With 2023 NFL free agency upon us next month, there’s no better time to look ahead to what’s in store as we approach the frenzy. When we look towards the market on offense, the running back position might be the one to focus on but don’t sleep on this year’s wide receiver class. This particular group of pass catchers might not be as strong as other positions like in past years but there are solid names that could upgrade a team in need of offense. 2023 NFL free agency will be a fun ride as we take a look at the top wide receivers available come March 15th.
(Starting on March 13, 2023, teams can legally negotiate with players and agents beginning at 12 p.m. ET)
2023 NFL Free Agency: Top Five Wide Receivers
1. Jakobi Meyers
The New England Patriots took a flyer on Jakobi Meyers as an undrafted free agent in 2019 and that proved to be the right choice. He combined for over 1,000 yards in his first two seasons between 2019 and 2020 while also accumulating over 800 yards and eight touchdowns over the last two seasons. Meyers has shown improvement in almost every way throughout his career in a limited offense that is still trying to figure out who they are. He is now the top wide receiver as we enter 2023 NFL free agency and is expected to get a healthy contract.
2. JuJu Smith-Schuster
For the third time in his career, JuJu Smith-Schuster will yet again hit free agency. In his first season in 2017, he recorded 917 yards with seven touchdowns. He followed that up with a breakout 1,426 yards and seven touchdowns on a career-high 111 catches. Fast forward to the 2022 offseason and he signed a one-year prove-it deal with the Kansas City Chiefs after an injury-riddled 2021. It paid off in a big way as he gathered 933 yards (second-most in his career) with three touchdowns and a Super Bowl win. He’s still only 26 and might not be what he was early in his career but he can be a good WR2 for the 2023 season.
3. Allen Lazard
After trading star wide receiver Davante Adams in the 2022 offseason, Allen Lazard became the Green Bay Packers‘ number one option at the position. Because of that, Lazard set career highs with 100 targets, 60 catches, and 788 yards in 15 games. He also brought in six touchdowns. Lazard’s style goes beyond a typical receiver as he impacts both the passing and rushing game by being one of the best-receiving blockers in the league today. His numbers were a little lower than everyone would’ve liked but he’s a solid receiver that can certainly help a contending team.
4. Darius Slayton
From almost being cut before the start of the 2022 season to becoming the Giants’ number one threat at receiver, Darius Slayton finds himself as one of the top targets as we head toward 2023 NFL free agency. Due to injuries in the New York Giants offense, Slayton was forced to take on the top wide receiver role and he made the most of his opportunities. In the 16 games he played and 11 he started, he mustered 724 yards and two touchdowns. He was the most reliable pass catcher for Daniel Jones as he set career highs in yards per reception (15.7) and catch percentage (64.8). He’s a good option for a team that needs to fill the position.
5. D.J. Chark
D.J. Chark signed a one-year prove-it deal with the Detroit Lions this past season after playing only four games in 2021 for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Like in 2021, injuries got in the way this season for Chark but he made the most of his opportunity when on the field. He only played in 11 games but he caught 30 passes for 502 yards and three touchdowns with over 15 yards per reception. When healthy, Chark showed WR2 flashes in an explosive Detroit offense. The former 1,000-yard receiver in 2019 can still be productive with his deep threat and contested catch ability and will get looks as we head into 2023 NFL free agency.
Other Notable Free Agent Wide Receivers
Odell Beckham Jr.