The 2018 NFL Draft Prospect series breaks down draft-eligible players, highlighting their college production as well as their NFL potential. Daily fantasy players should know about NFL rookies before they’ve played a down of professional football because they are among the most misvalued assets in all of DFS. People who know NFL rookies have a significant DFS edge. The draft will be held at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX, from April 26-28.
This piece provides the FantasyLabs rankings for the wide receivers of the 2018 draft class.
For more information on the five highest-rated pass catchers in the class, see my wide receiver comparisons piece on Rotoworld. To stay up to date during the entire NFL Draft process, Rotoworld is your one-stop-shop for around-the-clock draft news and analysis. Don’t forget to subscribe to the Rotoworld Football Podcast and follow Rotoworld on Twitter and Facebook!
Updated as of Mar. 18.
1. Courtland Sutton, Southern Methodist
Redshirt Junior | 6’3″ and 218 Pounds | Born October 10, 1995 (Age: 22) | Projection: Rounds 1-2
Combine numbers: 40-yard: 4.54 sec | bench reps: 18 | 3-cone: 6.57 sec | 20-yard shuttle: 4.11 sec | vertical: 35.5 in | broad: 124 in
A high school tight end and safety, Sutton signed with SMU as a defensive back but played sparingly as a receiver during his three-game injury-shortened true freshman season. With the arrival of head coach Chad Morris in 2015, Sutton transitioned to offense full time and led the team as a redshirt freshman with 49 receptions for 862 yards and nine touchdowns. His market share numbers were impressive, as he captured 33.9 and 47.4 percent of SMU’s receiving yards and touchdowns. After a strong sophomore season (76 receptions, 1,246 yards, and 10 touchdowns; 39.3 and 45.5 percent of receiving yards and touchdowns), Sutton was eligible for the NFL draft but decided to return to SMU for his junior year, which was solid: 68 receptions, 1,085 yards, and 12 touchdowns. He even scored a rushing touchdown. His market share did decline in 2017 (28.4 and 34.3 percent of receiving yards and touchdowns), but that’s understandable: He was sharing the field with fellow draft prospect Trey Quinn.
With good size and great college production, Sutton is in an elite cohort. Of all the first- and second-rounders to enter the NFL over the last decade, here are the big-bodied wide receivers (at least 6’0″ and 200 pounds) with multiple 1,000-10 receiving seasons in college.
- Corey Davis (2017, 1.05)
- Josh Doctson (2016, 1.22)
- Amari Cooper (2015, 1.04)
- Sammy Watkins (2014, 1.04)
- Davante Adams (2014, 2.53)
- Justin Blackmon (2012, 1.05)
- Michael Crabtree (2009, 1.10)
As a multi-year spread-system producer who relies more on size and technique than speed, Sutton is highly comparable as a prospect to Adams and Crabtree, except he’s bigger.
For more, see Sutton’s player profile.
2. D.J. Moore, Maryland
Junior | 6’0″ and 210 Pounds | Born April 14, 1997 (Age: 20) | Projection: Rounds 1-2
Combine numbers: 40-yard: 4.42 sec | bench reps: 15 | 3-cone: 6.95 sec | 20-yard shuttle: 4.07 sec | vertical: 39.5 in | broad: 132 in
Moore didn’t have lots of fanfare in college, but he does now after tearing up the combine and measuring taller than expected at the event. Moore started almost every game he played at Maryland, and as a true freshman he emerged as the team’s No. 2 wideout with 25 receptions for 357 yards and three touchdowns. As a sophomore he seized more control of the receiving game and led the team with 637 yards and six touchdowns, good for a 27.7 and 40 percent market share of Maryland’s receiving yards and touchdowns. In his final season — despite having four different quarterbacks throw passes — Moore earned Big Ten Receiver of the Year honors thanks to his conference-leading 80 receptions, which he turned into 1,033 yards, eight touchdowns, and an unreal market share of 53.7 and 53.3 percent of the Terrapins’ receiving yardage and scores. He even added 61 yards and a touchdown on six rush attempts. Moore is the first Maryland player since Torrey Smith in 2010 to have a 1,000-yard receiving campaign.
With his physical profile and production, Moore is very much a Leonte Carroo-esque prospect with perhaps the potential to develop into an early-career Hakeem Nicks.
For more, see Moore’s player profile.
