So, Devin Funchess is a WR after all

Rookie pass-catcher was difficult to evaluate coming out because of his undefined position. We got some answers Friday night.

| 1 year ago
(AP Photo/Heather Ainsworth)

(AP Photo/Heather Ainsworth)

So, Devin Funchess is a WR after all

Devin Funchess was a difficult draft prospect to evaluate this past spring, because it was unclear whether his pro projection was as a wide receiver.

Given his size and speed — 6-4, over 230 pounds, and a 40-yard dash time in the 4.7s — there was a section of analysts that saw him as a tight end.

I didn’t see him as a tight end (thanks largely to blocking that would make Jimmy Graham look like Jim Kleinsasser), but more as a Marques Colston-type player – a big slot receiver – who needed to be put in the right position to succeed by the offense.

Colston has a similar body type and speed combination and came into the league with the same questions about whether he was actually a tight end, but the Saints knew that while he wouldn’t succeed every down out wide as a true No. 1 receiver, he could excel working the middle of the field against zones and slot receivers who don’t have the sideline for help.

The Panthers, at least judging by last night however, see Funchess as just another tall receiver they can target. Funchess had two receptions for 53 yards, with both coming aligned split wide as either the X or Z receiver. The first one was a dig route and the second a nice sideline grab down field against Bills rookie Ronald Darby.

Just maybe Funchess isn’t a tight end, and isn’t a Colston-style big slot receiver. Maybe he’s just a tall wideout who runs a 4.7.


| Senior Analyst

Sam is a Senior Analyst at Pro Football Focus, as well as a contributor to ESPN.

  • Tim

    I think his 4.7 was the result of some outside factor. Supposedly he ran closer to 4.5 on his pro-day. He looks thin on tv for 230 lbs, too.

    • Joe L

      Everyone runs faster at their pro day.

    • Panthers/Truth

      In a study of over 100,000 Combine and Pro Day workouts by, it was determined that hand-timed Combine results in the 40 yard dash average being .07 seconds faster than the official (more accurate) Electronic Timed results. This is demonstrated by 241 of 258 players who had faster hand-held Combine 40 times than their electronic times, and only 11 timed slower, with 10 of those only .01 seconds slower. The hand-timed Pro Day 40 times jump to .an average of .175 seconds faster, ranging from 0.1 to .25 seconds faster.

      Devin Funchess’ Pro Day 40 times were reported as a 4.47, 4.53, and a 4.55.

      • donnie johnson

        100,000? No. 258 guys ran the 40 at the combine this year, so that makes 516 combine and pro day workouts in their data set from this year. At that rate it would take almost 200 years worth of data to get to 100,000. Just to be on the safe side, I’m going to assume we haven’t been using the electronic timer for 200 years.

  • Jay Everington

    Darby had a rough night. Got beat at least three times for three big plays. Benjamin made him look silly on that TD.

    • Billy

      It was a push off but I liked the throw and the fact that he went up and got it. They have at least 3 guys that can do that no problem so I hope they run a big set in the red zone this year. We should keep Brown, Funchess, Ginn, and Boykin. Bersin brings nothing to the table and Cotchery only has wisdom and thats with the WR coach is for.

  • seenable

    FWIW he ran a reported 4.5 at his pro day after cleaning up a technique issue. He’s probably not a wideout who runs a 4.7 at the end of the day.

    • Panthers/Truth

      I gave a full explanation of the difference between electronic Combine 40 times, and hand-held Pro Day 40 times, in my above post.