Ohio State’s Garrett Wilson is a top-tier wide receiver in the 2022 NFL Draft, who could get selected in the first round.
Making a name for himself as a true freshman in 2019, Garrett Wilson, alongside his Ohio State teammate, Chris Olave, has made for one of the most prolific wide receiver duos in the NCAA the past three years.
Known for his explosiveness and ability to gain extra yards with the ball in his hands, Wilson had the best season of his career in 2021, making him an intriguing NFL prospect.
Garrett Wilson NFL Draft overview
Wilson was a junior for Ohio State in 2021, starting all three years as a member of the Buckeyes’ offense. According to Sports Reference, Wilson had a highly productive college career, amassing 143 receptions, 2,213 receiving yards, and 23 receiving touchdowns in 32 total games over that three-year period.
- Quick initial release off the line
- Refined footwork when breaking off the line of scrimmage
- Excellent short-area quickness and burst – reaches top speed very quickly
- Elite “Yards after Catch” ability – has excellent vision and contact balance with the ball in his hands – Will be excellent in the NFL for screenplays and manufactured touches
- Highly productive 2021 Season
- Very good at cutting and changing direction – helps him on comeback and crossing routes
- Solid overall route runner – routes are crisp – can generate separation especially against softer coverages
- Strong blocker for his size
- Has shown deep threat ability from time to time – decisive on deep routes and can track the ball well
- Very good body control and can contort his body to make difficult catches
- A bit on the smaller side (6’0 and 188 pounds)
- Not a great catch radius – ball often must be thrown on target for him to successfully receive it
- Could develop route tree a bit more
- Often overwhelmed against press coverage
- Not the most physical at the catch point and will not win on many contested catches
- Quick to reach top speed but has average long speed
11 games, 70 receptions, 1,058 receiving yards, 1,134 yards from scrimmage 15.1 yards per reception, 12 receiving touchdowns, 1 rushing touchdown
NFL player comparison: D.J. Moore
Carolina Panthers receiver D.J. Moore is a current NFL receiver that resembles Garrett Wilson in multiple ways. There are similarities off the field in that both receivers are similar in size, standing at 6’0, came out during their junior year, and come from Big 10 schools – with Moore coming out of Maryland.
On the field, both receivers are very good route runners, very quick off the line, and accelerate to top speed well. These players also have similar weaknesses (i.e. contested-catch situations). Moore is a solid number 1 receiver and put up over 1,000 yards in a weak offense, largely due to his ability to act as a security blanket for shaky quarterback play.
Projected NFL Draft Range: Late-First Round Pick (20-30 range)
Wilson is an elite receiver after the catch, he is also explosive and dynamic on shorter routes, especially against zone coverage. Though he is not the biggest receiver and will unlikely be that go-to receiver in all situations. He is not a scheme transcendent talent and will unlikely be selected in the first half of the first round.
But what Wilson does do well, he does really well. Teams looking for a dynamic receiver on routes over the middle, including many short passes and manufactured touches, would be greatly helped with Wilson on their rosters. These teams could take him towards the end of the first round in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Garrett Wilson was a key contributor to the top-ranked offense in the country, and had incredibly impressive games that helped the Buckeyes win, and kept him on the map as one of the better receivers in the country.
When evaluating Wilson’s potential, he does have a defined ceiling. He projects as a slot receiver or a Z receiver in the NFL who will get a lot of manufactured touches, such as jet sweeps and screens early in his career. But, in the right system and if used correctly Wilson could thrive out of the gate and be a contender for offensive rookie of the year.