With the 2017 NFL Draft only two months away, it’s time to continue our position-by-position look at the upcoming draft class. Today, we turn back to the offense and take a look at the wide receiver class.
Rankings are subject to change based on player workout numbers and injury updates this spring, but for these early rankings, I go solely off of the film grade.
When evaluating players, I use an 12-trait system with certain traits weighted more than others depending on the position. The scoring adds up to 100 possible points. I also watch a minimum of four games per-player before assigning a player grade.
The Packers may not be in the market for a top-tier receiver this spring, but they could find a valuable offensive weapon in the middle rounds.
The 2017 wide receiver class is headlined by two talented boundary wideouts, Clemson’s Mike Williams and Western Michigan’s Corey Davis. Both players bring a unique skill sets to the table, and either player could make a strong case for being the first receiver off the board on draft day.
John Ross is another dynamic player at the position, who could also go in the first round. The former Washington Husky’s blazing speed and ability to create separation in the open field make him a legitimate downfield threat.
Outside the top three guys, there are several players who could make a case for Day 2 of the draft. Carlos Henderson is one of the most explosive playmakers of the group, while JuJu Smith-Schuster offers consistent production and post-up ability as a big bodied receiver.
Isaiah Ford, Curtis Samuel, Taywan Taylor, and Malachi Dupre could all go in the early rounds if they test well at the NFL Combine. In fact, the second tier of receivers appears to be very deep at the moment, but this group will most likely get sorted out once players testing numbers come in after the combine and pro days.
Zay Jones and Cooper Kupp are two guys currently getting a lot of love in the draft community, especially after strong Senior Bowl performances. However, overall, I was a little disappointed with their film. They’re both big slot receivers who got a lot of manufactured touches in college, while also playing against subpar competition.
They show average speed and athleticism and at times struggled to separate against man coverage, particularly Kupp, who some project as a top-five wideout. However, I just don’t see it. I see both Jones and Kupp as solid mid-round prospects with limited ceilings at the next level.
Overall, this is a very solid receiver class. Let’s take a look at which ten players at the position received the highest film grades.
Most Underrated WR: Taywan Taylor
Most Difficult WR to Project: Curtis Samuel
WR that needs Further Evaluation: Malachi Dupre