Wide receivers are next up in our pre-draft 2019 rookie rankings. Here at Dynasty Happy Hour, we are getting you ready for dynasty drafts by giving you the knowledge you need for all the rookies joining the NFL this May. We covered running backs in the beginning of February. There is still plenty of time for these rankings to change with the actual NFL Draft still to come, but it’s never a bad idea to get an idea on who these rookies are and what they can possibly do for your fantasy teams come September. Here is my end of March ranking of the 2019 wide receiver class, complete with breakdowns of each player.

*All sizes/stats come from Sports Reference’s online database.

1. D.K. Metcalf, Ole Miss

Size: 6’3”, 228lbs

Age on Draft Day: 21

Best Traits: Athleticism, speed, power

Worst Traits: Injury history, college production

Breakdown: The first thing that you see when you watch Metcalf is his immense size. He is a physical specimen in the ilk of Julio Jones, Dez Bryant, and Josh Gordon. The second thing you notice is his incredible speed despite being a larger bodied wide receiver. In fact, he has incredible speed for any size body. He is tough to bring down after the catch and does a great job outmuscling pressing corners. Metcalf also does a great job at snagging balls away from his body with his wide wingspan. He occasionally has some drops which are probably more concentration drops more than anything, but worth noting. Metcalf’s biggest question mark comes with his injury history, which has all but stifled his college production. He missed almost all of his freshman season after breaking his foot in his second game. In 2018, he suffered a scary neck injury which required season-ending surgery. He has been cleared for football activity as of January 2019.


2. N’Keal Harry, Arizona State

Size: 6’2”, 228lbs

Age on Draft Day: 21

Best Traits: Contested catch, after catch ability

Worst Traits: Speed, route consistency

Breakdown: Harry has extremely quick feet which were showcased often during his time at Arizona State. He is extremely dangerous with the ball in his hands with the ability to get around defenders via cut, juke, or speed. He doesn’t leap for a ton of his catches which could limit his jump ball success against taller corners, but he makes up for this with incredible body adjustments to catch any pass near him. He seemed to come down with every contested catch regardless of odds. The bubble screen was an extremely successful play to him, get him the ball and let him work in space. His routes could be a bit crisper, as he tended to shy away from contact and just rely on athleticism for catches. He needs to be a bit more aggressive fighting through press coverage. Finally, he is a good but not elite athlete.


3. A.J. Brown, Ole Miss

Size: 6’0”, 226lbs

Draft Day Age: 21

Best Traits: Football IQ, body control, separation

Worst Traits: Top end speed, acceleration

Breakdown: Brown seems to glide in and out of his routes with extremely smooth body movement and foot placement. He gets incredible separation due to his sharp cuts and knows when to sit down in the open zone areas. Brown displays good concentration and body control when tracking deeper passes. This catch against Vanderbilt is worth the watch. Once he has the ball he is extremely elusive and almost seems to anticipate defenders’ moves to get extra yardage. He appears to be a high IQ player, but he lacks overall speed and acceleration.


4. Kelvin Harmon, North Carolina State

Size: 6’3”, 213lbs

Draft Day Age: 21

Best Traits: Aggressiveness, jump ball ability

Worst Traits: Average athlete, speed

Breakdown: Harmon is well versed on how to utilize his size for positioning when the football comes his way. He is aggressive and is not afraid to fight for 50-50 balls. NC State quarterback Ryan Finley often looked his way for back shoulder fades and hitch routes. His quick hands combined with his aggression makes him a really good run blocker. Harmon has average athleticism and can round out his routes at times, seeming  to lumber in and out of cuts without a sense of urgency on some plays. Multiple instances of him failing to comeback to bail out Finley’s rollouts makes me question his awareness a tad.


5. Antoine Wesley, Texas Tech

Size: 6’-5”, 200lbs

Draft Day Age: 21

Best Traits: Route running, sideline body control, blocking

Worst Traits: Power, weight

Breakdown:  Antoine Wesley is the hidden gem we all search for in every draft class. He is relatively unknown with only one year of production down in Lubbock. His route running is extremely impressive as he constantly sets up his defender only cut the opposite way and have yards of separation. Case in point would be this route against Houston. While you’re at that video, just watch the entire thing. Wesley dominates the entire game with speed, elusiveness, and an unexpected aggressiveness. He is quick to hit his top speed and has great verticality. There are some questions about his weight and lack of power.


6. Parris Campbell, Ohio State

Size: 6’0”, 208lbs

Draft Day Age: 21

Best Traits: Speed, burst, after-catch ability

Worst Traits: Lack of full route tree, inconsistent hands 

Breakdown: Campbell has solid awareness of the field that shows on most plays. He knows how to set up his man and he knows where to go when playing against zone: Campbell can sit down in the open spots as well as move to where his quarterback is rolling as a security blanket.  He works hard on his cuts to create good separation and has intriguing vision after the catch. Campbell’s has incredible burners when he gets some space and can leave most defenders in the dust. He needs to polish up his full route tree, as he is more gadget player than receiver at the moment. He also lacks strength at his position and doesn’t appear to be someone that wins against physical corners.


