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Top College Prospects - Dynasty League Scouting (Bowl Season - Week 3 Edition)


The smaller bowl games always bring excitement and intrigue. And this year even made some history. The First Responder Bowl is believed to be the first bowl game in NCAA history to be canceled because of weather.

Now we're on to the most meaningful games of bowl season. The high-profile semi-final matchups and New Year's Six games feature plenty of prospects with an NFL future.

Today, I'll take a look at three WRs playing over the next few days, including one playing in a semi-final matchup.

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Scouting The Wide Receivers

Hakeem Butler, WR Iowa State

Valero Alamo Bowl - vs. Washington State (12/28)

Hakeem Butler will potentially play his final game for Iowa State on Friday night against Washington State. And while he's a late-blooming prospect, Butler has improved himself significantly since he was a two-star prospect in the 2015 high school class.

Hakeem Butler G Rec Yds Avg TD MS Receiving Yards MS Receiving TDs Dominator
2016 8 9 134 14.9 2 0.04 0.10 0.07
2017 13 41 697 17 7 0.20 0.26 0.23
2018 12 51 1126 22.1 9 0.40 0.45 0.42
Career 33 101 1957 19.4 18 0.21 0.26 0.24

Hakeem Butler failed to break out until his age 22.6 season, but assuming he makes the jump to the NFL, his final season production should elevate his profile significantly. While his career market share falls well below the ideal 29 percent, his final season usage and efficiency project him with a moderate chance to be a WR2 within his first three NFL seasons.

On December 1, Butler announced his intentions to seek feedback regarding his draft grade and he's expected to eventually declare for the NFL draft following his bowl game. Because of his final season and expected athleticism, he's projected as a Day two pick in the NFL draft. If Butler is drafted in the first three rounds, he'll likely end up an early pick in the second round of rookie drafts. At six-foot-six with a final season average of 22 yards per reception, Butler is a big play option who could have instant value and increase his value by the end of year one.

 

Miles Boykin, WR Notre Dame

Goodyear Cotton Bowl - vs. Clemson (12/29)

Notre Dame has been a run-centric offense for the past two seasons, but with the emergence of Ian Book as a QB, Miles Boykin has emerged as a legitimate WR prospect. After three seasons of relative anonymity, Boykin had a breakout season and now appears to be a viable NFL receiver.

Miles Boykin G Rec Yds Avg TD MS Receiving Yards MS Receiving TDs Dominator
2016 6 6 81 13.5 1 0.03 0.04 0.03
2017 7 12 253 21.1 2 0.11 0.10 0.10
2018 12 54 803 14.9 8 0.25 0.35 0.30
Career 25 72 1137 15.8 11 0.13 0.16 0.14

Boykin's career numbers are somewhat pedestrian, particularly when you factor in his zero usage 2015 campaign. But he finally broke out with a 0.30 dominator during his final season in South Bend, Indiana. The highlights from Boykin's career all come from the 2018 season. He posted three 100 yard games and two multi-TD games. For the season, he posted a 62.1 percent catch rate on his 87 targets.

Standing six-foot-four and 228 lbs, Boykin has a near ideal frame for an NFL WR, but he'll need to have a strong bowl game performance and draft process to raise his draft stock. With only one season of production, his career market share falls well below the ideal 29 percent for team receiving yards. Boykin is projected as a Day three pick in the NFL draft and he'll likely have an ADP in last round of the rookie draft. Barring a very strong landing spot, there's going to be better options available.

 

Mecole Hardman, WR Georgia

Allstate Sugar Bowl - vs. Texas (1/1)

I've discussed Georgia WR, Riley Ridley, a few times this season, but there's another Georgia receiver with NFL potential. Mecole Hardman is a former five-star prospect with a skill set likely to translate to the NFL ranks.

Mecole Hardman G Rec Yds Avg TD MS Receiving Yards MS Receiving TDs Dominator
2016 4 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 0.00
2017 15 25 418 16.7 4 0.16 0.17 0.16
2018 13 34 540 15.9 6 0.18 0.19 0.19
Career 32 59 958 16.2 10 0.12 0.14 0.13

Similar to his teammate, Hardman is going to finish this season without a breakout college season over a 0.30 dominator rating. But Hardman's field-stretching skill set is unique. Five of his six receiving touchdowns were over 30 yards and for his career, he surpasses the ideal 16.0 yard threshold. Per Bill Connelly's statistical profile, Ridley leads the team in targets and receptions, but Hardman leads the team in yards. And in addition to his receiving production, Hardman has been used in special teams as a punt and kick returner.

At this time, Hardman has not announced a decision regarding the NFL draft and it would be a surprise if he decided to forego his senior season, but at the age of 20.8, this could be a good time to make the leap to the NFL. As a younger prospect with a translatable skill set, teams may be more willing to overlook his limited usage, particularly with his high school pedigree and a strong combine. Because he's not expected to declare for the draft, projecting his draft stock is somewhat difficult, but I'd expect him to be drafted early on day three. With a round-four selection, Hardman would be a valuable commodity in the late-third round of rookie drafts. He might take some time to develop into a consistent WR2, but in best-ball formats, his propensity for long TDs would be great for a few weeks per year.

More NCAA Football Analysis