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WR Scouting Reports - 2023

Bird’s Eye View: Positional Analysis

The 2023 WR draft class is deep and there will be legitimate prospects available through all three days of the draft. But in comparison to the last few draft classes, there are no players who appear to be in the caliber of Ja’Marr Chase, Devonta Smith, or Jaylen Waddle. Top prospects in April’s draft include, Jordan Addison (USC), Quintin Johnston (TCU), Zay Flowers (Boston College), Jaxon Smith-Njigba (Ohio State), Jalin Hyatt (Tennessee), and Josh Downs (North Carolina).

Positional Grade: C

Jaxon Smith-Njigba / Ohio State

6005 / 196 / 30.4” Arms

Lacks prototypical size or length but has a solid, athletic build. Fantastic athlete with elite quickness and explosiveness – extremely dangerous in the open field. Excellent hands, concentration, and ball skills. Very good balance, body control, and excels on sideline catches and at the back of the end zone. Difficult to cover lined up out wide but is a nightmare in the slot due to his superb quickness. Special, explosive qualities and is excellent after the catch. Missed most of the 2022 season with injuries and opted out of the national playoff game against Georgia to prepare for the NFL Draft.

Jaxon Smith-Njigba / Ohio State

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Player Comparison:

Devonta Smith, Philadelphia

Josh Downs / North Carolina

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Player Comparison:

T.Y. Hilton, Free Agent

Josh Downs / North Carolina

5091 / 171 / 30.3” Arms

Undersized but solidly built WR who primarily lines up on the outside at North Carolina but could excel in the slot in the NFL. Very quick and agile and excels on two-way go patterns. Excellent hand-eye coordination and can track the ball easily downfield. Very good hands and can snatch the off-target pass with ease. Explosive burst off the LOS makes him difficult to press – and will make you pay if the press attempt fails. Superb route runner who utilizes hesitation and nods to create separation. Willing and productive on pass patterns over the middle of the field. Very slippery and crafty route runner. May lack prototypical speed but excels in creating separation. Consistently high points the ball despite his modest height. Dangerous and effective as a punt returner. Recorded 94 receptions for 1,029 yards, and 11 TDs in 2022.

Jalen Wayne, South Alabama

6014 / 210 / 32.1” Arms

Good size with solid height, build, and long arms. Tough and excels across the middle of the field. Excellent hands and concentration and will take a hit and still complete the catch. Excellent tracking ability on the deep pass, even over the shoulder. Has an effective burst at the break point to create separation. Very good hands. Good body control and ability to adjust to the inaccurate pass. Cousin of WR Reggie Wayne.

Jalen Wayne, South Alabama

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Nathaniel “Tank” Dell, Houston

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Player Comparison:

Amon-Ra St. Brown, Detroit

Nathaniel “Tank” Dell, Houston

5083 / 165 / 30.4” Arms

Short with a thin build and a small catch radius. Excellent route runner – good use of nods and stems to create separation. Very quick with good lateral agility. Very good hands. Recorded 100+ receptions in 2022. Excellent speed and creates YAC in chunks. Very good body control and hand-eye coordination. Productive punt returner. Extremely quick. Precise route runner. Very good burst at the break point. Can create separation against any CB.

Rashee Rice, SMU

6004 / 204 / 32.6” Arms

Excellent-sized WR with good body thickness. Experienced and reliable route runner who understands how to create separation – technical proficiency on display. Physical and difficult to push off routes. Very good hands but prone to concentration drops. Good, not great, speed. Effective getting YAC due to physicality and technique. Good route runner can create separation through leverage and proper technique.

Rashee Rice, SMU

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Player Comparison:

Deebo Samuel, San Francisco

Jordan Addison, USC

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Player Comparison:

Robert Woods, Houston

Jordan Addison, USC

5111 / 173 / 30.7” Arms

Transfer from Pittsburgh. 2021 Biletnikoff Award winner. Decent size WR with a relatively large catch radius. Soft, natural hands. Explosive burst off the line makes him difficult to jam and that burst creates separation on pass routes. Solid route runner. Threat to go the distance due to speed and difficulty to rein in after the catch. NFL-caliber punt returner.

