In the pass-happy modern NFL, getting talented receivers in the draft has become increasingly important. The director of the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, Dane Vandernat, joined NFL Draft Bible founder Ric Serritella on The State of Football podcast to discuss the top senior wideouts for the upcoming 2022 draft.
The list of players he mentioned wasn't in order, but they are firmly on the radar of the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl. Vandernat began by mentioning Reggie Roberson from SMU. He is an explosive receiver who has averaged upwards of 15 yards a catch. Vandernat loves his release at the line of scrimmage and how he can drop his weight at the top of his routes. Even though Roberson is only 6-foot, his arm length is what allows him to play bigger. The biggest issue with Roberson has been his medical history. On the field, he is a fantastic prospect, but Roberson has dealt with season-ending injuries the past two years, most recently a torn ACL in 2020.
It wouldn't be a wide receiver rankings list without an Ohio State mention. Vandernat's second name mentioned was Chris Olave, the star wideout who returned for his senior season. What stands out to Vandernat is his route-running ability. Olave's foot quickness and the way he gets in and out of breaks is exceptional. It is hard to stay in phase with Olave in man coverage, as his separation skills are phenomenal. Even though he has the speed to stretch the field vertically, Olave will be able to win on all three levels of the field. Olave also has excellent hands, is a very good blocker and can contribute on special teams, all critical aspects of a receiver's game that coaches look for in a wideout. Vandernat finished by discussing how Olave's game should make it a smooth transition to the NFL for him and that he is a polished player.
After touching on Olave, Vandernat shifted gears to an FCS wideout, Northern Iowa's Isaiah Weston. Weston has elite size at 6-foot-4, 210 pounds. He is a height, weight, speed specialist, who, similar to Olave, can make plays at all three levels of the field. At the FCS level, Weston has been a standout. He was a freshman All-American and an All-American again in 2019. However, Weston played only three games this past spring, so Vandernat thinks showing scouts he can stay healthy this fall will be critical for his draft stock.
Sticking with the bigger receivers, Vandernat discussed super senior Emeka Emezie from North Carolina State. He is 6-foot-3, 212 pounds and has solid wiggle and yards-after-catch ability, which could allow him to excel in a west coast scheme. Vandernat believes he will win mostly at the first and second level, where he'll excel at slant patterns and contested-catch situations. His tape was very good from this past season, including a game-winning back-shoulder reception against Pitt, which is another way teams will be able to utilize him at the next level.
The last player Vandernat mentioned was Charleston Rambo, who originally played for Oklahoma but is transferring to Miami for his senior season. He is on the thinner side at 6-foot-1, 185 pounds, but he has excellent speed and is excellent with the ball in his hands. At the next level, he will be more of an intermediate or possession style wideout. Rambo's hands are fantastic and Vandernat saw a player who does an outstanding job of catching the ball away from his body. If he continues his success with quarterback D'Eriq King, Rambo has the upside to be a big riser leading up to next year's draft.
Make sure to tune into The State of Football Podcast every Thursday as Vandernat previews the top seniors for the upcoming 2022 NFL draft.
Watch the full video below: