production stats, it’s that he took a slight step back during his final season, but that goes along with an overall improvement of the offense. His raw stats improved in every category except for TDs which led to a decline in his dominator rating.

Even with the move from FCS to FBS, there’s plenty of reason to question the level of competition for Gandy-Golden. Liberty still faced one of the easiest schedules in the FBS. Because of this potential red flag, Gandy-Golden’s performances at the Senior Bowl and NFL Draft Combine hold a higher weight than for similar producing prospects.

Draft Prospects

Using Anthony Amico’s Breakout Age Regression tree, Gandy-Golden finishes in the second best final node with a 33% success rate. He just missed out on an X85BA under 20.1 If he had hit this mark, he would have finished in node 7 with a 66% historical success rate.

While his age of 21.7 isn’t considered to be advanced for a senior prospect, the fact remains that he stayed in school for his senior year. This could be perceived as a potential red flag in his profile. However, his decision to stay an additional year likely helps his draft stock coming out of a smaller school. Cooper Kupp’s success in the NFL suggests that an additional year in school might be beneficial for small-school prospects.

A prospect with this production at a Power Five program would likely be considered a lock to be drafted in the first two rounds. Because of his school’s status, his draft stock is highly variable and he’ll need to be a standout in Senior Bowl practices and at the combine. This is demonstrated by the sims on the Box Score Scout. Using a rough estimate draft position of 100, the top three similar scores provide optimism.

By dropping just 50 additional spots, the outlook is significantly more bleak.

As a conservative estimate for early rookie drafts and rookie ranks, I’d assume that he’s most likely going to be drafted early in Day 3. His production may warrant a higher selection, but he’s likely to be outside of my top 10 WRs until there’s some indication that a Day 2 selection might be likely. If he starts to get second- or third-round draft buzz, he could be a steal in the second rounds of rookie drafts.

Image Credit: Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Antonio Gandy-Golden.

  1. X85BA refers to adjusted breakout age, which combines breakout age and final age into a single weighted metric. Gandy-Golden’s was 20.03.  (back)

recent and related...

in case you missed it...

Week 16 Primetime Slate DFS Breakdown

Who are the best plays for the Week 16 DFS primetime slate on DraftKings and FanDuel? Tyler Loechner runs through notes on the primetime short slate featuring SNF/MNF games.1 DSF Week 16 Primetime Slate DFS Week 16 Primetime Slate theory thoughts: All four QB options have some angle of appeal

Read More

NFL Week 16: Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda

Monty Phan wraps up the weekend of NFL action. For nearly four months every year, my wife puts up with a husband who is totally useless on Sundays, a slave to the Red Zone Channel and NBC Sunday Night Football. Just when the season crescendos to a climax – the

Read More

Michael Thomas Sets Records As Surprise WRs Make Their Case to Dynasty Owners

Shawn Siegele looks at all the top wide receiver performances from Week 16, including big games from Sterling Shepard, Diontae Johnson, and Steven Sims Jr. Championship weekend featured a title-winning fourth-down score from Tyler Boyd and monster performances from two legends. Michael Thomas and Julio Jones combined for 22 catches

Read More
Connect
Support

rotovizmain@gmail.com

Sign-up today for our free Premium Email subscription!

© 2019 RotoViz. All rights Reserved.