It’s important that no one gets the idea that the rankings will reflect the NFL draft order. That’s just not how this works. It’s important to take into account several factors like scheme fit, skill set, speed of development, and team situation. With that said, here are the rookie receivers that should make the most significant impact in order. Keep in mind the stay predictions are for a 17-game season which means the numbers will likely be higher than normal.
1. Treylon Burks – Tennessee Titans – drafted out of Arkansas:
It seemed like every Titans fan questioned the trade of AJ Brown and thought the team made a horrible decision overall. However, the schedule fit is undeniable. Burks was compared to Brown, the Titans received several draft picks and reduced their cap space significantly. Burks will easily ascend to the number one receiver on this team and he benefits from Ryan Tannehill at quarterback.
Projected stats: 1,102 receiving yards, 11 touchdowns
2. Christian Watson – Green Bay Packers – North Dakota State
There is so much to get excited about when talking about Watson on the Packers. Talk about a “match made in Heaven”. He’s a tall receiver with great speed and will absolutely burn NFL corners and safeties with relative ease. This receiver has a chance to rack up touchdowns right away especially since Aaron Rodgers loves to throw deep passes.
Projected stats: 1,005 receiving yards, nine touchdowns.
3. Skye Moore- Kansas City Chiefs – Central Michigan
The Chiefs traded Tyreek Hill which was difficult to fathom. However, with several draft picks and the selection of Moore, the Chiefs made it work out just fine. Moore may have the most tools in his kit but he has enough to work out great for Kansas City.
Projected stats: 995 receiving yards, seven touchdowns.
4. Garrett Wilson – New York Jets- Ohio State: Wilson would normally be at the top of the list but with the New York Jets, it’s hard to tell what kind of season Wilson will have. He has the talent to be better than Burks but this team tends to underperform.
Projected stats: 950 receiving yards, seven touchdowns.
5. Drake London- Atlanta Falcons: Southern California: London was a bit of a surprise pick for Atlanta but he could work out well for them. He’s not fast but he’s the strongest receiver of the rookies and will be tough to bring down. He can make catches in traffic and turn small gains into much bigger ones by virtue of being a physical brute.
Projected stats: 950 receiving yards, six touchdowns.
6. Chris Olave- New Orleans Saints – Ohio State: It’s hard to tell why the Saints moved up in the NFL draft to take Olave but they were confident in the decision. Olave is a burner but fellow Ohio State standout Micheal Thomas will get most of the receptions.
Projected stats: 901 receiving yards, six touchdowns
7. Jameson Williams- Detroit Lions- Alabama
Williams was actually the top talent in this draft but suffered a brutal ACL tear in the SEC Championship. Williams has Jared Goff throwing him the ball which isn’t the best overall situation. Barring a sudden outstanding season from Goff, Williams’ stats won’t be all that great.
Projected stats: 750 receiving yards, six touchdowns
Other receivers to watch:
8. Tyquan Thornton- New England Patriots-Baylor
9. John Metchie- Houston Texans Alabama
10. Alec Pierce- Indianapolis Colts- Cincinnati