*WR grades can and will change as more information comes in from Pro Day workouts, Wonderlic test results leaked, etc. We will update ratings as new info becomes available.

*WR-B stands for "Big-WR," a classification we use to separate the more physical, downfield/over-the-top, heavy-red-zone-threat-type WRs. Our WR-S/"Small-WRs" are profiled by our computer more as slot and/or possession-type WRs who are typically less physical and rely more on speed/agility to operate underneath the defense and/or use big speed to get open deep...they are not used as weapons in the red zone as much. 


I have beaten the drum for Calvin Ridley as more of a ‘B’ type of talent WR for the NFL. That gets taken as a ‘knock’ because the NFL wants him/thinks of him as an ‘A’. I don’t mean it as a knock…and after the 2018 NFL Combine it’s pretty much confirmed – Ridley is more of a ‘B’ grade WR talent/prospect.

That doesn’t mean he won’t be the best or most productive WR from this draft class…it just means he’s not showing a superstar, franchise changing WR prospect profile.

I can best describe my internal Ridley scouting debate by picking apart his pros and cons…



What most people love about Ridley is how fast he gets off the snap and how sure-handed a catcher of the ball he is. All true. Ridley gets a flying start off the snap. He’s a very reliable receiver and has played at THEE top college program of this era so he’s not as likely to be in awe of the bright lights of the NFL.

Ridley tested NFL fast (4.43) and agile (6.88 three-cone). He brings NFL movement to the NFL.

There’s a lot to love – good size, nice speed/agility, prestigious college years.



I watch Ridley get off the snap quickly…like a great track runner, he bursts out of the gates. However, NFL CBs are just as fast. I watch Ridley sprint out of the gates and good defenders sprint right with him. I say that because I see Ridley just sprinting fast, not necessarily cutting and moving as fast in routes.

Ridley got open pretty well in college, but I would not say he’s an ace route-runner. He’s solid running routes, but nowhere near the best (DaeSean Hamilton, among others, puts him to shame). Ridley was mostly – run fast and deep, run fast and glide across the middle, and bubble/tunnel screens. Because Alabama was so run heavy, Ridley didn’t have to face the double coverage that a D.J. Moore did at Maryland (Moore was the passing game). Ridley had it easier than most top prospects in college.

Ridley is a reliable college WR because he got open a lot by running faster than most college CBs…but in the NFL, Ridley is going to get jammed more at the line, so there goes some of his ‘fast off the snap’ love. Ridley is a little lean/thin-framed and is not used to getting pushed around either. He’s also not used to working in heavy traffic…how reliable will Ridley be when NFL-level DBs are looking to take his head off over the middle – and can run as a fast as he does? The NFL needs great technique off the snap and in routes or elite speed/agility…and Ridley is not the best WR in the class at getting open via routes or with high-end speed/agility. He’s good at both not great at either.

Ridley ran fast and agile at the NFL Combine but he also shocked everyone with a poor vertical (31.0”), a sad broad jump (9’2”), and a weak short shuttle time (4.41). He’s not a super athlete. He’s fast but with leg power concerns. Worries that he won’t be able to be ‘quick feet’ into routes and breaks…not on an ‘A’ level.

I made myself a note of this when watching his game tape – I didn’t think Calvin Ridley was as good as Zay Jones on tape comparing them. I didn’t think Ridley was better than Keelan Cole in my tape scouting. That’s not a knock on Ridley…it just means I don’t see a ‘wow’ factor.

People are going to say, “Well, Antonio Brown had similar Combine traits as Ridley!” I get that but Brown was also a college superstar WR being double covered a lot and also returned kicks and punts like a superstar…and we could also speculate that he had a giant chip on his shoulder coming into the NFL. Ridley was a good, highly-lauded WR in the most open offensive opportunity, stacked college team of the current era…and he never went near kicks or punts. Ridley has the opposite of a chip…he has a silver spoon on his shoulder (I don’t think that’s how that metaphor works but you get what I mean…). Will Ridley work as hard as Antonio if it’s all about elite-level ‘hard work’ when he’s been graced with praise for several years by the football establishment?

We also have to consider a few other items in the mix with Ridley…

 -- Had a fake I.D. scandal around him in high school. His football coach supposedly tried to get someone to take the ACT for him for fears Ridley wouldn’t score well enough to get to D1. Ridley was cleared of being any part of it, but it sounds fishy…

 -- Ridley has a brother in college football…and that brother has been busted for marijuana.

In neither of these cases is Calvin Ridley guilty of anything. I’m just saying there are things swirling around. I’ve watched Ridley in press conferences and interviews. He’s not very personable.

It may not be out of bounds to wonder if Ridley is a privileged athlete who comes from a questionable background and isn’t that bright. None of which means he isn’t a talented WR, but there is more to ‘B’ talent WRs ever making it big/living up to a 1st-round status than being ‘good in college’.  

