Dynasty Rookie Profile: Jordan Addison
With the Super Bowl behind us, it's time to turn our attention to the NFL Draft and the incoming 2023 rookie class. Chris Allen discusses the pros and cons of Jordan Addison as a dynasty prospect and whether he can overcome his lack of size at the next level.
- Rookie Rank: 7th (WR2)
- WR Rookie Model Percentile: 85th
- Underdog ADP: 90.1
- Mock Draft v3: 21st overall (Chargers)
- Landing Spot: Minnesota Vikings (23rd overall)
If any team needed more receiving options, it was the Vikings. Minnesota ended the '23 season sixth in pass rate over expectation (PROE), and Kirk Cousins hit a career-high in attempts. But while he was lobbing the ball all over the field, it primarily only went to two people.
Justin Jefferson and T.J. Hockenson accounted for 50.1% of Cousins' attempts from Week 9 to the end of the regular season. Their stranglehold on the passing volume was great for fantasy, but Cousins had an average efficiency with the 23rd-highest air yards per attempt. So, Jordan Addison's arrival offers more than just a distraction for Jefferson.
Addison's ability to win against man and zone coverage gives Cousins a reason to throw to the rookie other than in emergency situations. The former Trojan should also run routes from the slot with Adam Thielen's departure. It all comes down to Addison's rapport with Cousins and how quickly the two can get in sync.
Way-too-early 2023 redraft rank: High-end WR4
Jordan Addison flies off the board in the first round of most NFL mock drafts as the second or third WR selected from the 2023 rookie class.
Addison spent two years at Pitt and then finished his collegiate career at USC.
During his sophomore season at Pitt, he dominated the college ranks, racking up 1,593 receiving yards and topping the FBS charts in TDs. Despite measuring at just 5’11 and 173 lbs., he was able to use deft release techniques to glide by perimeter cornerbacks to log the second-most yards among WRs on deep passes in 2021.
After an injury-riddled 2022 season at USC, Addison’s strength and speed (or lack thereof) will be constant talking points throughout the draft process. Even with a first-round grade, the 21-year-old playmaker will need to go to the right NFL team to maintain his current value in fantasy drafts.
Sep 3, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; Southern California Trojans wide receiver Jordan Addison (3) scores a touchdown as Rice Owls cornerback Sean Fresch (1) defends in the first quarter at United Airlines Field at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Successful at beating coverage
Many fantasy managers will zero in on his lack of size without even watching him play. The quick assumption many might make from his impressive 2.99 yards per route run (YPRR), which ranked 11th, would be that an interior role aided his efficiency.
However, in spite of his frame between perceived as diminutive, Addison earned 77.1% of his targets on the perimeter and ran just 24.0% of his routes from the slot. He was able to play from and beat coverage from either alignment.
Additionally, Addison boasted elite marks against both man and zone coverage during his final season. And surprisingly enough, he was actually more efficient when facing man coverage. His lack of size may affect his down-to-down consistency, but Addison has the talent to perform on the perimeter if needed.
Ability to earn targets
Addison led the FBS in receiving yards during his last year at Pitt in 2021, but he logged a disappointing 875 receiving yards in his final collegiate season at USC.
Such a drastic dip in production from year to year usually raises a red flag for evaluators, but Addison’s drop in production from 2021 to 2022 may not be as big a cause for concern as initially expected.
My first reaction to seeing the decrease in yardage in 2022 was that he experienced a sophomore (plus one year) slump, but Addison still managed to earn targets at a similar rate as before even after his cross-country move.
Not only did Addison’s targets per route run (TPRR) at USC align with his career averages at Pitt, but his 25.8% TPRR last season was the highest among all the USC WRs.
Although fellow junior WR Tahj Washington was expected to assume the No. 1 WR role after Drake London departed for the NFL, it was Addison who instead led the team in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving TDs in 2022.
Addison’s ability to command targets along with his capacity to create yards after the catch (21st in YAC last year) should allow him to be an impact player at the next level.
Potential for “slot-only” role
Addison’s results from the NFL Combine were a mixed bag. He re-ran the 40-yard dash, and his other test results were also lackluster, at best.
His low weight and lack of speed could make NFL coaches see him as a slot-only WR, hampering his early-career development, even though his skillset belies more explosive talent.
Addison just didn't get a chance to showcase his abilities much at USC.
Even though he was able to hoard the targets at USC, QB Caleb Williams didn’t view Addison as a WR who could fight through traffic. Addison's great contact balance allowed him to weave through defenders and create YAC, but he struggled to muscle his way to the ball if his footwork couldn't gain him leverage.
Draft capital and landing spot will definitely factor into Addison’s value.
If an NFL team selects him in the first round and pairs him with a forward-thinking coach who can maximize his strengths, we can continue to value Addison as the second-best WR in this class. If he were to slip in the NFL Draft, his fantasy prospects would, in turn, fall as well.
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Fortunately, we’ve seen WRs overcome the size debate in recent years. Drafters knew Addison was undersized by traditional standards months ago, and yet he still currently sits as the No. 2 rookie WR in Big Board drafts on Underdog Fantasy.
The only missing piece of data is what uniform he’ll be wearing come September.
Addison’s prospects as a team’s primary interior receiver make him a top-tier WR for upcoming rookie drafts in dynasty formats. In the right environment, Addison can complement any established alpha with his effective route-running.
For best ball and redraft formats, Addison’s seventh-round ADP requires NFL Draft capital and a positive landing spot for him to pay off that cost.
He earned targets in college, but we’ve yet to see Addison compete for looks against similar or higher-caliber WRs. Without both, we may have to wait a couple of years for him to break out at the pro level, if at all.