Sometimes, an interesting name is all it takes to garner fantasy attention. Tre McBride has an interesting name, but he’s also a tremendous value in later rounds. [Ed. Note: McBride’s real name is “Doug,” though he definitely deserves some fantasy attention.] The Titans drafted McBride in the seventh round of the 2015 NFL Draft. Receivers drafted in rounds four through seven rarely ascend to fantasy WR1 status, but McBride demands a closer inspection. This is a small-school receiver who checks every relevant prospect-evaluation box.
This article utilizes statistics taken from an article Shawn Siegele wrote last year that looked at the components of wide receiver evaluation. In his piece, Shawn divides drafted prospects into clear “hits” and “misses,” players in the middle were omitted from his calculations. The numbers were clear: Average “hits” at the position since 2006 tend to weigh more, have better Height-Adjusted Speed Scores and have vastly superior Dominator Ratings compared to “misses.”
At first blush, McBride is an elite athlete:
Though he is a few inches shorter than an average hit, McBride checks all the other boxes. When compared to receivers taken in rounds four through seven, McBride stands out even more:
McBride’s youth, weight, and an excellent HaSS (109.5; 87th percentile!), should have made scouts drool. Yet, he slipped to 245th overall in the NFL draft. His workout metrics and college production suggest that he warranted a day two selection. McBride’s raw stats and small-school background are assumedly his biggest knocks. While it is true that McBride never amassed more than 900 yards and 10 touchdowns in a season, his quarterbacks only averaged 2000 passing yards and 12 touchdowns per season. Remarkably, McBride averaged over 37-percent of his teams passing touchdowns over his four year college career.
McBride joins two exciting and highly-drafted football prospects in Nashville, Marcus Mariota and Dorial Green-Beckham. He finds his immediate competition in once exciting prospect Justin Hunter. Realistically, Hunter will not be much competition. Two years into his career and Hunter has mostly been a flame out. [Ed. Note: Justin Hunter has since been arrested following an ill-advised bar brawl and is likely now on the roster bubble.]
Dynasty owners have been dreaming on Hunter’s potential since he entered the league in 2013, and who wouldn’t have been? He sports a 4.44 forty-yard dash, a 105.0 (80th percentile) HaSS, and a 10.24 (88th percentile) catch radius. However, Hunter was never very dominant in college, posting a 27.2% DR (35th percentile). In 2014 between weeks 1-12, Justin Hunter played an average of 85-percent of the snaps before landing on IR. Justin’s Hog Rate of 11.3% (73rd in the league), Production Premium of -10.8 (72nd in the league), and a Target Premium of -12.3-percent, (76th in the league) were abysmal. This came during his second season, a time in which players are expected to take a big step forward in their development. When Tennessee drafted DGB and McBride, Hunter could see the writing on the wall (he must be really upset about Tennessee’s draft selections.)
Tre McBride’s draft capital may keep him from seeing the field in two receiver sets ahead of veteran starting Z/Y receiver Kendall Wright and the monstrous target hog DGB. However, we may see McBride in three receiver sets. This may be a bit optimistic for a seventh-round rookie, but the competition in Nashville is not fierce. McBride is being drafted No. 177 overall in dynasty startups and 38 overall in rookie drafts (via DLF). He is almost free in all formats so now is the time to stash him, particularly in dynasty leagues. McBride could see a decent bump in value by mid-or-late-season and even if he doesn’t, he’s got the workout metrics and college production to warrant a dynasty roster spot. Add McBride today; you’ll be patting yourself on the back soon enough.