Finally! An NFL Draft with a class full of legitimate talent at the wide receiver position! This year’s class has as much potential as any that I have seen in the past couple of years. While I wouldn’t compare it to the 2014 class that produced Odell Beckham, Mike Evans, Brandin Cooks, Jarvis Landry, and countless others (yet) this year’s class features excellent talent and more importantly, depth. While there are inevitably going to be busts in this class, I can see at least 2 or 3 pro bowl caliber players emerging from this group. So let’s quit stalling and start talking about these receivers!
- A.J Brown Ole Miss
Brown has a very well rounded game and I see a lot of Juju Smith-Schuster in him. While his ceiling isn’t the highest of anyone on this list, I think his floor is much higher than the rest. For a team like the Ravens or Patriots in need of an immediate starter on the boundary (or in the slot), Brown would be the ideal prospect. With his crisp route running and tremendous toughness after the catch, Brown could be a very good NFL player from the get-go.
2. N’Keal Harry Arizona State
If we’re talking ceilings, I think Harry’s is one of the highest in this class. He is a big, physical receiver who could be a Dez Bryant-type in the NFL. If I were a team like the Bills or the Cardinals, who struggled in the red zone offensively last season, Harry would be high on my target list, as he could be a tremendous weapon in that part of the field.
3. D.K Metcalf Ole Miss
Metcalf is a physical freak, there’s no doubting that. I’m not entirely sold on him as an NFL receiver, but I think his speed and physicality will make him a mismatch for a lot of corners. I would not touch him if I were a team looking for immediate help at the position, but for a team like Pittsburgh or Kansas City he could be a worthwhile gamble.
4. Marquise “Hollywood” Brown Oklahoma
If Brown can stay healthy he will be one of the most explosive players in the NFL. Calling him the next Tyreek Hill would be unfair, as he is much smaller than Hill, and might not win as many 50-50 balls. A better comp would be Brandin Cooks, who stretches the field vertically while also doing damage in the intermediate and short passing game.
5. Deebo Samuel South Carolina
Some have called him the next Stefon Diggs. I don’t fully buy into that one as a Stefon Diggs stan, but I do like Samuel as a prospect. He gets open consistently, racks up YAC, and has showed pretty good technique for the position. His floor is one of the highest in this class, I see him being a starter for a team by the end of his rookie season.
6. Andy Isabella UMass
Isabella gets typecast as a slot receiver, when in reality he is one of the most dynamic vertical threats in the class. He was a force of nature for UMass these past few seasons and he could do a lot of damage in the NFL if he is featured properly. Think Desean Jackson for upside.
7. Parris Campbell Ohio State
Fast. That’s the best word to describe Campbell. His hands aren’t great and his technique is still in need of some work but if he puts it all together I see him being a pretty good player.
8. Hakeem Butler Iowa State
Butler is extremely raw but his uncanny ability to make jaw-dropping contested catches is what helps him crack the top 10 here. Some see him as the second coming of Dorial Green-Beckham yet forget that DGB’s biggest issues came from his lack of focus and discipline more than weaknesses in his game itself. I see Butler becoming a really special receiver if he learns how to tighten up his route running, as his receiving ability and physical dominance are simply things you cannot teach.
9. Kelvin Harmon N.C State
I like Harmon. I don’t love him though. He is the typical productive college receiver with speed concerns who does most things well. I think he can be a decent second or third receiver for a team but not much more.
10. J.J Arcega-Whiteside Stanford
I’ve heard Arcega-Whiteside called the “poor man’s Mike Evans” and I like that comp a lot actually. He showed flashes of dominance at Stanford and seemed to earn quarterback K.J Costello’s trust pretty quickly. Like Evans, Arcega-Whiteside will need to benefit from a decent volume of passes thrown his way but will have moments where he takes over the game. The only things that could hold him back are his lack of elite athleticism and speed, but as long as he listens to coaching, he can overcome these issues.
Other Names to Monitor: Emmanuel Hall Missouri, David Sills WVU, Mecole Hardman Georgia