The NFL Draft is inching closer. With a serious lack of sports-related events on the calendar, there’s extra excitement surrounding the draft. Although the draft won’t be happening as usual, I’m completely ok with that. The virtual draft will keep everyone safe and give me some sports. It’s a win-win.
With Draft Day on the horizon, I will be listing my top-5 players at each fantasy football relevant position. You can check out my quarterback rankings here and my running back rankings here. This blog will focus on the wide receivers.
1. CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma (6′ 2″, 198 lbs)
Combine results: 40-yard dash: 4.50 secs, bench press: 11 reps, vertical jump: 34.5 inches, broad jump: 124.0 inches
2019 stats: G: 13 REC: 62 YDS: 1,327 AVG: 21.4 TD: 14
Lamb is the best wide receiver prospect to enter the NFL Draft since Amari Cooper in 2015. This guy truly has it all. He runs solid routes, has great hands and can make difficult catches. He doesn’t have high-end speed, but his 4.50 40-yard dash time at the NFL combine proved he’s got plenty of burst. Running after the catch is where he excels the most. His blend of burst and size makes it so hard to bring him down in the open field. This is a competitive player who can also block well.
Player comparison: Larry Fitzgerald
Both players aren’t burners, but both are capable of stretching the field with their speed. Are able to use burst, size and toughness to create yards after the catch. Both players run solid route trees.
2. Jerry Jeudy, Alabama (6′ 1″, 193 lbs)
Combine results: 40-yard dash: 4.45 sec, vertical jump: 35.0 inches, broad jump: 120.0 inches, 20-yard shuttle: 4.53 seconds
2019 stats: G: 13 REC: 77 YDS: 1,163 AVG: 15.1 TD: 10
The best route runner in this class, Jeudy has been a highly-touted receiving prospect since high school. He turned in a somewhat lacklustre NFL Combine which has raised red flags among some, but I don’t view it as a major knock. On the football field, he’s one of the shiftiest receivers and uses his speed and route running to create great separation. He’s not a “go up and get it” receiver that lives for contested catches – he just gets open.
Player comparison: Stefon Diggs
Diggs and Jeudy are both route-running masters who possess enough speed to burn opposing defences. Both players also feature similar builds and have a knack for creating separation.
3. Denzel Mims, Baylor (6′ 3″, 206 lbs)
Combine results: 40-yard dash: 4.38 sec, bench press: 16 reps, vertical jump: 38.5 inches, broad jump: 131 inches, 3-cone drill: 6.66 seconds, 20-yard shuttle: 4.43 sec
2019 stats: G: 13 REC: 66 YDS: 1,020 AVG: 15.5 TD: 12
A total size and speed nightmare for opposing defences, Mims the makings of a true No. 1 receiver in the NFL. He is able to make contested catches, is a burner and is consistently able to earn yards after the catch. During the week of the Senior Bowl, he made plays and practically stole the show.
He followed up his strong effort at the event with an impressive NFL Combine. He needs to improve as a route runner and use his size to his advantage more.
Player comparison: DeVante Parker
Both players projected to be dominant “X” receivers out of college based on skill sets and size. Both Parker and Mims are great at making contested catches.
4. Henry Ruggs III, Alabama ( 5′ 11″, 188 lbs)
Combine results: 40-yard dash: 4.27 sec, vertical jump: 42.0 inches, broad jump: 131.0 inches
2019 stats: G: 12 REC: 40 YDS: 746 ACG: 18.7 TD: 7
The ultimate speedster entering the 2020 NFL Draft, Ruggs III has high-end speed that is rare even in the NFL. Has great hands and isn’t afraid to get physical with opposing receivers. Naturally, he’s able to generate yards after the catch just based on speed alone. Not the prettiest route runner, but is able to get separation because he’s so quick. Did I mention he’s fast?
Player comparison: Tyreek Hill
I assume a number of teams are going to try and emulate the Kansas City Chiefs’ offence after their Super Bowl win. For teams trying to bring in their own field stretch, Ruggs III is more than capable of operating in a near-identical role to Hill.
5. Justin Jefferson, Louisiana State University (6′ 1″, 202 lbs)
Combine results: 40-yard dash: 4.43 sec, vertical jump: 37.5 inches, broad jump: 126.0 inches
2019 stats: G: 15 REC: 111 YDS: 1,540 AVG: 13.9 TD: 18
Not a highly-touted prospect coming out of high school, Jefferson silenced every critic this past year. Not only was he a critical part of LSU’s historical offence as a slot receiver, but he turned heads at the NFL Combine. He has a solid pass-catching radius to couple with great hands. His impressive 40-yard dash time also proved that he can beat defensive coverages with his speed. A physical player who projects to be one of the better slot receivers at the next level.
Player comparison: Tyler Boyd
Jefferson is a faster player than Boyd. The two players, however, both feature solid catch radius’ and are able to extend to make a catch underneath opposing defensive coverages. Boyd and Jefferson also have great hands, allowing them to make difficult catches. Neither profile as a “jump ball” receiver.