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Ranking 17 wide receivers in the 2022 NFL Draft for the Eagles

Which WR should Philadelphia bet on?

NCAA Football: Missouri at Arkansas Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Full disclaimer: as some of you may know, I am from England which means I do not watch any college football during the season and I therefore go into this process with absolutely no preconceptions about who I’m about to watch. I think this has impact on my rankings because I really do know nothing about them until I watch them myself. I don’t read or listen to anything. I watch at least three games of each player that I rank, but I cannot share any film with you because sharing college All22 online is dangerous and I do not want to be blocked!

These rankings are based on how I think these prospects would fit the Eagles scheme or who I want the most based upon who the Eagles already have at a certain position. Therefore, sometimes I may have one player above another, even if I think the other player is a better overall prospect. If a player isn’t on this list, I haven’t watched them yet!

Previously: QB | RB.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Tier 1

1. Treylon Burks, Arkansas

Summary: Burks is one of the most fun I’ve had watching a prospect for a while. His film is unbelievable and the potential is incredibly high. He has a freakish combination of size and speed and can line up anywhere on the field. He can win in the short to intermediate game on over routes where he can use his size to box out defenders but he excels on deeper routes where corners have no chance if he gets a step on them. Some big guys have slow feet but Burks does not. He gets into his route quickly with a very explosive first few steps and can run by corners effortlessly. He also has great hands and is a huge threat in the red zone. Is he the finished article? No. Does he need to understand the nuances of route running better? Yes. But he can learn that stuff and you simply cannot teach the explosive traits that he has. He didn’t face press coverage much last year and I think he needs to work on this if he wants to play more of the ‘X’ role but you shouldn’t waste him by putting him in 1 position anyway, he should be moved all around the formation.

Eagles Thoughts: If the Eagles took Burks with any of their 1st round picks, I would be ecstatic. The upside is incredibly high and pairing him with DeVonta Smith would be incredible. Both of them can play multiple positions and Smith would be the perfect player for Burks to learn the nuances of the position. I am all in on Burks, do it Howie. I wouldn’t be opposed to moving up a few spots if necessary to grab Burks either.

2. Jameson Williams, Alabama

Summary: Williams is one of the most explosive receivers I have studied the past few years. He will immediately dominate on vertical routes such as overs, posts and corners and will put up crazy numbers with an elite quarterback. He is not just a one trick pony and is very good at coming back to the ball and finding soft spots against zone coverage too. He will need to improve his play strength in order to compete against more physical cornerbacks, and does have a few too many concentration drops, but he should be a instant playmaker in the league.

Eagles Thoughts: From an Eagles perspective, him and Smith would be quite a light 1/2 combo at receiver but I still think there is a place for both of them. Williams is as explosive as it gets and if you paired those 2 with a slightly bigger receiver on the outside, the Eagles would have one of the best skill position groups in the league. I would be happy if the Eagles took him from 15 onward.

Tier 2

3. Drake London, USC

Summary: London profiles as your classic X receiver at the next level. The basketball background is obvious as he has elite body control and is as good in contested situations as anyone has been coming out in the past few years. He will instantly be a major threat in the red zone and will provide an offense with mismatches on the outside against average cornerbacks. I do have concerns about his ability to separate from defenders and I do think he lacks speed and isn’t very sudden or explosive moving laterally which means he struggles to get separation. The big question is how often can he dominate in contested situations at the next level when the cornerbacks will be better.

Eagles Thoughts: Despite my concerns about parts of London’s game, I think he would be a perfect fit for this Eagles offense. He is a very different style of receiver to Smith and Watkins, and he will also get some favourable matchups when playing X receiver because teams cannot ignore the threat of Smith. London would provide the Eagles with a very, very good trio of receivers who can win in a different ways and lineup anywhere on the field, which is why I think he would be worth one of the Eagles first round picks if he is on the board.

