Chris Godwin first jumped on my radar when it was mentioned that he was spending the offseason training with Calvin “Megatron” Johnson. That got me thinking as to why one of the NFL’s all-time great Wide Receivers was training with someone who hasn’t been considered as in the top tier of Wide Receivers in this draft class, by many.
Following on from his training time with Megatron, the Penn State Nittany Lion continued to impress at the combine. Measuring in at 6’1”, 209 pounds, Godwin produced a 4.42 40 yard dash, 19 reps on the bench press, a 36 inch vertical, a 126 inch broad jump, a 7.01 3 cone drill, and a 4.00 20 yard shuttle. This gave him a SPARQ score of 130.1; good for 4th in the 2017 WR class, and in the 90th percentile of all NFL WRs. Getting a little deeper, these athletic testing scores also provided him with a height-adjusted speed score in the 88th percentile of NFL WRs, as well as a catch radius in the 75th percentile. No doubt, Godwin has fantastic athletic attributes.
Entering the NFL at 21 years of age, Godwin didn’t exactly “dominate” in college but certainly held his own considering his age. Through 3 seasons in Pennsylvania, Godwin racked up 2,421 yards and 18 receiving touchdowns. These are not statistics that jump off the page, however his 16.6 YPR was still in the 76th percentile for college WRs and he had a college breakout age of 19.5 (77th percentile of all NFL WRs). It is also worth noting that Penn State’s offense struggled mightily during the first half of the season, but ramped it up for the second half. At such a relatively young age, teams will certainly view Godwin as a project with room to grow. A breakdown of CG’s Penn State production can be seen below:
Godwin’s stock has been rising ever since the combine. Draft Analyst’s Tony Pauline reiterates how he has done himself plenty of favors at his pro day also. He stated that, “He looked tremendous catching the ball. Those on hand said he was very quick and looked natural in all aspects of the position.”
His rise up draft boards has been supported by NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah who claimed that he could now be selected in the first 2 rounds of April’s draft. He claims, “I didn’t think he played like a top-50 prospect earlier in the 2016 season, but he has really helped himself in the postseason portion of the evaluation process.”
His skillset is well suited to the NFL’s offensive style. He is very good at winning the ball against a defender. He’s very adept at high pointing the ball and adjusting to poorly thrown balls. Godwin is also a very capable deep threat, having 7 of his TDs in 2016 come from over 20 yards out. Additionally, he is incredibly physical. Both, when boxing out a defender, and run blocking.
It’s not all sunshine, lollipops and rainbows for Godwin however. As Rich and Matt mentioned on the podcast a couple of weeks ago, Godwin has significant drop issues. In the 2016 season he had a 7.8% drop rate, as well as an 8% drop rate in 2015. Furthermore, Godwin is relatively pedestrian after the catch. He averaged 4.5 YAC, as well as only breaking 9 tackles on his 59 catches in 2016.
Based on an aggregate of physical attributes, workout metrics, and college production & efficiency, Player Profiler has compared Godwin to Pierre Garcon. At the time of writing this article, Godwin tends to have a late 2nd or 3rd round ADP. For that price I’m more than happy getting a Pierre Garcon type player, considering Garcon has been a WR2/3 for 7 seasons. He won’t ever be Megatron 2.0, but perhaps we can call him Starscream.