3. Calvin Ridley, Alabama
Junior | 6’0″ and 189 Pounds | Born December 20, 1994 (Age: 23) | Projection: Round 1
Combine numbers: 40-yard: 4.43 sec | bench reps: 15 | 3-cone: 6.88 sec | 20-yard shuttle: 4.41 sec | vertical: 31 in | broad: 110 in
Even though Ridley just finished his true junior season, he’s already 23 years old, which is ancient for someone only three years out of high school. Even so, Ridley is widely deemed to be the best receiver in the class and a likely first-round selection. Given that he entered college as a five-star recruit and the nation’s No. 1 high school wide receiver, he has been considered a future first-rounder for a while — but Ridley looks unlike a lot of successful Day 1 selections from previous seasons. People often compare him to the former ‘Bama great Amari Cooper, but Ridley is hardly like him. As a freshman Ridley led the team with 89 catches and seven touchdown receptions, and he broke Cooper’s single-season freshman receiving record with 1,045 yards — but Cooper hit 1,000 yards in 14 games as an 18-year-old, whereas Ridley had 15 games to hit his mark, and he turned 21 at the end of his freshman season. When Cooper was 21, he was in the NFL. Ridley’s first season wasn’t bad — he captured a solid 30.7 and 31.8 percent of the Tide’s yards and touchdowns receiving — but it wasn’t an epic campaign considering Ridley’s age.
For more, see Ridley’s player profile.
4. James Washington, Oklahoma State
Senior | 5’11″ and 213 Pounds | Born April 2, 1996 (Age: 21) | Projection: Round 2-3
Combine numbers: 40-yard: 4.54 sec | bench reps: 14 | 3-cone: 7.11 sec | 20-yard shuttle: 4.32 sec | vertical: 34.5 in | broad: 120 in
Washington is just the latest in a long line of Big 12 wide receivers to dominate college football before entering the NFL. The 2017 Biletnikoff award winner as the nation’s top receiver, Washington had an impressive college career. As a true freshman, he led the Cowboys with six touchdowns receiving, and the next year he had the first of three straight seasons with at least 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns receiving. As a junior he was highly impressive with 1,408 yards and 10 touchdowns, and in 2017 of all the wideouts in college football he had the best combination of yardage and touchdowns with 1,561 and 14 in 13 games.
For more, see Washington’s player profile.
5. Michael Gallup, Colorado State
Senior | 6’1″ and 205 Pounds | Born March 4, 1996 (Age: 22) | Projection: Rounds 2-3
Combine numbers: 40-yard: 4.51 sec | bench reps: 10 | 3-cone: 6.95 sec | 20-yard shuttle: 4.37 sec | vertical: 36 in | broad: 122 in
A 2017 Biletnikoff finalist and Pro Football Focus’ top-ranked wide receiver, Gallup was third in the Football Bowl Subdivision over the last two years with 2,690 yards and is a potential Day 2 selection. Even though as a high school student he was recruited by some Southeastern Conference institutions, Gallup due to his standardized test scores started his career at Butler Community College, leading his team as a freshman with 44 receptions, 780 yards, and 11 touchdowns. He missed all but three games of his sophomore campaign with an ankle injury, but he leveraged his first-year dominance into a number of scholarship offers, and he committed to CSU. Once on campus Gallup immediately became the team’s top receiver and was one of the best wideouts of the 2016 season, turning 76 receptions into 1,272 yards and 14 touchdowns. His market share numbers were especially impressive, as he captured 40.0 and 48.3 percent of his team’s receiving yards and touchdowns. Of all the 2018 draft-eligible receivers, he was first with 4.34 yards per route (PFF). While Gallup’s touchdown total dropped to seven in 2017, he had even more receptions and yards with 100 and 1,418, finishing top-five in the country in both categories.
For more, see Gallup’s player profile.
6. Christian Kirk, Texas A&M
Junior | 5’10″ and 201 Pounds | Born November 18, 1996 (Age: 21) | Projection: Rounds 2-3
Combine numbers: 40-yard: 4.47 sec | bench reps: 20 | 3-cone: 7.09 sec | 20-yard shuttle: 4.45 sec | vertical: 35.5 in | broad: 115 in
It’s dangerous to compare any player to Stefon Diggs, but if there’s a Diggs in the 2018 draft he might be Kirk. A five-star recruit in high school, Kirk was an all-around playmaker with 1,692 yards rushing, 1,187 yards receiving, and 42 scrimmage touchdowns as a senior. He enrolled early at A&M and broke out as a true freshman in 2015, leading the team with 80 receptions, 1,009 yards, and seven touchdowns receiving. The next year he progressed, finishing first on the team with 83 receptions and second with 928 yards and nine touchdowns receiving. As a junior, Kirk didn’t have quite as strong of a campaign, but he was still the team’s dominant receiver with 66 receptions for 859 yards and 10 touchdowns. Due to turmoil at the quarterback position, the Aggies offense as a whole had a tough season.
Additionally, he was extraordinarily effective as a return man, scoring seven touchdowns in that capacity, and he also added 121 yards as a runner. All told, in his first two seasons he averaged 1,013 scrimmage yards and 10.5 all-purpose touchdowns per year: That’s pretty good for an underclassman in the Southeastern Conference.
For more, see Kirk’s player profile.
