2022 NFL Draft: Ohio State, SEC pass catchers highlight deep wide receiver class

I am going to come out and say it — the 2022 class of huge receivers is not as spectacular on the high because the Ja’Marr Chase, Jaylen Waddle, Devonta Smith led assortment of pass-catchers within the 2021 draft or the Jerry Jeudy, CeeDee Lamb, Justin Jefferson highlighted contingent we bought the yr earlier than. 

However it’s a deep group of gifted wideouts, lots of whom really feel like Day 2 prospects proper now with Spherical 1 upside in the event that they piece collectively high quality 2021 campaigns. This is a complete preview for the 2022 receiver class.

Chris Olave, Ohio State

Jogs my memory of: Corey Davis
Appears like: Spherical 1 expertise
Trump playing cards: Route-running experience, ball-tracking
Wants to point out higher: YAC capabilities

Olave is that dude to start the season, probably the most NFL-ready, likeliest first-round choice on the receiver spot on this class. Why? As a result of he runs routes like he is been coached by a former professional receiver — oh, wait, he has! — and has produced since his freshman season at Ohio State as a “lowly” three-star recruit. There are many retweetable snags downfield — principally close to the boundary — on his movie too. I simply want to see extra from Olave after the catch to get super-pumped about him as a prospect. 

Garrett Wilson, Ohio State

Jogs my memory of: Jalen Reagor
Appears like: Spherical 1 expertise
Trump playing cards: Suddenness, burst, acrobatic-catch abilities
Wants to point out higher: Route-running crispness, pace

Mash Olave’s route-running mastery and Wilson’s athletic chops collectively, and you’ve got a slam-dunk, no-questions-asked High 10 decide. As somebody who idolized Allen Iverson throughout center faculty, I am keen on Wilson’s “bag” with the ball in his palms and the way he crosses defenders on the line to free himself. However Wilson ought to separate extra often given his bodily items. And I do not understand how really quick he’s in a straight line. 

Treylon Burks, Arkansas

Jogs my memory of: Kenny Britt
Appears like: Late Spherical 1 – Early Spherical 2 expertise
Trump playing cards: Measurement, box-out mastery, above-the-rim play, misleading YAC
Wants to point out higher: Routes, wins on the surface

Stylistically, Burks is a reproduction of Britt on the sector. Their construct, the way in which they run, how they catch, how they leap. It is freaky. Burks is a sneaky athlete for being a towering goal, and he performs to each single inch of his body, which means he is intimidating when the quarterback simply throws it up and says “go get it.” It would not really matter to me, however some groups will not love Burks predominantly aligning within the slot. If he proves he can win in opposition to press and preserve his productiveness on the surface in 2021, he’ll get picked excessive. Burks is a chiseled specimen. 

George Pickens, Georgia

Jogs my memory of: Allen Robinson
Appears like: Spherical 1 – Spherical 2 expertise
How he wins: Separation at his dimension, bounce
Wants to enhance: Power in opposition to bodily corners

Pickens was a considered one of 4 five-star receiver recruits within the class of 2019, and boy does it present on the sector. He is a glossy 6-3 and 200 kilos with trampoline bounce to offer his quarterback a soccer goalie esque catch radius. And Pickens has no concern when needing to totally lengthen to catch the soccer. There’s severe snap in his routes, and the pace ingredient of his recreation is not missing both, though he is not a lightning bolt on the sector. For those who’re capable of pinpoint weaknesses to Pickens’ profile as a receiver, you have got a greater scouting eye than me. 

Jahan Dotson, Penn State

Jogs my memory of: Diontae Johnson
Really feel like: Early Spherical 2 expertise
How he wins: Twitch, shocking catch radius
Wants to enhance: Physicality

Dotson may get drafted by his 2020 Ohio State movie alone. It was that dominant (then once more, I did not suppose very a lot of Shaun Wade, whom Dotson roasted all recreation). Anyway, he is quietly been accumulating stats since his freshman season and has averaged 17.1 yards per seize at Penn State. And he is finished it with principally blah quarterback play the previous two years. Dotson is a contact small, however the NFL is in a small-receiver renaissance, proper? Dotson, a very good, not but nice route runner and does must bulk as much as energy by contact inside the first 5 yards off the road. 

Zay Flowers, Boston School

Jogs my memory of: Curtis Samuel
Appears like: Spherical 2 expertise
The place he wins: After the catch, downfield
Wants to enhance: Physicality on the line, palms in tight areas

It took a good period of time, however then it struck me. Flowers’ motion on the sector bears a hanging resemblance to Samuel. He is equally sized too. And like Samuel at Ohio State, Flowers is an electrical change-of-direction authority after he catches the soccer. It was onerous monitoring a play through which Flowers was complacent in a YAC state of affairs. Love that. There’s severe pace as soon as he explodes by the second stage too, as evidenced by back-to-back years averaging over 15 yards per receptions to begin his Boston School profession. And there is barely any buzz for Flowers heading into the season. I do not know why. He is a significant expertise. 

