It seems that more than ever now, receivers are more talented than ever and that the youngest are among the best. This Class of 2024 is no different. From top to bottom, there’s great depth in this year’s draft. That reigns true for a few positions, in particular, especially the wide receivers. Here’s why this year’s NFL receiver class may be one of the best ever.
2024’s NFL Draft Receiver Class May Be One of the Best Ever
Marvin Harrison Jr
In PFF’s big board, 13 receivers are currently ranked in the top 55 prospects.
At the top of the wide receiver board is none other than Marvin Harrison Jr. The son of hall of famer Marvin Harrison has so far lived up to his father’s legacy and more. He’s been the Ohio State Buckeyes’ No. 1 weapon for two years straight now, racking up at least 1,200 yards and 14 touchdowns in his sophomore and junior campaigns. When combining his on-field production with his large frame and ability to play up to competition, he becomes a guaranteed top-five pick, even in a stacked quarterback class.
Malik Nabers and Rome Odunze
In a slightly lower tier, we have bonafide future No. 1 receivers in both Malik Nabers and Rome Odunze. Nabers led the entire NCAA in PFF’s receiving grades with a 93.1. He enjoyed an extravagant season as the Heisman winner’s No. 1 receiver, racking up over 1,500 yards with an average of 17.6 yards per catch. While playing SEC competition, Nabers had at least 100 yards seven different times last season.
Odunze had an even better season statistically with 1,640 yards and a nearly identical yards per catch. He has a fantastic blend of strength and hands that could make him the second receiver to go off the board. Both Odunze and Nabers have great speed and figure to be elite deep threats in the NFL for years to come. Neither should fall out of the top 10.
Featured in the next tier are real playmakers with fantastic upside as an immediate WR2.
Brian Thomas Jr
First up, we have Brian Thomas Jr. The Tigers’ No. 2 receiver has an identical frame to Marvin Harrison Jr. and is even faster than him. While leading LSU in receiving touchdowns with 17, he showcased his big play ability with his massive catch radius.
Next, we have Troy Franklin from Oregon. He’s been Bo Nix’s top target for these past two years and has shown plenty of evidence as to why. With a projected 40-yard ash time of under 4.4 seconds, Franklin easily finds himself behind opposing secondaries. He gained nearly 1,400 yards this year while playing both in the slot and on the outside.
Succeeding Franklin are the two most physical receivers projected to go first round. After transferring to Florida State from Michigan State, Keon Coleman has nearly cemented his stock as a first-rounder. Coleman put on a show against LSU in week 0, making highlight catch after highlight catch. Although he didn’t blow up the stat sheet, he has elite size, great ball skills and an underrated twitch for someone at his height.
A similar receiver to Coleman is South Carolina’s Xavier Legette. At 6’3 and 227 pounds, the big-bodied Legette thrives at making catches in traffic while boasting surprising deep speed. He came on late in his career after a quiet first couple of years. As Spencer Rattler’s best target, he posted 1,255 yards. With insane measurables, he should be a huge beneficiary from the NFL Combine.
The rest of the class
All receivers listed from Thomas Jr. to Legette are legit first-round prospects. As of late January, it would be surprising to see even one of these drop out of the top 32 picks.
That makes seven nearly guaranteed first-round receivers. That’s far from where the talent ends, however. Sitting on the border of the first round are talents such as Adonai Mitchell, Xavier Worthy and Devontez Walker. With a solid draft process, any of these guys could catapult their stocks into the first round.
However, even outside of the first round, there’s still solid talent. Middle to late-round steals in this wide receiver class could include Ja’Lynn Polk, Jalen McMillan, Ricky Pearsall, Johnny Wilson and Brendan Rice. These players could all become solid contributors to their team.
Regardless of where your team is drafting at, there’s great value to be had at the wide receiver position. With the tremendous amount of talent just in the first round, this wide receiver class could be like nothing we’ve seen before.
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