2022 NFL Draft Wide Receiver Rankings
Teams must possess a multitude of weapons in the modern NFL, and there are plenty of impressive prospects on offer this year as we saw during the combine last week. Today, we check out James Pike’s 2022 NFL Draft wide receiver rankings as he tells us where each pass catcher is likely to be picked during the upcoming showpiece event in April.
By James Pike.
1. Treylon Burks — Arkansas
6’2—225lbs—Overall prospect rank: 12th (GX Big Board)
Burks did not test quite as well at the NFL Combine as expected, but I don't see any reason why he shouldn't be a top ten selection in the 2022 NFL Draft. He is an excellent athlete with great size and speed. His movement looks effortless when he has the ball in his hands and can blow by defenders with his acceleration.
Burks has a ridiculous catch radius and much better hands than I anticipated. He catches anything in his vicinity with his incredible length and leaping ability. He doesn't have an advanced route tree, but doesn't need one, as he is a good separator using his surprising shiftiness and strength. He fights for the ball with his hands well too.
2. Chris Olave — Ohio State
6’0—187—23rd (GX Big Board)
I love watching Chris Olave run routes. He is so smooth and can beat defenders in a variety of different ways. Olave is a much better athlete then I have ever given him credit for as he has the burst to create separation at the top of his routes and the speed to pull away from trailing
defenders and find the end zone.
He may not be as explosive as a Jameson Williams or as dynamic as his former team mate Garrett Wilson, but he will most likely be the most pro ready out of any of these receivers from this year's class. He doesn't have the best hands in this group, but has been known to make a spectacular catch from time to time and is surprisingly good after the catch. Olave should be a lock to go in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft.
3. Garrett Wilson — Ohio State
5’11—183—16th (GX Big Board)
Garrett Wilson is so explosive with the ball in his hands and should be a YAC machine at the next level. His ability to change direction at speed, accelerate through an open lane or stop on a dime is incredible and creative offensive co-ordinators will find ways to get the ball into Wilson's hands as much as possible.
He is a good route runner, helped by his incredible agility and is a wideout who should hopefully continue to improve at the next level. He has solid hands and catches most balls thrown in his direction. He could do with adding a bit of size at the next level, as I feel that he has quite a skinny frame right now.
I also don't see a Wilson ever filling the role of a boundary receiver in the NFL as he is sometimes bottled up by bigger more physical corners, but he should excel as a weapon in the slot who can make explosive plays from time to time.
4. Jameson Williams — Alabama
6’1—179—32nd (GX Big Board)
Ridiculous Athlete with ideal size and speed you are looking for at the position. Has the top end speed to blow by defenders at the top of his routes. He also has soft hands with the ability to lay out and bail his QB out for a bad or overthrown ball. Sometimes drops the occasional easy catch, but not a massive concern.
Isn't an elite separator in terms of his technique and is one who relies more on his explosive speed to get open downfield rather than being particularly agile in short spaces. He isn't as elusive when he has the ball in his hands as you would like for a player with his athleticism. Can sometimes look disinterested when required to block, but will throw a nasty one if he has to.
5. Drake London — USC
6’3—219—37th (GX Big Board)
Drake London could have the highest ceiling of any wide receiver in the 2022 NFL Draft class. His size and athleticism is so intriguing and I believe that he could very well be a riser the closer we get to the draft. He is a surprisingly good route runner who has a variety of different ways he can beat defenders at the line of scrimmage. He has nimble feet, and he uses all of his 6'3 frame to create separation.
He isn't a true burner who can torch defenses with his speed, and it is a shame that he wasn’t ready to compete at the combine due to injury as he could have dramatically improved his stock.
He is excellent at climbing the ladder and making contested catches. He catches the ball away from his body and has soft hands. He is surprisingly fleet footed after the catch as well as he can make defenders miss with his smooth cuts and stunts.
