What’s a good NFL comparison for Alabama wide receiver Calvin Ridley? When looking at Ridley the first thing I will say is don’t get caught up in his numbers from his final season at Alabama when he had 63 receptions for 967 yards and five touchdowns. For college production, those numbers don’t jump off the page but it’s because of the system he played under. Ridley played three years with the Crimson Tide and had a successful career hauling in 224 receptions for 2,781 yards (12.4 yards per catch) and 19 touchdowns.
I get asked a ton on Twitter @MitchellRenz365 “What’s a good NFL comparison for Player X.” Originally when I started comparing players I noticed far too often people would get caught up in the names of the comparisons rather than actually looking at the measurables. Which is why I started doing “NFL Blind Comparisons.” I’m an advocate of NFL blind comparisons because it’s an effective method to avoid bias and ensure impartiality.
Below is a Tweet from my personal Twitter account one is Calvin Ridley, the other is a current NFL wide receiver.
Player A is Calvin Ridley and as you can see he has a better 40-yard dash time and 3-cone drill than player B. Ridley may not have the size to be a true number one receiver in the NFL, but there is no reason why he couldn’t be 1B (just like player B).
- Excellent route runner
- Creates separation
- Quick at breaking routes
- Good after the catch
- Consistent speed
- Average athlete
- Doesn’t have great size
- Age (will be 24 in his rookie season)
- Struggles with physical corners
- Struggled with drops (20)
Back to the original question, what’s a good NFL comparison for Calvin Ridley? It’s a great question because in real life and fantasy football we want to know what to expect a certain players ceiling and floor can be in the NFL. However, just because an incoming prospect is compared to a current NFL player, that doesn’t mean that’s how his career will project. Instead, I am saying he has similar athletic measurables, strengths, and weaknesses.
Player B is Minnesota Vikings wide receiver, Stefon Diggs. The athletic build of Diggs plus his overall play style is Ridley 2.0. I will say that Ridley isn’t the athlete that Diggs is however, Diggs can’t run routes like Ridley can. Diggs is dangerous with the ball in his hands (just ask the Saints) but struggles with physical corners.
Ridley is widely believed to be the top wideout available in the 2018 NFL Draft. Despite him being my number two wide receiver in the draft, we have seen how important landing spots are for these young rookies. Look at the 2016 NFL Draft, Michael Thomas went to the Saints and scored 163 fantasy points. The first-round wide receivers from that draft (Corey Coleman, Will Fuller, Laquan Treadwell, and Josh Doctson) combined scored 148. If Ridley can be the wide receiver two on a team with solid quarterback play he may be a top-five pick in Rookie drafts. I still say may because he will be 24 years old by the start of the season and in comparison, Stefon Diggs will be 24 entering his fourth season in the NFL.
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