Calvin Ridley is one of the top wide receiver prospects in the 2018 NFL Draft, as a likely first-round pick and possibly the first player drafted at the position. That will put him in line for a significant role right away, but can the Alabama product make an immediate impact for fantasy football owners?
Ridley’s College Stats
2015: 89 receptions for 1,045 yards, 7 touchdowns
2016: 72 receptions for 769 yards, 7 touchdowns
2017: 63 receptions for 967 yards, 5 touchdowns
-Is a polished route runner; is quick and sharp into and out of breaks
-Creates separation well; is able to manipulate defensive backs
-Shows natural hands
-Has a good catch radius; excels at extending outside his frame to pluck the ball
-Is a “smooth strider”, with top-notch play speed
-Can be elite after the catch; shows “quick twitch” ability
-If given a free release, eats up cushion and stresses cornerbacks with great quickness off the line
-Worked in a pro-style offense at Alabama; ran a full route tree
-Was a target monster and a legit No. 1 wide receiver at Alabama (nearly 33 percent target share)
-Is undersized and thinly built (6-foot-1, 190 pounds)
-Needs to add strength (15 bench press reps at the NFL Combine
-Did not test well athletically at the combine
-Struggles to get free from press coverage; needs to improve hand usage
-Shows an aversion to contact when a defender is near him at the catch point
-Struggled with drops (20 over three seasons at Alabama)
-Catch and touchdown production trended down over the course of his college career, which can be blamed on quarterback play and a run-oriented offense
Where Could Ridley Land?
Ridley will not lack for first round suitors, with the Chicago Bears (No. 8), Washington Redskins (No. 13), Green Bay Packers (No. 14), Arizona Cardinals (No. 15), Baltimore Ravens (No. 16), Los Angeles Chargers (No. 17), Dallas Cowboys (No. 19) and Carolina Panthers (No. 24) all possibly seeking a wide receiver.
NFL Comparisons: Jarvis Landry, Greg Jennings
Rookie Fantasy Outlook
Ridley should be a reliable target right away, and he’s a potential WR2 in PPR leagues depending on where he lands. For him to reach that fantasy level as a rookie, the Cowboys, Panthers, Ravens and Packers are his best landing spots.