I got a chance to breakdown the Top 10 wide receivers in this year’s draft class with a few sleepers. Let’s look at the top wide receivers available for the 2020 draft from my lens.
Top 5 Wide Receivers
1. Jerry Jeudy: When watching back all of the games the decision for the number one receiver was tougher then I thought. There are plenty of great college receivers entering this year’s draft. But as history tells us no matter how good they look more then half will not make it to a 2nd contract with the same team. In this case, it came down to Jeudy and Lamb for the top spot. We may be splitting hairs but if I had to choose a number one it would be Jeudy. His route running is at an NFL level already. Separation at the next level is a common problem for the new class not with this kid. He is extremely athletic as you see his work after the catch. He also is an intelligent player who loves the game. Played a lot in the slot this year will probably play the X at the next level. The knock I heard was he played with a great cast and had a great QB. I had the ability to watch many of his games in person this kid is the real deal. I had him number one entering the season I see no reason, in the end, to take him down.
2. Ceedee Lamb: I’ll admit I didn’t want to like Lamb as much as Jeudy or even Ruggs for that matter but it’s hard not to love this guy. Although he is not as quick as either player or run routes Like Jeudy he has incredible ball skills. Great hands who tracks down balls as well as anyone ever at the college level. Loves contact and is a better than average blocker. Skinny build but gets off press coverage rather easily. The Knock on him is he does not have elite speed and has played with high-level quarterbacks. I counter that with he was the common denominator of all the great quarterbacks. As far as the lack of elite speed the game is not played in shorts and a tee-shirt watch the tape this guy will be an all-pro.
3. Henry Ruggs III: A quarterback best friend as he can turn a simple slant into an 80-yard touchdown. Rarely do we see a guy with world-class speed that has hands like this. It seems to have several extra gears when in coverage to pull away from everyone. Runs routes well important as he sells the double move as a weapon of his. Any team playing man coverage will have a tough time with him. Runs tough and is not afraid of contact. The knock would be getting off press coverage at the next level as he tends to have problems sometimes against the physical corners. In my opinion, is the ideal Robin to any team already with a Batman in place.
4. Jalen Reagor: I know what people are thinking. Could this guy really have Reagor this high? The answer is YES if you want to have success don’t be a sheep and follow the “draft experts” follow your own eyes. To give some background Reagor’s numbers dropped because of subpar quarterback play. Some scouts are saying he lacks competitiveness and focus but I truly believe it was frustration. On Reagor’s skill set he has elite speed and can shake coverage. He is explosive after release. Jalen Reagor is more like a running back after the catch so getting him the ball quickly is important. He has good hands and catches the ball at its highest point. Knocks aside from the above ( again right or wrong I feel was frustration ) was an effort at times. He as well can get stalled at the line on press coverage so he will need to work on that. He should be available in the 2nd round and has tremendous upside if taken then.
5. Laviska Shenault: Shenault is an incredible athlete that to me still has a lot of upsides. He played all three receiver spots in college and has a complete physical package or size strength and speed. He is probably the most physical receiver in the draft but that also comes with a downside as he takes a ton of punishment. For as accomplished as he is he needs to come to the right fit. His route running must improve. He like Reagor was affected by some lackluster Quarterback play although he adjusts well to poorly thrown balls. He is more of a gamble then even some below him but if he puts it all together he can be special.
6. K J Hamler: I know this guy is falling on most draft boards. Thank God I am not most people. Don’t get me wrong some of the knocks are legitimate. Concerning drops, he is small, not physical I get it. But I look at the potential. And if you want to see his potential see how he competes against the best. He is not a day one pick but if he puts it all together he can have a long career and be an explosive player. Just go back and watch him compete against Jeff Okudah and Ohio State. He was able to handle the press coverage against the best. His route running needs work but if the speed, athleticism, and route running come together you have something special. Again a day two pick but tremendous value there.
7. Tee Higgins: The best in the class as far as using his size and high pointing the ball. Played all three receiver spots at Clemson although needs work on his route tree as he was used a lot in the same role. He can continue to use this size as an advantage at the next level. Soft hands making the difficult catch. The knocks are he beat up on the weaker teams he played ( which is not really a negative ) I think its due to his numbers dipped a bit against better competition. Will need to get stronger and become a better blocker. Once he adjusts to the press coverage which could take some time he should be a solid NFL player. The higher ceiling then a few of the receivers above and below.
8. Justin Jefferson: Again not a knock against Jefferson but I believe he will make a better Robin than a batman for a team. I think he plays in the slot at the next level. He has extremely reliable hands. He doesn’t have that elite speed but makes up with it with his athleticism and agility. Problem is that he won’t always work at the next level so he needs to get better with his route running. Separation both off the line and from man coverage could be an issue. I see Jefferson as a go-to guy a favorite type of receiver for a quarterback but not a true #1 in the league. He can still have a long/ productive career with this. I would not reach for him in the first round but if he fell to me mid 2nd I would jump on him.
9. Brandon Aiyuk: The draft is about predicting potential. Aiyuk has enormous potential. But he needs time to mature. He is spectral after the. catch, but will need the right staff to improve his route running. Brandon can run away from man coverage but sometimes doesn’t anticipate the ball in time. He has good hands but gets bumped off his route and needs work. It seems to get open out of nowhere but is sometimes inconsistent catching the ball coming out. An extremely interesting prospect a risk early on but with risk comes reward.
10. Denzel Mims: Maybe the most confusing receiver for me out of the top 10 as the measurables are all there. He has above average size and speed. A starter grade year one by most scouts. He has a huge catch radius and solid body control. Accelerates off the ball and has good deep speed as well. With all that said his route tree needs improving as he seemed to run similar routes against all competition. He is not as good after the catch as others as a lot of the time he spent just running vertically. He. has all the tools to be a quality receiver at the next level but I’d feel more comfortable grabbing him in round two then reaching in round one.
Last year I was really high on Diontae Johnson. Once he got his chance he did not disappoint. He finished his rookie year with 59 Receptions for 680 yards and 5 TDs after struggling to get any playing time early on. There are a few in this year’s class that fit that mold.
Antonio Gandy-Golden: Let’s get past the obvious knocks as he did it against inferior competition. This kid can play. You can tell he. is a hard worker by the change in his hands over a one year period. This kid went from having very average hands to a sure-fire receiver you can count on. That only comes from hours and hours of work. He is good after the catch eluding tacklers. Can go up and highpoint the 50/50 balls so at 6’4 is a very interesting prospect. All of the knocks are basically scouts’ inability to believe that he will not regress to the player he was in 2018. It seems he is almost is being punished for improving. If he is available in round 4 I take him as he has enormous potential to work with.
Tyler Johnson: If this year’s class was not so deep he would not be under the radar but you do not see Johnson in many top 10 available. His critics will say he is not as athletic as maybe two dozen others in the draft. All he seems to do is get better every week, Which is what I want in a draft pick. Here is how I look at him. For what he lacks in Physical skills he makes up for by precise route running and always being at the right place at the right time. Wouldn’t be shocked to see him go earlier than expected due to this.
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