London could do with adding some more size to his lanky frame though if he is to succeed at the next level as he might struggle against the faster and stronger athletes in the NFL.
6. George Pickens — Georgia
6’3—195—55th (GX Big Board)
George Pickens had a solid combine, and ran as expected in the 40 yard dash as he was able to run a 4.47. Pickens is an exciting deep threat receiver who will fit in well on a team who like to attack teams through the air.
Pickens is not an elite separator, as he sometimes struggles to get off the line against bigger, more athletic corners, but he is excellent at creating space at the top of his routes though. He changes direction smoothly at top speed, which helps him gain separation down the field.
The former Georgia Bulldog has exceptional hands and catches the ball away from his body with ease. He lays out to bail out his quarterback on overthrown balls, this shows he has great body control which should bode well for him in the NFL. I believe that in the right system Pickens will excel, but may need some time early in his career to adjust to the physicality of the NFL.
7. David Bell — Purdue
6’0—212—59th (GX Big Board)
The first thing that came to mind when watching David Bell play was a less athletic version of Jameson Williams, as they have very similar play styles. Bell is more shifty in shorter spaces and is a
better route runner, whereas Williams beats you with his speed.
Bell is capable of making defenders miss in open space and has the acceleration to get away from linebackers at the next level. He does have soft hands and has great body control to adjust to the ball when making a catch. I see him as a solid number two at the next level.
8. Skyy Moore — Western Michigan
5’9—195—126th (GX Big Board)
Very few players in this class have the route running ability of Skyy Moore. His is very shifty and really sells his routes in order to create separation from defenders. He may not have the top end speed or physicality of some of the other prospects in this class, but he will be able to create separation at the next level.
He is very physical after the catch, and fights for yardage. He makes tough catches in traffic and isn't afraid of a bit of contact. He has soft hands and can get up and contest the catch despite lacking in size. Moore will be an early day two pick in my estimation.
9. Kyle Philips — UCLA
5’11—189—137th (GX Big Board)
Kyle Philips could be one of the most underrated players in the entire 2022 NFL Draft class. He is someone who deserves more national attention than what he is currently receiving.
Philips is up there with the likes of Olave and Skyy Moore as one of the best route runners in this class. His short area quickness is second to none, and he creates yards of separation immediately from his release at the line of scrimmage.
He is also excellent after the catch as he effortlessly makes men miss using his shifty footwork and excellent contact balance. He also has great hands showing the ability to make excellent catches in traffic.
He does lack true athleticism, as he isn't the fastest or the strongest, but he is an excellent player who could very well sneak into the back end of the second round in this draft.
10. Jahan Dotson — Penn State
5’11—182—65th (GX Big Board)
Watching Jahan Dotson play is some of the most fun you can have while watching tape on wide receivers in the build up to the 2022 NFL Draft. He is an excellent athlete who has the ability to create separation due to his loose hips and excellent burst.
He isn't as physical as you would like to see, but he more than makes up for it with his top end speed as one of the fastest players in this class. His ability to break at the top of the route is commendable and will certainly be a trait that teams in the league will appreciate when considering Dotson.
He can sometimes struggle against press man coverage (see tape against Michigan) as he lacks the strength to push off defenders. He is however, dangerous after the catch, as he has the game breaking speed to take it to the house. Having said that, he isn't as elusive as I initially thought before turning on the tape.
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11. John Metchie III — Alabama
5’11—187—120th (GX Big Board)
Another player whose stock has taken a dip due to injury, but John Metchie will most like be a day two selection in the 2022 NFL Draft. Everything great about Metchie comes from his speed and burst, as he has the athletic ability to blow by defenders down the field, and
the quickness to gain separation at the line of scrimmage.
He reminds me of Jaylen Waddle from the 2021 class, although I believe Waddle was much further along in his development. Drops have been a concern and will hurt his stock, but all in all I love the prospect and he should be off the board before the end of the second round.