7. Tre’Quan Smith, Central Florida
Redshirt Junior | 6’2″ and 203 Pounds | Born January 7, 1996 (Age: 22) | Projection: Rounds 3-4
Combine numbers: 40-yard: 4.49 sec | bench reps: 12 | 3-cone: 6.97 sec | 20-yard shuttle: 4.5 sec | vertical: 37.5 in | broad: 130 in
After redshirting in 2014, Smith emerged as the team’s top pass catcher in 2015 thanks to the early departure of No. 1 wide receiver and future first-rounder Breshad Perriman. Although the Knights were awful, going 0-12 and finishing with one of the worst offenses in football, Smith led the team with 52 receptions, 724 yards, and four touchdowns, capturing 32.2 and 30.8 percent of the receiving yards and touchdowns — strong numbers for a first-year player. He progressed in 2016 (Frost’s first season at UCF) with 57 receptions, 853 yards, and five touchdowns, and last year he turned into one of the most dominant receivers in the country: He was first among all draft-eligible wide receivers with a 142.9 passer rating when targeted (Pro Football Focus), and even though he was often targeted downfield — he was third in the Football Bowl Subdivision with 16 deep receptions of 20-plus yards — he still managed to catch an outstanding 71.1 percent of his total targets for 1,171 yards, and 13 touchdowns. He even chipped in five rushes for 23 yards and a touchdown. Even if he’s selected in the middle rounds, Smith has the potential to produce like a second-rounder thanks to his physicality and ability to make plays all over the field.
For more, see Smith’s player profile.
8. Equanimeous St. Brown, Notre Dame
Junior | 6’5″ and 214 Pounds | Born September 30, 1996 (Age: 21) | Projection: Rounds 2-3
Combine numbers: 40-yard: 4.48 sec | bench reps: 20 | 3-cone: DNP | 20-yard shuttle: DNP | vertical: DNP | broad: DNP
St. Brown broke out as a sophomore, serving as the No. 1 receiver to quarterback DeShone Kizer as he led the team with 58 receptions, 961 yards, and nine touchdowns receiving in 12 games. Among all major-program receivers, St. Brown was fifth with 2.69 yards per route run (Pro Football Focus). The Offensive Player of the Year for the Fighting Irish, St. Brown looked like a future first-rounder. And then 2017 happened. With Brandon Wimbush at quarterback, the team shifted to more of a ground-based offense, and St. Brown’s production plummeted. He still led the team in the major receiving categories, but his 33 receptions, 515 yards, and four touchdowns were rather pitiful totals, and his market share metrics (22.1 percent of receiving yards; 20 percent of receiving touchdowns) weren’t much better. Even so, with his measurables and 2016 production St. Brown will likely be drafted with a top-100 pick as a high-upside developmental player.
For more, see St. Brown’s player profile.
9. J’Mon Moore, Missouri
Redshirt Senior | 6’3″ and 207 Pounds | Born May 23, 1995 (Age: 22) | Projection: Rounds 3-4
Combine numbers: 40-yard: 4.6 sec | bench reps: 21 | 3-cone: 6.56 sec | 20-yard shuttle: 4.04 sec | vertical: 38 in | broad: 120 in
Moore is one of just 18 players from the Southeastern Conference with a season of 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns receiving since at least 2000. That list includes Mike Evans, Amari Cooper, and Jarvis Landry. Of the 16 such players already to go through the draft process, 10 were selected no later than the second round, and only three weren’t selected within the first four rounds. As a producer from the top conference in college football, Moore belongs to a cohort that possesses significant draft capital. The only other player in school history with two 1,000-yard receiving seasons is former first-rounder Jeremy Maclin.
For more, see Moore’s player profile.
10. Jordan Lasley, California-Los Angeles
Redshirt Junior | 6’1″ and 203 Pounds | Born November 13, 1996 (Age: 21) | Projection: Rounds 3-4
Combine numbers: 40-yard: 4.5 sec | bench reps: 8 | 3-cone: DNP | 20-yard shuttle: 4.19 sec | vertical: 34.5 in | broad: 112 in
After redshirting in his first year and playing as a depth receiver in his second year, Lasley emerged as a starter in his sophomore campaign, finishing first on the team with five touchdowns and second with 41 receptions and 620 receiving yards. As a junior he had to deal with suspensions and injuries to quarterback Josh Rosen, but even then he was a star, catching 69 passes for 1,264 yards and nine touchdowns in just nine games. Catching 32.2 and 45 percent of the UCLA’s receiving yards and touchdowns in the games in which he appeared, Lasley flashed legitimate play-making ability thanks to his smooth route running. He missed more than a quarter of the season, and he also dropped a frustratingly high 12.5 percent of his targets last year, but his combine performance (though not great) was passable. With his size, production, and expected draft position, he’s fairly similar to Terrance Williams.
For more, see Lasley’s player profile.
