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Top 10 Wide Receivers of the 2022 NFL Draft

Top 10 Wide Receivers of the 2022 NFL Draft

Last year’s draft class saw the likes of Ja’Marr Chase, Jaylen Waddle, Amon-Ra St. Brown, and DeVonta Smith among others take the league by storm. While many people speculated whether the Bengals would take Chase with the fifth overall selection or Oregon OT Penei Sewell, Cincinnati elected for the former LSU Tiger who helped to propel the Bengals to their first Super Bowl appearance since 1989. 

Now, it is a new year with a new crop of receivers who are looking to make a name for themselves at the next level. Whether it be one of the receivers from Ohio State or players like Treylon Burks, Drake London, and Jameson Williams, there is a lot to be excited for heading into the 2022 NFL Draft from a receiver perspective. Here are the 33rd Team’s Top-10 Wide Receivers for the 2022 NFL Draft:

Scouting reports provided by Brian Friedland & Dak Brown

1) Garrett Wilson, Ohio State

Key Measurables: 5116, 183 lbs, 9 ⅞-inch hands, 4.38 40-Yard Dash

Notable 2021 Stats: 6.4 REC/G, 15.1 YPC, 4 CAR, 76 YDS

Best Trait: Yards After Catch Ability 

Player Comp: Terry McLaurin

Background:

Garrett Wilson came into Ohio State as a five-star prospect from Lake Travis High School. Wilson wasn’t a main contributor his true freshman season in Columbus, but he was still able to play in all 14 games and compiled 30 REC for 432 yards and 5 TDs, setting him up for a bright future as a Buckeye.

Wilson built on his promising campaign his sophomore season where he became the second Ohio State player to have four straight games at least 100 receiving yards, leading to him being named an All-Big Ten First Team wide receiver in a COVID-19 shortened year (8 games). As a junior this past year, Wilson was able to make Second Team All-Big Ten and recorded over 1,000 receiving yards for the first time in his career on top of only having one game with under 70 receiving yards the entire season. He finished the 2021 campaign with 70 REC for 1,058 YDS, and 12 TDs.

Projection: 

Wilson is a WR2 who wins with outstanding elusiveness in the open field and ability to make tough catches at the high point. He has a chance to elevate himself to a higher level if he is able to put on more muscle and polish his route running abilities.

Full Scouting Report

2) Drake London, USC

Key Measurables: 6037, 219 lbs, 33-inch arms

Notable 2021 Stats: 11.0 REC/G, 1,084 YDS in 8 games

Best Trait: Contested Catch Ability/Yards After Contact

Player Comp: More Versatile Mike Evans

Background:

Drake London came into USC as a four-star wide receiver from Moorpark High School who also played basketball during his high school career. His freshman season, London saw action in all 13 games and recorded 39 REC for 567 YDS and 5 TDS. He caught a touchdown in each of USC’s final five games of the season and then joined the school’s basketball team following the conclusion of football.

In his sophomore year, despite there only being six games in the PAC-12 season due to COVID-19, London reeled in 33 REC for 502 YDS and 3 TDS while also making the Second Team All-Pac-12. His junior season was cut short due to a season-ending ankle injury, but not before London was able to amass 88 REC for 1,084 YDS and 7 TDS in just eight games. After his junior year, London was named an AP Third Team All-American, First Team All-Pac-12 WR, and the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year.

Projection: 

London is a WR2 with WR1 upside who wins with his strong contested catch ability, outstanding contact balance, and overall body control. In order to reach an even higher level, London must become more refined as a route runner while also strengthening his lower half.

Full Scouting Report

3) Jameson Williams, Alabama

Key Measurables: 6014, 179 lbs, 32 ⅛-inch arms

Notable 2021 Stats: 1,572 REC YDS, 19.9 YPC, 352 KR YDS, 2 KR TDS

Best Trait: Vertical Threat Ability

Player Comp: More Explosive Calvin Ridley

Background: 

Jameson Williams came into Ohio State as a four-star recruit from Cardinal Ritter College Prep. His freshman season, he played in 11 games for the Buckeyes where he reeled in just 6 REC for 112 YDS and 1 TD. The next year, Williams saw playing time in eight games where he was able to catch 9 passes for 154 YDS and 2 TDS, including one against Clemson in the Sugar Bowl. Williams decided to transfer to Alabama where he was immediately eligible to play for the Crimson Tide. The junior broke out in 2021 as he compiled 79 REC for 1,572 YDS and 15 TDS on top of being named a First Team All-American, a First Team All-SEC WR, and the SEC Co-Special Teams Player of the Year.

Projection: 

Williams is a WR2 with WR1 upside who wins with his elite vertical threat ability, outstanding speed and explosiveness, and his run after catch ability. He will need to add strength in order to be more effective on immediate routes and to be able to not get jammed by more physical corners off of the line as well as improving his hands in order to not be as much of a body catcher to reach his full potential. 

