I am a firm believer on drafting a wide receiver in every single draft. That doesn’t mean it has to be a high pick on a wide out every year, but I believe every draft class is deep at wide receiver and it makes more sense to keep drafting these guys than to spend $10-$15 mil a year on one player at that position.
Of all the positions on my Eagles big board, wide receiver has the most prospects and this is pretty much the case every year. Wide receivers that run good routes and/or that separate consistently are scheme fits everywhere.
This year I came across 23 wide receiver prospects in the draft I deemed worth of being drafted. I really love this class for a lot of reasons. It’s top heavy, it’s deep and you can find every type of wide receiver at least three or four times.
Randy’s Wide Receiver Rankings
1) Corey Davis/Western Michigan- Davis is the complete package at wide reciever. He has good size(6’3, 215), he’s explosive after the catch, he’s a good athlete, has outstanding hands and is a good blocker. On tape he looks like a longer version of Antonio Brown.
2) John Ross/Washington- Ross is going to completely alter defensive gameplans. He has elite speed and quickness and he knows how to properly utilize it on the football field. He isn’t a track star trying to play football, he is a really good receiver who happens to run like an Olympic sprinter.
3) Mike Williams/Clemson- A very physical wide out who will not gain consistent separation. He possess below average speed and athleticism, but man does he dominate the catch point.
4) Chris Godwin/Penn State- He has 4.4 speed, but it’s all the little things he has mastered that will really impress coaches. He runs good routes, he blocks hard, he finds the ball quickly and he fights for extra yardage after every single catch.
5) JuJu Smith-Schuster/USC- He didn’t test that well at the combine, but his tape showed me an athletic and physical wide receiver with a lot of potential.
6) Amara Darboh/Michigan- A really well-rounded receiver who gets overlooked. He’s an outstanding route runner with good hands who can really separate in the slot or outside. He won’t be a dynamic receiver in the NFL, but he should consistently put up solid numbers in any type of offense.
7) Zay Jones/East Carolina- An underrated athlete who attacks the football. He’s either a very athletic possession receiver or a very physical deep threat. He will torch any cornerback who doesn’t possess good ball skills at any level of football.
8) Curtis Samuel/Ohio State- He played both running back and wide receiver in college and he looked really natural at both positions. Is he a running back or wide receiver? The correct and only acceptable answer is yes. He’s great at both and the offensive coordinator that gets this kid will have a lot of fun drawing up plays for him.
9) ArDarious Stewart/Alabama- Similar to Samuel in that he can make plays out of the backfield or lined up wide. He’s a very quick receiver with the strength and agility to break tackles and get extra yards after the catch.
10) Carlos Henderson/La Tech- A bit undersized at 5’11, but he has deep speed and wins a ton of 50/50 balls for his size. I also love his ability after the catch, maybe the most underrated wide out in this class.
11) Chad Hansen/California- Hansen is the ideal slot receiver in today’s NFL. He’s really quick, runs good routes, catches everything and isn’t afraid to go over the middle.
12) Dede Westbrook/Oklahoma- A great separation receiver, but the fact that he didn’t want to show that off at the combine coupled with his history of domestic abuse makes him a bit risky.
13) Cooper Kupp/Eastern Washington- A good route runner with strong hands, but lacks the speed to play outside. I like him as a slot receiver, reminds me of Jordan Matthews without all the drops. That’s a compliment, unless you were expecting a top 5 ranking for Kupp, which is just silly.
14) Taywan Taylor/Western Kentucky- A good separation receiver to mix into your offense. He’s not physical enough to be a top target, but he’s quick enough to produce as a good role receiver, similar to Danny Amendola.
15) Noah Brown/Ohio State- Below average speed, but a great possession receiver to have in the red zone. He absolutely torched Oklahoma for four touchdowns early in 2016 and was very productive against a very good Michigan secondary as well.
16) Isaiah Ford/Virginia Tech- A really quick slot receiver who does a good job of high-pointing the ball in traffic. He’s that rare slot receiver that can beat you with his quickness in short space but also win a lot of 50/50 balls.
17) Kenny Golladay/Northern Illinois- I believe a lot more people would be talking about this kid if he had even below average quarterback play around him. He’s a 6’4, 220 pound receiver who can beat you with speed and athleticism, oh and he is an outstanding blocker as well.
18) Ryan Switzer/North Carolina- Really compact, but man can he separate very quickly. He’s the type of slot receiver that is going to force defenses to play a lot of zone because no corner is going to be able to contain him off the snap after his first move.
19) Travis Rudolph/Florida State- He’ll be a nice role player, but nothing more. He lacks the size, speed and leaping ability to do a lot of damage on the outside, but he’s quick and precise enough to make a few plays over the middle.
20) Malachi Dupre/LSU- This is your all-potential pick. He can jump out of the building and has decent speed, but he’s really raw, his production was wildly inconsistent and he isn’t very quick(slowest 3-cone time of all the WRs I ranked).
21) KD Cannon/Baylor- The poor man’s John Ross of this class. He has a ton of deep speed, but he’s a raw route runner, not an ideal player on special teams because of lack of strength and his hands are an issue. Still, that speed alone will get him drafted.
22) Jehu Chesson/Michigan- If you looked at his combine numbers alone you would wonder why he isn’t a top 5 receiver in this draft, but his tape tells a different story. He’s raw, inconsistent, not very physical and drops a lot of passes. He’s a project, but his physical tools make him worth a late round gamble.
23) Chad Williams/Grambling- Another all-potential pick. He’s a good athlete with elite speed, but he makes a ton of mental errors on the field like dropping easy passes, carrying the ball after the catch like a loaf of bread and missing blocks he should easily make.