11. Deontay Burnett, Southern California
Updated as of Mar. 6.
Junior | 6’0″ and 186 Pounds | Born October 4, 1997 (Age: 20) | Projection: Rounds 3-4
Combine numbers: 40-yard: DNP | bench reps: DNP | 3-cone: DNP | 20-yard shuttle: DNP | vertical: DNP | broad: DNP
Productive USC receivers have a long and proud history of leaving school and declaring for the draft as early as possible — in some cases too early (legally and pragmatically).
- 2017 draft: JuJu Smith-Schuster, true junior
- 2015 draft: Nelson Agholor, true junior
- 2014 draft: Marqise Lee, true junior
- 2013 draft: Robert Woods, true junior
- 2010 draft: Damian Williams, redshirt junior
- 2007 draft: Dwayne Jarrett, true junior
- 2005 draft: Mike Williams, true sophomore
The youngest receiver in the draft, Burnett is following in the footsteps of his predecessors and entering the NFL early. Like all of them, he also has a 1,000-yard receiving season on his résumé. Burnett last year led all Trojans pass catchers with 86 receptions, 1,114 yards, and nine touchdowns. Before dealing with shoulder and toe injuries in the middle of the season, Burnett opened the year with 33 receptions for 462 yards and five touchdowns through four games, leading all wide receivers with a 91.8 Pro Football Focus rating for the first month.
For more, see Burnett’s player profile.
12. Anthony Miller, Memphis
Redshirt Senior | 5’11″ and 201 Pounds | Born October 9, 1994 (Age: 23) | Projection: Rounds 2-3
Combine numbers: 40-yard: DNP | bench reps: 22 | 3-cone: DNP | 20-yard shuttle: DNP | vertical: DNP | broad: DNP
After redshirting his first year and missing his second year to injury, Miller was a reliable receiver for quarterback Paxton Lynch in 2015, finishing first on the team with five touchdowns receiving, second with 694 receiving yards, and third with 47 receptions. The following season, with a new coach (Mike Norvell) and quarterback (Riley Ferguson), Miller took college football by storm, turning 95 receptions into 1,434 yards, 14 touchdowns, and 36.2 and 41.2 percent of Memphis’ receiving yards and touchdowns. Showing that 2016 was no fluke, Miller last year had 96 receptions for 1,462 yards, 18 touchdowns, and 33.8 and 46.2 percent of the receiving yards and touchdowns. On top of that, throughout his career he chipped in 31 carries for 148 yards and three touchdowns, which isn’t massive but also isn’t insignificant. Miller wasn’t able to participate in Senior Bowl practices and combine drills because of a foot injury. He might not be able to work out at all in advance of the draft. If he displays strong size-adjusted athleticism before the draft, then Miller will deserve the Day 2 hype he’s getting.
For more, see Miller’s player profile.
13. Dante Pettis, Washington
Senior | 6’0″ and 186 Pounds | Born October 23, 1995 (Age: 22) | Projection: Rounds 3-4
Combine numbers: 40-yard: DNP | bench reps: DNP | 3-cone: DNP | 20-yard shuttle: DNP | vertical: DNP | broad: DNP
Pettis is an All-American returner with an NCAA-record nine career punt return touchdowns. On top of that, in his two final seasons he had 1,583 yards and 22 touchdowns as a receiver (and 50 yards as a runner). Pettis is functional enough to be an NFL receiver, and last year he easily led all Huskies pass catchers with 63 receptions, 761 yards, and seven touchdowns. In 2016-17, Pettis captured 24.8 and 33.8 percent of Washington’s receiving yards and touchdowns. He’s perhaps the best collegiate return man of all time, but he’s not just a returner. Given his size and collegiate production, he might best be thought of as a Marvin Jones-esque player with slightly less route-running ability but way more return-game utility.
For more, see Pettis’ player profile.
14. Auden Tate, Florida State
Junior | 6’5″ and 228 Pounds | Born February 3, 1997 (Age: 21) | Projection: Rounds 2-3
Combine numbers: 40-yard: 4.68 sec | bench reps: DNP | 3-cone: DNP | 20-yard shuttle: DNP | vertical: 31 in | broad: 112 in
In his three year career, not once did he have even 550 yards receiving or 25 percent of his team’s receiving yardage. He is, however, an enticing prospect in that he’s massive and young and perhaps his relative lack of production last year (40 receptions for 548 yards and 10 touchdowns) can be excused due to the season-ending injury to starting quarterback Deondre Francois (patella) in the first game of the season. Backup quarterback James Blackman played well for a true freshman, but the Seminoles managed only 21 passing touchdowns on the year. Everything considered, Tate did well to capture 50 percent of the receiving touchdowns in the 12 games he played, and he was downright unstoppable in the Independence Bowl, catching five receptions for 84 yards and three touchdowns in his final college performance. With his youth, physical profile, and touchdown-skewed production history, Tate is very much a Devin Funchess-esque developmental project with long-term potential and red-zone jump-ball skills.
