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Ranking 17 wide receivers for the Eagles in the 2023 NFL Draft

NCAA Football: Temple at Houston Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports

Full disclaimer: as some of you may know, I am from England, so I do not watch any college football during the season and I go into this process with absolutely no preconceptions about who I’m about to watch. I watch at least three games of each player I rank, but I cannot share any film with you here 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 on who the Eagles already have at a certain position. This is very important, so please keep this in mind! 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! I have also put them into tiers because sometimes there isn’t a lot of difference between prospects, and I find the tiers useful to separate players.


Tier 1

1. Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Ohio State

Everyone has their type, and JSN being a slot-only possession receiver means he isn’t traditionally my type. But he’s a fantastic receiving prospect who can be a reliable slot option at the next level. He feels like a safe prospect. He knows how to get open against man and coverage and the floor feels very high. The major issue is the lack of top-end speed to win vertically and the hamstring injuries in 2021.

Eagles Thoughts: He’s a good fit for the Eagles who need a slot receiver but he’s going to go in the 1st round and the Eagles should not be taking a receiver at 10. I think a high-volume slot receiver would probably be a luxury for this offense, and he’s probably not going to get the volume he needs in this offense to really excel. But I would consider him at 30, although he will not be there!

Tier 2

2. Quentin Johnston, TCU

Johnston is a really good height-weight-speed prospect but the tape doesn’t match the athletic profile just yet. You can see the upside on tape, he has a huge receiving frame with a long stride and is one of the more impressive-looking receivers in this class. But he plays like a finesse receiver at times and has to get better at winning in contested situations/in traffic and defeating press coverage. He’s a WR2 currently with WR1 upside. The YAC really stands out as a freaky trait for such a big wide receiver and it’s hard to find an obvious comparison for him.

Eagles Thoughts: This doesn’t feel like the type of receiver the Eagles will target, but he could provide them with a vertical target who can also create YAC. 10 would be too way rich and I’m not sure he is worthy of a 1st round pick but I think he would be tempting at pick 30 or ideally, in the 2nd round.

3. Zay Flowers, Boston College

Zay Flowers is an explosive receiver who is a threat with the ball in his hands. He understands the nuances of route running and getting open and has good hands. He has good speed and is a threat to take it to the house on designed touches. His biggest issue is his lack of size and length which could force him into the slot only at the next level. He may struggle against bigger, more physical cornerbacks.

Eagles Thoughts: If the Eagles could move down or up and end up with an early 2nd round pick, Flowers would be a target of mine. He may go earlier because the NFL is obsessed with playmakers, but he would be a fantastic fit as the Eagles' slot receiver as he is not a high-volume player and could excel on designed touches, such as bubble screens attached to the Eagles' RPO game. Addison is a better player, but I can’t lie, I think Flowers fit would excite me more as an Eagles fan even if I know the film is not as good.

4. Jordan Addison, USC

Addison feels like a high-floor low-ceiling WR2. He can win on all 3 levels and understands how to get open against man coverage, he’s good in and out of his breaks and knows how to get open against zone coverage. He could be a high-volume player in the right offense. However, he lacks physicality, size, and play strength and this concern was evident at the combine. He feels like a good WR2 at best who could put up good numbers in the right offense.

Eagles Thoughts: If he somehow drops to the 2nd round due to his combine... they should seriously consider him. The Eagles do need a new slot receiver but I’m not sure a player like Addison is what they are missing currently as he strikes me as a high-volume guy, rather than someone explosive who can contribute on minimal touches. I am after an explosive player at WR3 rather than a high-volume guy, as we know that AJ Brown, DeVonta Smith, and Dallas Goedert are going to get a lot of targets.

5. Jalin Hyatt, Tennessee

Hyatt feels like one of the most boom-bust receivers in this class. He can absolutely fly and has elite vertical speed and knows how to track the ball. He has good hands and an impressive catch radius. The route tree feels extremely limited and he feels like a bit of a 1-trick pony who wins by just running away from defenders. Whether he can do this at the next level is debatable and I feel like he needs to improve his route tree to become less predictable.

Eagles Thoughts: I mean... the Eagles have other needs but my goodness would this guy be fun. Obviously not at pick 10, but I would be very tempted in the early 2nd. Can you imagine how explosive this offense would be with AJ Brown at X, Smith at Z, and Hyatt in the slot? Probably not sensible... but fun! 30 is probably too high, but it would be fun, wouldn’t it...

