Dynasty Draft Profile: Keyarris Garrett
April 14, 2016 | Rich Hribar
*MSYD = % of Team Receiving Yardage
In a draft class filled with unique and interesting collegiate circumstances at the wide receiver position, the path taken by Keyarris Garrett to reach this stage is no different. After an impressive breakout season at age 20 had Garrett’s career at Tulsa looking upwards, he then broke his left leg in the second game of 2013, suffering a compound fracture. Garrett fractured both his fibula and tibia as he had a titanium rod inserted into his leg. After that, the leg then got infected and he was forced to have several more surgeries to remove the rod and infection and start the process all over again.
He was able to return in 2014 and still missed two games due to the ramifications of the prior injury, but wasn’t the same player he was prior to injury. He also had now been eclipsed by super sophomore Keevan Lucas, who caught 101 passes for 1,219 yards and 11 scores in 2014.
Garrett was granted a medical hardship by the NCAA for his 2013 injury, allowing him another season to complete his career. All he did in that final season was lead the entire Nation in receiving yardage with 1,588 yards. He had seven games of over 100-yards, including two 200-yard games while dropping 189 yards on Oklahoma and another 137 yards on Virginia Tech.
It should be mentioned that Garrett was aided by the loss of Lucas for the season four weeks into the year, but even prior to Lucas’ injury, Garrett had already tallied 33 receptions for 539 yards. The loss of Lucas definitely helped him secure volume for the remainder of the season, but Garrett was already on his way to a stellar campaign.
Still, Garrett had an advantage of being a big, athletic, 23 year old receiver in a non-Power Five conference. Although there’s a completely plausible explanation for Garrett’s older age, it still doesn’t change the fact that he’s now placed in a bucket of receivers entering the NFL that objectively have had an extremely low return of NFL and fantasy production. As mentioned when we hashed out wide receiver age when covering Josh Doctson, the NFL has largely priced in receiver age accordingly to player talent. Garrett doesn’t figure to be a day one or even possibly a day two draft selection, so there’s a mountain to climb for fantasy relevancy if that holds true.
Here’s a look at every rookie receiver drafted outside of the first round that was 24 years old or older that posted 40 points or more in their first season and their subsequent top 30 scoring fantasy seasons.
Just nine of the 55 players here went on to post multiple top 30 fantasy seasons and none of those players was a rookie selected over the past 20 years. That’s not a death knell to Garrett’s outlook, but it gives him some uneasy company historically.
Garrett still has some things going for him. For one, he’s one of the few receivers in this draft class that has tangible size. For receivers available, he’s one of just seven to check in at least 6’3” and 220 pounds, and only Laquon Treadwell is expected to be drafted with any significant capital in a few weeks, so he could be selected for schematic fit earlier than he may have in another season.
Garrett is also a solid measurable athlete. His 4.53 40-yard time is right on the average for receivers 215 pounds or heavier and his jumping drills place in the 60.1 percentile (vertical) and 88.1 percentile (broad) for all receivers across the board. He does possess absolutely lousy measured agility which shows up in his game, but that may not be a killer for what a team should be asking him to do anyways. Looking at his objective comparables for players entering the league with similar physical profiles and final season production leaves us with a group that unfortunately is just as flattering as the table above.
Kenny Britt is the ceiling comp here, but was also three whole years younger than Garrett entering the league. Stylistically, this is a fitting set of cohorts as well. As mentioned, Garrett’s game is just like you’d expect it to be given his profile and comparisons. He’s a big bodied, straight line speed target and that’s where he excels.
Garrett was used in an extremely limited capacity in college due to his ability and the scheme (Tulsa head coach Phillip Montgomery was previously the offensive coordinator at Baylor). He spent 95.3 percent of snaps lined up as the outside right receiver, and per Pro Football Focus, 1,435 yards (90.4 percent) of Garrett’s receiving yardage came on slants, posts, hitches and nine routes last season. He ranked first in all of college in receptions (19) while ranking second in receiving yards (725) and touchdowns (seven) on targets 20 or more yards downfield.
Even in another scheme, a player with such limited measured agility as Garrett isn’t going to shine in a diverse way on the route tree and the slant and the nine is where Garrett showcases the best parts of his game, so the fit was perfect for his abilities. On slants, he wins at the line of scrimmage with his size, most notably his massive arm length. Defenders have a tough time getting inside of him and he uses his length with stiff arms and the chop within his release. Once he’s clean, defenders almost have no chance of working around his frame.
Garrett naturally plays up to his size and where he really shines is when he’s able to stack defenders. While not a blazer, he’s tremendous vertically once he’s on top of a defender as he keeps defensive backs out of the play.
Garrett has uniquely small hands for a player of his size and arm length and it sometimes show in his technique when not pressed into attacking the ball. Securing passes was something he worked on extensively at improving and the results showed up in data as he was credited with just two drops last season after eight in 2014 despite the massive target spike he seen come his way.
Hopefully it’s not what a team will be drafting him for, but Garrett isn’t going to make a ton of plays in space for a team and often falls on first contact more than you’d like from a player with his overall frame, but he is capable of making some effort plays in the open field.
Wrapping up my thoughts here, Garrett is a player I’ve circled as a target at his current price. He’s exactly the type of player I like to use my late second and third round rookie picks on because he’s priced properly in terms of risk and upside. Per Dynasty Football Rookie ADP, he’s holding a third round pick sticker price, which is exactly where it should be. There are enough red flags for Garrett in terms of age combined with unknown draft investment (that we’re assuming today is at best in the third round, but likely later) to believe he has limited potential to hit. With that probability in a lower bucket than other receivers available, that doesn’t make me want to go above using a later second rounder on him, but there’s upside if he lands in a destination with an immediate need for a boundary receiver than can contribute in the red zone, because there are hardly any of those types available in this class. If I’m not comfortable using an early to mid second on him but don’t love anyone else there, I want to move down and hope he falls to current his ADP in my individual drafts.