Advanced stats attempt to weed out the sleepers among the draft prospects. One particular set of advanced stats highlighted a particular skillset that Clemson receiver Hunter Renfrow possessed that stood above all other receivers in this draft — he is a 5’10” Red Zone Master.
That’s what SB Nation’s Bill Connelly dubbed him while naming him the number three sleeper receiver in this year’s draft.
The saying goes you need a nice, big-bodied target to score in the red zone. This list could not push back harder on that truism. Metcalf, the biggest of big-bodied receivers, had the second-worst red zone catch rate and the worst per-target average of the group. David Sills V, another big body, scored an absurd number of touchdowns in college (33 in 2017-18) but required a metric ton of targets to pull it off. Notre Dame’s 6’4 Miles Boykin was also on the low end of the catch rate equation here.
Meanwhile, Renfrow was by far the most efficient here, proving mesh does what we think fade routes do in the red zone. Hollywood Brown, the second-best of the bunch from a catch rate perspective, is 5’10 as well. A.J. Brown and Terry McLaurin are 6’0, Terry Godwin 5’11.
The Raiders got Renfrow at 149 overall in the 5th round, first collecting picks by trading down in other rounds, including the 158th overall pick in the 5th round, and then jumping up to get their new slot receiver and red zone guy.