2021 NFL Draft Wide Receiver Rankings Top Ten
10. Sage Surratt, Wake Forest
Size: 6-3, 215
The Good: The guy always produced. He sat out last season, but in 2019 he caught 66 passes for 1,001 yards and 11 touchdowns by getting physical, winning the battles deep, and simply being a good enough wide receiver to find his way open. He’s got the bulk and skills that you want, and the upside is there to be deadly in the red zone with his ability to muscle out his man. You know the term catching radius? Yeah, that’s Surratt. Throw it near him and he’ll get it.
The Not-So-Good: Slowwwwwwww. He plays faster than his 4.69ish speed, and he was able to make deep plays happen, but he’ll get erased at times by the lighting fast corners he can’t get past. He doesn’t have the all-around game to be a No. 1 guy, but …
NFL Draft College Perspective Thought: Take him as soon as you can after the second round and don’t ask questions. Quarterbacks will love him because he’ll make them look great – again, throw it in his general zip code and he’ll get it. He can be a terrific go-to option as a No. 3 or maybe a 2 as long as he’s surrounded by speedy other targets – Houston or Las Vegas would be perfect for him.
Projected Round: Fourth
9. Rashod Bateman, Minnesota
Size: 6-0. 190
The Good: Well hello, 4.39. Pro Day stats are always taken with a few grains of salt, but fast is fast no matter what if you’re ever under the 4.4 mark. Ultra-productive in his first two seasons, he ripped it up with over 20 yards per catch and 11 scores in 2019 before playing a smaller role in the strange 2020 campaign. He’s got the deep ball ability, he’ll run every route, and he makes a whole lot of big grabs. However …
The Not-So-Good: He’s not likely a take-over-the-game type of NFL receiver. He’s not just a deep threat, and he’ll do everything asked, but he’s not going to be that No. 1 guy who becomes a household star. He’ll get shoved around a bit and he’ll need a little help from the other receivers taking away the top corner assignment, but …
NFL Draft College Perspective Thought: Here’s your rock-solid No. 2 receiver. He’d work wonders with a DeAndre Hopkins as the main man or for the Saints if Michael Thomas gets back his mojo. He’s a good all-around receiver who’ll have big games here and there – think a poor man’s Calvin Ridley.
Projected Round: Second
8. Kadarius Toney, Florida
Size: 5-11, 189
The Good: Now that’s what everyone was waiting for. A great recruit for the Gators, he didn’t do much in his first three years and then it all came together with an explosive 2020 catching 70 passes with ten scores. Ultra-quick, he can be used as a runner, he starts and stops on a dime, and any he can fly with a sub-4.4 40.
The Not-So-Good: So which is it? Is he the guy who lit up everyone – including Alabama – over the back half of last year, or is he the guy who was just okay over his first three years and solid-not-really-sensational over the first half of 2020? Granted, injuries were a part of the problem early in his career, but will that be a problem going forward?
NFL Draft College Perspective Thought: He’s a different sort of prospect in this draft. The quickness, speed and explosion are second to only Rondale Moore among the top guys, and he’s got the ability and upside to be a gamewrecker in the right offense. There’s a wee bit of a concern that he really only rocked for about six weeks, but the skill set will put him somewhere in the top 40 picks.
Projected Round: First
7. Tylan Wallace, Oklahoma State
Size: 5-11, 193
The Good: When he was on, he was unstoppable. Amazing as a sophomore, he averaged over 17 yards per catch with 12 scores with close to 1,500 yards, and he bounced back from a knee injury to keep it all going. While he might not have otherworldly wheels, he makes himself open down the field, tracks the ball well, and always seems to come up with the catch even if he’s not all that physical.
The Not-So-Good: He’s hardly slow, but he’s more of a 4.5ish guy without the bulk to do a whole lot across the middle. The otherworldly quickness isn’t quite there and he doesn’t have the size to be the bear he’d like to be against NFL corners. However …
NFL Draft College Perspective Thought: Don’t be shocked if he becomes someone’s No. 1 target. He’s got the feisty the-ball-is-MINE type of game and won’t be scared to do anything needed. He’s smooth as glass, will go after the tough play, and will make up for his shortcomings with his attitude. However, while he has elite NFL wide receiver talent, he might be missing the elite NFL wide receiver tools.
Projected Round: Third
6. Terrace Marshall, LSU
Size: 6-4, 200
The Good: If it’s possible to catch 23 touchdown passes over the last two years and average 15 yards per grab for a career and still be relatively unnoticed, Marshall did it. He’s really big, he’s got 4.4 speed, and he knows how to use all of his tools. With Joe Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson gone, he still put up 48 catches for 731 yards and ten scores last year, but …
The Not-So-Good: He played like a guy who wanted to be in the NFL. To be fair, he was one of the last guys at the party from the 2019 team, and he did opt out late to prepare for the next level, but there are going to be some dings on his lack of consistency last season even with the great numbers.
NFL Draft College Perspective Thought: Everything is there to be a superstar at the next level. He’s got the tools to be exactly what you want in a potential No. 1 target, and don’t be shocked if he thrives in a starring role even more than he did at times last year. He might slip a wee bit in a loaded receiver class, but he’ll be a strong value get after the top 25 picks.
Projected Round: Second