Dynasty Watch: Updated WR-TE Rankings

Dynasty Watch: Updated WR-TE Rankings

This article is part of our Dynasty Watch series.

In light of Thursday's tight end and wide receiver testing, here are my winners and losers as well as revised WR/TE rankings at the end. Tee Higgins, K.J. Hamler, Tyler Johnson, Bryan Edwards (foot), Lynn Bowden, James Proche, and Van Jefferson (foot) did not participate.


 

WINNERS


 

Henry Ruggs, WR, Alabama (5-11, 188)

Ruggs didn't break John Ross' 4.22-second 40-yard dash record, but his 4.27 time did the trick all the same, and his jumps (42-inch vertical, 131-inch broad jump) were similarly great. Ruggs' showing was good enough to put him ahead of Jalen Reagor in my rankings.

Projected round: 1 (top 15)


 

Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU (6-1, 202)

Jefferson's 4.43-second 40 time was one of the most pleasant surprises of Thursday's events, and suddenly the LSU prospect has a roundly convincing profile. I'm still grappling with the significance of his testing – I'm inclined to think it's more of a checked-box than something that fundamentally changes his projection – but at the very least Jefferson safely grades as a starter for me at this point.

Projected round: 1-2 (top 40)


 

Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor (6-3, 207)

Mims' age-adjusted production at Baylor is only satisfactory to me, but his athletic testing was elite all around with a 4.39-second 40, 38.5-inch vertical, 131-inch broad jump, and 6.66-second three-cone drill. That kind of testing will overrule most production concerns for me, and at this point I think Mims has a real shot at the first round.

Projected round: 1-2 (top 50)


 

Chase Claypool, WR, Notre Dame (6-4, 236)

There was a growing push for Claypool to switch to tight end before his combine workout, but a 4.43-second 40, 40.5-inch vertical, and 126-inch broad jump might be enough to stop that. That kind of speed is truly rare – going back to 2000 the only WR/TE prospects over 235 pounds and 6-foot-3 with a sub-4.45 40 were Calvin Johnson and Vernon Davis.

Projected round: 2


 

Michael Pittman, WR, USC (6-4, 223)

Pittman's 4.52-second 40 might not draw many headlines, but it's a strong showing for someone with his build. Consider that Kenny Golladay ran a 4.50 at 6-foot-4, 213 pounds.

Projected round: 2-3


 

John Hightower, WR, Boise State (6-1, 189)

I remain skeptical of Hightower, but I thought I heard Daniel Jeremiah say on the NFL broadcast that Hightower will be a Day 2 pick, and Jeremiah is plugged in. A 4.43-second 40-yard dash was otherwise adequate for Hightower, but I'm still getting Paul Richardson vibes for now.

Projected round: 3-4


 

Albert Okwuegbunam, TE, Missouri (6-5, 258)

What the hell was that? I was probably higher on Okwuegbunam than most going into the combine, but a 4.49-second 40-yard dash was thoroughly shocking to me all the same. He doesn't play that fast truly, but it's still a major boost to his stock to know that he's capable of running so fast, even as one of the bigger tight ends in the draft. I previously thought Okwuegbunam was an early Day 3 pick, but he might be the first tight end off the board now.

Projected round: 2-3


 

Antonio Gibson, RB/WR, Memphis (6-0, 228)

Gibson is raw after playing just one year and splitting reps between running back and wide receiver, but he proved himself a rare athlete at the combine. He ran a 4.39-second 40 at just under 230 pounds, making him one of the fastest players for his size in the NFL. Who knows whether the NFL thinks he has a viable skill set, but with tools like that a few teams could use him as a developmental project.

Projected round: 3-5


 

Quez Watkins, WR, Southern Mississippi (6-0, 185)

Watkins needed to nail the 40 after weighing in with such a light frame, and he hit the bull's eye with a 4.35-second 40. Watkins' production is totally solid at Southern Mississippi, and I don't see what John Hightower offers that Watkins doesn't.

Projected round: 3-5


 

Brycen Hopkins, TE, Purdue (6-4, 245)

Hopkins arrived to the combine with a light frame, notably weighing three pounds less than the notoriously undersized Hunter Bryant, but Bryant mostly disappointed with his testing while Hopkins posted numbers good enough to capitalize on Bryant's letdown. With a 4.66-second 40, Hopkins demonstrated enough speed to translate in the NFL despite his low weight.