4. Chris Olave, Ohio State

Summary: Olave profiles as an excellent number 2 receiver who can be moved around the formation to win both outside as the Z receiver or in the slot. He will fit a number of modern day NFL offenses with his excellent route running, ability to track the ball on deeper throws and create explosive plays. He is not a burner but can get on top of cornerbacks and win down the field. His biggest concern is a lack of physicality which will show against press coverage and also the inability to break tackles and create YAC. Whilst this is a concern. I think he has enough ability to be an excellent #2 receiver at the next level.

Eagles Thoughts: Very similar to his teammate in Wilson, I do not think he is the perfect fit for an Eagles receiver who already have receivers who win in similar ways. I would not be opposed to taking Olave in the first round, but I would rather find a bigger receiver with more physicality to complement what the Eagles have already in Smith and Watkins. I would not be mad though and I do like his tape.

5. Jahan Dotson, Penn State

Summary: I think Dotson is one of the best route runners in the class, which is why I’m a lot higher on him than the consensus seems to be. He understands the nuances of route running and how to get open, and you can see this with head fakes and shoulder leans to create a lot of separation. In addition to this, he has extremely good hands and body control and is fearless on catches over the middle of the field. He can win in the short and intermediate area and has just enough explosiveness to create some big plays as well, although he is not a burner. His upside is probably limited to a wide receiver 2, due to his lack of size, but I think he will be very good at the next level. Despite not consistently being able to be defeat press, he does have examples on film of him being able to defeat press with very quick feet at the line of scrimmage.

Eagles Thoughts: I do not believe Dotson is a consensus first rounder, so this may surprise some people, but I do think he would be a worthy pick for the Eagles in the first round (maybe after a trade back). He is not the physical outside presence that I believe the Eagles will ideally go after, but I think he is an extremely good prospect and him and Smith would be a very, very good duo.

6. Garrett Wilson, Ohio State

Summary: Unfortunately for Wilson, I watched him immediately after watching Burks! Whereas Burks looks like he has the upside to be an elite wide receiver one, I see Wilson more as a very good wide receiver two. Unless he improves his ability to beat press coverage and quickens up his routes (less unnecessary steps), he may be limited to a WR2 role in an offense. He is extremely quick and explosive with the ball in his hands and there will always be a role on offense for this type of player, but I think he will need to develop his game further in order to be worth a very high pick in this years draft.

Eagles Thoughts: The Eagles will certainly have interest in Wilson, as they need to create more big plays, but I do not think his skill set is dramatically different from what Devonta Smith and Quez Watkins already bring to the table, and I would prefer them to add someone with a different skillset and a bit more physicality. I am slightly lower on Wilson than the consensus so I probably wouldn’t take Wilson in the 1st but, I wouldn’t be mad if they did!

7. Skyy Moore, Western Michigan

Summary: Skyy Moore is one of the most fun players to watch in this class. He is built like a running

back and plays like one with the ball in his hands. He has a mean stiff arm and is the best at getting YAC in this class, in my opinion. He is explosive and can create good separation in the quick game, where he explodes past corners before they can even get a hand on him. He loves the physical side of the game and is ultra competitive and will keep hold of the ball even when taking a big hit over the middle. He is quite raw as a route runner in the intermediate/vertical game as he played in a RPO/quick game offense, so he will not work there in order to get deep separation. This will likely keep in outside of the first round but if he does develop this part of his game he has sky high (get it?) potential.

Eagles Thoughts: He won’t provide the Eagles will a physical presence on the outside but he is a different profile to Smith and Watkins. He is far more jacked up and will create more yards after the catch. He would be a nice compliment as he will more effective on screens/jet sweeps etc than Smith and Watkins are. I would be very happy with Skyy Moore at the top of the 2nd round and he should be able to give the Eagles a lot of what they wanted when they drafted Jalen Reagor 2 years ago.

8. Christian Watson, North Dakota State

Summary: Christian Watson was easily one of my favourite players to watch on film this year. He has an insane combination of size and speed and has the ability to take the top off the defense on every single play. His body control is off the charts, and has the ability to pluck the ball away from his body and win contested catches. He is ultra competitive and blocks hard every play and is not afraid to talk trash. However, he did not dominate a weak level of opposition and the production does not match the talent. He is a very raw prospect who won by athleticism and speed rather than good technique, and he will not be able to do this as easily at the next level. He struggles with tracking the ball consistently and also has too many concentration drops throughout his career.

