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Top College Prospects - Dynasty League Scouting (Conference Championship Week Edition)

If you're a fan of chaos, Rivalry Week may have fallen a little short with only one significant upset, but with four top ten teams suffering a loss, the college football rankings have been changed in a big way.

The final pieces to the puzzle to decide the teams in the College Football Playoff will be placed this weekend when six of the top seven teams compete for their respective conference championships. And if previous years mean anything, which the committee has proven they don't, the final data point weighs heavily in breaking resume ties.

Today, we'll take a look at four WRs who will be playing in conference championship games. Certain notable omissions will be featured in the lead-up to their bowl games.

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Scouting The Wide Receivers

Riley Ridley, WR Georgia

Week 14 - vs. Alabama (12/1)

Riley Ridley may have only been known as the younger brother of Calvin Ridley entering last year's National Championship game, but he's taken a step forward this season and appears to improve his draft stock significantly.

Riley Ridley G Rec Yds Avg TD MS Receiving Yards MS Receiving TDs Dominator
2016 6 12 238 19.8 2 0.09 0.13 0.11
2017 8 14 218 15.6 2 0.08 0.08 0.08
2018 12 34 450 13.2 8 0.17 0.29 0.23
Career 26 60 906 15.1 12 0.12 0.18 0.15

Ridley's career statistical line looks like a single season for many prospects we've looked at this season. As I previously mentioned in Week 6, Ridley isn't my favorite prospect but film scouts have seen improvement in his route running, and his dominator rating makes it clear that he's become a bigger part of the team's offense. However, even with his role increased, he's still second on his team in receiving yards and his 0.23 dominator rating, which surpasses some analysts threshold for a breakout, ranks 130th nationally. Ridley will fall well short of the ideal career market share of 29 percent, and while his final season is an improvement, he lacks the raw production to be a standout prospect, statistically.

At his current age of 22, Riley Ridley wouldn't face the same age concerns that surrounded his brother should he choose to declare for the draft following this season. However, he doesn't bring the same level of excitement to traditional scouts or the stat line that his brother had amassed. For Ridley to become a first round pick, he'd likely need to have big games on the biggest stages and lucky for him, there's the potential for several more big games. Against Alabama in the 2018 National Championship game, Ridley finished with six receptions for 82 yards. If he can have another big game on route to a Georgia upset, his stock could rise during the College Football Playoff. As it stands, Ridley looks like an early Day 3 NFL draft pick and his most likely rookie draft ADP is in the mid-to-late-third round.

Collin Johnson, WR Texas

Week 14 - vs. Oklahoma (12/1)

Two weeks ago, I discussed Johnson's teammate, Lil'Jordan Humphrey as a potential sleeper in next year's draft with the reasoning that #TeamBigWR would eventually fall in love with him. But lined up opposite of Humphrey is an even taller WR with multiple seasons of production.

Collin Johnson G Rec Yds Avg TD MS Receiving Yards MS Receiving TDs Dominator
2016 9 28 315 11.3 3 0.10 0.14 0.12
2017 13 54 765 14.2 2 0.23 0.11 0.17
2018 11 57 768 13.5 6 0.25 0.23 0.24
Career 33 139 1848 13.29 11 0.19 0.17 0.18

Despite standing 6-foot-6, Johnson hasn't been a major touchdown scorer with a career high of six in a season. But with two seasons over 20 percent market share of team yards, he's proven that he's a valuable asset between the twenties.  Per Bill Connelly's statistical profile, Johnson has converted 64 percent of his 89 targets into catches for 771 yards and six touchdowns.

This week, Texas will have a rematch with their rival, Oklahoma, for the Big 12 Championship. In Week 6, the Longhorns pulled the upset which turned out to be Oklahoma's only regular season loss. In that game, Johnson had six receptions for 81 yards and a touchdown. He has yet to have a multi-touchdown game this season, and only has one for his career. A multi-touchdown game to win a conference championship would be a nice feather in his cap should this be Johnson's final season in Austin.

As a prospect, Johnson falls short of several significant thresholds. His career market share of yards falls well short of 29 percent, and he's never had a season with a dominator over 0.30. And while Johnson has been effective, his 13.29 yards per reception isn't indicative of a player who will stretch the field. Johnson's value will likely be determined by his draft stock. CBS Sports lists Johnson as the 13th best WR in the class and the 89th overall prospect. If Johnson is drafted in that range, then he's likely a second round pick in rookie drafts. I wouldn't expect Johnson to be drafted before day three so my expectation is that he'll be a third or fourth round rookie pick.

Parris Campbell and K.J. Hill, WR Ohio State 

Week 14 - vs. Northwestern (12/1)

I'm combining these two prospects into on preview because they're similar and come from the same team. Judging Ohio State receivers has proven difficult because historically, there's yet to be a truly dominant receiver when it comes to market share. This has caused analytical evaporators to whiff on future stars with Michael Thomas being the notable example. Both Campbell and Hill lack some of the dominant market share numbers, but there are some other aspects to their profile that make them intriguing.

Parris Campbell G Rec Yds Avg TD MS Receiving Yards MS Receiving TDs Dominator
2015 4 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 0.00
2016 12 13 121 9.3 0 0.04 0.00 0.02
2017 13 40 584 14.6 3 0.16 0.08 0.12
2018 12 71 825 11.6 10 0.19 0.24 0.22
Career 41 124 1530 12.34 13 0.12 0.10 0.11

Campbell will fall well short of the ideal 29 percent market share for his career, and while he's demonstrated athleticism, he hasn't turned that into a field-stretching yardage efficiency. In a similar mold to Curtis Samuel, Campbell has been used on kickoffs and has several rushing attempts.

Campbell's notable trait is his speed. As he demonstrated in the Michigan game, he's among the fastest players in college football and can create explosive plays from anywhere on the field. For players like Campbell, the NFL combine is a critical element to his evaluation as his performance will have a big impact on his draft stock. ESPN's recruiting profile listed his high school 40 time at 4.41 seconds and he ran a 10.75-second 100-meter dash for his track team in 2014. His high school track coaches indicated that he had the potential for high-level success had he chosen to focus on sprinting. While there are red flags with his production, Campbell's explosiveness will undoubtedly raise his draft stock.

K.J. Hill G Rec Yds Avg TD MS Receiving Yards MS Receiving TDs Dominator
2016 8 18 262 14.6 1 0.09 0.04 0.07
2017 14 56 549 9.8 3 0.15 0.08 0.11
2018 12 66 823 12.5 6 0.19 0.14 0.17
Career 34 140 1634 11.7 10 0.15 0.09 0.12

Judging purely on his numbers, there are some serious red flags for Hill. He never truly had a breakout season based on his dominator rating, his market share of yardage is just over half of the ideal 29 percent, and his yardage efficiency falls well short of the 17 yards per reception that would point to a field stretching WR. But his numbers have increased across the board in a season focusing more heavily on the passing game which would indicate an increased level of trust by the coaching staff.

Both Campbell and Hill have red flags with regards to their career production and will need to have good overall draft processes in order to solidify themselves as top prospects. However, even though both lack the ideal market shares, their usage in kickoffs and rushing show versatility and the coach's desire to get the ball in their hands. Both will be under the age of 22 on draft day so age will not be a concern. As of this date, I'd project both as late day two selections, but both have big ranges of potential outcomes. If they go on Day two, I'd expect they'll end up as second-round rookie picks. With the success of Michael Thomas and recent upswing in usage of Curtis Samuel, there's reason to believe that both could be values if taken after round one.

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