Quentin Johnston,TCU

6026 / 208 / 33.5” Arms

Extremely tall and big WR (6’4”/ 215 lbs) with a massive catch radius. Smooth athlete who gobbles up ground with long strides – a deep ball threat due to his gait. Good leaper who knows how to high point the ball and come down with it in traffic. Natural hands catcher who extends and plucks the ball out of the air. Displays very good body control. First round talent.

Quentin Johnston, TCU

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Player Comparison:

Courtland Sutton, Denver

Jayden Reed, WR / PR / KR, Michigan State

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Player Comparison:

Mecole Hardman, NY Jets

Jayden Reed, Michigan State

5106 / 187 / 30.4” Arms

Smaller WR with limited catch radius but extremely explosive. Very quick and sudden. Has game breaking speed. Natural hands catcher. Good body control and excellent balance and burst. Clutch, go to WR for MSU for the last three years. Very good balance and body control. Very effective returner and profiles as an NFL-caliber returner. Extremely quick and creates separation with light feet and solid technique. Uses nods and stems to create separation. Effectively uses body to maintain separation and keep the defender from the ball. Recorded fastest GPS time at the Senior Bowl – 20.03 MPH.

Zay Flowers / Boston College

5092 / 182 / 29.2” Arms

Smaller sized WR with limited length and a small catch radius. Extremely quick and elusive with loose hips and elite explosiveness. Lines up primarily in the slot which makes him nearly impossible to press due to his elite athleticism. Dangerous punt returner due to his quickness and burst. Very good hand-eye coordination. Solid hands and concentration through the catch. Extends and shows the ability to make the acrobatic catch. Displays the ability to make quick, sudden movements after the catch making him a threat with the ball in his hands. Recorded 78 receptions / 1077 yards /12 TDs in 2022.

Zay Flowers / Boston College

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Player Comparison:

Randall Cobb, Green Bay

Ronnie Bell, Michigan

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Player Comparison:

Allen Robinson, LA Rams

Ronnie Bell, Michigan

5115 / 191 / 31” Arms

Decent size with adequate length. Missed all of the 2021 season after sustaining a knee injury in the season opener. Smooth route runner who can run the full NFL route tree. Generally reliable hands but has made some costly drops during his Wolverine career. Tough and competes during the route and at the catch point. Not exceptionally quick and has difficulty creating separation against tight man coverage. Strong and physical runner with the ball in his hands. Limited long speed and gains YAC through contact and toughness as opposed to speed and elusiveness. Displays a special team’s personality. Very good hand-eye coordination. Displays excellent concentration and body control near the sideline.

Cedric Tillman / Tennessee

6030 / 213 / 32.6” Arms

Big WR with broad shoulders, solid mass, and good overall length. Displays good hand-eye coordination and can haul in the off-target pass. Strong hands and can take a hit and maintain the catch. Effectively high points the ball and competes, and usually wins, at the catch point. Does not create a lot of separation but uses his size and strength well to the shield the ball away from the defensive back. Limited elusiveness but creates YAC with a nice burst, toughness, strength, and determination. More of a possession receiver than a game breaker but can be relied on to move the chains down the field. A bit of a long strider and displays tight hips which limit his elusiveness. Missed significant time with injuries in 2022.

Cedric Tillman / Tennessee

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Player Comparison:

DJ Chark, Free Agent

Bryce Ford-Wheaton, West Virginia

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Player Comparison:

Alec Pierce, Indianapolis

Bryce Ford-Wheaton, West Virginia

6034 / 221 / 33.4” Arms

Tall WR with a large catch radius. Good leaping ability and consistently wins at the catch point – attacks the ball in the air. Long-strider who covers ground efficiently. Used mostly on fly routes and not as much on crossing patterns. Nice burst – promising YAC ability. Very good hand-eye coordination. Tall WR with a large catch radius. Generally reliable hands but has a tendency to body catch.