For more, see Tate’s player profile.
15. D.J. Chark, Louisiana State
Senior | 6’3″ and 199 Pounds | Born September 23, 1996 (Age: 21) | Projection: Rounds 2-3
Combine numbers: 40-yard: 4.34 sec | bench reps: 16 | 3-cone: DNP | 20-yard shuttle: DNP | vertical: 40 in | broad: 129 in
As a freshman, Chark literally didn’t touch the ball. As a sophomore, he touched the ball twice: Once on an end-around run, and once on a lateral that someone else caught first. For his first two years of college, Chark actually had zero receptions. As a junior he finally got regular playing time as the third receiver in the offense behind Malachi Dupre and Travin Dural, and he finished second on the team with 466 yards receiving and tied for first with three touchdowns. With Dupre and Dural in the NFL, Chark as a senior ‘dominated’ the passing offense, leading the team with 40 receptions, 874 yards, and three touchdowns. None of that is very exciting.
For more, see Chark’s player profile.
16. Trey Quinn, Southern Methodist
Redshirt Junior | 5’11″ and 203 Pounds | Born December 7, 1995 (Age: 22) | Projection: Rounds 4-5
Combine numbers: 40-yard: 4.55 sec | bench reps: 17 | 3-cone: 6.91 sec | 20-yard shuttle: 4.19 sec | vertical: 33.5 in | broad: 116 in
As good as wide receiver Courtland Sutton was at SMU, it’s possible that he was the second-best receiver on the Mustangs in 2017: Quinn was that good in his only year of action at SMU, as he led the Football Bowl Subdivision with 114 receptions, which converted into 1,236 yards, 13 touchdowns, and 32.6 and 37.1 percent of the team’s receiving yardage and scores. Quinn led all FBS wide receivers with 4.66 yards per route in the slot (PFF), but he’s perhaps not a slot-only pass catcher, as he played just 33.8 percent of his snaps there in 2017. Quinn’s combine performance wasn’t great — he fell well short of his 4.39-second 40 time from high school — but he displayed enough agility to suggest that he can be a competent NFL receiver.
For more, see Quinn’s player profile.
17. Korey Robertson, Southern Mississippi
Redshirt Junior | 6’1″ and 212 Pounds | Born June 22, 1995 (Age: 22) | Projection: Rounds 4-5
Combine numbers: 40-yard: 4.56 sec | bench reps: 13 | 3-cone: DNP | 20-yard shuttle: DNP | vertical: 34 in | broad: 123 in
Robertson is very much the discount Davante Adams or maybe even Justin Blackmon of the 2018 draft: He’s thick and physical, and his “my ball” mentality translated to significant college production. Although he doesn’t have the gaudy raw stats that Adams and Blackmon had in their high-volume spread systems, Robertson has impressed with the Golden Eagles. Although he redshirted his first year and played as a depth receiver as a freshman and sophomore, totaling 51 receptions for 637 yards and six touchdowns, as a junior he broke out in his first full season as a starter. With two quarterbacks who failed collectively to complete even 57 percent of their passes, he turned 76 receptions into 1,106 yards, 12 touchdowns, and 35.4 and 50.0 percent of the team’s receiving yards and scores. That market share production in particular is smoking.
For more, see Robertson’s player profile.
18. Keke Coutee, Texas Tech
Junior | 5’10″ and 181 Pounds | Born January 14, 1997 (Age: 21) | Projection: Rounds 4-5
Combine numbers: 40-yard: 4.43 sec | bench reps: 14 | 3-cone: 6.93 sec | 20-yard shuttle: 4.15 sec | vertical: 34.5 in | broad: 113 in
Coutee isn’t quite this year’s Jakeem Grant, but he has potential.
After playing as a depth receiver as a freshman, Coutee replaced the graduated Grant as the slot receiver in Tech’s offense as a sophomore, and on a per-game basis he basically did in his two years as a starter what Grant did the two years prior.
- Grant (2014-15): 92.4 yards and 0.76 touchdowns from scrimmage
- Coutee (2016-17): 93.4 yards and 0.72 touchdowns from scrimmage
While Grant was more productive as a runner (199 career yards vs. 17) and a returner (four career touchdowns vs. one touchdown), Coutee overall was better as a receiver in his final season: He was fourth in the nation with 1,429 yards receiving, and he had a 32.9 percent share of Tech’s receiving yardage, which is a high percentage for any given receiver to have in that offense.
For more, see Coutee’s player profile.
