Nason’s Prospect Primer Series: Wide Receivers

College football season is officially over, with the walk-on wonder Stetson Bennett and Georgia taking home the title. Now, the only thing left is to see what underclassmen players will be officially declaring for April’s draft and who will be returning to school. As of today, all but one of these players has declared with the last one being expected to, so I’m confident that this is a good time to give you some insight into the top wide receivers for the 2022 NFL Draft. Enjoy and let me know why you think I’m wrong (I know you want to!).

  1. Garrett Wilson, Ohio State, Jr.

Measurements: 6’0, 192

2021 Stats: 11 GP, 70 Rec, 1,058 Yds, 12 TDs, 4 Att, 76 Yds, 1 TD

When you watch Wilson play, the wow-factor immediately stands out. Wilson is not the biggest receiver in this class and is not the fastest, but he is the most dynamic with the ball in his hands and will slide in very easily to a league where yards after the catch matter so much. Wilson makes up for his non-elite speed with top notch route running and incredible hands and body control, as shown by his many jaw-dropping catches made during his Ohio State tenure. Wilson will be most effective out of the slot at the next level and should be a high impact player from day 1.

2. Jameson Williams, Alabama, Jr.

Measurements: 6’2, 189

2021 Stats: 15 GP, 79 Rec, 1,572 Yds, 15 TDs

It really sucked to see Williams go down with an ACL tear during the National Championship game against Georgia, especially after having such an impressive season that saw him rise to the top of many experts’ wide receiver rankings. The good news is it sounds like he will be able to make a full recovery and retain his speed, which is expected to be potentially in the hi 4.2’s or low 4.3’s. After getting stuck behind a ton of talented wideouts at Ohio State, Williams transferred to Alabama and put on a show in the SEC, leading the conference in yards and touchdowns while showing off scorching downfield speed and big play ability. His quick-twitch ability and speed combo not only allow him to blow past defenders downfield, but create easy separation off the line. Assuming he has a full recovery, Williams should be no lower than a top 20 pick.

3. Chris Olave, Ohio State, Sr.

Measurements: 6’1, 188

2021 Stats: 11 GP, 65 Rec, 936 Yds, 13 TDs

Fast, smart, and refined are the words that come to mind when you think of Olave, the career leader in touchdown catches at Ohio State. Olave, noted to be the faster of the two OSU wideouts featured in this article, is a route technician who can win deep and short with his footwork. A seasoned, high IQ player, Olave might be the safest bet of this class to step into and offense and make an impact as a rookie.

4. Drake London, USC, Jr.

Measurements: 6’5, 210

2021 Stats: 8 GP, 88 Rec, 1,084 Yds, 7 TDs

London was easily on his way to a Biletnikoff award before an ankle injury cut his season short, but he did more than enough to rise to the upper echelon of this receiver class. Similar to his former college teammate, Colts wideout Michael Pittman Jr, London is a bigger receiver at 6’5, and is excellent in the run game. While not the fastest player here, London offers enough speed to be a threat on the outside, but his contested catch ability and hands make him standout. Not only is he a talented football player, but he was also a member of the USC basketball team for some time, so that is the level of athlete teams are getting. London has weekly highlight reel potential at the next level.

5. Treylon Burks, Arkansas, Jr.

Measurements: 6’3, 225

2021 Stats: 12 GP, 67 Rec, 1,123 Yds, 11 TDs, 14 Att, 112 Yds, 1 TD

I feel like every time I watched Arkansas play this year, Burks broke off huge plays, and that resonates with myself and with NFL personnel. Burks is a rocked up 225, hard to tackle, is great with the ball in his hands and thrives in 50/50 ball situations. He was used in multiple formations at Arkansas and even lined up in the backfield at times. He will be an athletic, versatile weapon for offensive coordinators at the next level.

Honorable Mentions:

Jahan Dotson, Penn State

David Bell, Purdue

Wan’Dale Robinson, Kentucky

Image: (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

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