Quentin Johnston

2023 NFL Draft Position Rankings: Wide Receiver

2023 NFL Draft Top Wide Receivers

NFL draft season is nearly upon us. Here are the top 10 wide receivers in this year’s draft class, per Mike Wilson. This list is pre-combine and pre-pro days.

Top 10 Wide Receivers

1. Quentin Johnston, TCU (6’4″ 201 pounds)

You will hear about Johnston a lot heading in to the Draft. The phrases “complete package” and “stud” will be used a lot by the media. Some scouts are comparing him to Julio Jones or A.J. Green as far as WR skill sets go.

“Johnston needs a specific route tree, but will improve in that area at the next level. He will benefit from a more accurate deep-ball quarterback, but still feels more like a good WR2 than a high-volume WR1.” By Lance Zierlein (NFL Analyst)

2. Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Ohio State (6’0″ 197 pounds)

Smith-Njigba is very fast and athletic. He missed most of last season due to injury, but Smith-Njigba will make for a really good slot receiver in the NFL. He’s tough in the middle of the defense and has proven he can make catches in congestion.

“It is impossible to ignore his monster finish to the 2021 season, and he has starting slot potential, but the speed concerns coupled with an injury-plagued 2022 season threaten to negatively impact his draft stock.” By Lance Zierlein (NFL Analyst)

3. Jordan Addison, USC (6’2″ 175 pounds)

Addison is a very athletic WR, who runs exceptional routes. Also, note that Addison is only one year removed from winning the Biletnikoff Award (Nation’s best receiver) with Pitt as a sophomore. Addison transferred to USC before the start of this past season.

“While he can get to the spot effectively, he has trouble consistently winning battles when he has coverage company beside him. While Addison failed to make the same impact he did in 2021, his usage at Pitt might be a better indicator of the type of role and production he could be capable of on the next level.” By Lance Zierlein (NFL Analyst)

4. Jalin Hyatt, Tennessee (6’0″ 185 pounds)

Hyatt was known for big plays in 2022 and he won the Biletnikoff Award. Hyatt had 1,267 receiving yards and 15 TDs in 2022. He had an incredible game vs Alabama, posting 6 receptions for 207 yards and 5 TDs. Hyatt has NFL speed and is considered a vertical threat.

Tennessee wide receiver Jalin Hyatt wins 2022 Biletnikoff Award

“Hyatt is ordinary getting in and out of intermediate breaks and might be best with a limited route tree full of slants, crossers and a series of field-stretching patterns. Hyatt is an instantly credible WR2 with the ability to make a huge impact, but production could be erratic due to the limitations of his game.” By Lance Zierlein (NFL Analyst)

5. Zay Flowers, Boston College (5’10” 180 pounds)

Flowers is a very fast athlete, and he will be one to watch in the 40 times this year. In 2022 Flowers posted 78 receptions for 1,077 receiving yards and 12 TDs for a very bad Boston College team.

“His ball skills will shine brightly at times, but frustrating drops come with the package. Flowers has the skill set to become a valuable playmaker as a pro.” By Lance Zierlein (NFL Analyst)

6. Josh Downs, UNC (5’10” 180 pounds)

Downs is a reception monster. In 2021 he had 101 receptions for 1,335 yards and 8 TDs. He followed that up in 2022 with 94 receptions for 1,029 yards and 11 TDs. Downs could be a dangerous slot receiver in the NFL.

“While his route running is effective and fun to watch, coaches will need him to become more disciplined and efficient in order to maintain the timing of play designs. Downs might not have prototypical size, but he’s well-positioned to keep stacking catches and making plays as a starting NFL slot receiver.” By Lance Zierlein (NFL Analyst)

7. Cedric Tillman, Tennessee (6’3″ 215 pounds)

Tillman missed half of the games during the 2022 season with injuries, but still managed to post 37 receptions for 417 yards and 3 TDs. In 2021 he had 64 receptions for 1,081 yards and 12 TDs.

“He proved he could catch the ball through contact underneath while imposing his size and ball skills on opponents when pulling in the deep ball. He has average speed and needs to play with better explosiveness out of his breaks, as NFL windows will become much tighter on the first two levels.” By Lance Zierlein (NFL Analyst)

8. Jonathan Mingo, Ole Miss (6’2″ 225 pounds)

Mingo had 51 receptions for 861 yards and 5 TDs in 2022.

“Mingo can get tough yards after the catch and is an above-average blocker. He has the skill level and demeanor to become a starting slot receiver for teams using 11 personnel (three WRs) as their base offense.” By Lance Zierlein (NFL Analyst)

9. Kayshon Boutte, LSU (6’0″ 190 pounds)

Boutte didn’t have the best statistical year in 2022 with 48 receptions for 538 yards and 2 TDs.

“He’s talented with the ball in his hands and has playmaking potential if he reverts to his previous form. Boutte could work his way into an eventual WR2/3 role barring any further issues with his right ankle.” By Lance Zierlein (NFL Analyst)

10. Rashee Rice, SMU (6’1″ 189 pounds)

Rice hauled in 96 receptions for 1,355 yards and 10 TDs in 2022.

“In one game you might see terrific ball-tracking and jump-ball victories followed by frustrating drops and a lack of physicality in fighting back on contested catches. The route inefficiencies can be cleaned up, but Rice must play with better consistency and urgency to find long-term NFL reps.” By Lance Zierlein (NFL Analyst)