Through two NFL seasons, how does Anthony Miller stack up to the other wide receivers drafted in his class
Anthony Miller was the sixth wide receiver drafted in the 2018 NFL draft. The Chicago Bears targeted him and traded a future draft pick to ensure they drafted him. Now, two years in, we may not have all of the information needed, but we have a good idea as to whether or not this was the right decision.
How does Miller compare to his peers in this class, and was he the right pick? Could they have waited for another option?
Below is a list of the top 10 receivers in order of when their draft slot, with their stats through two years.
24. D.J. Moore- 142 receptions, 1,963 yards, and six touchdowns
26. Calvin Ridley- 127 receptions, 1,687 yards, and 17 touchdowns
40. Courtland Sutton- 114 receptions, 1,1816 yards, and ten touchdowns
44. Dante Pettis- 38 receptions, 576 yards, and seven touchdowns
47. Christian Kirk- 111 receptions, 1,2999 yards, and six touchdowns
51. Anthony Miller-85 receptions, 1,079 yards, and nine touchdowns
60. James Washington- 60 receptions, 952 yards, and four touchdowns
61. DJ Chark- 87 receptions, 1,1182 yards, and eight touchdowns
81. Michael Gallup- 99 receptions, 1,614 yards, and eight touchdowns
91. TreQuan Smith- 46 receptions, 661 yards, and ten touchdowns
Other notable drafted receivers to drafted include:
Marquez Valdez-Scantling, Daesean Hamilton, Russell Gage, Antonio Callaway, Auden Tate, and Keke Coutee
Through two seasons, the top three receivers drafted have started to separate and show that they were worthy of their draft slot. They all rank top three in yards and receptions.
Looking at the most receptions in the two seasons since Miller has been drafted, Miller ranks seventh. He is behind Moore, Ridley, Sutton, and Kirk, four receivers drafted ahead of him. Miller jumped Dante Pettis, the biggest miss of the group, but he is behind DJ Chark and Michael Gallup in receptions. He trails Chark by just two receptions and is 14 behind Gallup. It is also worth noting there is a drop off from Miller ranking seventh at 85 receptions to Valdes-Scantling at 64 receptions as the eighth-best in the class.
When looking at yards, Miller once again ranks seventh, and it is the same six receivers ahead of him and MVS behind him at eighth.
Miller does jump up to fourth in touchdowns with nine so far. Only TreQuan Smith, Ridley, and Sutton have more.
So, it seems pretty clear there is a big seven. Let’s look at them from yards per route run, an efficiency metric. D.J. Moore has had two seasons averaging over two yards per route run according to PFF. He is highly efficient and the most productive receiver. Of course, he was drafted first as well. Ridley is right behind him in yards per route run over the past two years as well. Sutton was not efficient in 2018 but made a considerable jump to averaging over two yards per route run as well.
Christian Kirk went from 1.77 yards per route run as a rookie to 1.41 last season. Still, that is good for fourth-best.
Gallup averaged 1.18 yards per route run while Chark averaged 0.9 yards per route run as a rookie. In comparison, Miller averaged 1.17.
However, the big difference between the three was the jump from year one to two. Gallup exploded and was most efficient in the class in 2019, averaging 2.16 yards per route. Chark jumped from 0.9 to 1.69 in year two. Miller saw a jump as well in year two, but only from 1.17 yards per route run to 1.4. Of the group, he once again ranked seventh.
Looking at receptions, yards, touchdowns, and yards per route run, the seven best receivers in the class have been
1. DJ Moore, 2. Courtland Sutton, 3. Calvin Ridley, 4. Michael Gallup 5. DJ Chark 6. Christian Kirk 7. Anthony Miller.
Five of the top seven were off of the board by pick 51 when Miller was selected. DJ Chark was drafted ten picks after Miller at 61st overall, and Michael Gallup was drafted 81st overall, 30 picks after Miller. It is worth adding that there is a clear tier drop from these top seven to the eight best receivers. Hitting on one of the top seven is important whether they drafted number five or seven is a small miss, but the pick is still a hit.
There is no telling if Gallup or Chark would have still been slightly more productive in Chicago. Still, Gallup has been a number two to Amari Cooper, like Miller is to Allen Robinson, and Chark played with Gardner Minshew, so it is fair to say that these two receivers have straight up out produced Miller to date.
Still, Miller is right in line with the rest of the receivers at his draft slot, and while two have been better, he has clearly been the seventh-best receiver in the class, after being drafted sixth.