Full Scouting Report

More Top 10 2022 NFL Draft Prospect Lists:

Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Wide Receivers | Tight Ends | Offensive Tackles |Interior Offensive Line | Edge Rushers | Interior Defensive Line | Linebackers | Cornerbacks | Safeties

4) Chris Olave, Ohio State

Key Measurables: 6003, 187 lbs, 32-inch Vertical Jump, 4.39 40-Yard Dash

Notable 2021 Stats: 5.4 REC/G, 14.4 YPC, 65 REC

Best Trait: Instincts/Intelligence

Player Comp: Less Explosive Robert Woods

Background:

Chris Olave was a four-star receiver from Mission Hills High School when he arrived at Ohio State. In his freshman campaign, Olave played in all 14 games as he made his mark on both offense (12 REC, 197 YDS, & 3 TDs) and on special teams (1 blocked punt). His sophomore year, Olave broke out for the Buckeyes as he recorded 49 REC for 849 YDS and 12 TDS. He earned third team All-Big Ten honors.

Despite a COVID-shortened year in 2020, Olave was still able to play in seven games. He was easily one of the best receivers in the country with a stat line of 50 REC for 729 YDS and 7 TDs on his way to making the first of two first team All-Big Ten teams. In his final season with the Buckeyes, Olave finished with his best year in Columbus with 65 REC for 936 YDS and 13 TDs while making first team All-Big Ten for the second year in a row, making second team All-American, and being named a semifinalist for the prestigious Biletnikoff Award given to the best wide receiver in college football.

Projection: 

Olave is a WR2 who wins with outstanding intelligence, instincts, and above the line route running abilities in order to beat defenders on intermediate routes. He has the chance to elevate himself to a WR1 if he builds on a slim frame while also being able to improve his play against more physical cornerbacks at the LOS.

Full Scouting Report

5) Jahan Dotson, Penn State

Key Measurables: 5105, 30 ¾-inch arms, 178 lbs, 4.43 40-Yard Dash

Notable 2021 Stats: 91 REC, 13.0 YPC, 7.6 REC/G

Best Trait: Short Area Quickness after the Catch

Player Comp: Tyler Lockett

Background:

Jahan Dotson was a four-star recruit from Nazareth Area High School when he arrived at Penn State. During the 2018 season, Dotson became one of 16 players in the country to make their collegiate debut as a true freshman and had ten out of 13 receptions for first downs that year.

The following season, Dotson started all 13 games. He had 27 REC for 488 YDS and 5 TDS while also ranking 34th in the nation in yards per reception with 18.07. In his junior season, Dotson recorded 52 REC for 884 YDS and 8 TDS on top of finishing 19th nationally in receiving yards and was named to the Third Team All-Big Ten. During his final season, Dotson set career-highs in receiving yards (1,182), receptions (91), and receiving touchdowns (12). He was a semifinalist for the Biletnikoff Award and a First Team All-Big Ten wideout. 

Projection: 

Intriguing prospect who has a slight frame but plays tough, his frame/size is his only real question mark. Played mostly outside vs in the slot (79%/21%) and was Penn State’s go-to playmaker. 26 of his 92 receptions came on screen plays. He is an explosive player who makes quick decisions after catching the ball and makes players miss with jukes after the catch. Can struggle if pressed but has the speed to run by slower corners and make plays down field with very good hands (only 2 drops this season). 

Full Scouting Report

6) Treylon Burks, Arkansas

Key Measurables: 6020, 225 lbs, 9 ⅞-inch hands, 4.55 40-Yard Dash

Notable 2021 Stats: 66 REC, 1,104 REC YDS, 16.7 YPC, 92.0 YDS/G

Best Trait: Body Control/Contested Catch Ability

Player Comp: More Explosive Alshon Jeffery

Background:

Treylon Burks came into Arkansas as a four-star prospect from Warren High School. His freshman year, he started in nine out of 11 games and compiled 29 REC for 475 YDS while also being named to the Second Team All-SEC as a kick return specialist. His sophomore year, Burks took a step up as he was able to record 51 REC for 820 YDS and 7 TDS while also making Second Team All-SEC for the second consecutive year. With a lot of hype heading into his junior year, Burks had a career year as he recorded 66 REC for 1,104 YDS and 11 TDS on top of being named a First Team All-SEC receiver and became only the fourth player in Arkansas program history to have over 1,000 receiving yards in a single season.

Projection: 

Burks is a WR3 who wins with his impressive body control, outstanding contested catch ability, and his twitch for his size. He has the chance to elevate himself to a high-level WR2 if he works extensively on his route running and builds on his run after the catch ability. 

Full Scouting Report

7) David Bell, Purdue

Key Measurables: 6007, 212 lbs, 4.65 40-Yard Dash

Notable 2021 Stats: 93 REC, 1,286 YDS, 8.5 REC/G

Best Trait: Body Control

Player Comp: Chris Godwin

Background: 

David Bell came into Purdue as a four-star recruit from Warren Central High School. He started in every single game during his career, with the exception of this past year where he decided to not participate in Purdue’s bowl game against Tennessee. Immediately, Bell’s impact was felt as he stepped up when Rondale Moore got hurt in 2019 and recorded 86 REC for 1,035 YDS and 7 TDS. These numbers helped Bell to be named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year and an AP Freshman All-American for the 2019 season.