Antoine Green / North Carolina

6016 / 199 / 32.1” Arms

Good sized WR with good overall length and a large catch radius. Long strider who accelerates quickly after the catch and shows impressive deep speed. Very good YAC ability. Displays good body control to adjust to the off-target pass. Displays reliable hands and the ability to high point the ball – utilizes his length effectively. Primarily lines up on the outside and runs patterns near the sidelines where he gains separation via speed and burst. Tough and willing to take a hit to secure the catch. Displays good sideline and back of the end zone awareness. Competes effectively at the catch point. Recorded 43 receptions for 798 yards and 7 TDs in 2022.

Antoine Green / North Carolina

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Player Comparison:

Michael Gallup, Dallas

Jaray Jenkins / LSU

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Jaray Jenkins / LSU

6016 / 204 / 31.6” Arms

Average size, length, and catch radius. Solid route runner. Exhibits reliable hands. Willing to work the middle of the field, take the hit, and hold onto the ball. Leverages coverages well and works effectively against zone coverage. High points the ball and will extend and pluck the ball in traffic. Displays an effective short area burst which allows him to gain yards after the catch. Field speed is average and most catches are contested. Adjusts well to off-target passes and possesses good body control. Good athlete.

Mitchell Tinsley, Penn State

5116 / 199 / 32.3” Arms

Transfer from Western Kentucky. Good size with average length and physical dimensions. Very productive WR for the Hilltoppers prior to transferring to Penn State. Savvy route runner – knows how to gain separation. Good hands. Tough and willing to work the middle of the field. Smooth with good body control – adjusts well to the ball in the air. Strong hands and can come down with the ball in traffic.

Mitchell Tinsley, Penn State

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Player Comparison:

Shi Smith, Carolina

Charlie Jones, Purdue

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Player Comparison:

Julian Edelman, retired NFL player

Charlie Jones, Purdue

5112 / 175 / 31.5” Arms

Transfer from Iowa. Limited size and catch radius.  Quick. Efficient route runner. Reliable hands. Playmaker after the catch and in space. Tough. Accelerates smoothly off the LOS – helping to negate press coverage. Displays balance and body control. Competes at the catch point. Extremely productive and reliable.

Dontayvion Wicks, Virginia

6010 / 206 / 32.3” Arms

Excellent size with long arms and great overall length. Typically displays reliable hands but is prone to concentration drops. Shows promising YAC ability – turns up the field and accelerates quickly. Very good balance and body control. Physical and difficult to knock off his route.

Dontayvion Wicks, Virginia

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Player Comparison:

Romeo Doubs, Green Bay

Kearis Jackson, Georgia

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Player Comparison:

Darius Slayton, NY Giants

Kearis Jackson, Georgia

5113 / 196 / 31.2” Arms

Undersized but solidly built WR. Lines up in the slot for the Bulldogs and works the underneath zones in the passing game. Reliable hands. Converts quickly to a RB with the ball in space and is elusive and hard to corral. Gains YAC through quickness and toughness. Limited long speed and excels in the short and intermediary zones.

Kayshon Boutte, LSU

5111 / 195 / 31.3” Arms

Adequate overall size – not tall but built like a RB – solid build and physicality. Difficult to press due to strength. Explosive with the ball in his hands. Boutte has dangerous YAC ability due to his running ability and burst. Good hands, and is capable of the acrobatic catch, but is prone to concentration drops. Emotional and temperamental and his game is impacted as a result. Effort seems dependent on touches. Not a good showing on national TV vs Florida State, showing a lack of maturity.

