Ok, so needless to say I’ve been writing top 10’s recently. When I got to the WRs, I didn’t want just 10, more so because it was hard to get my list to 10 definitively. As the person writing this piece, I figured I can do what I want, so here we go! NOTE: These aren’t necessarily in a specific order, as I really like them all A LOT.
Top 15 WRs for the 2023 NFL Draft
Jaxon Smith-Njigba – Ohio State
At the beginning of the year, I would’ve expected JSN to enter the draft in 2023. After injuries have kept him off the field for a significant part of the season, he may return. If he does enter the Draft this year, look for him to be in consideration for the top WR chosen. We saw in 2021 that JSN has ELITE upside, he gives me Olave vibes if I’m being honest. He’s probably not going to take the top off of defenses but he is by far one of the best route runners in the class.
Parker Washington – Penn State
Washington profile’s as a #1 receiver, not the biggest wideout but is extremely talented. His ball skills may be the best in the class but his stat lines won’t blow you away. What will though, watch him against Ohio State, his physicality and break-away speed were on display! I’d love to see a guy like this in Kansas City’s offense, could easily take the old Tyreek role.
Rashee Rice – SMU
I want him to be the best receiver in the class, love his aggression and the way he attacks the ball. His route running will cause him to most likely be a day two wideout this year. Talking in our Discord chat, I’m not alone in that thinking…
Xavier Hutchinson – Iowa State
When I watch Xavier, I see a player that would be great in the big slot role in the NFL. He is better than Rice in his route-running and body control but when you watch him against the best, he’s not going to take the top off the defense. He, like Rice, does a good job going after the ball and not waiting for it to hit the body. Definitely in the day two conversation this year.
Josh Downs – UNC
Downs and Washington feel pretty interchangeable to me. If you love one, you really have no reason NOT to love the other. Both are plus route runners, can be big-play threats, and are smaller-sized options but can be a team’s top option in the passing game. Downs has shown it, the Tar Heels basically ran their offense through him in 2021, I know this year has looked vastly different though. Firmly day two, probably a round two player in my mind.
Quentin Johnston – TCU
I wish Johnston was not at TCU, they don’t have an offense to truly showcase what he can be at the NFL level. Think Martavis Bryant (minus the off-the-field issues), when it comes to the athletic profile. Big, good physicality and can be an inside or outside option.
Jordan Addison – USC
My guess is you are looking at one of the top 10-15 wideouts in the NFL within the next 2-3 years. Addison can handle large volumes and can be the focal point of the passing game. Has great body control, can be shifty, and make defenders look silly while being your big play threat. Addison is probably in consideration for round 1, early round 2 at the latest.
Kayshon Boutte – LSU
If a team knows the answer to what’s going on with Boutte, please tell me. Such an amazing talent, and could be the best wideout in this class but hasn’t shown it all throughout college. My fear is he’s another one of those that has all the talent but takes that for granted. Once you get to college, you have to show that you are the hardest worker in the room. Your talent gets you to the dance, your effort makes you the best. If Boutte’s just in a poor situation, and a team takes a chance and can help him develop, the skies are the limit.
Zay Flowers – Boston College
When we look back at this draft, it could be the class of the little guy. Flowers is another under 6-foot wideout that looks amazing. Great body control, a big-play threat waiting to happen. The NFL is great at taking a player like Flowers, Addison, or Washington and tearing apart opposing defenses. BC lines flowers up all over the formation, and they manufacture touches in any way they can. Flowers tracks the ball as well as any receiver in the class and I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s a day 1/2 pick.
Jalin Hyatt – Tennessee
Speed kills and Hyatt’s got a lot of it! Maybe the fastest wideout on this list, he’ll use his elite athletic ability to finesse the defense. It’ll be interesting to see what NFL teams say about players coming out of Tennessee, as 2022 has been a wild ride for the Volunteers. The negative will be his physicality but that’s not saying he can’t be, just hasn’t had to be with as fast as he is.
Ronnie Bell – Michigan
I am a Michigan man, been a fan my whole life, and Ronnie Bell may be the most loved player we’ve had. He’s had his ups and downs, but never had his true breakout moment. With Bell, you’ll get a leader, a fighter, and someone who will give you everything on every play. He’s great with faking out defenders and knows how to use his body to make defenders miss. He’s a good route runner, from any alignment. Strong, with breakaway ability, won’t be the fastest guy in this class though. I see him as an early day 3 draft pick, as much as I’d love day 2 for him.
Ali Jennings III – Old Dominion
Jennings, transferred from West Virginia and dominated at OD from day one. It’ll be interesting to see what the NFL views his role as. He plays inside or outside and has the size/speed to do so. I’d love to see him more in the big slot role, letting him take underneath passes and turn them into big gains. Will need development, probably not a day-one starter but has potential.
Cedric Tillman – Tennessee
I like Tillman but I am also worried about him. He relies on just being bigger and more physical but isn’t going to be a big play option. The ceiling is a team’s WR2 probably, my concern is are we seeing Juwan Johnson 2.0? Is he more than what we’ve seen with Tennessee? He has the size to be a nice red zone option for a team, probably a day-three pick this year.
Rakim Jarrett – Maryland
I really should include Dontay Demus on the list, both are really nice options. Jarrett gives me DJ Moore vibes as he can be a deep threat or strong route runner. Typically used in the slot, and also not really given a good quarterback, Jarrett has shown he can make big plays from anywhere. It’d be interesting to see a team use him in the Deebo Samuel role, he can get touches out of the backfield as well.
Marvin Mims – Oklahoma
Probably the best wideout on this list in getting YAC isn’t afraid of being hit either. Not the biggest, not the fastest but probably one of the safer options in this class. I just mentioned the Deebo role, well Mims could be looked at as a Deebo clone. I can see a team drafting him on day two and having him as a day one role player in the NFL. Start him in the slot, use him out of the backfield, he can do it all.
My favorite wideout in this class today is probably Zay Flowers, I love his game and what a team can do with his skillset is exciting. JSN, Washington, Addison, Jarrett, and Bell are probably the next ones for me, as they all bring some elite characteristics but that’s what I love about this class. There are so many different play styles and player types that you can find a wideout to fit your needs.
Any questions or just want to keep the conversation going, hit me up on Twitter Feel free to @ me or DM me and we can talk more about them and the rest of the 2023 NFL Draft, and don’t forget to check out our Mock Draft’s here on Draft Countdown!