Missouri v Tennessee Photo by Donald Page/Getty Images

Tier 3

6. Josh Downs, North Carolina

Similarly to Zay Flowers, Josh Downs’ size probably will limit him to the slot at the next level. But he’s a different receiver to Flowers. Downs is less explosive but is quicker in and out of his breaks and will excel in the short/intermediate game. He is a tough competitive player with really good hands but will always struggle against more physical corners due to his size. He can get deep but doesn’t have the real explosiveness to consistently win down the field.

Eagles Thoughts: As I’ve said repeatedly, the Eagles should be looking for an upgrade in the slot and Josh Downs would make sense in the 2nd round. I wouldn’t take him any earlier as I don’t think he gives you the verticality you want in the 1st round, and I do prefer Flowers due to his ability to create after the catch. Downs is a good WR prospect thought who has outstanding feet and he’s a competitive player.

7. Cedric Tillman, Tennessee

Cedric Tillman is the type of WR I fall for every year (and frequently get wrong). Tillman is an explosive outside-the-numbers jump ball specialist who has that ‘my ball’ mentality that I love. He tested very well at the combine and he is a smooth mover who can pluck the ball out of the air with ease. The concerns are obvious though, he is not sudden and will struggle to separate against good cornerbacks, especially if he is asked to beat press coverage. He has the upside of an X but probably fits the bill as a Z early on in his career.

Eagles Thoughts: As I said, I am a sucker for this kind of receiver. How could you not want Brown/Tillman on the outside with Smith in the slot in 3 WR sets? We know Hurts throws a fantastic jump ball and Tillman will just give defenses another problem to solve. I’ll probably be wrong, again, but I would consider Tillman in the 3rd round or maybe even the end of the 2nd. It’s a luxury pick but... who doesn’t want 2 jump ball specialists on the outside?

8. Tyler Scott, Cincinatti

Tyler Scott’s profile reminds me a lot of a better Quez Watkins, both in a good and bad way. He has legit speed and can threaten vertically but he tracks the ball a lot better than Quez Watkins. He also has a problem with drops though. He has to work on his route running a lot and is much more of a straight-line athlete at this point. He has a lot of upside due to his speed and explosiveness but needs some work.

Eagles Thoughts: If the Eagles want someone to take snaps off Quez Watkins and play a similar role, I think Tyler Scott would make sense as he profiles very similarly but is better at tracking the ball than Quez Watkins. He has some of the same issues, but the upside is a lot higher with Scott, I like him in the late 2nd or early 3rd.

9. Marvin Mims, Oklahoma

Mims is an interesting talent because he is extremely raw as a route runner but flashes real upside as a legitimate deep threat. He’s averaged more than 20 yards per reception the last 2 years and his combine performance was really good. His overall production has been really strong too. He has good ball tracking and can be a deep threat from day 1. However, he has a lot of work to do if he wants to become a good WR and not just a deep threat.

Eagles Thoughts: If the Eagles want to add even more explosiveness to the offensive, Marvin Mims as the Z or slot would be fun! He’s probably a round 3 based on film but his combine and deep speed may push him up to round 2, which I would not mind although it is probably too early. Give me all the playmakers!

10. Jonathan Mingo, Ole Miss

Mingo is a big play threat who looks the part of a really good NFL. Standing at 6’1 and 220 lbs, with outstanding body control, he will find a role in an NFL WR room and is a different body type to most of the receivers in the class. He’s a good height-weight-speed type of prospect. However, he is not great as a route runner and needs to learn the nuances of the position and how to get open He doesn’t have a ton of wiggle and looks a bit of a straight-line vertical WR at this point.

Eagles Thoughts: I think Mingo would be a really nice fit in this offense as he could play the slot but he is also big enough to be versatile and play outside too. The upside makes him worth a look for an offense that wants to take shots down the field. I think he’s a 3rd round guy, but he has speed and he is big so you may have to take him in the 2nd or someone else will. The athletic profile is fantastic.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 15 Auburn at Ole Miss Photo by Kevin Langley/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Tier 4

11. Tank Dell, Houston

The size is obviously concerning, but I really like the profile of Tank Dell. He will probably never be a high-volume receiver and will be used as more of a splash player due to his size, but those types of players can be really helpful in minimal touches and on special teams. There are concerns with his game but I think he can help an offense. I don’t think he is a true burner and is more quick than fast, which is why he won’t go as high as some of the other vertical threats.

