Evaluating wide receiver prospects is my favorite thing to do when it comes to anything football. As a former wide receiver I kind of fell in love with the nuances, technique and athleticism that comes with being a wide out. This upcoming class has a lot of very solid player in my opinion with a bunch having the ability to produce for numerous of years. In this piece I will talk about a bunch of WR prospects for this upcoming year and giving my review of a bunch of them.
These are in no specific order and are not done by rankings.
Corey Davis, Western Michigan
Davis is the smoothest wide receiver in the class, everything he does looks natural and fluid. You want dominant players to dominate lower competition and that is exactly what he did at Western Michigan. The guy checks the boxes with everything he does. Do not second guess Davis, he is the best WR in the class and by a decent margin.
My Draft Grade: 1st Round/Top 15
John Ross, Washington
Mr. 4.22 bursted onto the scene in 2016 and never looked back. I first found out about John Ross before the season started when I saw him run a 4.29 at Washington during the offseason after an ACL tear. He really had no prior production, so I just kept an eye on him and boy did out due any expectation anybody had of him. Ross looked like D-Jax Jr on the field during games. His speed translates in games and is a tough cover for even the quick footed DBs. Ross can come in an be an instant impact in this league on offense and special teams. I do have some question about his hands, I noticed some drops but I do not think that will hurt him in the NFL. Also his medials may be a little sketchy but assuming he’s healthy, he’ll be a first rounder.
My Draft Grade: 1st Round
Mike Williams, Clemson
He had a really weird combine, he did not run his 40 or look particularly good on the field drills. When you watch Williams you see a tall, physical specimen who can make all the plays on the field. I personally do not care what is 40 is, the guy has the abilities to be a WR1 for a long time.
My Draft Grade: 1st Round
Travin Dural, LSU
dude, idk to be honest
My Draft Grade: Who knows
Isaiah Ford, Virginia Tech
I love love love love Isaiah Ford’s abilities as a WR. He had a terrible showing during the athletic testing portion of the combine but that was as shocking as a Bortles INT. He is an advanced route runner who beats the DBs using technique and suddenness. He can win both on the outside and in the slot. He can makes all the catches and has the production to back it up. The combine probably scared people away from Ford but when you watch the film he is as complete as any WR in this class. He is the best route runner in this class.
My Draft Grade: Late 1st/Early 2nd.
Isaiah Jones, ECU
This man has been a hot topic since the combine. He totally outdid all my expectations as an athlete. On the field he moves a lot slower than he did during the combine. Jones has insane production at ECU and holds the single season receptions record with 158. He ran a lot of slants, hitches, and screens in college. He is certainly going to be a slot WR in the NFL but I still am unsure about him. If a team like Green Bay were to draft him then I would expect him to have impact day one. I am still undecided about Isaiah Jones
My Draft Grade: Incomplete
John Smith, USC
John Smith, the real name of USC WR Juju Smith-Schuster. Smith is another interesting guy who I am still trying to figure out. I wish I knew if Laquon Treadwell is bad or coach Zimmer just does not trust rookies because they are the same player to me. Both bully DBs and aren’t the fastest on the field. Smith has strong hands and dominated the PAC12 at 19 years old. I have to watch him more but I have a basic idea of what he is.
My Draft Grade: Round 2/3
Josh Reynolds, Texas A&M
Reynolds shocked me on film. I always knew who he was and just figured he was not anything special but man was I wrong. Reynolds has huge hands that swallow the football and has the athleticism to make any grab. His release off the line is extremely impressive for someone that tall. He is very quick out of his break and on film you can see DBs have a tough time keeping up with him on hitch routes. Reynolds intrigues the hell out of me and I think he could be had at incredible value in this draft.
My Draft Grade: Late 2nd
Ishmael Zamora, Baylor
This is my guy. On the field Zamora can do it all and if he was at the combine he would have blown everyone out the water. The guy is tall, explosive, athletic, and physical. He really showcased his abilities this year at Baylor and took the shine away from KD Cannon in my opinion. He could be another Josh Gordon, yes I like him that much. He is the most complete WR I have personally seen come out of Baylor. His route running is what shocked me when I watched him. A team is going to get an incredible talent in the day the portion of the draft cause of the off the field issues. Please Eagles.
My Draft Grade: Late 1
Shelton Gibson, West Virginia
Talk about an underwhelming combine. Gibson was on record saying he would break the 40 record and proceeded to fall flat on his face. On the field, Gibson is a speedster. He was the second best deep threat I saw in college football behind John Ross. Gibson is a raw route runner, I only saw him run slants, 9 routes and hitches. I saw a lot of body catches but did see him make some impressive catches with his hands. He also can contribute right away on special teams. He has a high ceiling but an incredibly low floor.
My Draft Grade: 3rd/Early Day 3
Part two: Ardarius Stewart, Carlos Henderson, KD Cannon, Chris Godwin, Damore’ea Stringfellow, Chad Hansen, Malachi Dupre and more.