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NFL Draft PRR 2024: Wide Receivers

Welcome to the revamped version of the Position Ranking Roulette! Over the past three years, we have looked at current NFL players and ranked how they performed that season. With more of my focus on the NFL Draft over the past two offseasons, switching this series up to cover incoming rookies will allow these write ups to be more insightful and more subjective as well. Some ground rules before we start:


  1. These rankings are how I believe these players will perform throughout their careers, not just how good they are now

  2. In order for a player to be ranked, I must have watched a minimum of 5 games of them, this threshold allows me to not be as partial to some prospects who have film more accessible than others

  3. There will be no real "negatives" in these write-ups, just things for these players to improve upon in order to reach their ceilings. Let's remember, they are technically still amateurs as they haven't made the pros yet, and they should face minimal negative criticism, as opposed to constructive feedback


Call me soft, but there's a reality where these prospects' parents, family members, and friends are constantly looking up their names, hoping to only see good stuff on them. This doesn't mean they are free to no criticism, but I'll be taking a more optimistic approach to it. With that out of the way, let's get into the first set of my draft rankings for the most loaded position in this class!


Photo: Sam Craft/AP Photo


 

15. Jermaine Burton - Alabama

What They Do Well

What Could Limit Them

Great speed and explosiveness

Consistently working back to the ball on curls and comebacks

Good YAC ability, makes defenders miss in space

Inconsistent footwork gets him jammed in press more often than not

Soft hands and solid concentration in traffic and out of structure

Need to see more effort when blocking

Excels on in-breaking routes, overall route running is great as well

Becomes a spectator when someone else gets the ball

If you want a receiver who can take the top off a defense and win with his route running, Jermaine is your guy. He has good hands, solid deep ball tracking, and can win on almost any route; the key will be improving his blocking and getting better at winning against press looks. I think he'll be fine as a WR2/utility player in the right offense.


Pro Comp: Trey Palmer


14. Keon Coleman - Florida State

What They Do Well

What Could Limit Them

Top-end concentration on tight window passes

Missing burst on deeper routes that have cuts

All routes have the same tempo, lulls defenders to sleep

Not stacking and out leveraging defenders on go balls

YAC ability is fantastic, he's a problem when the ball is in his hands

Spectates if he misses a block, won't try hard to open a lane for his teammates

Ran a complete route tree, wasn't limited in what he could do

Losing the majority of jump balls, didn't win enough for the chances he got

There are flashes in his game where I could see him being a top threat on a given team, but struggles with creating separation on non-double move routes and making the easy catches. Despite this, he made a ton of "highlight" level catches and made big plays when FSU needed them. He's the definition of a high-risk, high-reward prospect.


Pro Comp: George Pickens


13. Tahj Washington - USC

What They Do Well

What Could Limit Them

Noticeable shiftiness, makes good cuts with the ball in his hands

Needs to put on more weight, small receivers have a short shelf-life in the league

Change of direction is awesome, gets low to the ground and creates separation consistently

Needs to prove he can play all over the offense, not just in the slot

More than willing as a blocker despite his size

Didn't run a full route tree due to a poorly designed offense

Great from the slot with his mix of scrappiness and ability to get open


Tahj is a scrappy receiver with good ability to break tackles and get significant YAC, gives effort in blocking and was effective out of the slot. Size and usage will be a concern, but I believe he has a ton of tools to be a playmaker in the NFL, could be worth reaching for with a day 2 pick.


Pro Comp: Tank Dell


12. Xavier Worthy - Texas

What They Do Well

What Could Limit Them

Top notch athleticism, with both speed and elusiveness

Rounds off deeper routes, not as smooth when cutting

Nuanced short route runner, creates a ton of separation on slants and outs

Despite running a diverse route tree, he was only consistent in the short game

Good contact balance, can stay upright on ankle tackles

Used more as a utility player, good chunk of catches came on motions, screens, and deep balls

Solid release package to manipulate defenders

Unwilling as a blocker, spectates way too often

Legit deep threat and good in the short game, runs some nice short routes and has a good release package to beat press to get open on deep balls. Didn't really get to see him be used outside of some gadget type plays and deep concepts, so not sure how he'll be able to function in a more complete role in the league, but he's a damn good athlete.


