Breakout Finder 2023 | Top 5 Disappointments

by Matt Babich · Best Ball Plays & Strategy

The Breakout Finder results for the 2023 rookie class are in! As we approach the NFL draft and dynasty rookie drafts, properly evaluating incoming prospects becomes a critical task. The Breakout Finder allows you to tune out the noise and focus on the metrics that matter for running backs and wide receivers entering the league. This article will focus on the top disappointments in this year’s class. For the purposes of this article, “disappointment” is defined as a player who ranks lower in their class in their Breakout Rating than they do in PlayerProfiler’s Dynasty Rankings.

Disclaimer: These are highly-discussed prospects who received a lower Breakout Rating than we’d hoped. This is not to say that the prospects are disappointing, or are going to become busts.

5. Kayshon Boutte (WR, LSU)

Positional Dynasty Rank: 5, Breakout Rating Rank: 7

Key Disappointment: 4.1 (No. 19) Dynamic Score

Kayshon Boutte lacks no self-confidence, but he does lack the straight-line speed that was holding his prospect profile afloat. He needed to impress with his measurables to stand out. Boutte needed to show NFL front offices he could test well. After saying he’d run a 4.43, the junior out of LSU ran a 4.50 (67th-percentile) 40-yard dash, resulting in a dismal 92.5 (47th-percentile) Speed Score. Further damaging his athletic profile, he recorded a 108.3 (2nd-percentile) Burst Score. 

Kayshon Boutte Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

Boutte broke out his freshman year, contributing 735 receiving yards and five touchdowns to a rather unproductive LSU offense in 10 games. His 18.5-percent Target Share, however, would be his largest portion of target volume as a Tiger. Failing to command a significant target volume in the face of a 8.9 (No. 14) Teammate Score is a major problem for Boutte’s NFL outlook. It’s further disappointing how little he was deployed outside of the passing game, resulting in a dismal 4.1 (No. 19) Dynamic Score. Boutte currently sits at the WR5 in PlayerProfiler’s 2023 Rookie Dynasty Rankings, but a drop in draft capital could push him further down the ranks.

4. Jayden Reed (WR, Michigan State)

Positional Dynasty Rank: 7,  Breakout Rating Rank: 10

Key Disappointment: 117.5 (34th-percentile) Burst Score

Jayden Reed burst onto the scene in his freshman season at Western Michigan. Reed broke out by recording a 35.7-percent (73rd-percentile) Dominator Rating while playing alongside future first-round draft pick D’Wayne Eskridge. Due to his transfer to Michigan State in 2019 and the 2020 covid season, his next full season wasn’t until 2021. Reed picked up right where he left off, drawing a 26.3-percent (75th-percentile) Target Share and again generating over 30-percent of his team’s passing/receiving production.

His major flaw, from the Breakout Finder’s perspective, is his 117.5 (34th-percentile) Burst Score. This raises questions about his ability to catch the ball outside of his below-average frame. With that being said, the Senior Bowl standout is a talented route runner and a versatile threat. Reed’s constant deployment on special teams is a testament to his playmaking abilities, earning a 53.9 (No. 2) Dynamic Score during his collegiate career. A stronger athletic profile would have increased his Breakout Rating, but knowing he comps to Stefon Diggs, Christian Kirk, and Chris Olave should be reassuring for dynasty drafters.

3. Trey Palmer (WR, Nebraska)

Positional Dynasty Rank: 11, Breakout Rating Rank: 16

Key Disappointment: 21.4 (27th-percentile) Breakout Age

In the wise words of former WWE Tag-Team Champion Enzo Amore, Trey Palmer is “…a certified G and a bona-fide stud. And you can’t. teach. that.” The leader of Cody Carpentier’s Dawg Rating™, Palmer melted faces with his dynamism and big-play ability after transferring to Nebraska. In the midst of an abysmal offense, Palmer propelled the passing game forward by commanding a 32.7-percent (96th-percentile) Target Share and generating a 46.1-percent (93rd-percentile) Dominator Rating. He proved that he can hold a Power-5 offense on his shoulders, which is a pivotal bullet point on his resume.

From the Breakout Finder’s POV, Palmer’s major flaw is that he failed to breakout until his senior season. While this is often a fair criticism, it’s worth noting that Palmer had no chance to break out his freshman year given the talent within the 2019 LSU receiver room. The post-championship LSU offense quickly broke and lacked leadership and direction. He made a wise choice to leave the program and join the Big 10. While the move decreased his level of competition, it was more important for Palmer to prove he always had the skill to dominate at the college level.

2. Marvin Mims (WR, Oklahoma)

Positional Dynasty Rank: 6, Breakout Rating Rank: 11

Key Disappointment: 27.5-percent (47th-percentile) Dominator Rating

Marvin Mims‘ issues certainly didn’t start at the NFL Combine. The junior out of Oklahoma blazed a 4.38 (94th-percentile) 40-Yard Dash and recorded a 131.7 (91st-percentile) Burst Score. Mims created quite the backbone for his athletic profile. This is damped by his undersized frame. However, the success of previous receivers with similar statures should nullify those concerns. The red flag lies in his production profile at Oklahoma. Despite his freshman year breakout, it wasn’t until Mims’ junior season that he compiled his career-high 27.5-percent (47th-percentile) Dominator Rating and a 22.4-percent (63rd-percentile) Target Share.

Mims’ overall college performance left much to be desired. He failed to break away from his target competition in 2021 paired with both Caleb Williams and Spencer Rattler. Mims earned just three targets per game in that season. He faced relatively zero target competition, gifted a 3.1 (No. 20) Teammate Score, yet failed to prove he can take over a college offense. This imposes a limit on his upside as an NFL prospect. The bright side for Mims is that he is a fluid, lightning-fast playmaker whose bright spots shine through on film. After a solid showing at the NFL combine, Mims should get Day-2 draft capital and see valuable opportunity in year one.

1. Tank Bigsby (RB, Auburn)

Positional Dynasty Rank: 7, Breakout Rating Rank: 10

Key Disappointment: 10.9-percent (10th-percentile) Dominator Rating

Standing at 6-0 and 210-pounds, Bigsby is a human wrecking ball. At his size, however, his 4.56 (60th-percentile) 40-yard dash and 97.1 (54th-percentile) Speed Score are not checking off any boxes (besides the one marked “unathletic”). Bigsby was a freshman-year breakout, leading the Tigers with 838 rushing yards on 139 carries. His 6.0 yards per carry would be the most efficient season he’d churn out, averaging 4.9 and 5.4 yards per carry in his final two seasons. 

Tank Bigsby Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

Despite leading his team in rushing, his nonexistent role in the passing game resulted in an abysmal 10.9-percent (10th-percentile) College Dominator Rating. He was not a consistent producer in his time at Auburn. Across his final two seasons, Bigsby accumulated nearly 60-percent of his rushing production in just nine of 25 total games (four games against Non-Power-5 schools). He mirrors a plodding back with moderate juice. His NFL Combine test results all but proved that statement. There is a history of backs with a similar profile succeeding in the NFL, but the production window is generally short. Josh Jacobs is the most talented back in his top-5 Best Comparable Players. That should give you an idea of the type of outlier you’re chasing if you invest in Bigsby.