Draft Breakdown: Top 11 WRs

By Thomas Ringgaard |
Draft Breakdown: Top 11 WRs

As of now, I have already broken down my top WR prospects of this class.  And, if you haven't checked it out, you can find the ranks and links below here:

1. JJ Arcega-Whiteside
t-2. Marquise Brown
t-2. Kelvin Harmon
4. David Sills
5. Riley Ridley

In the following, I will be going through the rest of the receivers you should be familiar with before the Combine. There will be less video, as you by now should know what i look for in receivers (Editor's note: If not, go back and view the previous 5 receiver breakdowns). If a WR is not mentioned, it is not because I haven't seen video of them, I just don't think they will thrive in the NFL. Lets get started.

 

6. AJ Brown, Ole Miss

Conference: SEC
Measurables: 6'1, 230 lbs 

Career stats:
2016: 29 catches, 412 yards, 2 TDs
2017: 75 catches, 1252 yards, 11 TDs
2018: 85 catches, 1320 yards, 6 TDs

Strengths:

  • Route Running: Has quick feet, gives the DBs nice quick fake looks to create separation. Displays an explosive cut although not consistently.
  • Catching: Definitely his best trait. Catches the ball naturally with his hands, doesn't make drops, and will make tough contested catches. Above average tracking. Does his best work over the middle of the field.
  • Production: Had big time production against quality competition with Lodge and Metcalf also getting targets.

Weaknesses:

  • Not tall so high balls are more difficult and hasn't shown great ability to be a vertical threat.
  • Doesn't win his route by physically overpowering the DB, which means the QB has to put the ball in a good spot for him to catch. 
  • Below average blocker.
  • Has played mostly in the slot in college and had most of his success there, which leads to speculation whether he can play outside in the NFL. 

Draft: Very reliable WR who could become the next big slot guy like JuJu Smith-Schuster was in the beginning of his NFL career. Should find a suitor in the 2nd Round. 

7. D.K. Metcalf, Ole Miss

Conference: SEC
Measurables: 6'4, 225 lbs

Career stats:
2016: 2 catches, 13 yards, 2 TDs
2017: 39 catches, 646 yards, 7 TDs
2018: 26 catches, 569 yards, 5 TDs

Strengths:

  • Route running: Has a good release. Above average speed, which is a very important trait when you are this tall. Makes smooth looks to fool the DBs. Uses hands well against the DB to create small separation during the route. Has a second burst on deep routes that can be lethal.
  • Blocking: Is a very strong guy who can smother a DB. Very physical with his blocks even when the play is going away from his play side. Combining his size, strength, and speed he can take the head off a DB.

Weaknesses:

  • Catching is average at best. 
  • Needs to find a way to use that big body to become more physically dominating. Doesn't make jump balls look like a strength of his, although he has every trait to do it. Has problems getting separation against press. 
  • Not great production in college, partially due to a neck injury that kept him out in 2017.

Draft: A tall guy with all the right tools. If he puts them all together he can be great. Someone will fall in love with his potential and he will be drafted in the 2nd round. 

8. Deebo Samuel, South Carolina

Conference: SEC
Measurables: 6'0, 210 lbs

Career stats:
2015: 12 catches, 161 yards, 1 TD
2016: 59 catches, 783 yards, 1 TD
2017: 15 catches, 250 yards, 3 TDs
2018: 62 catches, 882 yards, 11 TDs

Strengths:

  • Catching: Has good, reliable, above average hands.
  • YAC ability: Although he is a smaller guy, he plays very physically at the point of contact. Has good contact balance and speed to create big plays. Was used as a RB a lot in college on jet sweeps. 
  • Versatility: Runs some good routes from the slot when he has some space to work with. Naturally, he has been used as a returner as well with good success. 

Weaknesses:

  • Almost exclusively played as a slot receiver. In the limited outside reps he had he was not impressive, as he struggled to get separation against both off and press coverage. 
  • Not elite speed, not great route running, and not tall, which limits his ability to become a reliable target.
  • Broke his leg in 2017 but rebounded with a strong 2018 season. 

