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Ranking 20 wide receivers in the 2020 NFL Draft

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Who will the Eagles pick?

NCAA Football: Arkansas-Pine Bluff at Texas Christian Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

After watching quite a lot of the receivers for the past couple of months, I thought I would get my rankings up here on the site! A few points before we get to them though...

  • The rankings are strictly from an Eagles perspective. Therefore, I am prioritizing speed and explosiveness and if I outlined why here.
  • When making these rankings, I am assuming the Eagles starting trio are currently the following: JJAW at X, DeSean Jackson at Z and Greg Ward in the slot. I am still of the belief Alshon Jeffery will not be here and, even if he is, I am not sure how much he will contribute anyway.
  • I am not going to write a scouting report for each one. You know about these guys by now.
  • I have studied all 20 of these receivers. These are the only receivers I have watched this year. So this is not really my top 20 as these are the only ones I have watched! I refuse to rank guys that I have not personally watched.
  • Lastly, a ton of this is philosophical preference. It is fun to debate these prospects, but I have someone lower than you it doesn’t mean I ‘hate’ him or think he is bad. We just might not see eye-to-eye on his value for the Eagles. That’s what make it fun!

Let’s get to the rankings...

1. Jerry Jeudy

Transition & fit with the Eagles: Jeudy can fit any NFL offense and would play multiple positions on day 1 with the Eagles. He could play the ‘X’ as he can get off press but he can also be used as a ‘Z’ or the slot receiver where his route running would be effective.

Where would I draft him: He’s a top 10 prospect I would be happy if the Eagles traded up for him.

2. CeeDee Lamb

Transition & fit with the Eagles: Similar to Jeudy, would play multiple positions for the Eagles but may be best at ‘Z’ to give him time to develop his release v. press. Guys like Jeudy and Lamb are so talented you don’t really worry about scheme fit, they can do it all.

Where would I draft him: Again, same as Jeudy, he’s a top 10 prospect so I would be happy if the Eagles traded up for him.

3. Henry Ruggs III

Transition & fit with the Eagles: Line him up at the ‘Z’ position behind DeSean Jacskon and use him sporadically on shot plays. He would also thrive in a ‘reduced’ split in 12 personnel where he has the ability to go either way and can’t be forced to the sideline. Can also put him in the slot and get him some manufactured touches on screens, drags, slants etc. The thought of him and DeSean on the field is mouth-watering.

Where would I draft him: He would be worth trading up for just like the two above. He may never be an ‘X’ but he would provide the Eagles with a much needed explosive element.

4. Brandon Aiyuk

Transition & fit with the Eagles: I’m in the minority here but I think Aiyuk has the potential to be a very good outside receiver in the NFL. He lined up at ‘X’ in college a lot and I believe his route running is good enough for him to win there in the NFL too. He would probably be best suited to starting at ‘Z’ while he develops his release against press. He can be used on vertical routes as he is explosive enough to get on top of cornerbacks and he also excel on shorter routes from a reduced split/in the slot as he is fantastic at getting yards after the catch.

Where would I draft him: I would take him at 21 without hesitation. I love his game and I think he brings exactly what his offense needs.

5. Tee Higgins

Transition & fit with the Eagles: Start him at ‘X’ and let him play the Alshon Jeffery role by using him on back shoulder throws, comebacks, deep outs etc. He would struggle slightly year 1 with very good press corners but I think but he will still create big plays here and there and force the coverage to back off which will help open up the intermediate areas for others. If he really struggles, move him to ‘Z’ when DeSean is in the slot (or injured). Higgins is a big play threat wherever he lines up for the Eagles, I believe he will go early as he is one of the few receivers in this class who can win in a plus split (outside the numbers).

Where would I draft him: I would take him at 21. I understand the concerns over the athletic testing (he would be WR4 without them) but I’m willing to bank on the tape here.

6. Denzel Mims

Transition & fit with the Eagles: See above... I see Mims as pretty much an identical fit in this offense as Higgins would be. I think he might struggle more with press slightly more than Higgins but I would put him at ‘X’ and let him develop. I have him below Higgins slightly due to Higgins’ freakish catch radius.

Where would I draft him: I would take him at 21. His tape isn’t worthy of this pick (in my opinion) but his athletic testing, work at the senior bowl and upside means he is worth the shot here. Athletic freaks who can defeat press coverage don’t last long so good luck trading down and getting him.

7. Jalen Reagor

Transition & fit with the Eagles: Reagor spent a lot of time last season at the ‘Z’ position and he would be a lovely fit with the Eagles there. He could be used similarly to DeSean and can also be moved to the slot seamlessly. His route running is good enough to beat man coverage but he can also be used on manufactured touches (screens, drags, jet sweeps) just to get the ball in his hands as he is such a threat.

Where would I draft him: I wouldn’t be upset with him at 21, but I think there is a good chance he falls out the 1st round so I would try to trade back and take him a few spots later.

8. Justin Jefferson

Transition & fit with the Eagles: He would excel as a big slot with the Eagles. He would become another big target for Wentz in the middle of the field on deep digs and outs as well as using his height on slot fade routes too. He could also line up in 12 personnel in a reduced split. He could play as a movement ‘Z’ at times so he avoids press but I would rather just see him excel in the slot.

Where would I draft him: I wouldn’t take him in the 1st round due to the fact the Eagles have a lot of players who win in the intermediate area of the field and he doesn’t provide a vertical or explosive threat. This is not a knock on Jefferson but more a philosophical opinion of mine on what the Eagles need at the receiver position. I would be very happy with him in the 2nd round though.

9. Michael Pittman

Transition & fit with the Eagles: Pittman is a fascinating prospect. He is not as explosive as Higgins or Mims and would not therefore create as many big plays but I believe he can line up as the Eagles ‘X’ and take on press coverage as he has the size and the strength. He didn’t exclusively play the ‘X’ in college and lined up on the left hand side a lot so he might take some time to develop his skills as he moves around the field. I also think he fits the profile of a big slot if he lacks the speed to win vertically on the outside.

Where would I draft him: I would take him in the 2nd round.

10. Lavisha Shenault

Transition & fit with the Eagles: Shenault has the athletic ability to line up at ‘X’, ‘Z’ or in the slot. He is a freakish athlete but has a ton to learn, especially when it comes to route running. I could easily see him busting if you ask him to play outside straight away, so I would use him in the slot/in the backfield and get him touches where he can try to create explosive plays. If he develops his route running he could transition to ‘Z’ and if he really develops well maybe even ‘X’.

Where would I draft him: The tape combined with the injury history means he should be a 3rd round player, but I can’t ignore the athletic ability so I would take a risk in the 2nd.

11. KJ Hamler

Transition & fit with the Eagles: I see Hamler strictly as a slot receiver at the next level. I don’t think he has the strength, size or ball tracking ability to line up on the outside and win vertically. I think he would have to be used on screens, option routes, jet sweeps etc. I don’t believe he will be the next DeSean Jackson, to be honest I could easily see him being the next Tavon Austin as he also may struggle to catch the ball in the middle of the field due to his poor hands, lack of toughness and size. He was a tough evaluation for me, I wanted to love him more due to the speed and explosiveness but I just couldn’t.

Where would I draft him: 3rd round. Too risky to take any higher.

12. Van Jefferson

Transition & fit with the Eagles: One of the best route runners on tape, Jefferson could start at ‘Z’ or in the slot from day one and be a reliable target for Wentz. Similar to Justin Jefferson, however, Van Jefferson’s issue is his lack of explosiveness and ability to create yards after the catch. Unlike Justin Jefferson though, Van Jefferson has failed to produce good numbers at the college level. I am unsure he could defeat press coverage due to his lack of vertical threat and size and strength but I think he’s an excellent fit at ‘Z’ as he will separate at the stem of his route consistently.