Drake London, USC 

Jogs my memory of: Brandon Marshall
Appears like: Spherical 2 expertise
How he wins: YAC energy, towering dimension, misleading quicks
Wants to enhance: Velocity

London is a monster truck within the open subject. He opts to run fully by defenders, and has the body and on-field mindset to do it. The budding USC star is listed at 6-foot-5 and 210 kilos. Now I do know what you are considering — how is that type going to work within the NFL? Nicely, if that is all London delivered to the sector, he’d be a restricted prospect. Besides it isn’t. He is one of many smoothest 6-5 receivers I’ve scouted. Significantly. London even moonlighted on the basketball staff in 2019-2020. These motion capabilities — and everyone knows how athletic Division I basketball gamers are — assist London create separation regardless of his tall body, and his steadiness is impeccable. If he is gotten sooner this offseason, London may be the exception to the development within the NFL and be picked early as an outsized wideout within the 2022 draft.

Romeo Doubs, Nevada

Jogs my memory of: Michael Gallup
Appears like: Spherical 2 expertise
How he wins: Downfield juice, assertiveness after the catch, rebounding
Weaknesses: Restricted routes, slender-ish body

Perhaps it is simply me — I had issues discovering clear weaknesses to Doubs’ recreation. There’s suddenness off the ball and positively down the sector. He tracks it naturally, and there’s urgency, wiggle, and a few energy after the catch.

Any knock on him must be centered round dimension and his function. He is somewhat skinny and Nevada makes use of him in a “new-age” display screen or go route kind of function. What’s working in his favor — NFL teams do not want wideouts to have expert-level abilities on 15 totally different routes like they used to for them to be efficient early of their careers. 

Justyn Ross, Clemson

Jogs my memory of: Mike Williams
Appears like: Spherical 2 – Spherical 3 expertise
How he wins: Over you
Wants to enhance: After the catch, burst by his routes

After not taking part in in 2020 on account of a severe neck damage, Ross is an enigma proper now. And I respect his toughness for being prepared to return to the sector. I could not do this. In 2018, Ross was the extra spectacular wideout at Clemson — on a staff with Tee Higgins and Amari Rodgers. He was a circus act with the ball within the air and received down the sector over, and over, and over once more to the tune of 1,000 yards on a mere 46 receptions. Do not hit that calculator app. I bought you. That is 21.7 yards per catch. And he did it as a freshman. In 2019, Ross wasn’t as dominant in rebounding situations, and his lack of burst was evident. Ross is the largest boom-or-bust wideout on this class. He may go within the High 20 or land on Day 3. 

John Metchie III, Alabama

Jogs my memory of: Tylan Wallace
Feels like: Spherical 3 expertise
How he wins: On the vertical route tree, monitoring it with defenders on his again
Wants to enhance: Productiveness after the catch, separation beneath

Metchie did one thing fairly unimaginable final season. He made a reputation for himself on an offense with the Heisman winner and the month of September with Waddle in the identical receiver group. He is a revved sports activities automotive ready for the storage door to open, and though he is solely coming into his third season on the sector, Metchie’s skilled working quite a lot of intricate vertical routes that confuse cornerback-safety communication. I might prefer to see extra suddenness to match his pace as a route runner and as soon as the ball is in his palms. With Smith and Waddle gone, Metchie ought to be the man for Bryce Younger and the Alabama offense this season. 

Ainias Smith, Texas A&M

Jogs my memory of: Isaiah McKenzie
Appears like: Spherical 3 – Spherical 4 expertise
How he wins: With the ball in his palms
Wants to enhance: Route-running sharpness, urgency beneath, monitoring the ball in congested conditions

I am going to admit, I did not see “it” with Smith as a lot as some others. He is enjoyable after the catch, and I like how Texas A&M bought him the soccer as a working again in 2020. However the pace/quickness ingredient of his recreation has to enhance for him to efficiently carry that function into the NFL. As a quite quick, stocky receiver, Smith’s pure catch radius is tiny, and he is got rid of his supposed routes too early. The creativity after the catch made him worthy of this text. 

David Bell, Purdue

Jogs my memory of: Cooper Kupp
Appears like:
Spherical 3 – Spherical 4
How he wins: With a whole recreation, centerfielder-type ball-tracking
Wants to enhance: Energy by contact, after the catch

Bell is not significantly flashy. He isn’t an amazing athlete. He isn’t overly massive or bodily or extremely quick. He simply produces. Type of like Kupp. He went over 1,000 yards as a freshman with seven scores then tacked on eight extra receiving touchdowns in simply six video games final season. If there’s one “trump card” to his recreation — Bell thrives within the physique management/ball monitoring departments down the sector. He appears like a receiver who’ll begin his NFL profession as a WR3 and turn into a high quality No. 2 by his third professional season. | 2022 NFL Draft: Ohio State, SEC cross catchers spotlight deep huge receiver class


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