There are so many good WRs in this draft, but at the same time only two to three where I would say: they have the potential to bully CBs at the next level straight away. With that in mind, there are still 3 guys who have the potential to be a 1st round pick for many teams.
I have my main slot receiver in Hunter Renfrow and big play threat in DeAndre Hopkins who I just traded for. I also have a couple of good receivers for depth. What I really need is a top WR3 and WR4, at the very least a WR3. I will look at the top WRs and then those who might fit the profiles I need.
My no.1 guy for the WRs keeps switching between Jeudy and Lamb. Jeudy is such a polished route runner that he is going to cause DBs fits at the next level when they find themselves sat on their ass. Lamb on the other hand is uber-athletic and the big play guy who has the swag of an NFL No.1 receiver. After watching more tape, however, Ruggs also has to be firmly in the mix with those two guys for his effortless playspeed and solid hands, which are superior to many others. The question is, is he a No.1 receiver like the other two or only a weapon.
Ceedee Lamb: big play, swag, speed, glide, body control
Jerry Jeudy: routes, agility
Henry Ruggs III: the speed, special teams
The next level are guys who are very good, but just not on the same level as the three above. Tee Higgins must be doing something right to get compared to AJ Green. He is an above the rim player with basketball athleticism but not quite the toughness you would hope for. Remains to be seen whether he can work against NFL CBs consistently or whether he will end up as just a red zone threat early on. Jefferson is a natural pass-catcher with a great catch radius, who will real it in even when it is contested. In short a QBs best friend. Add to that his ability to be slippery to get into space and you have a very solid receiver. Mims has a track and bball background and a similar body build to Higgins, slightly shorter but just as long arms. He also had above 90 percentile 40, 3-Cone and Broad Jumps.
Tee Higgins: above the rim winner, basketball athleticism
Justin Jefferson: hands, catch radius, slippery
Denzel Mims: track and bball, high concentration
Jalen Reagor – 2nd Round
Small and compact frame with shifty playstyle. He has returner skills with speed and brings some good playing weight compared to a lot of the light receivers.
Brandon Aiyuk – 1st – 3rd Round
This is higher than I would like to put him, but I have given him this placement because he is being considered as a first round selection. He does have explosive traits with long arms, but he is not a polished route runner. He was crowned Yard After King in college, has a RB background and has also played CB at a point in his career, which are all positives. On top of that he has special teams value. I just don’t see him having the attitude to push himself to the front of the pile. I wouldn’t take him until the 3rd or 4th round.
Laviska Shenault Jr. – 1st – 3rd Round
Widely considered to be the most athletic player in the draft. Shenault has strong WR hands and catch concentration on a RB frame. He goes into tackles like a down hill style RB, which could be a concern for durability, especially because he has prior injury concerns. Another concern could be a lack of routes. Purely based on his athleticism he should be a firstrounder, but a big problem is his injury history and the fact that he is not so polished as an overall WR. Add the fact that it has been reported that he did not interview well at the combine and he might be this year’s DK Metcalf: 1st round talent taken at the end of the 2nd/ beginning of the 3rd.
Chase Claypool 2nd – 3rd Round
Chase Claypool is huge, long and athletic. He looks more like a TE, but has the hands of a WR making his average QBs look better. His enticing size/speed combo is reminiscent of Calvin Johnson. He works well through traffic and in 50/50 situations but sometimes has a bit of a problem separating and that could be one of the big things that drops him down. He does have a lot of special teams value too which makes him a Day 2 pick for me. My thoughts to him: he has a high ceiling, but what is his floor?
Antonio Gandy-Golden – 2nd – 3rd Round
Apart from the fact that he went to a smaller school than some of the receivers above him I do not see much of a reason why he does not measure up on level footing or better than some of the guys above. He is an outside WR who also did athletics, taught himself how to bowl because they built a bowling alley at the Uni (achieving a perfect game), can solve the rubics cube, majored in graphic design and is all around unusual guy.
Overall his height, weight and bench press were all above the 90th percentile for receivers. He has very good hands and catches away from his body. He is intelligent, athletic and just the outside prospect I need.
Van Jefferson – 3rd Round
A bit of a sleeper in my opinion who I like a lot. Jefferson is a smooth runner, whose greatest skill is getting open. Can do a lot of damage both from the inside and outside. He is not scared to work in traffic, but could work on his blocking. Average size and speed, but above average route-running. He slots in nicely in the 3rd round, if he drops to day 3 he will be a steal.
Lynn Bowden Jr. – 3rd – 4th Round
He will either go in the 3rd round because people appreciate what a gadget player he was in Uni: coming from the WR position to fill in for the injured QBs and also do a lot of work as a wildcat RB. Or he will drop to the 4th round because teams say: yeh but he didn’t play any of the positions for long enough and I can’t put my finger on where to play him. I think he is super exciting and would love to have him on my team.
Tyler Johnson 4th Round
Excellent ball skills, great concentration catches and finds gaps in the opponent’s coverage especially down the seams to get deep. BBall background evident in physicality and athleticism. Also makes me think of a poor mans Aiyuk.
James Proche 4th – 5th Round
I really like him, so it is a bit painful for me to reduce a 3rd round talent to a 4th / 5th round grade. I just really think that he is going to struggle in the pros against bigger corners and he doesn’t have the athleticism to overcome that. Besides those shortcomings he has outstanding hands and concentration at the catch point, can create YAC and is highly efficient in 50/50 situations.
Freddie Swain 4th – 6th Round
Stood out to me while watching Gator tape on Van Jeferson. Gets into space and has the speed to make yac, he also cuts like a RB in space to great success. One thing that might see him slip down draft boards is that you have to throw him into space and on the ground because he is not too effective above the rim. Crossing routes are where it’s at for him as well as a vertical threat. Not the best in contested catches either. If he can show that he has special teams value (he’s a tough guy so maybe) then maybe he can make a roster in the late rounds or as an UDFA.
Isaiah Coulter 4th – 6th Round
Stood out in a great way at the combine, which is a great place for any rookie to be in. In watching tape it seems that his QB favored another WR (Parker) although I see a lot more drops and plays not made from that dude. Coulter is not afraid to go through traffic and can make YAC, played some nice crossing routes. He will be another guy who will have to stand out through special teams, but he has a lot of nice traits and good size.
KJ Hill 4th – 6th Round
Ohio States all time leader in receptions. Crisp routes, which have room for improvement and he is not an elite athlete by any means. He is, however, solid and dependable, which is something that is not to be underestimated. Good blocker and has the chance to creep into at least the depth of a WR rotation. It really depends if a team is looking for that dependability or traits to develop to see where he will land.
Quez Watkins 5th – 7th Round
Showed off his speed at the combine and you see it on tape too. Has a bit of a problem against stronger coverage because he doesn’t have the best hands, but could be a weapon in space because he has the ability to make people miss. Weapon with his elite speed rather than a WR3. I also feel like he needs more space to develop his speed.
Kalija Lipscomb 7th Round – UDFA
Works hard and gets free with good polished routes – his biggest strength. Can handle more technical work at the next level. Not as much of a vertical threat, more underneath due to lack of athleticism. He is also not a guy who will get above the rim and make great catches. He will probably start as a depth player and will have to prove his way through special teams and camp.
Aaron Fuller – UDFA
Fuller is a smaller receiver and plays that way. Will have to play in the slot at the next level, but has played some outside. Plays with high concentration and was often trusted on 3rd downs, managing to get open. He is a willing blocker, but not always very successful. The real problems with him are size and consistency. Size won’t change, but if he can become more consistent and show that he can help out on special teams there should be a role on a team for him, at least on a PS.