19. DaeSean Hamilton, Penn State
Grad Student | 6’1″ and 203 Pounds | Born March 10, 1995 (Age: 22) | Projection: Rounds 4-5
Combine numbers: 40-yard: DNP | bench reps: DNP | 3-cone: 6.84 sec | 20-yard shuttle: 4.15 sec | vertical: 34.5 in | broad: 1118 in
A four-star recruit, Hamilton replaced the graduated Allen Robinson in the Nittany Lions’ offense as a redshirt freshman, leading the Big Ten with 82 receptions and the team with 899 yards. As a sophomore and junior he had middling campaigns, but last year he returned to form with a team-leading 857 yards and nine touchdowns receiving. An academic overachiever, he graduated early and opted to work on a second degree as a grad student with his remaining time. Although Hamilton never had a truly dominant season — he never had 1,000 yards, double-digit touchdowns, or more than a 30 percent market share of Penn State’s receiving yards or touchdowns — he’s a good route runner, a four-year starter, and former team captain, and he was so impressive at the East-West Shrine Game that he received an invitation to the Senior Bowl, where he reportedly excelled in one-on-one drills.
For more, see Hamilton’s player profile.
20. Richie James, Middle Tennessee State
Redshirt Junior | 5’10″ and 183 Pounds | Born September 5, 1995 (Age: 22) | Projection: Rounds 5-7
Combine numbers: 40-yard: 4.48 sec | bench reps: 6 | 3-cone: 6.87 sec | 20-yard shuttle: 4.16 sec | vertical: 35.5 in | broad: 122 in
As a freshman, James was unstoppable. In 2015 he led the team with 107 receptions and 1,334 yards. The next year he improved upon his production with 105 receptions and 1,625. During this time, he was third in the Football Bowl Subdivision in receptions and yards receiving, and he also chipped in as a wildcat quarterback, turning his 51 carries into 497 yards. In total he had 25 touchdowns in his first 26 games. As a junior, though, he missed a few games in the middle of the season with an ankle sprain, and then later in the year he suffered a broken collarbone and had to miss the rest of the campaign. In total he had only 31 receptions and 10 carries for 347 yards and three touchdowns in five games, but even though he missed time in two of those contests he still managed to capture 26.3 and 50 percent of the receiving yards and touchdowns in the games he played. In his seven healthy games against Power Five opponents: In those contests, he had 67 receptions and five rushes for 870 yards and six touchdowns.
For more, see James’ player profile.
21. Deon Cain, Clemson
Junior | 6’2″ and 202 Pounds | Born August 9, 1996 (Age: 22) | Projection: Rounds 3-4
Combine numbers: 40-yard: 4.43 sec | bench reps: 11 | 3-cone: 6.71 sec | 20-yard shuttle: 4.37 sec | vertical: 33.5 in | broad: 115 in
Based on his production, it’s hard to believe that Cain is receiving legitimate Day 2 hype from a number of respected analysts. He had a decent freshman campaign as a depth receiver with 34 receptions for 582 yards and five touchdowns, and he especially came on in the second half of the season with either 90 yards or a touchdown in seven of his final eight games, but he missed the two College Football Playoff games because of a drug-related suspension. He progressed as a sophomore and finished second on the team with nine touchdowns, but he was still just sixth on the Tigers with 38 receptions and little more than a big-play and red-zone specialist. Last year he led the team with 734 yards and six touchdowns receiving, but he managed to capture only 18.8 percent of the Tigers’ receptions. As a guy who never had 750 yards receiving, double-digit touchdowns, 20 percent of the receptions, or 25 percent of the receiving yards, Cain leaves a lot to be desired.
For more, see Cain’s player profile.
22. Cedrick WIlson, Boise State
Senior | 6’2″ and 197 Pounds | Born March 10, 1995 (Age: 22) | Projection: Rounds 4-5
Combine numbers: 40-yard: 4.55 sec | bench reps: 9 | 3-cone: 6.89 sec | 20-yard shuttle: 4.23 | vertical: 37 in | broad: 121 in
A high school quarterback, Wilson went the junior college route and converted to wide receiver and return man at Coffeyville Community College. After learning the position as a freshman (and still catching 10 touchdowns in his first season), Wilson broke out as a sophomore, turning 66 receptions into 1,045 yards and 17 touchdowns in just nine games. A Junior College All-American, Wilson was recruited to Boise State, where he immediately became a big-play receiver for the Broncos, balling out with a 1,129-11 season in 2016 while averaging 20.2 yards (and 7.7 yards after the catch) per reception (Pro Football Focus). He was second out of all 2018 draft-eligible wide receivers with his 3.74 yards per route. He regressed as a touchdown producer in 2017 with just seven scores — Boise State dealt with issues at quarterback — but Wilson still played well, accumulating 83 receptions for 1,511 yards and leading all receivers in the Football Bowl Subdivision with 4.58 yards per route against Power Five opponents.
For more, see Wilson’s player profile.