12. Wan’dale Robinson — Kentucky
5’8—178—97th (GX Big Board)
Another player who had an excellent combine, Wan'Dale Robinson is a player with elite athleticism who should find success early in his career as a slot weapon. He is as explosive as they come and will be dangerous whenever he gets the ball in his hands.
He is a good route runner, but I wouldn't put him in the same league as the likes of Kyle Phillips or Skyy Moore. Robinson has decent hands, but I also wouldn't put him at the very top of his class when it comes to catching the ball.
He plays with excellent physicality, for his size which should bode well for him at the next level as he is going to be asked to operate in tight windows and and spaces. I am interested to see where he lands as if he is utilized correctly, he will be an excellent weapon in the NFL.
13. Christian Watson — North Dakota State
6’4—208—93rd (GX Big Board)
Christian Watson is a very intriguing prospect. He is extremely raw prospect, but he does have some traits that could lead to him becoming a great player somewhere in the NFL. Watson has elite deep speed, which should set him apart as an excellent deep threat early in his career; his 4.36 speed at the combine attests to this.
He isn't as smooth at the top of his routes as some of the other elite wide receiver prospects in this class such as George Pickens or Jameson Williams, but his athleticism bails him out against the lesser competition he faces at North Dakota State.
Watson showed off his route running ability at the Senior Bowl in a controlled environment, however there are concerns about his ability to adjust at the next level. He isn't the best pass catcher in this class either, but with the right coaching this should improve at the next level. He is in my opinion an early day three pick in this upcoming draft.
14. Calvin Austin III — Memphis
5’7—170—124th (GX Big Board)
Calvin Austin showed out at the combine, impressing scouts with his speed and his leaping ability. However, this wasn't exactly surprising because as soon as you turn on Austin's game tape, you see the athleticism shining through.
He has an incredible fast twitch, as well as being explosive when elevating towards the
the ball. I would say he relies on his explosiveness to create separation rather than being a great route runner and he can sometimes be blanketed in coverage when playing against high end competition.
Austin has soft hands and is catches the ball away from his body. The team who drafts Austin should find ways to get the ball into Austin’s hands as often as possible in open space as he can take a screen pass to the house. Should excel as a special teamer early in his career. A solid early day three pick in m
15. Danny Gray — SMU
5’11—186—N/A (GX Big Board)
Danny Gray is an explosive athlete. He is extremely quick in short spaces and he should be a handy special teams player right from the get go. I don't see him becoming a starter early in his career as he will need time to adjust to the NFL.
He will find a home in the draft on day three, however I think this is a player who
will need to spend some time with NFL coaches learning his craft before he is
ready to start.
16. Romeo Doubs — Nevada
A very explosive athlete with excellent deep speed and a relatively smooth route runner. Doubs is a raw prospect who should receive some attention later in the draft. He has good hands, and has good size for the position. He will need time to learn his craft before being given start reps in the NFL, but he is an intriguing prospect.
17. Justyn Ross — Clemson
6’3—205—100th (GX Big Board)
A big and physical receiver who is difficult to bring down once he gets the ball in his hands. He has a strong frame to build off, and will be able to live up to the physical demands of the NFL right away. He lacks explosiveness which is a slight concern when projecting how he will fare at the next level. He is a surprisingly good route runner despite his lack of true athleticism, and has a decent variety of moves he can use to create separation. Ross might struggle against the bigger, stronger and faster athletes in the NFL.
18. Bo Melton — Rutgers
5’11—189—152nd (GX Big Board)
Another player who lit it up at the combine with his athleticism, Bo Melton is a very raw prospect who will absolutely need time working with NFL coaches before ever seeing meaningful minutes in the NFL. He isn't very dynamic as a route runner from the tape I have been able to find for this prospect. He will most likely see most of his playing time in the slot, as he lacks the physicality at this point in his career to be an effective boundary receiver.
COMPLETE 2022 NFL DRAFT WIDE RECEIVER RANKINGS — CLICK IMAGE BELOW