Position Outlook

Position Rank among other positions:

  • Top-End Talent – 9th (of 11)
  • Depth – 1st
  • 1st Round Caliber Players – 5 (4th)
  • Overall – 3rd

This position is as deep as they come, and that doesn’t bode well for the top prospects in this class. Although 5 Wide Receivers are difference makers, none of them are elite talents, and none project to be immediate WR1s at the next level. Some of them may hit that, but none seem to have the potential to dominate the NFL.
On the other hand, they won’t drop too far in the draft, as each prospect presents a unique skill set different from the rest. Every team will likely zone in on a player who fits their offense best, and there won’t be other options that fill that role the same way. This will keep each prospect’s draft slot projection high, as teams won’t wait until later rounds to select a similar prospect. That is rare with such a deep position.
My only pause with this class – every prospect projected to go in the first round has MAJOR red flags:

  • Wilson – Size & Precision
  • Olave – Size & YAC
  • Burks – Usage & Route Tree
  • Williams – Weight & Injury
  • London – Route Running & Separation
  • Moore – Height & Competition Level
  • Watson – Production & All-around Technique
  • Dotson – Height & Speed

I’ve never had this many questions about this many top-end prospects in a single class before. I am extremely intrigued to see how this position pans out.

The Ohio State Wide Receivers shined in 2021, and they litter these rankings. Both are ranked very highly, and they are the highest ranked duo since Ruggs-Jeudy

Top 10 Ranking

  1. Chris Olave OSU – Full Scouting Report
  2. Treylon Burks ARK – Full Scouting Report
  3. Jameson Williams ALA – Full Scouting Report
  4. Garrett Wilson OSU – Full Scouting Report
  5. Drake London USC – Full Scouting Report
  6. Skyy Moore WMU – Full Scouting Report
  7. Jahan Dotson PSU – Full Scouting Report
  8. Jalen Tolbert USA – Full Scouting Report
  9. John Metchie III ALA – Full Scouting Report
  10. Christian Watson NDSU – Full Scouting Report

Despite the optics of having London at 5, do not mistake this for a knock on his abilities. The Top 5 are all within the same tier, and can easily be ordered in any order. I have all 5 within 10 spots of each other on my final Big Board.
This Top 10 can be split into 3 tiers – The Top 5, Moore and Dotson, and the final 3. An argument can be made to bump Skyy Moore into the top tier, but his height at the Combine and poor competition level are keeping him just below that.

Ranking Notes

Overrated

  • George Pickens UGA – Had a phenomenal freshman season, but since then hasn’t played meaningful football. Has outstanding ball skills and not much else.
  • Drake London USC – I still think he’s great, but the best NFL Wide Receivers are great separators, London is not. Also, those separation struggles came in the PAC-12. While he’s still Tier 1, he can’t be WR1.

Underrated

  • Jalen Tolbert USA – Showed elite WR1 capability and great a dominating presence. Has all the tools to excel.
  • John Metchie III ALA – As crafty a route runner as you’ll ever see. He could be a Quarterback’s security blanket for years. If it weren’t for the injury he’d be ranked much higher.
  • Chris Olave OSU – There are practically no flaws in his game, he is a true master of the position. He might be a little light, but not alarmingly so.

Sleepers

  • Calvin Austin III MEM – If I had to bet on a sub-5’9″ Wide Receiver to succeed in the NFL, it would be CA3. Unfortunately, the odds are stacked against him. There is little to no track record of success for his position at his size.
  • Khalil Shakir BSU – Dude is a baller, plain and simple. His athleticism and physical traits don’t jump off the screen, and he doesn’t have all the tools, but he’s succeeded at every level, even dominating at the Senior Bowl.

Deep Sleepers

  • Isaiah Weston UNI – Unreal athlete with great size. That’s a deadly combo, he has a very high ceiling.
  • Dontario Drummond MISS – Great tape but terrible athletic testing numbers. If he can overcome his athletic shortcomings he could be a consistent producer.
  • Devon Williams ORE – Tallest prospect in this WR class with a large wingspan. That’s worth something.

