The wide receiver position has always been a necessity in the NFL. A dominating receiver can make the difference between an average team, and a playoff contender; Calvin Johnson, for instance, made the Detroit Lions playoff contender. However now the question that has popped around the NFL is whether or not NFL teams should waste a first round pick on a wide receiver. Keep in mind, the New England Patriots, current Super Bowl champions, won without a big physical first round wide receiver.
Here are the Top 5 Wide Receivers going into the 2017 NFL Draft.
- Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
Williams has size, speed, aggression, and the ability to go up against anybody and win the jump ball. He is a bigger version of, former Clemson wide out and current Houston Texan, DeAndre Hopkins.
In 2016 he recorded 98 catches, for 1,361 yards. That’s an average of 13.9 yards per catch. But, what really stands out about Williams is that his most impressive numbers came on the biggest stages.
When matched up against Alabama’ s secondary, Williams recorded 8 catches for 94 yards. Not only did he show up when needed, but he made every catch in the book and proved to the country that he is the best wide out.
Williams will be a sure fire top 5 pick, in the upcoming 2017 NFL Draft.
- Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
Davis is not only a very physical wide receiver, but he played a pivotal part in Western Michigan’s magical season. Granted the competition he went against wasn’t the best but he stilled produced.
His ability to run routes and his solid hands has made Corey Davis one of the most highly coveted receivers in the 2017 NFL Draft. Davis also possesses the speed needed to get away from defenders and the ability to go over a defender to get the ball.
He is definitely first round talent, and will most likely get picked up in the mid-1st round, which bolds well for him since a team on the rise will likely pick him up….hopefully.
- Juju Smith-Schuster, WR, USC
Size, Size, SIZE!! Juju is only 6-2, but he is fully filled out. When I see him play, he reminds me of Dallas Cowboys star receiver, Dez Bryant. Juju hails from the University of Southern California, where great players flood into the NFL year after year.
Although he is a wonderful receiver, Juju has a few question marks on his college resume. One question is whether or not he can get open against top corners. In USC season opener against Alabama, he only recorded 1 reception for 9 yards. Matched up against Alabama’s Marlon Humphreys, Juju was shutdown for the entire game. By the way, Humphreys seems to be a future NFL star as well.
While Juju isn’t going to flash you with his speed, he will be a great possession receiver for a young Quarterback to throw to or a veteran looking for a reliable target.
I project Juju to go in the mid-1st round to early-2nd round for the upcoming 2017 NFL Draft.
- John Ross, WR, Washington
Ross doesn’t have the huge frame like the other top wide outs but, what he does have is speed. He is a dynamic wide out and NFL personnel know it.
I would compare him to, former Cal Golden Bear and current Washington Redskins wide out, DeSean Jackson. Ross has the same build as Jackson and comes from the same conference.
Ross has decent hands and can get away from defenders when matched up 1 ON 1. He will most likely be a slot receiver who can also play outside on special occasion.
I would expect a team who has a solid Quarterback, already in place, to take advantage of his talents. Depending on the scheme he is put in, John Ross could be 2017 NFL rookie of the year. Just look at DeSean Jackson and most recently Kansas City rookie star, Tyreek Hill.
I would expect to see Ross taken mid-1st to early-2nd round in the 2017 NFL Draft.
- Curtis Samuel, WR, Ohio State
Can you say Percy Harvin? Samuel may not be as dynamic as the former Florida Gator, but he does have a little Percy in him. Samuel is a hybrid like player. He can play out wide as a receiver or in the backfield as a running back, which creates a serious mismatch for teams.
He played a huge roll for the Buckeyes and was a big reason why they returned to the College Football Playoffs for the second time in three years.
I project Curtis Samuel to be a wide receiver because of his play making ability in space. The comparison between he and Percy Harvin is too great to ignore.
I expect Curtis Samuel to go in the 1st round of the NFL Draft.
*Chris Goodwin, WR, Penn State; a true sleeper in this wide receiver class. He had a great season and an even better finish in the Rose Bowl back in January. He’s going to make a team very happy come April.
I know some of the rankings seem out of order, but they are not. These rankings are projections and the players in these rankings can go up or down depending on what happens at the combine and on draft day. A player might be a second round talent, but if there is an unlikely run on receivers in the first round that player might move up. You may never know until it happens.
(Lead photograph id from uwdawgpound.com)