2017 NFL Draft – Top Wide Receivers

Offense: QB | WR | RB | FB | TE | OT | OG | C

Defense: DT | DE | OLB | ILB | CB | S

Note: These are ordered in regards to general overall rating.  This is not necessarily a reflection of predictive draft order as other variables such as scheme, coaching, etc. will alter each team’s rating of each prospect.

  1. Mike Williams, Clemson – Wide receivers need to create separate either at the point of the completion, or by separating from coverage, and Mike Williams can do both.  With a good sized frame and the speed and the quickness to create space for himself, Williams possesses the skillset and body type that NFL teams are looking for.
  2. Corey Davis, Western Michigan – Extremely versatile wide receiver that has excelled at all of the wide receiver positions. Runs routes well, and is able to burst out of breaks. Tracks balls well, and is able to snatch it as it highest point, and turn and accelerate.
  3. John Ross, Washington – You can’t coach speed is how the old saying goes, and Ross has it in spades. A rocket when healthy, teams will fall in love with him as a burner, but durability concerns will cause him to drop.
  4. Zay Jones, East Carolina – Speedster that could fit in the mold of a TY Hilton at the next level. Didn’t run many of the routes in college that he would at the next level, but has put on a show at the Senior Bowl. The combine could vault him even further up draft boards for teams looking for that vertical weapon.
  5. Cooper Kupp, Eastern Washington – Team first, high character player that is committed to working on all aspects of the game and improving his technique. Not the elite athlete that many other highly rated WR prospects are, but has many traits that NFL offensive coordinators are looking for these days that include willingness and ability to block, ability and experience on the inside and outside, and he generates quality yards after the catch.
  6. Chris Godwin, Penn State – An aggressive, strong wide receiver that fights hard for contested balls. Much faster than expected, possibly was not asked to use speed that often at PSU.  Showed excellent deep speed at Rose Bowl. Gets his body in good position for passes, and fights for 50/50 balls. High points well. Runs good routes and has a nice burst out of cuts.
  7. Curtis Samuel, Ohio State – An offensive weapon that can be used all over the field in both the pass and run game. For offenses that like to confuse defenses by utilizing running backs, tight ends, and wide receivers in different positions, he is an ideal threat. Proficient in the run game as well, will be an intriguing prospect for creative offensive coordinators.
  8. JuJu Smith-Schuster, USC – Highly productive wide receiver, with excellent route running, and a reliable pass catcher. Physical as a route runner, and takes pride in his blocking. Needs to work on footwork getting out of breaks, but can work on that.  Big, powerful build, and strong hands. Very good, but not elite speed.
  9. Dede Westbrook, Oklahoma – Prototypical West Coast offense “YAC” wide receiver that excels in space, gettting open, and making big plays after short catches.  However, has the ability to take the top off of defenses as well, as a vertical threat.  Will need to hit the weight room and build up bulk in order to take the grind at the next level. Average blocker at best, and will best fit in a system where he isn’t relied upon for blocking in a short, controlled passing scheme.
  10. Josh Malone, Tennessee – A very productive height / weight / speed receiver that runs good routes.  Catches the ball in stride, and has good hands. Very good speed and a threat after the catch.

Comments: Corey Davis and Mike Williams are the top two, truly elite “X” receivers. Ross showed blazing speed at the combine and impressed with interviews. Teams are satisfied with his medicals. Chris Godwin showed excepation speed at the combine, showing his Rose Bowl performance was no fluke. Curtis Samuel ran an incredible 40 but did so right after Ross ran, so got overshadowed a bit. JuJu Smith-Schuster had a great combine, showing exceptional speed and great hand skills.