Dynasty Draft Profile: Josh Doctson
March 14, 2016 | Rich Hribar
|23.0||74||202||31 7/8||9 7/8|
*MSYD = % of Team Receiving Yardage
There may not be a player in this draft class that has helped their draft stock from a real and/or fantasy perspective over the past year than Josh Doctson.
Doctson played one year at Wyoming and sat out all of 2012 due to NCAA transfer rules. After getting himself acclimated in 2013 on marginal opportunity, he closed his college career with back to back seasons of 1,000 plus receiving yards and double digit touchdowns. TCU has only had one other 1,000 yard receiving season in school history other than the two Doctson posted and his 29 receiving touchdowns are the most by a TCU receiver ever.
In 2015, he went nuclear, averaging a robust 132.7 yards per game before injuring his wrist and missing the final three games of the season. He played in a system that afforded him opportunity and space, but don’t be mistaken that his environment was strictly the cause of his production as he was far and away better than anyone else in his offense. A target to Doctson was worth 4.07 more yards more than a target to anyone else in the TCU offense in 2015, a mark that was the 8th highest in the country for all receivers with 60 or more targets on the season.
After producing at a high level on his way into the NFL, Doctson then proceeded to have a strong showing at the combine. In Indianapolis he ran a 4.5 forty-yard dash while posting top two overall numbers at his position in both jumping drills and combining for the fourth best overall agility score (3 cone plus 20-yard shuttle time) of all receivers.
The closest objective comparisons for prospects entering the league with high production and strong athletic profiles similar to Doctson churn out three first round selections.
|Justin McCareins||Northern Illinois||2001||124||22.1||74||209||4.50||41.0||129||3.99||7.06||6.0||106.2||0.9|
|Rashaun Woods||Oklahoma State||2004||31||23.2||74||202||4.51||39.0||125||3.97||6.93||5.9||105.2||1.1|
Outside of Justin McCareins, the league took notice of Doctson’s group of cohorts, and Woods and White were also of similar age.
Age has already been brought up often with Doctson. Since he’ll be turning 24-years old during his rookie season, it’s highly probable that he’s nearly a finished product entering the league. You also expect a 23-year old as polished and athletic as Doctson to wreck 19-21 year olds, which may throw some shade at his production.
The bulk of older rookie receivers have a subpar hit rate for this reason, but when it comes to 24-year old rookies that also come with all the bells and whistles that require a first round selection in the NFL, many of those players have found real and fantasy success. Since 1990, here’s the list of 24-year old rookie receivers selected in the first round and their initial and subsequent PPR fantasy output.
It’s not a vast sample since the majority of highly productive college players either leave school early or just never break out in the first place, but only Woods truly flamed of this group. Even career underachievers such as Robert Meachem and Rod Gardner gave us at least one viable fantasy season while some of the most consistent, high end fantasy receivers of the past 25 years have been in this group.
Also, even for being closer to finished products in relation to age, almost all the receivers here were a slower burn out of the gates, even for the usable seasons. All in all, when it comes down to Doctson’s age, it’s not a major factor in my outlook for him since he’s universally regarded to be selected highly and awarded initial opportunity from the start of his career.
That opportunity is warranted as well as Doctson’s production and athletic profile match what you see from him on the field. He’s not a perfect prospect, but for the few deficiencies he has, he has a counter trump card skill to combat them.
He’s often knocked for his upright running style, which is true and also prevents him from being highly elusive and a tackle breaker after the catch, but Doctson can still win in areas of the small game. He wins at the line of scrimmage with feet more than with his hands which is why he still has one of the more highly success rates versus press and man to man coverage per Matt Harmon’s game charting on this receiver class.
Even when Doctson loses at the line of scrimmage with his hands, he still has the ability to win in his route. One of the few dents in his armor is highlighted here, but he still drives through the contact and turns it into a highly positive play.
Doctson’s main attribute is that he’s a weakness eraser. Whether that’s from a self-induced mistake in route or a misplaced pass, he’s a bully in route that plays through contact and as his jumping drills suggest, he’s bringing a large target circumference to the table while also having amazing body control, ball tracking and hands to go with those measured luxuries. While he doesn’t use his hands great at the line of scrimmage, he’s fantastic at using them in route in a nuanced fashion (the borderline offensive pass interference on the replay but at full speed it’s so subtle it rarely gets called).
As I’m getting redundant here, there aren’t many receivers that come along and turn nothing into something and even when Doctson is covered, he can just go attack the football as well as anyone in this class.
Doctson has superstar qualities that are picked at from a few weaknesses he has at the line of scrimmage physically and after the catch ability that isn’t elite, but focusing on those is missing the big picture of what he can do for an offense, which is produce a ton of yards and touchdowns, something that is mildly important.
That said, I still believe his NFL truth lies in being a team’s second wide receiver because his major strengths scream out to me that he’s best used as a flanker. That’s not a knock by any degree because he’s the type of flanker you’d make in a factory based on his frame, athleticism and skills, and out of the packaging can line up and run slants, posts, ins and nine routes on repeat while stretching coverage for other options in an offense. While I adore his game, I believe his fantasy production will be similar to that of Michael Floyd, where we’ll get glimpses of a bonafide stud WR1 mixed with moments where he’s forced to turn a lot of production out of smaller opportunity than a true lead option in a passing game.
In rookie mocks in December, Doctson was the 1.09 per Dynasty League Football, but has since climbed to 1.03. Doctson has rightfully closed the gap from Laquon Treadwell and the rest of the receiver field over the past few months. In a class that lacks high ceiling upside at the position while also projecting to have a stable floor, Doctson is warranted of having any rookie pick at the top used on him once Ezekiel Elliot clears the board.