7. Hakeem Butler, Iowa State

Size: 6’6”, 225lbs

Age on Draft Day: 22

Best Traits: Size, athleticism, verticality

Worst Traits: Hands, technique

Breakdown: You can’t teach 6’6”/225lbs. Butler has incredible size complimented by sharp footwork and great spacing on the sideline. He is a strong and deliberate route runner who only gets more impressive the more you watch him. Butler has some of the best high point ability when going against a defender. He is very aggressive, but at times can be overaggressive and draw offensive pass interference. He needs to use his size to his advantage against press coverage, and was often slow off the line to combat it. At times Butler can be a body catcher and struggles with drops more than anyone else I watched in this class. 


8. Miles Boykin, Notre Dame

Size: 6’4”, 228lbs

Age on Draft Day: 22

Best Traits: Size, verticality, catch radius

Worst Traits: Passive tendencies, not pro-ready

Breakdown: Boykin doesn’t blow you away with any stats during his time at Notre Dame: through three seasons he only had 18 receptions. Regardless of production, Boykin has special size and length, the kind all coaches covet. He has good athleticism in his routes and has unique body control on hard to track passes. A play like this vs. LSU in the Citrus Bowl is just one of many examples of the dynamic play ability he has. It seems odd to call a senior receiver raw, but he possesses a lot of potential which hasn’t come to fruition yet. While he has more long speed than quickness, his speed is enough of an asset to  get around the press. Despite this, he can be sloppy with his routes. As a noticeably good blocker, he’ll be able to earn a spot on the field.


9. Deebo Samuel, Washington

Size: 6’0”, 210lbs

Age on Draft Day: 23

Best Traits: Versatility, after-catch ability, separation

Worst Traits: Blocking, aggressiveness

Breakdown: Samuel is one of the older prospects in this year’s class. He is extremely quick and shows good acceleration once the ball gets into his hands despite having a short and stocky frame. His route running is impressive with lots of decisive cuts to create good space. Samuel’s Long speed is questionable, although that is not what his NFL position will require. He has quick steps to his cuts and rarely drops anything thrown his way. South Carolina liked to run him on jet sweeps early and often, displaying his playmaking ability. He does not seem interested in blocking whatsoever.


10. JJ Arcega-Whiteside, Stanford

Size: 6’3”, 225lbs

Age on Draft Day: 22

Best Traits: Red zone ability, ball tracking

Worst Traits: Athletic ability

Breakdown: Arcega-Whiteside is the red-zone target that every NFL quarterback will want to have on their roster come September. With 23 touchdowns over the past two seasons, Arcega-Whiteside has a knack for pinpointing the football when his number was called. He has a really good juke cut upon the snap which gives him separation for the back-shoulder fade or out route. A vertical player, he has a decent release against man press. His hands are relatively consistent, with a few drops sprinkled in, but there are times you wish he got better positioning against his defender. Does not look like a great athlete with speed leaving something to be desired.


11. Riley Ridley, Georgia

Size: 6’1”, 199lbs

Age on Draft Day: 22

Best Traits: Separation, body control

Worst Traits: Lack of quickness, catching technique, blocking

Breakdown: Ridley has a really good fake step on his routes to set up his next cut. This deception is the bread and butter of his separation ability, which helps overcome his lack of overall quickness. He has good elusiveness once the ball is in his hands. Ridley positions himself well against defenders and uses good body control to adjust to tougher catches. Ridley has good hands but needs to improve his technique as he has too many body catches. He is a pitiful blocker when asked to do it.


12. David Sills, West Virginia

Size: 6’3”, 211lbs

Age on Draft Day: 22

Best Traits: Ball tracking, red-zone ability, body control

Worst Traits: Lack of strength, pace of play

Breakdown: Sills has good height standing at 6’4” 210 pounds. He was a touchdown machine at West Virginia, turning in 33 touchdowns over his past two seasons. Sills can get good elevation and more often than not will win 50-50 balls. He has smooth body control and always seems to get proper position. He knows how to be patient in the slot against zone and where to attack its weak spots. He seems to get overpowered at times by larger corners that press. He needs to bulk up to be truly relied on at the NFL level, as his frame just looks too light. Sills isn’t afraid to throw a hard block.


13. Marquise Brown, Oklahoma

Size: 5’9”, 166lbs

Age on Draft Day: 21

Best Traits: Speed, quickness, motor (nickname?)