Draft: Someone will love the versatility and his big play ability from multiple positions. He could contribute early like Curtis Samuel. Should be gone from middle 2nd to early 3rd round. 

9. Parris Campbell, Ohio State

Conference: Big Ten
Measurables: 6'1, 208 lbs

Career stats:
2016: 13 catches, 121 yards, 0 TDs
2017: 40 catches, 585 yards, 3 TDs
2018: 90 catches, 1063 yards, 12 TDs

Strengths:

  • Athleticism: Parris is an above average shifty and elusive player who makes breaking tackles look natural. When he gets the ball in his hands he can do major damage, which Ohio State utilized by asking him to run a lot of screens, stays, sweeps, and crossing routes. On several plays I thought "that's a bad play" and he suddenly gets some positive yards. Fun to watch. 
  • Is a reliable hands catcher who won't make drops on easy targets. 
  • For his size he blocks pretty well. At the very least he is a willing blocker, and although he gets pushed back from time to time, he usually gets the job done.

Weaknesses:

  • Not elite speed or elusiveness, which doesn't make him a high end feature player.
  • Below average route running, which begs the question if Ohio State knew that and only utilized him as a gimmick player. Depends on the play being designed for him. Slow in his cuts, doesn't create separation.

Draft: Late 2nd to 3rd round. 

10. N'Keal Harry, Arizona State

Conference: Pac-12
Measurables: 6'4, 213 lbs

Career stats:
2016: 58 catches, 659 yards, 5 TDs
2017: 82 catches, 1142 yards, 8 TDs
2018: 82 catches, 1088 yards, 9 TDs

Strengths:

  • Deep threat: Uses his size well on deep passes. Gets good position with his big frame and uses his strength well. Has above average tracking of the football, which is vital to succeed consistently as a deep threat. Makes some spectacular catches.
  • Displays smooth cuts at times in his routes.
  • Has some elusiveness and displays good YAC ability at times.  However, dancing around as much as he does is risky in the NFL.

Weaknesses:

  • Not explosive in his routes, often doesn't get a good release.
  • Average speed which combined with his lack of explosiveness limits his ability to create separation. Has big trouble against press.
  • Is lost when the QB scrambles. Simply doesn't try to get open. Doesn't drag his toes.
  • Is a willing blocker, but too often gets his hands on the defender too late.

Draft: N'Keal needs a good 40 time at the Combine. I rarely put too much into the Combine.  But, if he shows some good movement and nails the interviews he will rise a couple of spots. 

11. Hakeem Butler, Iowa State

Conference: Big 12
Measurables: 6-6, 225 lbs

Career stats:
2016: 9 catches, 134 yards, 2 TDs
2017: 41 catches, 697 yards, 7 TDs
2018: 60 catches, 1318 yards, 9 TDs

Strengths:

  • Fade expert: Uses his huge size to elevate over DBs on contested catches and turns 50-50 balls into 80-20 in his favor. Displays average tracking on deep passes, hence sometimes dropping the ball or losing track of the trajectory. 
  • Average hands. Drops too many hands catches. 

Weaknesses:

  • Athleticism: Stiff hips which affects his route running. Average speed and agility doesn't help. Has issues going against press. 
  • Route running: If he is asked to run anything other than a deep route he lacks explosiveness in his cuts.
  • Of minor issues he has below average blocking skills and doesn't drag his feet. 

Draft: Reportedly, some scouts love his size and potential. Personally, I see the size, and sure he can win some deep balls, but he is too much of a one trick pony. He receives a 3rd-4th Round grade.  But, don't be surprised if a team snags him late Round 2 or early in Round 3.  Especially if he has a good Combine. 

 
Let us know in the comments who you think is the best wide receiver in the 2019 NFL Draft.  Should the Colts draft a WR?  Should the Colts draft a WR early?  Leave it in the comments below!

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