The wait is over. We are finally at the beginning of the 2022-23 College Football season, and with that comes a new wave of storylines and projections to keep an eye on. One of which will always be focusing on the upcoming wide receiver draft class. Here are five draft eligible receivers that could be in a position to break out in 2022.
Five Draft Eligible Receivers That Could Break Out in 2022
Jayden Reed, Michigan State
Jayden Reed already had a breakout season in 2021, with 1,026 yards and ten touchdowns, but there’s no reason to believe that he can’t reach another level in 2022. The pieces are in place for 2021 All-American to light up the Big Ten this season, as more volume will be available with Jalen Nailor going to the NFL, as well as the continued progression of quarterback Payton Thorne. Reed’s got the quickness and the after-the-catch ability to turn any play into an explosive play, and he’ll get plenty of opportunities to do that in 2022.
Parker Washington, Penn State
With Jahan Dotson recently being selected to the Washington Commanders in the first round of the NFL Draft, Parker Washington steps into the role of Penn State’s top receiving weapon. The former four-star recruit had a solid sophomore season, posting 64 receptions for 820 yards and four touchdowns for the Nittany Lions. Washington arguably has some of the best hands in college football and with his role in the offense increasing significantly, he is in a prime position to have a huge year in 2022.
Tyler Harrell, Alabama
Another receiver with blazing speed playing for the Crimson Tide, a shocker, I know. Harrell, a transfer from Louisville, is rumored to run in the mid-4.2s in the 40-yard dash. Pair that up with 2022 Heisman winner Bryce Young, and there’s potential for a lot of fireworks for Tyler Harrell. Alabama’s receiver room still has Jermaine Burton and Ja’Corey Brooks, so Harrell may not see the most volume, but his speed alone will create significant buzz among NFL teams in 2023.
Jadon Haselwood, Arkansas
Another player hoping to benefit from the transfer portal is former Oklahoma receiver, Jadon Haselwood. Haselwood transferred to Arkansas after a very underwhelming 2021 season where he posted 399 yards and six touchdowns. The Georgia native showed flashes of his ability at OU, but couldn’t seem to get it done on a consistent basis.
He now teams up with standout quarterback K.J. Jefferson, to hopefully fill the void left behind with Treylon Burks now being a member of the Tennessee Titans. At 6’3″, 211lbs, he has the ideal size for a boundary receiver, and although the production and consistency haven’t always been there, the talent is there and the opportunity couldn’t be better now as the top target for the Razorbacks.
Ronnie Bell, Michigan
An unfortunate season-ending injury in the first game of the 2021 college football season put the Ronnie Bell breakout on hold, but he’s back healthy and could once again be ready to explode. Bell only caught one pass last season before his injury, however that pass turned out to be a 76-yard touchdown against Western Michigan. The Kansas City native’s best season came in 2019, totaling 48 receptions for 758 yards.
When healthy, Bell offers a very well-rounded skill set, with the ability to run crisp routes and make plays in the short game, but also has the speed and explosiveness to take the top off a defense. Along with the impact he can make on offense, he also has value as a punt returner. Bell could be in line for the breakout season Michigan fans have been waiting for if he can stay healthy.