It’s not a revelation to say that picking the right players is a key aspect of creating a contender in a dynasty league. There’s no better way to get bang for your buck than selecting the next sleeper rookie wide receiver Chris Godwin, Kenny Golladay, or even Cooper Kupp in the 2nd round of rookie drafts. It’s not easy, but if we focus on the right details we can increase our probability of identifying these players.
It’s no secret that this year’s rookie class is loaded. In a rookie wide receiver class where there is talent from top to bottom, it’s easy for some players to get overlooked in the process. Who is the guy being overlooked this year in rookie drafts?
His name is Bryan Edwards.
Edward’s Rookie Profile
Breakout age is one of the most important metrics we can look at when determining whether a rookie wide receiver prospect is good. If a receiver is performing at a high level against older defenders, he’s probably good at football.
Bryan Edwards has the best breakout age ever recorded on Player Profiler, which should make us extremely excited. It becomes even more impressive when you consider that he was able to do this in the SEC.
Edwards also offers a very strong weight profile that is extremely important for finding upside in WR prospects. 64% of all WR1s (top 12 finish at the WR position) weigh at least 210 lbs or more. Bryan Edwards is currently listed at 212 lbs.
Draft position is also key for receivers and Edwards being drafted in the 3rd round is promising for his future. 79% of all WR1 seasons since 2010 came from a WR drafted in the first three rounds of the NFL draft.
Blair Andrews recently wrote about how important hand size is for successful NFL receivers. Edwards checks the minimum threshold we are looking for with 9.5-inch hands.
Context Matters For This Sleeper Rookie Wide Receiver
Not only does Edwards boast an impressive resume on the surface, but it becomes even more clear how good Edwards is when we add some context.
He played at South Carolina with a receiver named Deebo Samuel. As some of you know, Deebo came onto the scene as a rookie in the league last year and put himself in extremely promising company. Based on this, Deebo gives himself a high probability of becoming one of the better WRs in the league at some point in his career.
Now, why does this matter?
Here’s how both players performed alongside each other at South Carolina.
While on a per-game basis Edwards doesn’t stack up to Deebo, he still produced within the context of the offense. Add in the fact that Bryan Edwards was three full years younger than Deebo during this stretch and it shows how impressive this is.
If Deebo is going to be a very good NFL WR, then we should be very excited about Edwards’ potential as he put up similar stats in college at a much younger age.
Strong Cohorts For A Sleeper Rookie Wide Receiver
The newly released Breakout Finder app, which uses machine-learning with a bunch of advanced metrics, gave Edwards a very high rating amongst some impressive names at the WR position.
The WRs who were drafed between 2003-2017 and hit these thresholds:
-top 3 rd DC
-breakout age of 18/19
-BMI > 27
-21 y/o rookie
17 of 28 players (61%) hit at least one WR1 season in their career.
2020 WR class:
— Dalton Kates (@DaltonGuruFF) February 19, 2020
Pardon my bad spelling, but it’s clear Edwards is in strong company with his robust profile.
Of the players to hit those thresholds and had:
-an average dominator of 25%+
-ran under a 4.6
-weighed 210 lbs+
100% (9/9) hit at least one WR2 szn with 7 players hitting a WR1 szn for a combined 25 WR1 szns.
You’re probably too low on Bryan Edwards. https://t.co/imjwPCzksD
— Dalton Kates (@DaltonGuruFF) February 11, 2020
We don’t know for certain that he would’ve run under a 4.6, but the fact that there is a documented time of Edwards running a 4.53 coming out of high school is promising.
Potential Red Flag
Had Bryan Edwards declared early last year, he would have been a near-perfect prospect. Boasting a resume that checks literally every single box would have made him a very high probability WR to hit in the NFL.
By deciding to return and finish out his senior year at school, he decreased his chances of becoming a “hit”. But should someone of Edwards profile and caliber just be written off because of this?
He will also be playing his rookie season at age 21 despite this. We know 21-year-old rookies are much more likely to have success throughout their careers than any other age group. This makes Edwards an interesting case study as generally senior wide receivers are much older.
If there was ever a senior WR for us to bet on, Edwards makes a strong case.
The Los Vegas Raiders drafted him in the 3rd round of the NFL draft. Mike Mayock had some nice things to say about him after selecting him.
Mike Mayock on Bryan Edwards:
“We think he is an outstanding X. He’s that big, physical, tough, fast receiver on the opposite side [of Ruggs].”
“We think he can win 1 on 1 matchups. We loved his production in the SEC.”
— Dalton Kates (@DaltonGuruFF) April 25, 2020
The Raiders had a glaring hole at the receiver position entering the draft and shored it up by selecting Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards. Edwards enters a team that last year boasted Tyrell Williams and Hunter Renfrow as it’s starting WRs. Not to say those players are bad, but they aren’t roadblocks for Edwards to find playing time this year and especially next year when Williams will become a free agent.
Even with that depleted WR core, the Raiders were the 8th most efficient passing offense in the league at 7.8 yards per attempt. That’s extremely impressive with Derek Carr at quarterback and minimal weapons in the passing offense outside of Darren Waller. This should show us that the system itself is very strong and should allow the Raiders to continue to be good in the future, especially when they get a QB upgrade.
Cost In Dynasty Rookie Drafts
Everything in fantasy football is all about cost. Knowing how strong Edwards’ profile is, it would seem on its surface that he is being drafted fairly high amongst rookies. This couldn’t be further from the truth as he currently being selected in Apex dynasty leagues as the 10th WR and 24th player off the board amongst rookies.
This makes him an incredible sleeper rookie wide receiver value as somebody who should not only provide a great return on investment but also boasts promising upside in the back half of the second round.
There’s a lot to like about Bryan Edwards as a sleeper rookie and his prospects as he enters the NFL. His rookie season will be interesting to monitor as he is one of a select few rookie WRs who has the opportunity to join this exclusive list given the requisite targets and efficiency.
Enjoy the discount on this type of player in your rookie drafts as it is likely this is the cheapest he will ever be.
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