*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 got duped. The highlight reel tape got me…

In my preview scouting before the 2021 Senior Bowl, I was getting pretty excited about Marquez Stevenson. I saw Stevenson as the fastest WR prospect…the fastest overall prospect there – a possible 4.2s 40-time guy. But based on a 4.4+ at a recent pre-Draft Combine event, that doesn’t appear to be the case.

Senior Bowl DBs certainly played him as if were true…they played back off of him in drills, worried he would beat them deep in a blink – because he did right away on day one. Stevenson’s first couple 1-on-1s, he blew by coverage and won deep routes by 1-3+ yards…then DBs started playing way off him. It felt like Stevenson had that ‘it’ speed. I wrote about it glowingly/longingly during Senior Bowl week.

After day one of the Senior Bowl practices, my Marquez Stevenson hysteria started to melt a drop at a time. Here are the scouting drips/drops in my chronological order of my awareness…

-Stevenson started gaining respect from DBs at the Senior Bowl that first day, EXCEPT from Central Florida CB Aaron Robinson…who went right up on Stevenson and he handled Marquez. At the time, I focused more on how good Robinson was – but it also could be a sign of a Stevenson issue (potentially, and more on that in a moment). I didn’t quite fully comprehend/realize it at the time/in real time.

-Stevenson flashed that speed right away at the Senior Bowl practice day one, but then really disappeared the rest of the Senior Bowl week. The bigger named WRs started to step forward, but Stevenson shrunk from notice. I wasn’t sure if it was a bias against him (small school guy) or the DBs playing so far off him, or what…but rather than splashing over the final 90%+ of the three practices, Stevenson disappeared. And Stevenson wasn’t really a factor in the game itself.

-Things really started turning for me when I conducted a deeper scouting study on CB Aaron Robinson. I watched as Robinson shut down Stevenson when they matched up in 2020 (1 rec. for 12 yards and no TDs). Marquez had no answer for Robinson…or any of the other UCF DBs who covered him (and UCF had a very talented DB group).

Then I noticed Stevenson played UCF in 2019 as well…and had just 2 catches for 10 yards. If Stevenson is so great, how is it UCF is shutting him down…twice?

Which then led me to notice…one catch for 19 yards against BYU in 2020? 3 catches for 19 yards against Tulsa late 2019? You cannot be a mid-major conference star/elite prospect and have so many underwhelming games.

If Stevenson is that fast…how is it that he has fewer than 30 yards receiving in five of his last 11 games? And it wasn’t poor QB play…the Houston QB was solid enough.

-Then I saw that Stevenson ran a 4.4+ 40-time at Brandon Marshall’s Combine event ‘House of Athlete’, and that was it for me. I folded my Marquez cards…as far as him being super-special. That 4.4+ 40-time is nice, good, fine…but I needed to see 4.2s or low 4.3s here. Every other top 50 WR prospect will probably run in the 4.4s this year…it’s not anything special anymore.


That was my timeline for the Marquez hype bubble deflation, but then doing more research and watching game tape in depth – I didn’t find any new sources of inflation in his 2019-2020 tape.

My summary statement on studying Stevenson deeper for the NFL: Just a deep ball guy with some mild bubble screen usefulness. Good speed. Kick returner threat.

I don’t see Stevenson as a great slot WR. He doesn’t show a great penchant for quick cuts/short routes and catches in traffic underneath…that’s not his game. His game is more speed deep and can do some work as a bubble screen guy with blocking…and provides hope in the kick return game.

He’s not ‘the next Tyreek Hill’. He’s not a combination of elite speed + solid frame + amazing feet. He is good+ speed with good+ feet but thinner framed and possibly an injury risk…a torn ACL in 2017 (missed the season), a broken collarbone in 2016 (played 2 games, then missed the rest of the season).

His hands are ‘OK’…he measured with 8.5” hands at the Senior Bowl; not optimal. I see him juggle or gaffe quick, short throws enough of the time to drive home the fear that he is not a legit slot option in the NFL…not a #1 workhorse weapon. He just projects as a deep ball threat/decoy and occasional bubble screen worker who is a risk for injury when NFL bodies start lighting him up in short space.


Off the field, Stevenson seems like a nice enough young man. He was a team captain in 2020, but he doesn’t strike me as the swiftest/smartest WR prospect I’ve observed.

Sadly, I see too many red flags hiding behind the sweet highlight reel speed of Stevenson blowing past weak Conference USA teams to get too excited here. Stevenson has some NFL gifts to be used/examined, but not as a top WR prospect threat I thought was a possibility back in January, nor as any type of ‘next Tyreek’.

Upon further review, I’m not writing Marquez off, but I am slashing my expectations since the pre-Senior Bowl time. D’Wayne Eskridge, among others, is the much more appealing speedster prospect in 2021 at WR.


Marquez Stevenson, Through the Lens of Our WR Scouting Algorithm:

 -- 17 of his last 21 games under 90 yards receiving. Not good considering his schedule and QB play being solid/not the issue.

 -- Eight of his last 16 games under 35 yards receiving…and that’s with him as Houston’s top WR and decent enough QB play…and a pretty flimsy schedule.

 -- Had a nice game vs. Oklahoma in the opening game of the 2019 season…7-80-1.

 -- Two bowl games: 8.0 rec., 102.5 yards, 1.0 TDs per game in them…but against Army (2018) and Navy (2019).

 -- Two games against Central Florida (and their elite defensive backfield): 1.5 rec., 11.0 yards, 0.0 TDs per game.

 -- Three kickoff return TDs in his last 20 returns/13 games. There are signs his speed is better on-field than his 4.4+ 40-time in March (or maybe his speed + avoidance is higher end once into a full sprint).

Senior Bowl measurements: 5’10”/182, 8.5” hands, 30.5 arms

House of Athlete numbers: 4.41 40-time, 10’1” broad, 41.5” vertical (nice)

The Historical WR Prospects to Whom Marquez Stevenson Most Compares Within Our System:

There’s a lot of John Brown comp here…and that wouldn’t be so bad, but it wouldn’t be ‘elite’. Brown has been up-and-down fast guy with early ‘drops’ issues (and small hands like Stevenson) but he worked his way to solid enough deep ball guy. Useful but never a star. 


WR Score

Draft Yr







Power Strngth Metric

Speed Agility Metric

Hands Metric
















Pittsburg St











Texas Tech











Penn State








































*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.

2021 NFL Draft Outlook:

Stevenson is losing NFL Draft traction rapidly. I rarely see him ranked in the top 200 overall anymore. He’s projecting more as a 6th-7th-round pick than a 4th-5th-round option. 

If his ‘House of Athlete’ times are indicative of his timed speed for any private workouts…he’s going to be a late-round pick flyer as a return guy with deep ball WR skillset hopes. 

If I were an NFL GM, Stevenson is on my late-round list but not with any great priority. I see the long speed, the breakaway speed potential but I also see mounting red flags…not bright red, but reddish…enough concern that I know there will be other ‘fast guys’ to consider, and that I don’t have to prioritize Stevenson.

NFL Outlook:   

Going to have to develop as a deep ball threat and return man. If he grinds, he’ll be a starter someday…a deep ball decoy/threat like John Brown. If his hands are too flimsy and/or he constantly gets dinged up…it could be a very depressing NFL run.