Worst Traits: Size, limited route tree, durability concerns

Breakdown: Speed, speed, and more speed after that. Brown can take it to the house on any given play. He draws a ton of pass interference calls as he starts to blow by the defender. He goes 110% on every play and can turn a bubble screen into a touchdown. Will play inside as well as on the outside, however his route tree is limited. Tiny frame, like Jakeem Grant size. He isn’t one to reel in the contested catches.


14. DaMarkus Lodge, Ole Miss

Size: 6’2”, 202lbs

Age on Draft Day: 21

Best Traits: Spectacular catch, blocking

Worst Traits: Inconsistent hands, long speed

Breakdown: I don’t normally start off wide receiver breakdowns by talking about their blocking skills but Loge is a hell of a run blocker. He makes some really amazing catches but then will drop easy ones, an inconsistency found  across his tape. He has incredible awareness near the sideline and down the field. Lodge has good release against man press, but his separation skills overall are mediocre. He doesn’t display breakaway speed but he has really good acceleration. 


15. Andy Isabella, University of Massachusetts

Size: 5’9”, 188lbs

Age on Draft Day: 22

Best Traits: Route running, quickness

Worst Traits: Size, durability concerns

Breakdown: Isabella really jumped on people’s radars after a really good Senior Bowl week. The slot receiver from UMass had over 100 catches in his senior year, displaying some really quick footwork and separation. His speed shows on film when he gets some space, and he would get some designed jet sweeps and showed good acceleration. Isabella works extremely hard on every snap I watched. He has a small catch radius due to his small size. Will definitely be prone to Danny Amendola, Wes Welker-like comparisons for ability to separate but also for his injury risk. Won’t break a ton of tackles.


16. Emanuel Hall, Missouri

Size: 6’2”, 201lbs

Age on Draft Day: 21

Best Traits: Deep speed, ball tracking

Worst Traits: Contested catching, hands

Breakdown: Despite having low production while at Missouri, Hall showed flashes of twitchiness and good speed. He has a quick get up and go motor and plants hard on his cuts to give him some space against his defender. His ball tracking skills are also very good. His hands betray him at times with some easy drops or body catches. Hall doesn’t seem to offer a ton once the ball is in his hands other than speed. An injury history of soft tissue issues doesn’t bode well but could be fluky.


17. Penny Hart, Georgia State

Size: 5’8”, 180lbs

Age on Draft Day: 22

Best Traits: Twitchiness, foot quickness, after-catch ability

Worst Traits: Size, strength

Breakdown: Seems like a poor man’s Marquise Brown, where size and strength are obviously a weakness. Hart is extremely twitchy and seems to glitch from one spot to another on the field with extremely quick feet. He has a fast but clunky change of direction and will need to clean up his technique. He is a surprisingly willing and aggressive blocker for his size, and gives defenders hell when called upon to stalk block. He seems to focus on his direction too much at times that he misses some catches he needs to make. He is a versatile player in the return game which will likely help him get drafted. 


18. Dillon Mitchell, Oregon

Size: 6’1”, 197lbs

Age on Draft Day: 21

Best Traits: Elusiveness, body control

Worst Traits: Slight frame, route running, blocking

Breakdown: Mitchell looks quick on the tape. He has the burst to move past covering defender or fly by a would-be tackler. He has good awareness on where to attack at zone coverage and make himself a big target for quarterback Justin Herbert. He always seems to make a defender miss. Mitchell has good body adjustments when in the air to come down with the football, but his contested catch ability is just average. The route running does not look sharp, as does not sink into his breaks.


19. Hunter Renfrow, Clemson

Size: 5’10”, 180lbs

Age on Draft Day: 23

Best Traits: Hands, route running

Worst Traits: Athleticism, speed

Breakdown: Let’s just start with the bad for Renfrow: he isn’t an overly impressive athlete. He lacks speed, explosiveness, and won’t win against more athletic corners. Renfrow, however, brings an extremely hard work ethic, a toughness rare in wide receivers, and some of the surest hands in the class. Renfrow played in the slot most often for Clemson and had a knack for getting away from coverage with sharp route running and cuts. He isn’t going to be a highly sought out draft pick, but he has the work ethic and hands to be a good slot receiver in the mold of Adam Humphries or Cole Beasley (both went undrafted).


20. Anthony Johnson, Buffalo

Size: 6’2”, 207lbs

Age on Draft Day: 24

Best Traits: Body control, hands

Worst Traits: Overall athleticism

Breakdown: Johnson does a lot of things well at his position, but he doesn’t do anything that completely stands out against the class. He has good body control on his catches in the air. He works well through releases but isn’t going against top level competition. His hands are pretty solid and probably his best skill. His athleticism is capped, however. He won’t be the fastest, tallest, strongest, or most explosive wide receiver on any roster in the NFL. He has enough talent to get drafted, so it all depends on landing spot and if he can work his way into snaps on a 53-man roster. He is also the oldest wide receiver in the 2019 class.