Eagles Thoughts: Tank Dell is the type of WR I would love the Eagles to target. They don’t need a high-volume guy, as they have enough targets already, but they are missing an explosive option from the slot like a Tank Dell who can take a few short screens each game and take advantage of some one-on-one matchups. He’s probably a late day 2/day 3 talent, but I would really like him on this roster and would take a chance in the 3rd round, despite his size. The fact he can contribute to special teams is also really valuable.

12. Rashee Rice, SMU

Rice is a vertical receiver with outstanding body control and an alpha mentality when the ball is in the air. He lacks a lot of refinement in terms of route running and has too many annoying drops too. He’s got high upside but has quite a lot of work to do to be a solid starting boundary WR. He’s probably a Z unless he can improve his ability to beat press coverage as I think he will be better suited on the outside due to his body control and ball skills.

Eagles Thoughts: If the Eagles want a basketball receiver room, Rice would fit. The Eagles could try and turn him into a big slot with the ability to rotate with AJ Brown and DeVonta Smith but Rice is probably an outside Z. I wouldn’t hate it but not in the first 2 rounds. I wouldn’t take him until round 3.

13. Trey Palmer, Nebreska

Trey Palmer is a total wildcard because the tape is not very good but the speed is elite and he is bigger than a lot of the other deep threats in this class. He ran a 4.33 40 at 6’1 and also has a good catch radius. However, he is a poor route runner and has struggled with drops throughout his career. He looks like a project who could fail but NFL teams will be interested because you can’t teach 4.33 speed!

Eagles Thoughts: I bet someone takes him in the 1st 3 rounds because of the speed, but if he somehow falls to the 4th round, why not? I prefer some of the earlier deep threats as they track the ball a lot better, but Palmer is an explosive athlete who would give the Eagles another weapon. I also like the fact he is a weapon on special teams.

14. Kayshon Boutte, LSU

I don’t really know what to do with Boutte because the testing numbers are so bad. You can’t help but think the injuries have slowed down his game and he won’t be the same player that flashed a couple of years ago. He is still very young and has the size and strength to line up anywhere, and can be electric with the ball in his hands. He also needs to work on his ball skills a lot, as he doesn’t dominate at the catch point like you want to see.

Eagles Thoughts: The Eagles have a roster where they could take a chance on Boutte, but the injuries scare me a lot. I would probably pass and take a chance on another talented receiver on day 2, but I guess he would be worth a flier at the start of day 3. I don’t think I could take him any higher.

15. Jayden Reed, Michigan State

Reed looks like a fast, tricky slot receiver who can win at all levels of the field. The upside appears limited due to the very short arms, small size, lack of physicality, and age. He could be a good day 3 pickup for someone however as he has electric speed and can create big plays. Every offense is looking for playmakers who have an extra gear to get vertical, and Reed has that.

Eagles Thoughts: As I have said throughout... bring me all the playmakers. If Reed is there around rounds 4-5, why not?!

16. Xavier Hutchinson, Iowa State

Hutchinson feels like one of the easiest players to evaluate in this year's WR class. He has been consistent for 3 years and has good hands, is reliable, and has good body control. He can be a big slot or an outside WR who can be used on jump balls or vertical back shoulder throws. But he isn’t explosive, or fast and struggles with route running and running away from defenders. This feels like a high-floor, low-ceiling WR3/4.

Eagles Thoughts: Hurts throws a pretty deep ball, so he could be efficient on throws outside the numbers. He might make sense as a decent option in the slot too, but he’s not really what the Eagles' offense should look to add. I would take him on day 3 if the value seems right, but he’s not someone I’m too interested in until rounds 4/5.

17. A.T. Perry, Wake Forest

Perry is touted as a potential X, but I’m not sure I see it with that frame. I see him more as a Z where he can get a free release and use his length to box out smaller cornerbacks. He has a freakishly big catch radius and is comfortable tracking the ball down the field. The route running needs a lot of work but he seems worth a flier with that length and size.

Eagles Thoughts: He needs a lot of work, but the Eagles would have the luxury of playing him as their WR4. If the Eagles want to create a basketball WR room and take advantage of Hurts’ ball placement outside the numbers, I would consider Perry at the start of day 3 at the very earliest, I see him as more of a round 4-5 guy.

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