NFL Draft Wide Receiver Rankings 2021: From The College Perspective

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Draft Wide Receiver Rankings 2021: From The College Perspective

2021 NFL Draft

NFL Draft Wide Receiver Rankings 2021: From The College Perspective


Who are the wide receivers who’ll matter in the 2021 NFL Draft, and what’s the college perspective on all of the top prospects?

2021 NFL Draft Wide Receiver Rankings

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You want a wasteland position for top draft picks?

Quarterback is traditionally bad, but wide receiver is right up there …

But not this year (hopefully).

Jerry Jeudy should be fine, and Henry Ruggs will have his moments, but did they light it up in their respective rookie years? Sort of, but not really.

Justin Jefferson was fantastic, CeeDee Lamb appears to be a keeper, and Chase Claypool was outstanding for stretches, but historically you’re just as likely to get an ultra-productive receiver later on than you are in the first 15 picks.

Two words: John Ross.

However, last year’s class of receivers really was solid, and this one appears to be even stronger. From the college perspective, the top wide receivers in the 2021 NFL Draft are …

CFN 2021 NFL Draft Team Thoughts
AFC East Buffalo | Miami | NY Jets | New England
AFC North Baltimore | Cincinnati | Cleveland | Pitt
AFC South Houston | Indy | Jacksonville | Tenn
AFC West Denver | KC | Las Vegas | LA Chargers
NFC East Dallas | NY Giants | Phil | Washington
NFC North Chicago | Detroit | Green BayMinn
NFC South Atlanta | Carolina | New Orleans | TB
NFC West Arizona | LA Rams | San Fran | Seattle

15. Marquez Stevenson, Houston

Size: 5-10, 182

The Good: The speed is there and the production on the deep plays will follow. He might not do everything you’d want at the next level, but he’s got the 4.4 wheels, he’s great after the catch, and he can be used as a return man, too. When he was healthy he was devastating, but …

The Not-So-Good: Can the guy stay in one piece? He was always hurt and he’s not built to take too much of a pounding. As is he’s not a full route tree guy at the next level, and the last thing you’ll want is to send him over the middle on a regular basis, but …

NFL Draft College Perspective Thought: There are plenty of fast, dangerous targets in this draft with a bigger upside who’ll do more for an attack, but as a No. 3 guy who can hit the three-run home run every once in a while he’s a nice Day 3 value get.

Projected Round: Fourth

14. Amon-Ra St. Brown, USC

Size: 6-0, 197

The Good: A superstar high school prospect, he was versatile and occasionally dominant with 178 catches for 2,270 yards and 16 touchdowns in his three seasons. He’s got an elusive style that makes him look the part – the guy is fluid on the move with little wasted motion. He’s a strong route runner who can work inside and out with No. 1 target capabilities when he’s in a groove, but …

The Not-So-Good: Something’s missing. He’s not slow, but he’s not a blazer. He’s not small, but he’s not all that physical. There isn’t any one thing he does at an NFL level that can absolutely guarantee him a role if everything else isn’t working – he’s not really a home run hitter and he’s not going to outmuscle anyone for the ball. However …

NFL Draft College Perspective Thought: He’s got the basic skills to find a longtime role as a solid target with a few big games here and there. He made a whole lot of plays at USC, and there were moments of greatness, but at the next level he’ll be a good part of a solid passing game even if he’s not a No. 1.

Projected Round: Third

13. Amari Rodgers, Clemson

Size: 5-10, 212

The Good: And interesting type of NFL receiver, he’s built more like a running back and can be used in a whole slew of ways. The speed is fine, and the quickness is there to get the ball in his hands on the move and make something big happen. When it was time to step up last year, he did, catching 77 passes for 1,020 yards and seven scores, but …

The Not-So-Good: He’s too inconsistent. Drops are a bit of a problem, he’s not really a deep threat, and he only had three 100-yard games last season. He’s more of a possession target at the next level who has to make things happen after the catch, but he’s never going to have the big play average if he’s not doing big things on the move.

NFL Draft College Perspective Thought: There’s value as a punt returner and, potentially, as a jack-of-all-trades weapon who an offensive coordinator is going to love. While he might not fit the typical NFL receiver mold, he’s tough, has the heart to keep competing even when he’s not the focus of the attack, and he’ll find a steady role early on.

Projected Round: Third

12. Dyami Brown, North Carolina

Size: 6-0, 195

The Good: The guy knows how to make big plays. He’s not terribly fast, but he averaged over 20 yards per catch over his last two seasons with 20 touchdowns. Get him the ball on the move and he makes something happen, he’ll fight for things down the field, and he works himself open. Some will focus a bit on his 4.46 40 and think he’s a bit slower – he plays fast.

The Not-So-Good: This is all probably correctible, but he didn’t really work as a full route receiver at North Carolina. He wasn’t a one-trick deep threat, but he’s not reliable enough to make every catch and he’s not really a No. 1 type of talent in terms of all-around NFL receiving skills. However …

NFL Draft College Perspective Thought: He does what he does and he does it very, very well. He’ll break your heart with the occasional drop, and then he’ll come up with a 45-yard play on third down. Others are probably going to like Dazz Newsome more out of the Tar Heel receiving corps, but Brown has the bigger upside as a consistent starter.

Projected Round: Third

11. Tamorrion Terry, Florida State

Size: 6-3, 207

The Good: You want your blend of size, speed, and the willingness to bring a pop? Here you go. He wasn’t able to do too much last year – no one on FSU was – but he’s a big play weapon who should thrive as a No. 3 option who’ll come up with the occasional 52-yard touchdown play. He’s got 4.4 wheels to go along with the size and should feast when he’s allowed to find space down the field.

The Not-So-Good: He’s not necessarily going to be for everyone. While he’ll go over the middle, he’s not going to be a volume catcher who does everything you’d want. A knee problem that limited him throughout last season is a concern, and it’s going to matter if he doesn’t have that one extra gear.

NFL Draft College Perspective Thought: Florida State might be struggling lately, but it knows how to crank out guys who look the NFL part. Home run hitters with size and toughness will always find a home, even if he’s not going to be your No. 1 target.

Projected Round: Fourth

NEXT: 2021 NFL Draft Wide Receiver Rankings Top Ten


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