Projected round: 2-4


 

LOSERS

Quintez Cephus, WR, Wisconsin (6-1, 202)

Cephus' running form looked all screwed up – he seemed to seize upright as if suffering from a back spasm – but a 4.73 is a 4.73 regardless of the excuse. He plainly is not that slow, because he won at Wisconsin by creating separation with ease, so don't be surprised if he runs a 4.50 or something similar at the faster Wisconsin pro day track.

Projected round: 5-UDFA


 

Jauan Jennings, WR, Tennessee (6-3, 215)

With a 4.72-second 40 and 29-inch vertical, I'm not super optimistic about Jennings' chances of getting drafted.

Projected round: 6-UDFA


 

K.J. Hill, WR, Ohio State (6-0, 196)

Hill generated a lot of hype at the Senior Bowl, but his production never showed up at Ohio State. His poor combine testing might explain why not – a 4.60-second 40 and 32.5-inch vertical doesn't work for a skinny wideout.

Projected round: 6-UDFA


 

Hunter Bryant, TE, Washington (6-2, 248)

Bryant weighed in nine pounds heavier than his previous listed weight, and he appeared to sacrifice some athleticism in the process. He ran a 4.74-second 40 to go with a 32.5-inch vertical. Irv Smith turned out okay despite a similarly disappointing combine last year (4.63-second 40, 32.5-inch vertical at 242 pounds), but Bryant's stock is on thin ice as more than a mid-round pick. He might want to rerun the 40 at around 240 pounds at Washington's pro day.

Projected round: 3-5


 

NO MOVEMENT


 

CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma (6-2, 198)

When you produce like Lamb did at Oklahoma, you go into the combine with a margin of error. So while Lamb didn't excel (4.50-second 40, 34.5-inch vertical), he also didn't hurt himself. His case for the WR1 honors remains the same for the most part.

Projected round: 1 (top 15)


 

Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama (6-1, 193)

Same deal as Lamb. Jeudy only checked the box (4.45-second 40, 35-inch vertical), but that's good enough when you have production like his.

Projected round: 1 (top 15)


 

Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU (5-11, 206)

Weighing in 11 pounds heavier than his previously listed weight, Reagor might have cost himself some speed with the additional mass, running just a 4.47-second 40-yard dash after a 4.29-second time was previously attributed to him. It's a fine time for his weight, but not enough to close the gap between himself and Lamb or Jeudy. Moreover, I think Reagor lost meaningful ground to Henry Ruggs and maybe even someone like Denzel Mims.

Projected round: 1-2


 

Laviska Shenault, WR, Colorado (6-1, 227)

Shenault's 4.59-second 40 time doesn't inspire, but it's a non-negative for someone with a frame as dense as his. Still, guys like Mims and Claypool helped themselves on a day where Shenault treaded water.

Projected round: 2-3
 

UPDATED RANKINGS

WIDE RECEIVER

  1. CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma
  2. Jerry Jeudy, Alabama
  3. Henry Ruggs, Alabama
  4. Tee Higgins, Clemson
  5. Jalen Reagor, TCU
  6. Justin Jefferson, LSU
  7. Devin Duvernay, Texas
  8. Denzel Mims, Baylor
  9. Chase Claypool, Notre Dame
  10. Michael Pittman, USC
  11. Bryan Edwards, South Carolina
  12. KJ Hamler, Penn State
  13. Laviska Shenault, Colorado
  14. Isaiah Hodgins, Oregon State
  15. Brandon Aiyuk, Arizona State
  16. Lynn Bowden, Kentucky
  17. Tyler Johnson, Minnesota
  18. John Hightower, Boise State
  19. Gabriel Davis, UCF
  20. Antonio Gandy-Golden, Liberty
  21. James Proche, SMU
  22. Antonio Gibson, Memphis
  23. Quez Watkins, Southern Mississippi
  24. Kalija Lipscomb, Vanderbilt
  25. Donovan Peoples-Jones, Michigan
  26. Joe Reed, Virginia
  27. Quintez Cephus, Wisconsin
  28. Collin Johnson, Texas
  29. Van Jefferson, Florida
  30. K.J. Hill, Ohio State


 

TIGHT END

  1. Albert Okwuegbunam, Missouri
  2. Thaddeus Moss, LSU
  3. Hunter Bryant, Washington
  4. Cole Kmet, Notre Dame
  5. Brycen Hopkins, Purdue
  6. Adam Trautman, Dayton
  7. Jacob Breeland, Oregon
  8. Dalton Keene, Virginia Tech
  9. Charlie Taumoepeau, Portland State
  10. Harrison Bryant, Florida Atlantic

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mario Puig
Mario is a Senior Writer at RotoWire who primarily writes and projects for the NFL and college football sections.
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