Where’s the Love for Calvin Ridley? Why the Draft’s Top WR Doesn’t Get More Hype

In today’s pass-heavy NFL, wide receivers are more important than ever.

You see as much reflected in free agency, where players like Allen Robinson and Sammy Watkins cheap nfl jersey receive huge contracts to reward middling production. You see it too in the draft, where seemingly every year brings a handful of new hyped receivers to the league, including last year, when three (Corey Davis, Mike Williams and John Ross) went in the first nine picks.

In fact, since 2009, as many as six and an average of four receivers have been picked in the first round. So this year, when only one receiver is a lock to go in Round 1, how is there so little hype around him?

Where’s the love for Calvin Ridley?cheap nfl authentic jerseys

Ridley didn’t have eye-popping numbers or get Biletnikoff Award recognition in his three seasons at Alabama, but among NFL executives, scouts and coaches Bleacher Report has spoken to, the consensus is that he’s a level apart from any other receiver in this draft.c312d372340924b3753b3e9cb0e0037b_crop_north

They look at Ridley and see a silky-smooth route-runner with plus speed and hands who can be a part of a dynamic cheap authentic nfl jerseys passing attack on Day 1 in the NFL. My mock draft reflects that opinion, projecting Ridley to go 16th overall (the only receiver I have in the first round).

So why isn’t he a household name?

Part of it is that the hype might already have passed Ridley by. He signed at Alabama as the top wide receiver in the 2015 recruiting class (and 12th-best player at any position, according to 247Sports) and burst onto the scene, catching 89 passes for over 1,000 yards as a true freshman. But his numbers dropped in each of the next two seasons—72 catches as a sophomore and 63 as a junior—and he never got over that 1,000-yard mark again.

That might look bad to casual draft fans, but the NFL knows there’s context that explains it, most notably the play of Jalen Hurts at quarterback.

“He had a running back throwing him the ball,” says one longtime NFL wide receivers coach bluntly. “I cheap nfl jerseys from china don’t know how anyone can look at his stats to judge him.”