Kayshon Boutte, LSU

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Player Comparison:

Christian Kirk, Jacksonville

A.T. Perry, Wake Forest

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Player Comparison:

DJ Chark, Carolina

A.T. Perry, Wake Forest

6035 / 198 / 33.2” Arms

Huge target with a massive catch radius and very long arms. Reliable hands. Dangerous YAC ability due to long strides that eat up ground efficiently. Route running needs refinement. Rarely runs inside or crossing routes and is a true vertical threat. Height and leaping ability make him a threat near the end zone.

Jalin Hyatt, Tennessee

6001 / 176 / 32.4” Arms

Good size but a thin frame - long arms and a big catch radius. Great downfield speed and is a true breakaway threat. Reliable hands. Tough and competes at the catch point. Displays agility and quickness and could become an elite route runner. Dangerous with the ball in space and is a YAC threat anytime he touches the ball. Went for over 200 yards and 5 TDs against Alabama in 2022. 2022 Biletnikoff Award winner.

Jalin Hyatt, Tennessee

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Player Comparison:

Devonta Smith, Philadelphia

Marvin Mims, Oklahoma

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Player Comparison:

Tyreke Hill, Miami

Marvin Mims, Oklahoma

5112 / 183 / 31.5” Arms

Adequate height with an athletic build – looks like a sprinter. Mims has world-class speed and burst. Exceedingly quick and elusive. Excellent hands catcher with a flair for the dramatic catch. True deep speed that is difficult to overthrow. Very good leaping ability and body control. Dangerous punt returner. Could be a better pro than college player.

Jake Bobo, UCLA

6040 / 206 / 32.2” Arms

Transfer from Duke. Led the ACC in receptions in 2021 (74). Huge target with a large catch radius. Reliable hands. Physical, tough, and willing to work the middle of the field. Limited long speed – more of a possession receiver. Not overly quick or sudden and can have difficulty gaining separation. Experienced route runner who understands the subtleties of route running. Physical with the ball in his hands and will deliver blows.

Jake Bobo, UCLA

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Player Comparison:

Adam Thielen, Carolina

Malik Heath, Ole Miss

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Player Comparison:

JuJu Smith-Shuster, New England

Malik Heath, Ole Miss

6023 / 213 / 32.4” Arms

Transfer from Mississippi State. Good height with a large catch radius. Solid build. Good leaping ability and high points the ball consistently. Not overly smooth or sudden, Heath is a wily route runner - utilizing feints, stems, and nods to create separation. Strong and persistent blocker.

Xavier Hutchinson, Iowa State

6017 / 203 / 31.3” Arms

Excellent size and length – looks the part with a thick build and a solid frame. Strong and very difficult to jam at the LOS. Displays toughness and willingness to work the middle of the field. Slightly tight in the hips and can have difficulty creating separation against tight man coverage. Playmaker with the ball in his hands – very good YAC ability. Very good deep speed. Very good hands. Recorded an impressive GPS speed of 19.92 MPH at the Senior Bowl.

Xavier Hutchinson, Iowa State

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Player Comparison:

AJ Brown, Philadelphia

Derius Davis, TCU

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Player Comparison:

Isaiah McKenzie, Indianapolis

Derius Davis, TCU

5083 / 165 / 29.2” Arms

Undersized slot receiver with a small catch radius. Very quick with great lateral agility. Dangerous with the ball in his hands and as a punt returner – a mismatch in space. Very quick. Creates separation at the break point with an effective burst. Recorded a 23.47 MPH time GPS during a game this year – fastest recorded time in the NFL or college in 2022.

Duece Watts, Tulane

6013 / 193 / 32.1” Arms

Average size WR with desired arm length. Extremely quick and fast. Good route runner. Has an impressive burst coming out of breaks. Tremendous long speed and can bust the defense over the top. Reliable hands. Tough and willing to work the middle of the field.