Eagles Thoughts: This will probably be seen as a huge reach to many but I would love it if the Eagles took Christian Watson at the top of the second round (maybe even the back end of the first) despite the concerns over how raw he is. It could ultimately backfire, but I think there is always going to be a role for someone as fast and big as he is. I personally think he has the upside to be one of the very best receivers in this class if he is coached well. He is probably the most boom or bust player in this entire receiving class, but I’m willing to bank on upside.

Tier 3

9. George Pickens, Georgia

Summary: I will be honest, George Pickins is one of my most difficult evaluations due to the missed time last year. I think he has the potential to be a very good outside receiver and potentially even an X receiver if he can improve his play strength and get better at the line of scrimmage against more physical cornerbacks. He is not a burner, but he does have enough speed when given room to run, to create vertical separation. He is excellent in contested situation and has very good hands, good body control and the ability to climb the ladder and go up and get the ball, in particular on the sideline with bodies around him. He may need to build up his frame to be an X receiver consistently, but he could certainly be a good Z receiver where he is given a bit more space to get up to full speed.

Eagles Thoughts: I know that there are injury and off the field concerns, but I think George Pickins would be a good pick for the Eagles in the second round. He has the upside to play the X receiver if he puts on some strength. And he will provide the Eagles offence with physicality on the outside, which it currently lacks as well as being a go up and get it type of receiver.

10. John Metchie III, Alabama

Summary: Metchie is another player that I seem higher on than consensus. He looks like a very well coached receiver to me, who is an excellent route runner who gets in and out of his breaks quickly and understands the nuances of how to get open. You can see some excellent examples where he attacks a cornerbacks blind spot to get free deep. He is more explosive in the short game than being a true vertical threat, but he does have enough long speed to threaten defences vertically. His biggest issue is his size and lack of play strength, and you see this against more physical cornerbacks when faced with press coverage or when trying to handle tough catches over the middle of the field. Despite this, I think he has the profile with excellent complementary receiver and should fit a lot of offences in the modern game.

Eagles Thoughts: Metchie would not give the Eagles the physical presence that I would like them to go after, but I think he could play the ‘Jalen Reagor’ role in the offense from last year perfectly. I think this may be early based on what I have read and considering he recently tore his ACL but I think the 2nd round is fine value with someone of his talent.

11. Alec Pierce, Cincinnati

Summary: Pierce profiles as a possession outside receiver, or someone who can play as a big slot. However, he has more explosiveness and vertical speed than a generic possession receiver and can get on top of cornerbacks at times. He has a huge catch radius, can defeat press coverage at times and will win outside the numbers. However. He does need to improve his route running, in particular in the short game, where he can be slow coming out of breaks and does not have enough deception to create separation. Although he can play as a big slot, he doesn’t do much with the ball in his hands and would not get much YAC.

Eagles Thoughts: I think Pierce would be a really good pick for the Eagles as he would provide them with a physical presence on the outside. I do not like possession receivers when they have absolutely no explosive element but I think Pierce has enough to threaten a defence vertically and therefore would be a good pick for the Eagles in the second round.

12. Khalil Shakir, Boise State

Summary: Shakir profiles as a wide receiver free who will in in the slot at the next level. He has very good body control and can make some circus catches in traffic every game. However, he does not play fast enough to threaten defences vertically and is not really explosive. I think this will limit him to the slot and I do not see him having the play strength or size to play out wide. He also has an issue with concentration drops and he must clean this up if he wants to be a reliable slot player as this is a vital part of playing this role in an offense.

Eagles Thoughts: I don’t really see Shakir’s skill set being too useful to add to this this current Eagles receiving group but they wanted a reliable option to play the slot then Shakir in the 3rd round makes sense.