Biggest Risers

  • Christian Watson NDSU – He blew away the Combine, and although I’m not sold on his tools and abilities, it’s hard to imagine a player with his size and his speed not succeeding in the NFL. This is reminiscent of DK Metcalf, who didn’t possess the tools, but the size and athleticism were off the charts.
  • Skyy Moore WMU – Another player who turned some heads at the Combine. While his 5’9″ height is concerning, he didn’t look 5’9″ on tape. He plays tough, and all of his athletic testing numbers and body measurables turned out great at the Combine.

Biggest Fallers

  • Treylon Burks ARK – Many scouts previously had Burks as their WR1. That’s hard to find now after running a 4.55 40 and an abysmal 7.28 3-Cone. He has the size, but it doesn’t seem he has the top-end athleticism. Things would be very different if he ran even 0.06 seconds quicker in the 40.
  • Jameson Williams & John Metchie III ALA – Both suffered end-of-season injuries. Williams was less hurt by the “injury tax” than Metchie, as he possesses rare traits that separate him from this class. Still, he would’ve been the consensus WR1 if he had the chance to workout at the Combine and show up healthy.
  • David Bell PUR – As natural and instinctive a player as any, but his athleticism was really questionable. He then turned in a terrible Combine performance, confirming suspicions. He could’ve been am early Day-2 pick, now it seems he could drop all the way to Day 3.
Christian Watson was one of the biggest winners of the pre-draft process, playing very well at the Senior Bowl and then lighting up the Combine

Superlative Ranks

Best Relative Athlete

  1. Christian Watson NDSU
  2. Kevin Austin Jr. ND
  3. Alec Pierce CIN
  4. Isaiah Weston UNI
  5. Calvin Austin III MEM

This rank naturally has many players who are under the radar. Aside from Christian Watson, none of these players will be drafted in the first 3 rounds. Having elite athleticism doesn’t always translate to NFL success, and of all the traits, it’s the least indicative. Still, it will bump them up many spots in this draft, and teams will want to take a flyer on their elite unteachable physical traits.

Best Route Runner

  1. John Metchie III ALA
  2. Chris Olave OSU
  3. Jameson Williams ALA
  4. Garrett Wilson OSU
  5. Skyy Moore WMU
  6. Jalen Tolbert USA
  7. David Bell PUR
  8. Calvin Austin III MEM
  9. Treylon Burks ARK
  10. Kyle Philips UCLA

Best Ball Skills

  1. Jahan Dotson PSU
  2. George Pickens UGA
  3. Khalil Shakir BSU
  4. Drake London USC
  5. Treylon Burks ARK

Most Physical

  1. Drake London USC
  2. Jalen Tolbert USA
  3. Skyy Moore WMU
  4. Treylon Burks ARK
  5. Alec Pierce CIN

Best Football IQ

  1. John Metchie III ALA
  2. David Bell PUR
  3. Jameson Williams ALA
  4. Garrett Wilson OSU
  5. Chris Olave OSU

Most Explosive

  1. Skyy Moore WMU
  2. Calvin Austin III MEM
  3. Jalen Tolbert USA
  4. Jameson Williams ALA
  5. Chris Olave OSU

Final Projection

There are 5 1st round locks in this class, but we could legitimately see 8 1st round Wide Receivers. That would be a staggering 25% of the 1st round, which would be truly remarkable.
Aside from the obvious Top 5, the buzz around Watson, Moore, and Dotson is serious, and at the back-end of the 1st round, many teams are desperate for receiver help. If a run starts, this will threaten the available talent in the late 2nd, leading teams to jump the gun in the 1st.

See the Wide Receivers’ overall ranking among other players on my Big Board.


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Uriel "Yuke" Klein

Die-hard Ravens + Lakers fan, wild sports fan to the core LeBron > MJ I will debate any topic with anyone, come at me

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