Duece Watts, Tulane

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Player Comparison:

Joshua Palmer, LA Chargers

Elijah Cooks, San Jose State

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Player Comparison:

Isaiah McKenzie, Indianapolis

Elijah Cooks, San Jose State

6032 / 208 / 32.6” Arms

Transfer from Nevada. Tall and long WR with a large catch radius. Displays nice hands to extend and pluck the ball cleanly. Nice balance and body control. Good deep speed due to long strides. Tight in the hips and has some difficulty creating separation on crossing routes. Good leaping ability but not special for his size. Competes and high points the ball effectively. Long strider and eats up cushion with long strides.

Michael Wilson / Stanford

6015 / 213 / 31” Arms

Big, thickly built WR with well-distributed mass throughout his body. Good use of body to shield the defender from the ball. Can create separation at the break point – surprisingly smooth for a big WR. Nice release at the LOS – quick off the snap. Significant injury history in college. Has dropped too many passes throughout his college career (12.5% drop rate in 2022).

Michael Wilson / Stanford

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Player Comparison:

Amon-Ra St. Brown, Detroit

Andrei Iosivas / Princeton

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Player Comparison:

Isaiah McKenzie, Indianapolis

Andrei Iosivas / Princeton

6031 / 205 / 32” Arms

Accelerates smoothly when the ball is in the air and attacks it with clean hands. Quick enough to deploy nods and stems to create separation but still needs technique work. Utilizes double moves effectively to create separation. Moves well for a tall WR. Ran the fastest 60-yard dash in NCAA history (6.71 as part of the heptathlon).

Matt Landers / Arkansas

6043 / 200 / 32.4” Arms

Transfer who previously played at Georgia (2020) and Toledo (2021). Extremely tall and long WR with a huge catch radius. Solid build. Uses his length well to extend and high point the ball. Long strider who eats up yardage in chunks. Displays the ability to make off-target catches outside the frame of his body. Strong and physical which makes it difficult to press him at the LOS. Displays reliable hands and snatches the ball cleanly and securely. Fantastic athlete – recorded a 4.43 40-yard dash, 39” vertical, 10’8” broad jump, and 6.85 three-cone drill. Recorded 44 receptions / 780 yards / 7 TDs in 2022.

Matt Landers / Arkansas

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Player Comparison:

DK Metcalf, Seattle

Demario Douglas / Liberty

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Player Comparison:

Skyy Moore, Kansas City

Demario Douglas / Liberty

5077 / 179 / 30.2” Arms

Undersized WR with below average length and a small catch radius. Small but possesses solid mass and thick legs – surprisingly powerful as a runner. Extremely athletic, quick, shifty, and agile. Dangerous with the ball in space and is a threat on designed runs. Accelerates quickly and creates YAC in chunks. Excellent deep speed. Difficult to cover in man coverage due to superb lateral agility and elite quickness. Displays very good hands. Competes at the catch point despite his size limitations. Recorded 79 receptions / 993 yards / 6 TDs in 2022.

CJ Johnson / East Carolina

6015 / 224 / 32” Arms

Transfer who previously played at Georgia (2020) and Toledo (2021). Extremely tall and long WR with a huge catch radius. Solid build. Uses his length well to extend and high point the ball. Long strider who eats up yardage in chunks. Displays the ability to make off-target catches outside the frame of his body. Strong and physical which makes it difficult to press him at the LOS. Displays reliable hands and snatches the ball cleanly and securely. Fantastic athlete – recorded a 4.43 40-yard dash, 39” vertical, 10’8” broad jump, and 6.85 three-cone drill. Recorded 44 receptions / 780 yards / 7 TDs in 2022.

CJ Johnson / East Carolina

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Player Comparison:

Rashod Bateman, Baltimore

Jonathan Mingo, Ole Miss

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Player Comparison:

Skyy Moore, Kansas City

Jonathan Mingo, Ole Miss

6016 / 220 / 32.1” Arms

Tall and thickly built WR with a large catch radius. Physical runner with the ball – can get YAC in chunks. Athletic and has outstanding ability to high point the ball. Excellent length and catch radius. Long strider who is not overly quick or elusive. Savvy route runner who uses stems well to create separation. Strong and difficult to knock off his route.

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