Tier 4

13. David Bell, Purdue

Summary: Bell profiles as an outside Z receiver at the next level. He has excellent size and strength for the position and wins in contested situations showing outstanding body control and ability to climb the ladder. He is very strong and smaller defenders will bounce off him and he can create yards after the catch. He is a fluid athlete but is not sudden or explosive and he will struggle to get open consistently or threaten vertically at the next level. He has a tendency to push off and will need to improve his route running in order to create separation without the use of his hands.

Eagles Thoughts: Due to his lack of explosiveness, Bell profiles as a Z rather than the X. This would still fit the Eagles, who can use Smith in a variety of positions. Bell would provide the Eagles with a more physical presence on the outside, which I believe they lack at this point. The second round is too early for me, but I think it would be a good pick in the third as he has a chance to provide a good presence outside.

14. Jalen Tolbert, South Alabama

Summary: John Hightower vibes... but maybe actually good?! Tolbert is a straight line sprinter with very high upside as a Z receiver at the next level. He excels at anything where he can just run such as go, drag and comeback routes. He has inconsistent hands but flashes excellent ball tracking ability and can go up and get it on jump balls and back shoulder balls. He’s not shifty but he can get YAC with the ball in his hands due to his sprinter speed. He has a lot of work to do though as he is super lean and skinny and contact will completely negate him. If a CB wins at the LOS you might see Tolbert get pressed to the sideline. He must improve his play strength but I don’t think he will ever be a player you want at X against elite physical cornerbacks. I mentioned him earlier but I didn’t like John Hightower pre-draft due to his inability to play through contact but... I think Tolbert is better.

Eagles Thoughts: Tolbert wins vertically like Quez Watkins but I think the two win in completely different ways. I would love Tolbert to play the Z role (eventually) so Quez could move to the slot. Tolbert would also get a lot of number 2 CBs with a free release and he could create some huge plays with this. He is a bit of a boom/bust pick but I think he would be a great 3rd round pick.

15. Kyle Phillips, UCLA

Summary: Kyle Phillips is your generic plug and play WR4 who can step in and play in the slot immediately. He is a very tough, physical player who competes every snap. He has very good feet and can win in the short game. However, there is no explosiveness, no vertical speed and he is quite small and lean and will be impacted by contact. He’s a slot WR only but he can provide a role for a certain offense as a WR3/4. I like my starting slot to have a vertical element to his game so I see him as a WR4, but some teams will see him as a starter.

Eagles Thoughts: The Eagles kept Greg Ward so if they drafted Phillips I would be surprised. If they did draft him, I think he would replace that role in the offense and probably do it better. I wouldn’t have any interest until about the 5th round considering what the Eagles have already.

16. Justyn Ross, Clemson

Summary: Justin Ross is a player that people I respect really like, but I just did not see it on film with him. He has an excellent catch radius and is very good at the catch point and should be a fine outside possession receiver at the next level. However, he doesn’t have the explosiveness or speed to get vertical and he is not very twitchy or sudden and struggles to separate consistently from defenders.

Eagles Thoughts: He would provide the Eagles with a physical presence on the outside and someone who can win at the catch points, but I do not think he should be picked until day three at the earliest. Especially with the injury history, the 4th round would be the earliest I would take him and even this would be an upside pick and hugely risky.

17. Wan’Dale Robinson

Summary: I didn’t really see Robinson as anything more than a wide receiver three or four at the next level. He profiles to me as more of a gadget guy who exciting and creative play callers would enjoy finding different ways of getting him the ball in space and taking advantage of his explosive speed. He is capable of turning short gains into touchdowns. However. His size limits him and I don’t think he will ever be able to play anything else but the slots. His route running is average at best, and he rounds off too many routes, which gives cornerbacks a chance to jump the routes. He also body catches too many balls and struggles to hold on over the middle, especially when hit by bigger defenders.

Eagles Thoughts: The Eagles offense is already pretty fast, but if they decided they wanted another vertical element or someone who can create more YAC, Robinson would be a good fit as a gadget player. But I would not draft him personally until early day 3.