We’re almost into draft week, this is part 8 of the series and it’s Easter Sunday. What could be better?
Talking about some wide receivers? Ok!
I love this wide receiver class. I think there’s a lot of depth here and a lot of variety amongst the types of receiver on offer so there’s a receiver for everyone in this draft. This is the first time I’ve really had a problem narrowing down a top 5.
1. DK Metcalf, RS Sophomore, Ole Miss, 6’3, 228 lbs
Fits; Raiders, Bills, Jags
Athletic freak of nature. We have all seem the pictures and by all accounts, it’s not photoshopped and it’s not the angle of the shot, D.K Metcalf is legitimately superhuman.
Ideal mixture of size and speed which all NFL team crave at the wide receiver position and also has the innate ability to make really difficult catches look relatively easy.
Let’s not beat around the bush… Metcalf suffered a bad neck injury last year but one thing that tells me he’s absolutely fine is that he declared early; if his neck wasn’t going to check out, he’d have gone back to Ole Miss to prove himself to NFL teams and come out in 2020.
He will need to learn a more diverse route tree than he ran in college but I don’t really blame the player for that; the Ole Miss offense legitimately has around 25 plays and that’s not an exaggeration. So what’s a guy to do? If the play book doesn’t ask much of a player then he’s a slave to that playbook and his coaches.
I feel that Metcalf is going to be a star at the next level and I would have no qualms about spending a top 10 pick on him, if I were a GM.
2. N’Keal Harry, Junior, Arizona State, 6’2, 228 lbs
Fits; Ravens, Raiders, Colts
N’Keal Harry is a pretty polarising prospect for a lot of people but I am a really, really big fan. Detractors will talk about his lack of separation with long speed and about his lack of prowess when releasing off the line. I feel that Harry is quick enough without being a burner and releases can be taught easily by a coach or by working with a veteran team mate.
Harry has insane jump ball ability, he’s slippery to tackle and plays HARD when it comes to being difficult to bring down.
I really like the fight he has in him as it means that Harry has the ability to take a wide receiver screen or a reverse for a big gain. I really like him and his fit with the Ravens and Lamar Jackson for that reason; he could be incorporated into their diverse run game and be another threat for teams to consider as well as Jackson and their running backs.
Harry’s large catch radius would also serve as a friend to QB’s who aren’t the most accurate downfield, such as Lamar.
3. Kelvin Harmon, Junior, N.C. State, 6’2, 221 lbs
Fits; Raiders, Colts, Ravens
Harmon is your big bodied, physical, X wide receiver. He is a sideline magician who can go up and over a defensive back and pluck the ball out of the air, giving the guy guarding him no chance to get to the ball.
Harmon isn’t a burner at all but has enough speed and athleticism to get by but he mainly gets separation by understanding leverages and by being more physical.
I think Harmon projects nicely as a redzone demon and reliable 3rd down receiver at the next level… and who doesn’t want one of those?
4. Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, Oklahoma, Junior, 5’9, 166 lbs
Fits; Ravens, Colts, Cardinals, Browns
2019 really is the year of the big body receivers but Marquise “Hollywood” Brown is the best little guy available this year. At 5’10 and 165lbs his contested catch ability is questionable but so is your QB play and/or play calling if you’re putting him in those situations regularly.
Brown is your speed guy out wide who can take the top off the defense. He also does well in space if you get the ball out to him quickly with blockers in front as he shows great vision as a ball carrier and has high end YAC-ability.
Speed is his best trait, he will really scare DB’s at the NFL level and that could open up opportunities for his team mates so he could do some unheralded work, that goes unnoticed by most.
5. J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, RS Junior, Stanford, 6’2, 225 lbs
Fits; Colts, Patriots, Browns, Cardinals
I’m a HUGE JJAW fan. He uses his body exceptionally well to box out DB’s and bring in catches; a phrase you’ll hear with Arcega-Whiteside quite a lot is “boxing out”, or analysts referring to him as being like an NBA power forward… which is true, he uses his body like he’s 6’6 when in fact he’s only 6’2 he really maximises his aspect of his game; all of which means he’s going to be a red zone monster for someone in the NFL.
Acega-Whiteside isn’t going to be the most athletic guy on the field but he is probably going to be amongst the most savvy and effective.
That effectiveness was shown by the fact he reeled in 14 scores last season for Stanford and had over 1,000 yards. He also scored 9 times the year before too and 5 as a sophomore… alongside that, his yardage grew each year too, which the exactly the kind of growth I like to see.
If we’re talking about a ceiling, I think we could be looking at late first round but more like a second round pick for Arcega-Whiteside.
Sleeper. Myles Boykin, RS Junior, Notre Dame, 6’3 220 lbs
Fits; Pittsburgh, New England
Myles Boykin killed the combine completely. This year is the year of the bigger wide receiver and Boykin is another but he showed at the combine that he’s not only big but very quick and explosive too.
He uses his size and speed to get away from corners and to pluck the ball out if the air but is very much a finesse receiver, he doesn’t get overly physical with those guarding him and it makes me thing he’s a touch soft.
All the ingredients are there as he showed in the combine he just needs to land in a place where he’ll be moulded.