23. Simmie Cobbs, Indiana
Redshirt Junior | 6’3″ and 220 Pounds | Born August 25, 1995 (Age: 22) | Projection: Rounds 5-7
Combine numbers: 40-yard: 4.64 sec | bench reps: 11 | 3-cone: 6.7 sec | 20-yard shuttle: 4.32 | vertical: 30 in | broad: 113 in
After a nondescript freshman campaign as a depth receiver (seven receptions for 114 yards), Cobbs broke out as a sophomore in 2015, leading the team with 60 receptions and 1,035 yards. He finished, though, with just four touchdowns, and his 27.1 percent share of the team’s receiving yards was middling. On the first series of the 2016 campaign — literally before he had even touched the ball — Cobbs suffered a season-ending ankle injury and was forced to take a medical redshirt, and then he was arrested at a concert in July 2017. Nevertheless, he returned last season and led the team with 72 receptions, 841 yards, and eight touchdowns receiving. Still, Cobbs never had even 30 percent of his team’s receiving yards in a season.
For more, see Cobbs’ player profile.
24. Jake Wieneke, South Dakota State
Redshirt Senior | 6’4″ and 221 Pounds | Born September 15, 1994 (Age: 23) | Projection: Rounds 5-7
Combine numbers: 40-yard: 4.67 sec | bench reps: 9 | 3-cone: 7.24 sec | 20-yard shuttle: 4.37 sec | vertical: 34 in | broad: 114 in
After redshirting his first year at SD State, Wieneke emerged as the team’s top receiver as a freshman, and he went on a string of epic campaigns.
- 2014 (14 games): 73 receptions, one rush, 1,456 yards, 16 touchdowns
- 2015 (12 games): 72 receptions, 1,472 yards,11 touchdowns
- 2016 (13 games): 78 receptions, 1,316 yards, 16 touchdowns
- 2017 (14 games): 65 receptions, two rushes, 1,048 yards, 17 touchdowns.
Across his career, Wieneke averaged 99.9 yards and 1.13 touchdowns per game, capturing 36.0 and an astounding 50.0 percent of the team’s aerial yards and scores. Some people will dismiss his production because he played against the lesser competition of the FCS, but in his three games against Power Five opponents he balled out with 22 receptions for 463 yards, four touchdowns, and 53.1 and 66.7 percent of the receiving yards and touchdowns.
For more, see Wieneke’s player profile.
25. Marcell Ateman, Oklahoma State
Redshirt Senior | 6’4″ and 216 Pounds | Born September 16, 1994 (Age: 23) | Projection: Rounds 5-7
Combine numbers: 40-yard: 4.62 sec | bench reps: 13 | 3-cone: 7.07 sec | 20-yard shuttle: 4.25 sec | vertical: 34 in | broad: 121 in
A four-star recruit who received interest from from several Southeastern Conference schools, Ateman chose Oklahoma State and was granted immediate playing time with the Cowboys as a freshman, catching 22 passes for 276 yards. After a similar sophomore campaign (20 receptions for 268 yards), Ateman emerged opposite Washington as a junior, finishing third on the team with 45 receptions and 766 yards and second with five touchdowns. Poised to progress as a senior, Ateman suffered a season-ending foot injury before the campaign even started, and he was forced to redshirt for all of 2016 as Washington dominated the offense with his second consecutive 1,000-10 performance. In 2017 Ateman returned to action with a decent season, finishing second with 59 receptions, 1,156 yards, and eight touchdowns. While Ateman had top-10 marks with 3.5 yards per route and 455 deep receiving yards (Pro Football Focus), he had disappointing market share numbers — especially for his age — with just 22.9 and 21.6 percent of the team’s receiving yards and touchdowns.
For more, see Ateman’s player profile.
26. Antonio Callaway, Florida
Junior | 5’11″ and 200 Pounds | Born January 9, 1997 (Age: 21) | Projection: Rounds 5-7
Combine numbers: 40-yard: 4.41 sec | bench reps: DNP | 3-cone: DNP | 20-yard shuttle: DNP | vertical: 34 in | broad: 121 in
Callaway is an incredibly polarizing player. As a true freshman he led Florida with 678 yards and four touchdowns receiving, and he also chipped in 19 yards rushing, two punt return touchdowns, and a passing touchdown. As a sophomore he again led the team in receiving, turning 54 receptions into 721 yards and three touchdowns, and he contributed as both a runner (five carries for 32 yards and a touchdown) and a return man (315 return yards and one touchdown). With his versatile skill set, Callaway is very much in the mold of Florida predecessor Percy Harvin. As a person, though, he’s problematic. After his freshman year he was charged with sexual assault (the charges were eventually dropped — which is normally what happens with top-tier athletes), and after his sophomore year he was cited for marijuana possession. And then, before his junior year even started, he was suspended for the season because of his participation in a credit card fraud ring with some teammates. Despite his talent, some scouts and front office executives reportedly view Callaway as undraftable.