Calvin Ridley, Through the Lens of Our WR Scouting Algorithm:

In the past two years, Alabama has played two playoff games in each year + one SEC playoff game (2016) + the two late season Iron Bowl wars with Auburn. Here are Ridley’s stat lines in those 7 highly visible, top opponent games (in chronological order)…

5 catches, 44 yards, 0 TDs







3.7 rec., 34.0 yards, 0.29 TDs per game

This is a star/1st-round pick? The best WR on a powerhouse team that often has the ball/time of possession and runs the ball a bunch so the passing game should be open to a great degree. Facing the top teams in the NCAA in ‘clutch’ time, for me, Ridley was a ‘no show’ or ‘low show’.

In SEC games or playoff games in the past two seasons, Ridley has posted more than 70 yards receiving in a game just 4 times in 21 game appearances. Was under 50 yards receiving in those 21 games 12 times. His best games in that span have come against Mercer, Western Kentucky, Kentucky, and Miss State.

The more I look, the more I see signs of a B-C grade WR, not an ‘A’ and for sure not an obvious 1st-round draft pick talent or resume.

NFL Combine Measurables…

6’0.4”/189, 9 1/8” hands, 31 5/8” arms

4.43 40-time, 6.88 three-cone, 4.41 shuttle

15 bench reps, 31.0” vertical, 9’2” broad jump

These are the measurables of a B-C grade WR, not an ‘A’. 

The Historical WR Prospects to Whom Calvin Ridley Most Compares Within Our System:

You’ll likely skip right past the T.J. Jones comp and fixate on the Antonio Brown comp. A lot of people are going Ridley = Antonio in their minds…in part, because they share the same ‘a few bad measurables, but fast and productive’. 

T.J. Jones, if you’ve seen him working with the Detroit Lions…he’s not bad. He’s super-skinny and not bad. He’s not great, but not bad. He’s about the same size or a little thicker (on paper) than Ridley. I worry Ridley is more T.J. than Antonio. I see more T.J. DNA matches. If Ridley is somewhere in between…then he’s a ‘B-C’ prospect. 


WR Score

Draft Yr







Power Strngth Metric

Speed Agility Metric

Hands' Metric
















Notre Dame











C. Michigan











Wake Forest











Notre Dame


















*A score of 7.0+ is where we start to take a Small-WR prospect more seriously. A score of 8.50+ is where we see a stronger correlation of a Small-WR going on to become NFL good/great/elite. A score of 10.00+ is more rarefied air in our system and indicates a greater probability of becoming an elite NFL Small-WR.

All of the WR ratings are based on a 0–10 scale, but a player can score negative, or above a 10.0 in certain instances.

Overall WR score = A combination of several on-field performance measures, including refinement for strength of opponents faced. Mixed with all the physical measurement metrics, rated historically in our database.

“Power-Strength” = A combination of unique metrics surrounding physical-size profiling, bench press strength, etc.  High scorers here project to be more physical, better blockers, and less injury-prone.

“Speed-Agility” = A combination of unique metrics surrounding speed, agility, physical size, mixed with some on-field performance metrics. High scorers here project to have a better YAC and show characteristics to be used as deep threats/create separation.

“Hands” = A combination of unique metrics surrounding on-field performance in college, considering the strength of opponents played. Furthermore, this data considers some physical profiling for hand size, etc. High scorers here have a better track record of college statistical performance, and overall this projects the combination of performance and physical data for the next level.

2018 NFL Draft Outlook:

Ridley is going in the 1st-round and I’m sure he will be the #1 WR to be selected by the NFL. He has it all going for him…fawning draft coverage at the NFL Combine, the ‘Alabama’ label, and ran fast at the Combine. Nothing will stop his prospect status now. I suspect he’ll be more of a #20 than a #10 pick because of how much teams have been burned taking WRs in the 1st-round of late. 

If I were an NFL GM, I like Ridley, but not as a top 50 prospect…not at all. Even saying Ridley is ‘good’ places him with 3-5+ other ‘good’ WRs in this draft. Just a thought that popped into mind…I’d rather have Taywan Taylor (or Zay Jones, or Cooper Kupp) from the 2017 NFL Draft than Ridley, among names that come to mind that were draft-cheaper but more talented. Not saying Ridley is bad, he’s just not an ‘A’ for me. 

NFL Outlook:   

Ridley will get every shot in the world in the NFL. He’s going to be drafted to start right away…and if he starts they’ll force him targets. He’s going to be a mini-self-fulfilling prophecy…he’s going to put up numbers because the environment will give that to him.

In the end, I think Ridley will be seen as a capable WR, but as each year goes by he’s less exciting/coveted and becomes a guy when free agency and/or option years hit his team just lets him walk…too much cost for basic/good production.