2020 NFL Draft: Ranking the Wide Receiver Prospects

Mark Morales-Smith

2020 NFL Draft Prospect Rankings: QB | RB | WR | TE

WR Jerry Jeudy, Alabama

  • Age: 20
  • Height: 6’1”
  • Weight: 193
  • 40-yard dash: 4.45

Jeudy is my No. 1 ranked wideout. His outstanding route-running gives him a slight edge over CeeDee Lamb. He has pro-style experience with strong acceleration and top-end speed over the top and on intermediate routes. Despite a lack of overwhelming size, he makes the most of his body and comes down with contested catches and can hold on to the ball while taking a hit. As an athlete, he's fluid, smooth, and cuts crisply with ease. Whoever he lands with is getting a star.

The only true concern with Jeudy is an occasional lack of concentration that leads to drops. I don’t see many other issues other than the fact that he doesn’t have elite size. Still, he is a stud and will perform like one. He’s a contender for No. 1 rookie in dynasty drafts.

WR CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma

  • Age: 21
  • Height: 6’2”
  • Weight: 198
  • 40-yard dash: 4.5

Lamb is an incredibly explosive athlete who can dominate on all three levels and score from anywhere on the field. He's a problem once he gets the ball in his hands and has the body control, acceleration and jumping ability to get it in his hands often and everywhere. On top of being an elite wideout, he can also contribute at a high level as a returner. He's my second-ranked receiver but could be considered more of a 1B to Jerry Jeudy’s 1A.

The reason he is edged out by Jeudy is his route-running. He can get open and make plays, but just isn't that crisp, fluid route runner. He needs to be more precise and have less wasted motion. Also, he lacks a bit with his ability to come down with contested passes.

WR Henry Ruggs III, Alabama

  • Age: 21
  • Height: 5’11”
  • Weight: 188
  • 40-yard dash: 4.27

Ruggs is an absolute speed demon and is every bit as fast as his 40-time would suggest. He will have the potential to be the ultimate weapon when it comes to taking the top off a defense or stretching a quick slant into a long touchdown. Defenses will have to game plan for a player that can change a game at any second. The only valid concern is that he's smallish and could struggle with press coverage. It will also be tough for him to go up and get the ball or win on contested catches, so he will need a quarterback that has the skillset to utilize him to his max potential. Players like this are almost always boom-or-bust fantasy options, and it's unlikely Ruggs will be an exception week-to-week, but the hope is that he can be an overall stud for his career. His ceiling is comparable to the likes of Tyreek Hill and DeSean Jackson. However, I don't see him having quite as low a floor of guys like Darius Heyward-Bey or Breshad Perriman. The very worst-case scenario I believe you’d still be getting a Ted Ginn Jr. caliber player.

WR Justin Jefferson, LSU

  • Age: 21
  • Height: 6’1”
  • Weight: 202
  • 40-yard dash: 4.43

Jefferson is good enough to be the No. 1 receiver taken in most drafts, although I currently have him ranked just fourth this year, bordering on No. 3. Wherever he lands, he's going to make his quarterback's life much easier. His quick explosion off the line, combined with outstanding ball skills and sticky hands, makes him an ideal safety net for any quarterback to target. However, he also has that speed and quickness to make big plays and the physicality at the point of the catch to win contested throws. There is no reason this kid shouldn't be a star at the next level. The only real concern is less than precise route running and his ability to adjust to a pro scheme, man coverage and create separation with physical NFL corners. All of which are very manageable problems.

WR Jalen Reagor, TCU

  • Age: 21
  • Height: 5’11”
  • Weight: 206
  • 40-yard dash: 4.47

Reagor is a stud athlete and a problem for defenses when he gets the ball in his hands. There is a ton of upside with him, and with the right coaching, he could be a highlight reel waiting to happen. However, he is a much better athlete than a football player. His film shows an inconsistent receiver who falls short when it comes to competitive fight and focus. While he is a home run threat and can separate at the end of routes with the best of them, he struggles in press coverage and getting off of physical corners. He will be an attractive high-upside fantasy option; nonetheless, I don't see him as more than a late third-round pick at best, and in this class, that may be too high depending on how many teams are targeting wideouts.

WR Tee Higgins, Clemson

  • Age: 21
  • Height: 6’4”
  • Weight: 216
  • 40-yard dash: N/A

Higgins is a nightmare for defenders to deal with, and I have him ranked higher than most. He is my WR3 in this draft. His size, body control, and ability to get the ball wherever it may be is overwhelming for defenders. There isn't a better player in this draft when it comes to just throwing the ball up in the end zone and letting him go get it. The worry about Higgins is his lack of physicality off the line. He doesn't love physical corners or strong press coverage. However, he has rare ability and instincts with soft hands when the ball is thrown anywhere in his vicinity. I can see the flaws, and why other scouts aren't quite as high. Nevertheless, I'm all-in on Higgins in the 2020 NFL Draft.

WR Denzel Mims, Baylor

  • Age: 22
  • Height: 6’3”
  • Weight: 207
  • 40-yard dash: 4.38

Mims may be the most impressive natural athlete of this receiving class. At the very least, he has a case. His combination of size, speed, and catch radius is unmatched. He's a smooth, fluid runner with body control and the hops to rip down contested passes when he goes up high. However, he is a project at the next level. There are a ton of flaws in his game. He struggles to get separation off the line and is a subpar route runner. At times he gets beat up and bullied by defenders despite his size likely due to a lack of fight and competitiveness. His hands are far from elite, and he should be better on contested catches. The bust potential outweighs the upside with Mims.

