2022 NFL Draft: Top wide receivers

Welcome to draft season! This is the first of 11 positional splits leading up to the NFL Draft (April 28-April 30). Here are my top 10 wide receivers:

1. Drake London (Jr., USC, 6-foot-3, 219 pounds)

London only played eight games after ending his season with a broken ankle, but his size, athleticism and flair for spectacular catching (reminiscent of Mike Evans) will make him a problem for NFL defensive coordinators. . Projected: Top 15

2. Jameson Williams (Jr., Alabama, 6-1, 179)

Williams has sprinting speed and threatens to score any time the ball is in his hands — he set a single-season record at Alabama and led the FBS with four 70-plus-yard touchdowns in 2021. also proved to be a talented gunner on punt coverage (nine career tackles). He was in the mix to be the first wide receiver drafted before tearing his ACL in the national championship game. Projected: Round 1

3. Garrett Wilson (Jr., Ohio St., 5-11, 183)

Wilson leaves Columbus ranked in the top 10 in receptions (143), receiving yards (2,213) and receiving touchdowns (23) for the Buckeyes. He can threaten a defense at all levels, but will need to improve against physical press corners due to his lean frame and playing strength. Projected: Top 15

4. Chris Olave (Sr., Ohio St., 6-0, 187)

It’s rare to find a road tech with reliable hands who can also run so fast. The Mission Hills High product passed David Boston as the Buckeyes’ all-time leader in touchdown receptions (35). Projected: Round 1

5. Jahan Dotson (Sr., Penn St., 5-10, 178)

Dotson exhibits the game-changing speed to beat defenses at all three tiers, has great hands (only two drops to 138 targets in 2021), and is good against media coverage despite his size. Projected: Rounds 1-2

6. Treylon Burks (Jr., Arkansas, 6-2, 225)

There are shades of Deebo Samuel here, but in a linebacker-sized package. Burks’ physique, acceleration and vision make him a terror after catch — he broke 15 tackles on 66 receptions in 2021 — but there’s work to be done as a road runner. Projected: Round 1

7. Skyy Moore (Jr., West Michigan, 5-9, 195)

Moore’s elite agility makes him an open-field nightmare, but he’s even harder to take down if a defender gets his hands on him – he broke an FBS record 26 tackles last year. Speaking of hands, he was taller than DeAndre Hopkins (known for his giant mittens) – 10 1/4 to 10 inches even. Projected: Rounds 1-2

8. George Pickens (Jr., Georgia, 6-3, 195)

There aren’t many individual battles that Pickens won’t win. Over 70% of his career catches have resulted in a first down or touchdown. Maturity and durability issues could hurt his stock project. Projected: Rounds 1-2

9. Christian Watson (Sr., North Dakota St., 6-4, 208)

Watson is a classic size/speed combo who has proven to be one of the FCS’ best home run hitters (20.4 yards per reception in his career) with four touchdowns of at least 65 yards in 2021 Drops are a concern and he’s never faced an FBS opponent. Projected: 2nd round

10. Jalen Tolbert (Sr., South Alabama, 6-1, 194)

Tolbert has faced just one Power 5 program in his last 34 games, but showed his talent with seven receptions, 143 yards and a touchdown against Tennessee last November. He considered offers to attend Michigan St. and Vanderbilt, but opted to stay close to home. Projected: 2nd round

BONUS: David Bell (Jr., Purdue, 6-0, 212)

Bell’s background is advanced and his YAC ability should make him an impact player early in his career. He doesn’t display the explosive athletic traits of some of the top-ranked prospects, but he was one of the most productive players at that position in the entire country during his time at West Lafayette – Bell finished his career with 101.2 receiving yards per game (#1 among all active FBS players in 2021). Projected: Rounds 2-3

BONUS: Khalil Shakir (Sr., Boise St., 5-11, 196)

Shakir is one of the best road runners in this draft and is a post-catch threat. The team captain is a jack-of-all-trades who had 71 carries and five pass attempts during his college career. Projected: Rounds 2-3

PRIME. John Metchie III (Jr., Alabama, 5-11, 187)

Medical evaluations will be important — Metchie was diagnosed with an enlarged heart in high school and suffered a torn ACL in last year’s SEC Championship — but he’s been highly productive for the Crimson Tide over the past two seasons. and is able to play indoors or outdoors. Projected: Rounds 2-3

BONUS: Kyle Phillips (Jr., UCLA, 5-11, 189)

Philips was the Shrine Bowl’s biggest star and virtually nowhere to be found throughout the week. His size dictates that he will primarily play in the next level slot, but the San Marcos native’s exceptional hands and fairway abilities should make him a contributor early on. Projected: Rounds 3-4

BONUS: Alec Pierce (Sr., Cincinnati, 6-3, 211)

Pierce exhibits a prototypical size at the position in a draft class that lacks it. He continues to develop as a road runner, but this team captain exhibits excellent ball skills and smooth athleticism – coaches experimented with him as a linebacker in his first season. Projected: Rounds 3-4

BONUS: Wan’Dale Robinson (Jr., Kentucky, 5-8, 178)

Robinson is undersized, but his skills translate to being a slots catcher or NFL throwback man who can create big plays when he gets the ball in space. He was traded from Nebraska and produced 1,334 yards on 104 receptions and seven touchdowns in his first season in the SEC. Projected: Rounds 3-4

BONUS: Calvin Austin III (Sr., Memphis, 5-7, 170)

Austin is an explosive track athlete who doesn’t grow taller, but his surprising ball skills and immense returning abilities will secure him a future at the next level. Projected: Rounds 3-6

BONUS: Justyn Ross (Jr., Clemson, 6-3, 205)

Ross’ freshman season screamed future first-rounder — he led the Tigers with 46 receptions for 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns — but then missed the entire 2020 season due to a congenital neck and spine fusion spine that required surgery. Can he regain his pre-injury form? Projected: Rounds 4-7

BONUS: Kevin Austin Jr. (Jr., Notre Dame, 6-2, 200)

Austin is one of the biggest risk-reward prospects in this draft. His talent and athleticism scream a top-flight prospect, but injuries and maturity issues have essentially sidelined him until 2021 when we finally glimpsed his true potential. Projected: Rounds 5-7

BONUS: Makai Polk (So., Mississippi St., 6-3, 195)

Polk set single-season school records for receptions (105) and receiving yards (1,046) in his only season in Starksville. Projected: Rounds 4-7

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