Despite a COVID-19 shortened season, Bell was still able to compile 53 REC for 625 YDS and 8 TDS in just six games, earning himself First Team All-Big Ten honors. 2021 was arguably Bell’s best as a Boilermaker as he set career-highs in receptions (93), receiving yards (1,286), and yards per catch (13.8). He was named a First Team All-American, a First-Team All-Big Ten receiver, and he was awarded the Richter-Howard Award for the best receiver in the Big Ten.

Projection: 

Bell is a WR2/SLOT who wins with his outstanding body control, above the line route running, and his ability to break leg tackles in the open field. He has a chance to elevate himself if he becomes more proficient in the slot and is able to improve his release off of the LOS. 

Full Scouting Report

8) John Metchie III, Alabama

Key Measurables: 5112, 187 lbs, 30 ⅝-inch arms

Notable 2021 Stats: 96 REC, 1,142 YDS, 7.4 REC/G

Best Trait: Route Running

Player Comp: Jerry Jeudy

Background:

John Metchie III arrived in Tuscaloosa as a four-star recruit after a decorated career at both St. James School and The Peddie School. His freshman year, Metchie found a role for himself in a deep receiving group where he compiled 4 REC for 23 YDS and even had a tackle.

The following season, Metchie became part of a three-headed monster in the Alabama offense. He recorded 55 REC for 916 YDS and 6 TDS along with winning the Jon Cornish Trophy, which is given to the most outstanding Canadian player in college football. In his junior campaign, Metchie built on his promising sophomore season. He formed one of the top wide receiver duos in college football with Ohio State transfer Jameson Williams. Despite suffering a torn ACL in the SEC Championship Game, Metchie still recorded 96 REC for 1,142 YDS and 8 TDS on top of being named to the All-SEC Second Team.

Projection: 

Metchie is a WR3 with WR2 upside who wins with his outstanding route running abilities, his release off of the line, and his ability to get low against more physical corners. In order to obtain WR2 status, Metchie needs to add weight in order to become a more physical receiver and be able to take hits over the middle on top of needing to improve his hands to make more contested catches at the high point. 

Full Scouting Report

9) George Pickens, Georgia

Key Measurables: 6032, 195 lbs, 8 ¾-inch hands, 4.47 40-Yard Dash

Notable 2021 Stats: 21.4 YPC, 1.3 REC/G (Played in four games despite tearing ACL in March of 2021)

Best Trait: Body Control

Player Comp: Donovan Peoples-Jones

Background:

George Pickens came to Georgia as a five-star prospect from Hoover High School. He immediately made an impact his freshman year for the Bulldogs. He compiled 49 REC for 727 YDS and 8 TDS, including 12 REC for 175 YDS and 1 TD against Baylor in the Sugar Bowl.

His sophomore year, Pickens had a solid year where he recorded 36 REC for 513 YDS and 6 TDS, including 7 REC for 135 YDS and 1 TD in the Peach Bowl against Cincinnati. Prior to the 2021 season, Pickens tore his ACL on the fourth day of spring practice. That resulted in him only playing in four games for Georgia where he had 5 REC for 107 YDS.

Projection: 

Pickens is a WR3 with WR2 upside who wins with his above the line body control, ability to make contested catches at the high point, and outstanding straight-line speed. Pickens will need to improve in his short-to-intermediate route running along with getting bigger and stronger to be able to not get pushed around as easily by more physical cornerbacks in order to reach his full potential. 

Full Scouting Report

10) Christian Watson, North Dakota State

Key Measurables: 6040, 10 ⅛-inch hands, 38.5-inch Vertical Jump, 4.36 40-Yard Dash

Notable 2021 Stats: 46 REC, 7.8 YPC, 15 CAR, 114 YDS

Best Trait: Size/Foot Speed

Player Comp: Tim Patrick

Background: 

RS Senior who has started 33 of 52 career games, including all 12 in 2021. Two-star HS prospect at 6’2, 175 as a two-year letterman with NFL father and brother in FBS. Redshirted as a freshman. Immediately became a rotational receiver and worked into frequent starts as a RS sophomore. Was named to All-MVC second team for the championship-winning team. First-team All-American KR in 2020 and First-Team All-MVC WR, followed by 2021 second-team All-American WR and KR, reportedly reaching 23 mph in-game.

Under OC Tyler Roehl (third season) and WRs Coach Noah Pauley (third season), he is a chess piece in a run-first traditional offense. Primarily functions as the outside WR but also taking snaps (and carries) as an RB, a slot WR, and at multiple spots in Bunch. Lacks standout statistics due to scheme & decision-making of QB.

Projection: 

Starting outside WR you can win because of in a spread or timing-based offense. Elite size/speed receiver who separates with IQ and speed. He flashed high-level ball skills to reel in and motor to do the dirty work. Shows traits and experience to be above-average KR. Slow to get to top speed and lacks COD to separate at break. Inconsistent ball skills and has some injury history.

Full Scouting Report

 

More Top 10 2022 NFL Draft Prospect Lists:

Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Wide Receivers | Tight Ends | Offensive Tackles |Interior Offensive Line | Edge Rushers | Interior Defensive Line | Linebackers | Cornerbacks | Safeties