Western Kentucky Hilltoppers
Draft Eligible: 2024
Devy Digest: Malachi Corley
Who is Malachi Corley?
Corley attended Campbellsville High School in Kentucky and the recruiting services listed him as a cornerback, eventhough he played wide receiver, and wide receiver was his primary position. We've seen athletes play wide receiver and cornerback, but they get listed as their true primary position, which for Corley was always wide receiver. Corley held offers from Austin Peay, Eastern Kentucky, Murray State and Western Kentucky. In 2021, Corley's Redshirt Freshman season, he broke out, grabbing 73 passes and seven touchdowns and he built upon that last season where he grabbed 101 passes for nearly 1300 yards and 11 touchdowns. He returns for his Redshirt Junior season as one of the top CFF assets by fantasy standards. In a recent article with PFF, it summarizes Corley has a chip on his shoulder about being listed as a corner in the recruiting services, when he never went to any camps playing cornerback and he wants to prove he is the best wide receiver in all of college football and is looking forward to the game against Ohio State where there are two prolific wide receivers on that team.
Advance Metrics courtesy of Campus 2 Canton-
The plot points I want to bring awareness to is where Corley stacks up against the second tier wide receivers for the 2024 class, should Corley declare early.
Corley returns for his Redshirt Junior season with his quarterback, Austin Reed and is the alpha in the receiving room. For those that think Corley is just beating up on weaker competition, I want to bring attention to his Power 5 games from 2021 and 2022. In 2021 versus then ranked Michigan State, Corley compiled stats of 7-69-0 and the next week they played Indiana and he compiled 9-70-1. In 2022 versus Auburn he put up 12-99-0 and another game against Indiana where he put up 8-77-0. Corley has put up numbers against the Power 5 and the showcase game will be versus Ohio State on September 16. He should once again put up great numbers and receive north of 140 targets. It's not a matter of how successful he'll be it's how he'll develop his game as he comes into his prime as football prospect.
Western Kentucky runs a pass heavy attack and Corley's game is short to intermediate passes and he creates yards after catch. Corley is hard to bring down considering his size and is one of the prolific CFF players who has transformed into a devy asset. A lot of times what Western Kentucky will do is give Corley an option route and then find space against the defense for Austin Reed to find him and then he creates yards after catch. Corley finished 2022 season with 41 missed tackles and 32 explosive plays. He is truly electric against his competition and he's more athletic than one would imagine, considering he was a 2* to 3* star prospect coming out of High School. He won't be an athletic specimen or put up crazy numbers at the combine, but he is a pure Football player with a high IQ and knows where and how to get open for his quarterback, and once he has the ball in his hands, he is two and three moves ahead and thinking of where he wants to go with the ball and beat his defenders. Corley plays stronger than his size would indicate. What makes Corley so good after the catch is his contact balance, he has great body control and has a knack to evade defenders or shields himself from taking hits straight on. My comp for him has always been a smaller Anquan Boldin, not uber athletic in any aspect but is just a hard nosed football player who wants to be the best and will grind and prove that. He's someone that is fun to watch.
The concern is competition and how well he'll test at the NFL combine. While we have a small sample where he has played up to the Power 5 competition, how will the NFL perceive that, also, he won't run a 4.3 40 yard dash or test off the charts, will the NFL view him as just a guy?
As a strict devy asset, Corley is worth a buy. Once considered a pure CFF play, Corley has picked up steam and another stellar season, could have him test the waters. He's probably a late day two guy but that's worth a buy in the devy space. In C2C formats, he is a smash play. I'm going to label Corley as a buy. He brings unique traits and assets to the next level and has a mentality that dares to prove him he can't, I'll side with him all day.
As stated above, day two might be where the dust settles on him, we know the NFL likes guys with unique traits and skills and Corley brings that. He might not test off the charts but we just need one team to believe in him.
Fantasy football was always a hobby, rooting for the Michigan Wolverines was always a passion. It was only a matter of time when the world’s collided. Then came devy, what started as watching film to being a better fan, I became obsessed with finding the next NFL fantasy stud while in college. Devy is a passion and I’m excited to talk about potential stars you may not know about today, and why you should know their name for tomorrow.