2022 NFL Draft big board: Re-ranking the top-10 wide receivers this year

National Squad wide receiver Christian Watson of North Dakota State (1) runs with the ball in the first half against the American squad at Hancock Whitney Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
National Squad wide receiver Christian Watson of North Dakota State (1) runs with the ball in the first half against the American squad at Hancock Whitney Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports /

Last year’s wide receiver class is hard to beat, but we have quality talent here.

Last year was more quality over quantity. Here it’s the opposite. This year’s NFL Draft offers a lot more quantity and variety. We could see seven WR go in the first 50-picks of the NFL Draft. Everything from pure speed to slot to straight-up WR1s. This should be a good thing for most teams, with several teams needing between 2-3 WR.

I would look for teams like Atlanta, Green Bay, Kansas City, Tennessee, Chicago, and Detroit to take three WR from this class. With the evolving offenses, you almost need a gadget type of WR, and this draft is full of them in the later rounds. So let’s see how my final top-10 shakes out.

1. Garrett Wilson, Ohio State.

Previous rank: 3rd

Wilson may not have been many people’s WR1 about three months ago, but he sure is now. He was testing like an absolute animal and showing he was better with his agility than initially thought. This is the type of player who you can not only feel safe with making a top-ten pick but also one who can step in on day one and take the outside.

Wilson may not end up being the best out of this class, but he is the best WR if you are going to pick one early. Great hands, has elite speed, and solid knowledge of the entire route tree. He has the highest floor of anyone in this class, which at a minimum, is an elite slot WR.

2. Jameson Williams, Alabama.

Previous rank: 1st

Williams only got bumped down because I think Wilson is more ready to go on day one. Williams could bounce back from this knee injury with no issues. However, there’s a slight chance he might not, so he got moved down.

When healthy, Williams is a top-end route runner and has good smooth hands. He is easily one of the better WR in the class, and no matter who drafts him, as long as he’s healthy will start on the outside the first week of the season. He has all the measurables you are looking for and sat behind and learned from two first-round picks last year.

3. Chirs Olave, Ohio State.

Previous rank: 6th

This kid has pure speed and lots of it; if you remember Jaylen Waddle from last year, this would be a similar style WR. Not, as polished as Waddle was, but he is dynamite with the ball in his hands.

Look for him to be used in a similar role; his best work will be done on speed routes or end-around, though he does have the ability to play both slot and outside WR. Olave will be an instant spark to any team he lands with his 4.39 speed.

4. Drake London, USC

Previous rank: 2nd

London is sliding down the board due to his weight issue; it was already a concern coming into the combine. He showed up at 219, and there were rumors that he showed up to his pro day 10-15lbs heavier than that. History has not been kind to WR over 225lbs.

He is an elite contested-catch wide receiver, and at 6-foot-4 with 33in arms, he can catch anything close to him. He didn’t get to show off the best talent with all his changes at USC, but he has elite alpha-level receiver tools. The only issue will be his weight and if he can manage it correctly.

5. Treylon Burks, Araknsas

Previous rank: Stayed the same.

Burks is similar to London but without weight issues. Elite contested catch ability; however, outside of that, the rest of his game is about average. He can struggle with running clean routes in the short or intermediate area and does not get good separation from corners when running shorter routes.

Burks will be a small project but has the size and speed to be worth an early pick in the NFL Draft. Even if he’s mainly used as a RedZone or jump ball target at first, he should be able to round out to a starting outside receiver.

6. Skyy Moore, Western Michigan

Previous rank: Not ranked

After his great combine, where he came in taller, heavier, and ran faster than people expected, he started to shoot up boards. There are several teams and mock drafts that have him going in the first round of the NFL Draft. His 4.41 40-yard and him coming in around 195lbs showed he can stick in the slot and be moved all around the field.

He is a polished route runner, coming from western Michigan though there are some questions about if he was just the best player on the field and made it look easy and what type of offense he will fit best in.

7. George Pickens, UGA

Previous rank: 4th

Injuries. Lots of them. Pickens is down to seventh, but if he can be healthy, he is the most talented out of any of these wide receivers. He is projected all over the place in the NFL Draft due to that history. He has, well, never been healthy his whole college career.

When he was fit in the few games he could play, he showed off elite athletic ability and speed. Had Pickens been healthy, there would have been little question of him being one of the best Georiga WR of all time. He will be a slow project and a dangerous pick for any team. But you can’t win if you don’t play the game, so someone will roll the dice on him and hope it doesn’t come up with snake eyes.

8. Christian Watson, North Dakota

Previous rank: Not ranked

Christian Watson may have had the best combine ever vs. expectations. He blew it away with a 4.36 40-yard and a 38.5 verticle while standing at 6-foot-4 and 208lbs. You couldn’t make a player like that in a video game. Had Watson played at a higher level school, he would be in talks for a top-2 WR spot.

His tape matches his athletic ability, but he came from a power-run team, so he needs lots of work as a wide receiver. Look for him in year one to mainly do deep routes, slants, and gadget plays. As he continues to develop, he could be an everyday WR1 on most teams in the league.

9. Jahan Dotson, Penn State

Previous rank: Not ranked

Jahan Dotson was a late riser for me in the NFL Draft, mainly due to my concerns about his size. He’s 5-foot-11 and came in at 178lbs, though he looked smaller than that on tape. However, he plays much more prominent; Dotson will make a great slot WR in any offense.

He comes from a pro-style offense at Penn State, so I don’t see him having a learning curve as far as that goes, but he does need to add a little to his frame and work on a more refined route tree. He also won’t be able to do some of the things he did in college with the bigger, taller corners in the NFL.

10. Jalen Tolbert, South Alabama

Previous rank: Not ranked

I started to like Tolbert over the last few weeks. South Alabama is quietly starting to put out consistent NFL talent. At 6-foot-1 and 200lbs, Tolbert also has some speed to his game. This will be a third or fourth-round WR with considerable upside.

Next. Who will the Steelers draft to replace Big Ben?. dark

He was able to destroy the smaller corners in college, so I will have to adjust to that at the next level, but I see him more as an outside WR when it’s all said and done rather than a slot WR. With a great first step and strong arms, he should be able to progress quickly at the next level.