For more, see Callaway’s player profile.
27. Jaleel Scott, New Mexico State
Redshirt Senior | 6’5″ and 218 Pounds | Born February 23, 1995 (Age: 23) | Projection: Rounds 5-7
Combine numbers: 40-yard: 4.56 sec | bench reps: 16 | 3-cone: 7.2 sec | 20-yard shuttle: 4.4 sec | vertical: 34.5 in | broad: 124 in
Although he started out at junior college and finished in the Sun Belt, Scott has some Power Five-ish pedigree in that he was recruited by Maryland and Kentucky, but his academic qualifications for admission were lacking. As a result, he went to Ellsworth Community College. Thanks to his raw talent and red-zone ability, Scott was recruited to New Mexico St. out of the JC ranks, and in his first year with the Aggies he led the team with five touchdowns. As a senior, he finally had a complete campaign, leading the team with 76 receptions, 1,079 yards, and nine touchdowns. While Scott’s athleticism is by no means elite, he has enough size-adjusted speed to be a functional NFL receiver, and his contested-catch skills are nearly elite thanks to his ability to box out defenders with his large frame.
For more, see Scott’s player profile.
28. Allen Lazard, Iowa State
Senior | 6’5″ and 227 Pounds | Born December 11, 1995 (Age: 22) | Projection: Rounds 5-7
Combine numbers: 40-yard: 4.55 sec | bench reps: 17 | 3-cone: DNP | 20-yard shuttle: DNP | vertical: 38 in | broad: 122 in
A four-year starter, Lazard made an immediate impression as a freshman: His raw numbers weren’t great, but he was on a 2-10 team with poor quarterback play, and he still managed to finish second on the offense with 45 receptions, 593 yards receiving, and three touchdowns. As a sophomore he continued to progress, leading the team in all receiving categories with 56 receptions, 808 yards, and six touchdowns, and he also averaged 19.5 yards per punt return on 11 opportunities. As a junior he was the heart of the team, leading the offense (again) in receiving with 69 receptions, 1,018 yards, seven touchdowns, and 32.8 and 33.3 percent of the passing yardage and scores. Last year the Cyclones offense exhibited more balance as sophomore running back David Montgomery emerged as an all-around force, but even with less of the overall load Lazard had another solid campaign with 71 receptions for 941 yards and 10 touchdowns. A contested-catch specialist, Lazard has an imposing frame, and his size-adjusted speed and burst make him comparable as an athlete to such players as Josh Gordon and Kenny Golladay.
For more, see Lazard’s player profile.
29. Justin Watson, Pennsylvania
Senior | 6’3″ and 213 Pounds | Projection: Rounds 5-7
After playing as the No. 3 receiver as a freshman, he tore up the Ivy League for his three final years, averaging 120.6 yards and 1.07 touchdowns per game across that time. Most impressively, he improved each year, and by the end of his senior year he had an unreal market share of Penn’s aerial production.
- 2014: 16.0 percent of receptions, 18.1 percent of yards, 13.3 percent of touchdowns
- 2015: 35.7 percent of receptions, 44.5 percent of yards, 36.0 percent of touchdowns
- 2016: 44.1 percent of receptions, 49.0 percent of yards, 44.4 percent of touchdowns
- 2017: 47.6 percent of receptions, 50.5 percent of yards, 70.0 percent of touchdowns
Even when adjustments are made for his level of competition, Watson’s senior-year production was unbelievable. Not every uber-productive receiver from the Football Championship Subdivision makes his way to the NFL, but Watson will look like a Day 3 pick if he exhibits decent athleticism at his pro day.
For more, see Watson’s player profile.
30. Cam Phillips, Virginia Tech
Senior | 6’0″ and 201 Pounds | Born December 16, 1995 (Age: 22) | Projection: Rounds 5-7
Combine numbers: 40-yard: DNP | bench reps: DNP | 3-cone: DNP | 20-yard shuttle: DNP | vertical: DNP | broad: DNP
After functioning as the third receiver in the offense for his first two seasons on campus (89 receptions for 1,080 yards and five touchdowns in 26 games), as a junior Phillips emerged in first-year head coach Justin Fuente’s offense. In total, he had 1,123 yards and five touchdowns on 76 receptions and 30 rushes. His versatility as a ball carrier was especially notable, and out of all VT runners with at least 25 attempts he led the team with his rushing average of 4.7 yards per carry. As a senior, Phillips enjoyed less raw production, but he still managed a respectable 974 yards and seven touchdowns on 71 receptions and one carry in 12 games, and he easily led the team in all receiving categories and had a 33.9 and 35 percent market share of the team’s aerial yards and touchdowns. While Phillips never had a truly dominant season, he’s a solid route runner and possession receiver with the potential to serve eventually as a reliable No. 3 option in a passing attack.
For more, see Phillips’ player profile.
Photo Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports