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Underrated wide receivers in the 2021 NFL Draft: Part 1

Looking beyond the potential top targets.

SEC Championship - Alabama v Florida Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

With rumours swirling that the Eagles could be targeting a quarterback at the top of the draft, reasonable fans will ask “what about the rest of the offense?” While the need for a new signal-caller is debatable, there is no doubt the team needs to overhaul the offensive skill player talent and add some difference makers to the offense. Luckily for the Eagles, this class is deep with wide receivers who could help the team, even if they’re not a top 15 pick. While we have rightfully been discussing Ja’Marr Chase, Jaylen Waddle, DeVonta Smith, and Kyle Pitts; there are many receivers in this class who could make an impact early in their careers. This is the first in a two-part series on the many options this class has to offer. (This is NOT a player ranking.)

Kadarius Toney, Florida

Kyle Pitts was the star of the show at Florida, but Kadarius Toney is as electric a player as there is in this class. Toney is a dangerous player with the ball in his hands and he can make big plays out of nothing. While his hands and routes are not refined, his ability to turn short passes into big plays will make him an offensive asset in his career.

Low-end comparison: Josh Huff

High-end comparison: Randall Cobb

Rashod Bateman, Minnesota

Rashod Bateman has been a playmaker for Minnesota and while he isn’t a freak athlete, he wins every rep with great technique and physicality. Bateman’s lack of “wow” traits is going to push him out of the top 20 in the draft, but the team that drafts him will get a dependable target with the potential to be the top threat in an offense.

Low-end comparison: Van Jefferson

High-end comparison: DeVante Parker

Rondale Moore, Purdue

If Rondale Moore had a healthier college career, he would probably be a lock for a high first-round pick. Between an injury-shortened sophomore season and the Big 10’s Covid Adjusted season shortening his junior year, we really don’t have a lot of tape on Moore. What we do have, is glimpses of a highly athletic player who is electric every time he touches the ball. Durability is Moore’s biggest concern because otherwise, he is home run waiting to happen.

Low-end comparison: Tavon Austin

High-end comparison: Tyreek Hill

Texas Tech v Oklahoma State Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images

Tylan Wallace, Oklahoma State

A year ago, many people would have called Tylan Wallace a first-round hopeful. However, a less productive 2020 season has caused Wallace to fall out of favor with the draft cycle. Wallace does a great job attacking the football which means you can target him anywhere on the field. While he won’t run sub 4.4, he can make big plays down the field. Wallace is bound to outplay his draft spot.

Low-end comparison: Allen Hurns

High-end comparison: Michael Gallup

Seth Williams, Auburn

Seth Williams is a physical, well-built receiver who can win every match up with his strength and ball skills. Auburn consistently trusted him in contested situations and Williams rewarded them with big plays. While separation in the NFL will be a hurdle for Williams, his success will hinge on how his game as a possession receiver translates.

Low-end comparison: Brian Quick

High-end comparison: Mike Williams (Chargers)

Elijah Moore, Ole Miss

Few ate up targets like Elijah Moore in 2020. Moore caught 83 passes in eight games and only caught less than 10 in one of them. Ole Miss ran their passing offense through Moore. Moore is a quick, tough player with soft hands who made plays all over the field for Ole Miss. He is fast enough to get separation deep, but can also make a difference over the middle in traffic. Moore’s size will limit his ceiling in the NFL, but his toughness, athleticism, and dependability will allow him to produce in any offense.

Low-end comparison: Jeremy Kerley

High-end comparison: Emmanuel Sanders