Where would I draft him: The route running shows a day 2 prospect, the lack of upside makes me think day 3. I’d consider him in the 3rd round but would ideally love him at the top of the 4th.

13. Devin Duvernay

Transition & fit with the Eagles: Explosive in a straight line but he struggles big time getting in and out of his breaks. That is not a usual report for a slot receiver, but I do think that is where Duvernay would fit with the Eagles. He has a ton of work to do on his route running if he wants to play outside. His stiffness means he will struggle to separate from the slot too but he is worth a shot due to his explosive speed. He can be used on shot plays and screens from day 1 and will create some big plays.

Where would I draft him: 4th round.

14. Bryan Edwards

Transition & fit with the Eagles: Edwards is a super competitive player which I love but the tape is harder to love. This is not entirely his fault, 36 out of his 71 catches last year were screen passes from the slot. I do not believe that Edwards has the quickness or the vertical ability to be able to survive on the outside so I would rather see him as a big slot where the Eagles can scheme him open at times. He lacks a vertical element but does make some outstanding catches.

Where would I draft him: 4th round.

15. John Hightower

Transition & fit with the Eagles: Hightower fits as a movement ‘Z’ who will need a lot of room to function. The athletic testing and the stats show an explosive player but you rarely get to see it on tape. He is bullied by corners at times and cannot play through contact. I would put him outside and try to scheme him open using motion and let him stretch the field on shot plays. I don’t see him as much more than a WR4/5 until he develops his route running.

Where would I draft him: 4th round. The tape shows a worse player but the explosive speed and production means he is worth a game.

16. KJ Hill

Transition & fit with the Eagles: Hill could step in and start with the Eagles in the slot immediately. He runs crisp, clean routes and is a move-the-chains type of receiver that you want in the slot on 3rd and 4. He needs a free release due to his lack of athleticism and you would not him lined up outside at all. He is a high floor, low ceiling prospect who could start early but will never provide a big play threat.

Where would I draft him: Late 4th/early 5th round.

17. James Proche

Transition & fit with the Eagles: Another chain mover, Proche would fit in the slot with the Eagles as a reliable option immediately. He has outstanding hands and does not need a ton of separate to be open due to this. He struggles to play through contact and his route running is not great so he would fit best in the slot where he can be schemed open as frequently as possible.

Where would I draft him: 5th round.

18. Jeff Thomas

Transition & fit with the Eagles: Thomas is an interesting prospect as he has an explosive element to his game. Similar to Hightower in many ways, Thomas is an explosive athlete with the ability to create big plays in the passing game at the ‘Z’ position where he can be used on shot plays early on while his route running develops. He likely never becomes anything more than this but he is worth a flier late due to his upside.

Where would I draft him: 5th round.

19. Donovan Peoples-Jones

Transition & fit with the Eagles: Some people really like his tape, I just didn’t see it. Great athlete off the field but doesn’t look it on the field. He has the size and testing to play outside but I just don’t see it on tape. He is so slow off the line of scrimmage he is an easy target to press he will struggle to separate on the outside because he does not threaten vertically at all. He fits as a part time big slot receiver in my opinion who can you use in the red zone on fades where he uses his size well. I don’t see him becoming a full time starter anywhere.

Where would I draft him: 5th round.

20. Jauan Jennings

Transition & fit with the Eagles: Jennings is yet another receiver who doesn’t have the quickness or vertical element to survive on the outside. He projects as a big slot receiver who can use his body to box out defenders and make tough grabs over the middle. Similarly to Peoples-Jones, I see him as a part time big slot receiver who can be used in the red zone a lot. I don’t see him developing into a full time starter due to his lack of explosiveness and quickness off the line of scrimmage.

Where would I draft him: 5th round.

To finish, here is a list of my top 20 and where I would draft them. Let me know what you think!