It’s time to take a look at some of the wide receivers that are going to make an appearance in the upcoming NFL Draft. There’s little doubt that more than a few teams, while trying to figure out the technology that they’ll be using to handle their participation remotely, are already dedicating time to consider who might be the best options.
A couple of teams, particularly the Atlanta Falcons and the new Las Vegas Raiders, are almost certainly more interested in the receiver market, and will be making moves as quickly as possible. While there’s still no word on whether or not the coronavirus is going to cause the NFL season to be delayed, the league is taking a position of all-systems-go for the start of the football action.
CeeDee Lamb Has Sticky Fingers
Coming out of Oklahoma, CeeDee Lamb is one of the best wide receiver options to be entering the draft. The 6’2”, 198-pound talent can catch almost anything thrown to him and has the ability to run routes that would causes defensive secondaries to get dizzy and fall flat.
A 4.5 40 at the NFL combine shows that he has speed as well as acceleration, and might end up with the Raiders, if the team can pull it off. The Raiders have several first-round picks available to him, and adding Lamb would get them off to a great start in the upcoming season.
Lamb is just one of the wide receivers who is going to be on teams’ radars next week. Jerry Jeudy, the University of Alabama (UA) standout, has been an SEC force for the past couple of years, and has shown versatility in being able to deftly occupy several receiver positions.
He’s also a little faster than Lamb, with a 4.45 40 at the combine, and has been considered, on a couple of occasions, as the first wide receiver target in the draft. Lamb may have bumped him down a notch, but there’s little doubt that Jeudy, the 2018 Biletnikoff Award recipient, is on his way to a great NFL career.
Alabama Is Wide Receiver Country
Jeudy isn’t the only talent to come out of UA. Henry Ruggs III can brag of being the fastest wide receiver prospect for the upcoming draft, clocking a 4.27 in the 40 at the combine. With that speed, once he breaks through the defensive primary, there’s little that can stop him.
He has also shown finesse as a special teams player, which gives him an added edge when it comes time for teams to start picking next week. Some rumors have him possibly going to the Philadelphia Eagles, and his talents would certainly not go to waste if he ended up on the squad.
At 6’1” and 202 pounds, Justin Jefferson has more explosive speed than some might imagine. As part of the National Champs LSU, he often found himself on the receiving end of a toss by Joe Burrow, and is easily able to cover the edges, as well as work the slots. Last year, as LSU worked its way down the field toward the championship game, he caught 111 passes for 1,540 yards, adding 18 touchdowns to the mix. He has first-round pick potential, with some analysts predicting that he could end up with the Green Bay Packers.
Size Doesn’t Always Matter
Wide receivers are often on the upper end of the height scale, which gives them the ability to see over the defense and reach higher for the airborne passes. This isn’t a requirement, though, and KJ Hamler out of Penn State has shown that size doesn’t always matter. He stands at “only” 5’9” and weighs just 178 pounds, but Hamler knows how to use his body to get the job done.
His 40 speed hovers around 4.3, in line with the other top wide receivers, and his lack of height is actually an advantage – put him in a slot and he becomes unstoppable. Still, most teams might stay away because of his height, with one possible exception. The redshirt freshman could end up with the Chicago Bears, who have always been willing to break the mold with their picks.