NFL Draft: Breaking Down the Top Wide Receiver Prospects

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Oklahoma Sooners wide receiver Jalen Saunders (8) runs the ball as Kansas State Wildcats defensive back Dante Barnett (22). Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports


22. Jalen Saunders, Oklahoma: 5-9, 165 (4.44)

Saunders is an explosive athlete who will make his living in the slot at the next level. Saunders is dangerous with the ball in his hands in the open field and has the quickness to make defenders miss.

Even as a smaller receiver, Saunders still needs to bulk up to compete in the NFL. He may struggle in press coverage and will have difficulty making contested catches.

With some time to grow, Saunders could develop into a dangerous offensive weapon in the NFL.

(Draft Projection: Round 5)

UCLA Bruins wide receiver Shaquelle Evans (1). Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

23. Shaq Evans, UCLA: 6-1, 213 (4.46)

Because of the depth at receiver in this draft, Evans is one player getting overlooked. Evans has a good combination of size and speed and can line up on the outside or in the slot.

Evans is great at making tough, contested catches in coverage and is a fluid route runner who makes most of his living underneath coverage as a short-to-intermediate receiving option.

Evans lacks the burst to be a legitimate downfield threat and struggles with the occasional drop, but overall, Evans is a solid receiver who could offer great value in a middle round of the draft.

(Draft Projection: Round 5)

Wake Forest Demon Deacons wide receiver Michael Campanaro (3) runs after catching a pass. Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

24. Michael Campanaro, Wake Forst: 5-9, 192 (4.46)

Campanaro did it all in Wake Forest’s offense. He’s a tremendous slot receiver and reminds many scouts of Wes Welker. Campanaro is a great route runner and he’s an explosive athlete, running a 4.46 forty, posting a 39-inch vert, and 122-inch broad jump at the NFL Combine.

Many will overlook Campanaro because of his smaller stature, but the former Demon Deacon offers any offense that drafts him a utility player that can do a lot on the field with the ball in his hands.

Campanaro also offers some value on special teams as a dynamic returner.

(Draft Projection: Round 5)

Brigham Young Cougars wide receiver Cody Hoffman (2) is tackled by San Diego State Aztecs defensive back Nat Berhe (right). Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

25. Cody Hoffman, BYU: 6-4, 223 (4.65)

Hoffman has great size, but only marginal speed as a wideout. He struggles to create separation because he’s not quick in and out of his breaks.

Hoffman does possess good hands and can make the tough catches in traffic you like in a receiver going over the middle of the field. Hoffman has some physical limitations, but he has enough upside to make him an intriguing late-round pick come draft day.

(Draft Projection: Rounds 5-6)

Other Late-Round Prospects:

26. T.J. Jones, Notre Dame: 6-0, 188 (4.48)

Draft Projection: Rounds 5-6

27. Jeff Janis, Saginaw Valley: 6-3, 218 (4.42)

Draft Projection: Round 6

28. Robert Herron, Wyoming: 5-9, 193 (4.48)

Draft Projection: Round 6

29. Matt Hazel, Coastal Carolina: 6-1, 198 (4.50)

Draft Projection: Round 7

30. Ryan Grant, Tulane: 6-0, 199 (4.64)

Draft Projection: Round 7