Pro Comp: Darnell Mooney


11. Roman Wilson - Michigan

What They Do Well

What Could Limit Them

Great speed to burn defenders and take the top off a coverage

Size will most likely keep him to the slot and condensed alignments

Good footwork on all routes, makes clean cuts to get separation

Played in a run heavy offense, didn't get to thrive from a ton of chances

Smooth and soft hands, makes catches in rhythm consistently

Slow plays defenders when blocking, wouldn't try to press into them

YAC ability is pretty decent, can hit creases and make defenders miss


Nuanced receiver with great speed and route running, dominated out of the slot and can run the entire route tree, makes nice sharp cuts and made some tough grabs. Will be limited to slot/utility roles based on his size and experience, will most likely never become a true WR1, but will be a very good WR2/3.


Pro Comp: Rashid Shaheed


Photo: Steven King/Icon Sportswire


10. Malachi Corley - Western Kentucky

What They Do Well

What Could Limit Them

Explosive burst and great acceleration to reach top speed

Struggles against press, needs to rely more on his footwork rather than his size and speed

Finds open spots against zone coverage with ease, especially with crossing routes

Didn't run many routes past 10 yards, only a few of them were clean

Tough YAC athlete, can break through tackles and speed past defenders

Needs to be more patient at times and let his blocks develop on screens

Used all over the offense, good versatility


Complete receiver with awesome traits, really good YAC skills, great hands, can high point a ball and has late hands. He will get antsy and try to overrun his blockers, and he isn't great against press coverage looks, but he is a damn good ball player overall; will be a steal for whoever gets him.


Pro Comp: Rashee Rice


9. Xavier Legette - South Carolina

What They Do Well

What Could Limit Them

Plays way bigger than his frame, can climb a ladder and come down with jump balls

Struggled to create plays after the catch, lacks shiftiness

Great route runner for his size, usually has clean cuts and separates with ease

Blocking isn't that good, either took bad angles to defenders or whiffed often

Has deep threat prowess, has sneaky speed and twitch to out-leverage DBs

Inexperienced at the position, played QB in high school

Made some solid catches in traffic over the middle, took some tough hits too


Good X receiver that played all over South Carolina's offense, can go deep, hit a quick slant, and climb the ladder over the middle. Will need to become a better blocker and improve his YAC ability to become an alpha in the NFL, but he has all of the tools to do so, another underrated receiver in a loaded class.


Pro Comp: Gabe Davis


8. Ladd McConkey - Georgia

What They Do Well

What Could Limit Them

Clean cuts on all routes, gets low on his breaks, leverages well

Struggles to win jump balls, waits for the ball to come down, needs to attack it

Can line up inside or outside, versatile skillset and athleticism to play wherever

Blocking could stand to improve, would stop moving his feet when engaged

Isn't afraid to get physical at the catch point or during his release

Not a ton of playing time due to various injuries, could steer teams away

If it's within his frame, he's coming down with the ball


Ladd can be used however an offense wants, can extend the field with his speed, make plays in space with his twitch, run through defenders despite his size, and catch any ball that comes his way. Want to see better technique when blocking and getting more aggressive overall, but is a fun prospect regardless.


Pro Comp: Curtis Samuel


Photo: James Gilbert/Getty Images


7. Ja'Lynn Polk - Washington

What They Do Well

What Could Limit Them

Came down will almost every throw in his catch radius, unreal concentration

Breaks on routes weren't as sharp as I'd like, but isn't bad per se

Hits a second gear in his routes and when he catches the ball

Was the 2nd option in his offense, didn't go against the best defenders often

Great YAC ability, accelerates quickly once the ball is in his hands


Strong route runner overall, ran a complete route tree


Polk is one of "my guys" in this class. A do-it-all receiver who can succeed from most alignments, he's your prototypical utility receiver that can be used in many different ways to stretch the offense and stress the defense, may be a top 5 receiver from this class when his career is over.


Pro Comp: Chris Godwin


6. Troy Franklin - Oregon

What They Do Well

What Could Limit Them

Consistently finds open windows against zone coverage for QBs to fit the ball

Deep ball tracking is subpar, misses some bread basket throws

Quick change of direction and suddenness, helps with route running and YAC

Rounds off the top of his routes, needs to make cleaner breaks

Ran a complex route tree that you don't see often from college receivers

Does get a case of the drops at times, usually happens on consecutive targets

Speed is top notch, has great explosion as well


Can win from any alignment and on any route, played all over the field on Oregon's offense and was used in a variety of ways. He isn't particularly great at one thing, but can fit any mold the offense wants to put him in, can be a true top target in the right scheme, but does need to clean up his inconsistencies to make that happen.


