Ricky Pearsall Scouting Report

  • WR Super Model Percentile: 42%
  • Underdog ADP: 166.0 overall (WR73), rookie WR11

The goal of any WR should be to stand out. High-volume passing games with three WRs running routes on each play are becoming more common, and teams need to quickly answer whether or not their QB is “the guy”. Because of that, any WR who can help solve that riddle is worth an investment.

Yeah, something like that.

Ricky Pearsall’s highlight catch above put the NFL on notice, showing that the 6’1 Florida product was ready for the big leagues. But when we zoom in on his profile, Pearsall will likely need the benefit of a good scheme and surrounding cast on offense to be a consistent fantasy contributor at the next level.

Pros and Cons of Ricky Pearsall


Quick ascent to top WR status

Since Pearsall isn’t one of the top WRs in the class, a reliable indicator for the lesser-known prospects is their year-over-year target share. If a WR can either show improvement in or maintain the ability to earn looks in college, then his NFL career probably isn’t doomed from the start. And Pearsall was able to gain control of his offense over time in college. Ricky Pearsall target share

Pearsall’s route rate and target share increased each year following his first season at Arizona State. He led the Sun Devils in targets in 2021, and after transferring to Florida in 2022, he reclaimed the WR1 spot during his final collegiate campaign.

His 20.1% targets per route run (TPRR) as a senior last season ranked third-lowest in the class, but there's still some hope for him based on the last few NFL Drafts.

Admittedly, Pearsall has a different skill set and ran different routes than most of the players on the list above, but the point remains. Despite not having been a high-end target earner, his ability to wedge himself into a passing game will serve him well at the next level.

Efficiency stacks up to rest of his class

“Can he earn targets?” is the first question, and we just answered that. “How does he earn targets?” is another important question when evaluating rookie WR prospects.

Maximizing each reception by creating separation and winning off the line helps ensure more balls get thrown a player's way. And again, while Pearsall isn't' the flashiest WR in this rookie class, he's shown above-average footwork and body control.

As with his highlight reception in the summary section above, this is just one play. Fantasy managers need more than one good pitch and catch. However, using Pearsall’s 2023 season as a proxy, we can see that the film lines up with the data. 

YAC vs YPRRHis 5.8 yards after the catch (YAC) per reception was ahead of noteworthy names like Rome Odunze’s (5.6), BrIan Thomas's (5.7) and Adonai Mitchell's (3.2). And while not stellar, Pearsall’s 2.23 YPRR was higher than that of Xavier Worthy at (2.14). 

Pearsall sits right in that sweet spot of “could create explosive plays if asked” and “reliable WR”. In the 2024 WR class, Pearsall solidly sits in the WR2 category.


May struggle to earn targets

Here’s where being the No. 1 WR on a team can be a double-edged sword. As mentioned earlier, Pearsall was the No. 1 WR for Arizona in 2021 and Florida in 2023, respectively. However, let’s contextualize his target share.

Pearsall's competition for targets relative to what he’ll face in the NFL was non-existent. During his five seasons in college, the list of Pearsall's WR teammates who had the talent to make it in the NFL is not great.

As a reminder, the Falcons drafted Darby in the sixth round in 2021, and he's since earned just five targets in his three seasons in the NFL. 

Of course, I’ll give Pearsall a pass for losing targets to Aiyuk given the talent that Aiyuk has shown. Still, Pearsall's inability to get to the top of the food chain more quickly at his stops in college means that he’ll likely require a similar lack of target competition to produce in the NFL.

And it wasn’t just his latency in getting on the same page as his QB that was an issue. It took Pearsall a while to even get on the field at all. Percent increase in routesCoaching staffs immediately gave the higher-graded prospects more playing time after their first year, and Pearsall took two years to get the top spot. So if a team with established pass-catchers ends up drafting Pearsall, he may offer lackluster production as a rookie.

Doesn't stand out

Draft capital remains the best signal we have regarding WRs and their potential career arcs, being able to differentiate themselves greatly helps a WR's draft stock.

A highlight reel catch like Pearsall’s from last year can help, but his overall body of work still matters. And unfortunately for Pearsall, he’s about right in the middle of the pack in this 2024 class. Zone YPRR vs Man YPRROf course, we’d like to see any WR in the top-right quadrant with Marvin Harrison Jr. or Malik Nabers. And while being close to the center of the chart isn’t necessarily a death knell, it emphasizes my point that Pearsall could just be a painfully average WR prospect.

Being able to break off defenders in press coverage some of the time and gliding between linebackers in zone coverage other times is great. However, Pearsall didn't excel in either area. And with his slight frame at 189 lbs., he’ll need to really shine in multiple facets of his game to really boost his potential NFL Draft stock.

Ricky Pearsall Fantasy Football Outlook

The bottom line up front (for my military folks), I don’t see a bad player when I look at Pearsall.

He can run a diverse route tree, win in contested catch situations, and has the footwork and body control to work against tight coverages. In an ideal world, he'll drop into a team with an established No. 1 WR, a solid No. 2 WR, and Pearsall could be their third-down merchant. All the offense would have to do is spread out the defense and let Pearsall work the interior to convert for a first down.

But he still needs some development. Pearsall will likely be asked to run block if his route assignment has him aligned closer to the snap. And at less than 190 lbs., that may be a tough proposition. It's another reason Pearsall could see limited action as a rookie regardless of which team selects him. But maybe if he were to spend most of the summer at his local Chipotle, Pearsall could have one less thing to worry about come Week 1.

Potential good fits

  • The Chargers are devoid of WR talent after having released Mike Williams and having traded away Keenan Allen to the Bears.
  • The Bengals could use a No. 3 WR with Tyler Boyd likely to go elsewhere in free agency, and there's a chance that Pearsall could even be the No. 2 WR if Cincinnati were to also trade away Tee Higgins.
  • The Rams would be a nice spot for Pearsall to learn the ropes behind Cooper Kupp.
  • The Steelers need an interior WR and pass-catching help overall with Diontae Johnson traded to the Panthers.
NFL prospect profile
Christopher Allen
Christopher Allen
Chris Allen is a Fantasy Analyst and Content Coordinator at Fantasy Life, but he’s also a mechanical engineer by trade that leverages his analytical background to study the various components of fantasy football. From how weather impacts results to draft strategy, Chris uses a 'process over results' approach to deliver actionable analysis on multiple platforms for any fantasy football format.