We all love comps, and by that I mean, players that are on our team that COULD be like a more well-known professional player. Comparing Andrew Wiggins to Rudy Gay or Tracy McGrady or even ridiculously enough LeBron James provides a lot more information (factual or fantasy) than saying he is 6-foot-8 with a silky smooth jumper and a relaxed scoring game. People THRIVE off of comparisons. Myself, I usually try to avoid them, but a recent article on Sammy Watkins from SportsIllustrated's Greg A. Bedard got me thinking.
Bedard's theory is that Watkins could possibly be a unique threat at wide receiver. He is shorter than the prototypical star receiver (Taller than 6-foot-3) and he doesn't have a tremendous vertical leap (just 34 inches, compared to the 38 inches most stars put up). What Watkins does have is tremendous strength packed into his 6-foot tall frame with excellent 4.43 speed in the 40-yard dash. Sound familiar to anyone?
Of course, I am speaking of Antwan Goodley. The soon to be Baylor senior wide receiver isn't as tall as Watkins, but is even stronger than him. Watkins has 211 pounds on his 6-foot frame, while Goodley is 220 pounds or more on a 5-foot-10 frame. Bedard asserts that Watkins is built like a running back. Well, he obviously has not seen, or paid enough attention to Goodley, who truly does look the part of a running back.
It should also be pointed out that Watkins and Goodley both gained their yardage in completely different ways. As Bedard found, over 50% of Watkins' catches came from behind the line of scrimmage. Goodley was a much more accomplished down field threat, especially with Tevin Reese on the other side of him. While I do think that Goodley's speed might be more impressive than Watkins', his strength has not been on display nearly as much as the Clemson wide receiver. Goodley doesn't have the long list of just brutally physical plays on his resume like Watkins does.
Goodley also only has a single year of outstanding production, something that Watkins did for three campaigns at Clemson. Watkins had two monster years in 2011 and 2013, and totaled 3391 receiving yards and 28 total touchdowns. Goodley has just one year, as a key contributor, but that year resulted in 1339 yards and 13 total touchdowns.
Both of these players will not be your typical #1 wide receiver. Neither will be Larry Fitzgerald or Calvin Johnson or even Josh Gordon. They also aren't shifty slot receivers who take the game over with just their speed or quickness like Wes Welker or DeSean Jackson. But I do know that Antwan Goodley should be rooting for the success of Sammy Watkins, because there isn't a player quite like either of them out there in the NFL.