WR Laviska Shenault Jr., Colorado

  • Age: 21
  • Height: 6’1”
  • Weight: 227
  • 40-yard dash: 4.58

The talent is undeniable here. Shenault can attack all levels and dominate both on big play deep passes and using his body to beat up on defenders when fighting for a first down or touchdown. He is a load to deal with, especially for smaller defenders. His ability pops off the screen when you watch him, and he has a ton of upside. The biggest worry starts with his durability. He's so physical, especially with the ball in his hands, that it takes a toll on him and has forced him to miss time each of the past two seasons. It has also led to multiple surgeries already. Beyond that, his route running also needs a lot of work. Still, I like him as a high-upside potential WR1 and would be willing to roll the dice on him Day 2 of the 2020 NFL Draft.

WR Michael Pittman Jr., USC

  • Age: 22
  • Height: 6’4”
  • Weight: 223
  • 40-yard dash: 4.52

Pittman lacks the upside that other wideouts in this draft possess, but he also has a higher floor than many. He's going rightfully be labeled as a possession receiver and chain mover. Nevertheless, that isn't a bad thing, and it's a needed commodity. From a fantasy perspective, he can be a crucial PPR piece as a WR3 almost immediately. There is no lack of strength or toughness, so he should adjust to the league fairly quickly. The knocks on him just are what they are. He isn't super explosive; he's not going to be a big-play guy, and he's going to have to fight for his receptions in tight windows. Still, he has a skillset many NFL teams are in need. You don’t have to be flashy to be successful.

WR Brandon Aiyuk, Arizona State

  • Age: 22
  • Height: 6’0”
  • Weight: 205
  • 40-yard dash: 4.5

Aiyuk looks like just a guy to me. He has solid size, speed, hands, and is a good route runner, but there isn't anything that jumps out as special. It will also likely take time for him to have an NFL impact as he is raw and unpolished. His greatest strength is his ability to gain yards after the catch, and his most glaring weakness is his lack of physicality. While he is impressive once he gets the ball in his hand and that could help him stand out on the next level, I don't see him being anything more than dependable wideout in the NFL. It’s unlikely he’s a significant contributor right away and unlikely he develops into more than fringe WR2 or WR3 as his ceiling unless the stars align, and he falls into the perfect situation.

WR Bryan Edwards, South Carolina

  • Age: 21
  • Height: 6’3”
  • Weight: 212
  • 40-yard dash: N/A

Edwards is a very solid receiver. One of the more underrated skillsets in this draft. His combination of size and speed is impressive and allows him to attack all three levels. He's the kind of guy that never really blows you away. The big knock on him is his hands as he did suffer some bad drops in college. Still, he is a solid player; there isn't much else to say about him. You won't be getting a star; however, he should be a productive starter in the league.

WR Tyler Johnson, Minnesota

  • Age: 21
  • Height: 6’1”
  • Weight: 206
  • 40-yard dash: N/A

This may have been my favorite film to watch of any receiver in this draft. Granted, he's slow and lacks explosion, but boy does he beat up on defenders. This kid is a physical and competitive as they come. He also has impressive instincts, body control, and hands. He turns 50/50 balls into 90/10 balls in his favor just by outworking and bullying people. For fantasy owners, he may be a very touchdown-dependent wideout depending on how he develops. For NFL fans wherever he lands, I promise he's going to be a fan favorite, and based on his competitiveness alone, I'm willing to bet he overachieves and exceeds expectations on the next level just like he did at Minnesota.

WR KJ Hamler, Penn State

  • Age: 20
  • Height: 5’9”
  • Weight: 178
  • 40-yard dash: N/A

At just 20 years old, Hamler's speed and athleticism jump off the screen when you watch him. In the right situation, he can be a major playmaking slot receiver. However, his game is also very flawed, and there is massive bust potential as well. At just 5'9", 178 lbs., there is reason to concerned he could get beat up on the next level. His hands are subpar, and his route running is brutal. Any team, whether it be NFL or fantasy, will be getting a high-upside, boom-or-bust receiver with huge bust potential. Where he lands could have a significant impact on his immediate success in the league.

WR Donovan Peoples-Jones, Michigan

  • Age: 21
  • Height: 6’2”
  • Weight: 212
  • 40-yard dash: 4.48

Peoples-Jones was a major disappointment at Michigan. The production just never came. He was a top-rated receiver coming out of high school and failed to post a single 100-yard game his entire career as a Wolverine. I’m not going to kill him as much as I’ve seen some other people do because there are some things I like about him. He’s not a bad route runner and does have a big frame that could translate to success in the slot at the next level. A lackluster Michigan passing attack didn't help his cause either. Still, the bigger issue was his lack of speed and explosion. With hands not being amazing, either he appears to be destined as a backup at the next level. I do think he can stick around the league a while, though, and perhaps a change of scenery will do him well.

WR Antonio Gandy-Golden, Liberty

  • Age: 22
  • Height: 6’4”
  • Weight: 223
  • 40-yard dash: 4.6

Gandy-Golden is still very raw and will likely need some time to develop and perhaps won't. However, he has the potential to be one of the biggest offensive sleepers of the draft. He has impressive size and speed as well as the ball skills to be a playmaker on the next level. While he suffered a ton of bad drops in 2018, it wasn't an issue at all in 2019. Some may view that as a knock on him, but to me, it shows that he worked and got better. Being that he is still a raw talent and will need to work hard to succeed in the NFL, this is a very good sign for his future. The natural ability is there, and someone is going to allow him to meet his potential. Dynasty owners definitely need to have him on their sleep radar after seeing where he lands in the 2020 NFL Draft.

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