Pro Comp: 6'2 Emmanuel Sanders


5. Adonai Mitchell - Texas

What They Do Well

What Could Limit Them

Excellent route runner, gets open with ease with short burst and quick cuts

Wasn't the first read often, even agsainst favorable looks

Great deep ball tracking and speed to beat defenders over the top

True YAC ability is unknown due to how deep he was targeted on average

Makes strong catches out of rhythm, works off his routes to get the ball

Didn't run many out breaking routes, mainly ran in breakers and deep shots

Understands coverages at a high level, knows when he won't get targeted


Has all the tools necessary to be a WR1, runs good routes, understands coverage well and how to leverage against it, can make plays out of structure and can win in multiple ways, will feast if he gets a chance to be a number one target.


Pro Comp: CeeDee Lamb


4. Brian Thomas Jr - LSU

What They Do Well

What Could Limit Them

Size and speed is a deadly combo, can be used in both YAC and jump ball plays

Route tree was limited due to the offense he was in

Exploits open creases with the ball in his hands, fantastic burst once he's in space

Was the 2nd option to a great receiver, played in a loaded offense overall

Great sense of stacking DBs once he wins his route

Blocking was hit or miss, either jacked a guy up or let his man beat him with ease

Clean route runner, has a good release package and has surprising suddenness

Limited offensive scheme didn't allow them to use their entire skillset

BTJ has what it takes to be a WR1 in the league. Good route runner, has nice hands, has good top end speed to win deep, and pretty solid YAC ability and twitchiness once the ball is in his hands. I want to see him be more consistent as blocker and run a full route tree more often, but I really liked what I saw.


Pro Comp: Tee Higgins & Rashee Rice Love Child


Photo: Denny Medley/USA TODAY Sports


3. Malik Nabers - LSU

What They Do Well

What Could Limit Them

Absolute burner, can burst off the line or lull you to sleep and still win his rep

Stumbles running routes at times because his feet are moving so fast

High level route runner, especially on crossers and intermediate routes

Primarily used in the slot or as a utility player, not much true WR1 type usage

Decent blocker in space, gets out in front of defenders to open lanes

Fails to work back to the ball consistently, just waits for it

Can make plays at all three levels of the defense, deep ball savant as well

Limited offensive scheme didn't allow them to use their entire skillset

Nabers will be best as a utility/slot type player and will succeed in the NFL in that role. With that being said, there is a reality where he could be a dominant WR1 in the right system. He has a deep skillset and blazing speed to match with it, just needs to get better at doing the little things right.


Pro Comp: Calvin Ridley


2. Rome Odunze - Washington

What They Do Well

What Could Limit Them

Incredible "late hands", excels in tight window throws and jump balls

Isn't as fast as other guys in this class, may not be viewed as a deep threat

Great route runner, especially at the 2nd and 3rd levels of the defense

Loses footing at times, especially on routes breaking back to the QB

Solid YAC traits, can make defenders miss and break through tackles

Not the best deep ball tracker when the ball hangs in the air for a while

One of the best blocking receivers in this class, plays to the whistle constantly


Complete receiver with NFL ability, has wonderful hands and sense of awareness of when to attack the ball. Rome is a true X type receiver that will always look to make a play when the ball comes his way, could see become a first option in an offense within the first few years of his career.


Pro Comp: Davante Adams


1. Marvin Harrison Jr - Ohio State

What They Do Well

What Could Limit Them

Wins routes at all three levels, knows how to fit his route against a defense

Struggles on end zone fade balls, doesn't give himself enough room

Elite body control, gets both feet down and reels in passes out of structure

YAC ability is hit or miss, either makes multiple guys whiff or gets arm tackled

Tracks the ball well, can get under just about any throw

Becomes a spectator in the pass game if someone else gets the ball

Good blocker in space, isn't afraid to get in a defenders face


Great size, athleticism, and natural receiver skills separate MHJ from the pack, would be the top receiver in any class. His blocking ability and advanced route running will make him a WR1 for nearly any offense he joins on day 1. If he can improve his YAC and fix his end zone route running, he could easily be a top 5 WR in the next few years.


Pro Comp: AJ Brown


Photo: Caleb Blake/The Lantern


 

Final Notes:


Some guys who just missed the cut were Javon Baker, Ryan Flournoy, Ricky Pearsall, and Jalen McMillan. It's a loaded class, but these guys should still find their ways into considerable roles on a good chunk of offenses.


Join me from now until the draft, as I cover each position group and how they rank against their peers.

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