Penned by Pro Football Focus (PFF), the college & draft headlines section selected UCLA WR Kyle Phillips as the ‘most valuable’ returning player in 2020.
I would have selected a few other players when you look ahead to the 2020 season and the value being added on the roster that’s left but alas here we are.
Philips took on a larger role in 2019 and performed considerably well. He was an elusive receiver by breaking 12 tackles on 60 catches, and he was reliable, too, hauling in over 92% of his catchable targets. He was used more on shallow routes, but on the occasion when he did see a downfield target, it usually paid big dividends. On his 17 targets from the slot that were 10-plus yard downfield, Philips generated a 152.6 passer rating, which would be the third-best in college football.
A larger role in 2019? Sure.
A great slot presence? Absolutely.
More valuable than Demetric Felton, Dorian Thompson-Robinson or Jake Burton? No.
Context when grabbing items from PFF is always valuable but this article doesn’t give much to that, saying “Using PFF’s advanced database, we present the top player on all 130 FBS college football teams as we look forward to the 2020 college football season.”
WAA stats are widely utilized in other writeups, standing for ‘Wins Above Average,’ another new metric for some, but it’s basically like WAR in baseball. Unfortunately, no WAA number was given for Phillips, nor was a PFF grade so it’s a bit difficult to understand why Phillips was chosen over a few other more important pieces to the Bruins team in 2020.
To me, this article doesn’t take into account the value a player is going to have in 2020 and rather just looks at what a player did a year ago.
But again, here we are. So it begs the question. Who is your selection for most valuable player returning to UCLA in 2020?