1A. Jerry Jeudy - Broncos - Age: 21
The argument for Jeudy at the top spot comes down to the continued growth of Drew Lock. The Broncos seem to have surrounded him with some good pieces (Melvin Gordon, Phillip Lindsay, Courtland Sutton, Noah Fant and KJ Hamler.) Jeudy is the safer choice for me by a good measure. He probably is the best route-runner of this group and has all the intangibles for a long career. Between him and CeeDee Lamb, you can make the argument for either to be the 1A or 1B in this class.
1B. CeeDee Lamb - Cowboys - Age: 21
Lamb has the highest ceiling in this draft class. However, I worry that most of his teammates have reached their full potential in Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott and Amari Cooper. I can understand thinking Lamb will eventually be the WR1 in this offense since Cooper might sign elsewhere via free agency. But it’s not the opportunity that bothers me. It’s technique.
Lamb can do a lot very well, but he is not as refined as Jeudy in his route-running and release from the line. The Big 12 also has terrible defenses so Lamb has not been challenged by the same level of competition as Jeudy or even someone like Justin Jefferson out of LSU. Ultimately, Lamb has great hands, provides terrific after the catch elusiveness, can turn a screen into a touchdown or run past guys over the top. I’m happy to have Jeudy or Lamb.
3. Justin Jefferson - Vikings - Age: 20
The door feels wide open in Minnesota. Stefon Diggs is now in Buffalo and Adam Thielen can’t seem to recapture his magic due to injuries. The Vikings are going to run the ball a lot, no doubt. The guy really seems to have a knack for getting open, making plays and was the key cog in Joe Burrow’s record-breaking 2019 season.
4. Jalen Reagor - Eagles - Age: 21
Even if we assume Reagor is the best WR on the Eagles roster right now, they’ve basically ignored passing to WRs in recent memory. It’s tough to get a close read on Reagor. His last year at TCU wasn’t anything to write home about due to poor play from the QB position. I just don’t see a pure WR here. I see a gadget guy who can work on screens, end arounds, dump-offs etc. We know the Eagles can get creative with their play-calling and I foresee their own version of a player like Deebo Samuel who just needs the ball in his hands to make something happen.
5. Tee Higgins - Bengals - Age: 21
There isn’t much chance for an immediate impact due to the presence of A.J. Green, Tyler Boyd and Auden Tate (maybe even John Ross if you’re an optimist). That said, the long-term potential is exciting and the Burrow hype is off the charts. Higgins is a classic size-speed guy who, with a little coaching, can develop into an elite player. He’s a little more raw and relies a lot of his height to make plays. I really enjoy his body control and the way he can just post guys up on jump balls.
6. Michael Pittman - Colts - Age: 22
One of my favorite sneaky plays in this class. The easy comparison is to say Pittman is the next Mike Williams for Philip Rivers. He’s going to be a great possession receiver and red zone target. I don’t think he’s learned to fully use his body and the west coast USC offense wasn’t a perfect fit for him. They used him too much on screens and he’s not an "after the catch" guy. He needs to become a “go-up-and-get-it” guy.
7. Henry Ruggs - Raiders - Age: 21
I like speed as much as the next guy but if you watch the tape, every play Ruggs makes is him hitting the turbo button and finding a seam. His hands are average, his route-running is average, and his release is, you guessed it, average. Explosion can’t be taught and he will find his niche and produce well when he breaks off a big one. I just don’t see a traditional DeAndre Hopkins, Michael Thomas type of WR1 here at all. His best case scenario is Tyreek Hill and his worst is every other fast guy who was in and out of the league after their rookie deal ran out. The Raiders have no true WR1 and Ruggs would be better off playing the complement to a big-bodied receiver or tight end.
8. Denzel Mims - Jets - Age: 22
I want this to work. He’s got great hand-eye coordination, great body control, good size. But, Mims has a long way to go in his route-running. The Jets are throwing receivers against the wall to see what sticks. Breshad Perriman and Jamison Crowder are short-term plays but there’s nobody on the WR depth chart with much long-term potential. Mims will have a wide open opportunity lasting multiple seasons to take over here.
9. Laviska Shenault - Jaguars - Age: 21
It’s hard to get a good read on Shenault’s ceiling. He’s another “not really a WR1” prospect. On the field, he stands out as a guy who’s running a little harder than everyone else, pushing himself harder, etc. He’s a near-violent runner with the ball after the catch. His hands are above average and he can pluck it out of the air well. If the Jaguars make an effort to get the ball in his hands in short areas of the field, I think he can carve out a role.
10. Brandon Aiyuk - 49ers - Age: 22
A discount Henry Ruggs with a similar style of play. Speed is legit and Aiyuk used his frequently on screens and short crossing routes. He has average body control along with average hands. San Francisco already uses Deebo Samuel in the short areas of the field but since he’s so great after the catch, I’m not sure why they want another. Since losing Emmanuel Sanders, they'll need that long possession receiver and maybe one will emerge. Although the 49ers want to run the ball nonstop, they still are trying to find their WR2 & WR3. Aiyuk has a clear shot to immediate playing time.
11. Van Jefferson - Rams - Age: 23
12. KJ Hamler - Broncos - Age: 20
13. Antonio Gandy-Golden - Redskins - Age: 22
14. Bryan Edwards - Raiders - Age: 21
15. Chase Claypool - Steelers - Age: 21
16. Donovan Peoples-Jones - Browns - Age: 21
17. Devin Duvernay - Ravens - Age: 22
18. Tyler Johnson - Buccaneers - Age: 21
19. Gabriel Davis - Bills - Age: 21
20. Darnell Mooney - Bears - Age: 22
21. Joe Reed - Chargers - Age: 22
22. Quintez Cephus - Lions - Age: 22
23. James Proche - Ravens - Age: 23
24. John Hightower - Eagles - Age: 24
25. KJ Hill - Chargers - Age: 22
26. Isaiah Hodgins - Bills - Age: 21
27. Quez Watkins - Eagles - Age: 21
28. Isaiah Coulter - Texans - Age: 21
29. Collin Johnson - Jaguars - Age: 22
30. Kalija Lipscomb - Chiefs - Age: 22