The WR situation in Pittsburgh is nothing less than cloudy. For many other teams, it is much the same way. So, a class that reinvigorates the position in all types of receivers is huge. This is one of the best WR classes we have had in years from the top to the bottom. It has a few really awesome top guys, but also some steals in the middle rounds.
Thus, here are my top 10 WRs in the 2019 NFL Draft.
1. DK Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss
This one is pretty easy. I am not sure if anyone is even close to DK Metcalf in terms of claiming the #1 spot here.
Metcalf has just about all the athletic skills I would want. He will run in the 4.4s and his height and size are fantastic. You all have seen how big the guy is, and luckily, it only strengthens Metcalf in terms of how dominant he is.
Metcalf has quick feet and fluid hips, which makes him just an incredibly good release receiver off the line. He really only worked on the vertical plane at Ole Miss, but when he ran intermediate routes, he showed great hip sink and the ability to really be sharp at the end of his stems. His ability to win vertically will never be questioned with great speed.
His concerns come really at the fact that he does not have that alpha mentality at the catch point yet and that he is developing as a route runner. But he has a Top 10 WR in this league type of ceiling. He is a monster.
Plays like this are why DK Metcalf will always be WR1 so be as his medicals check out. Dude is long, gets separation, and one here shows off the insane catch radius. He’s a special player. #DraftTwitter pic.twitter.com/6GDTU5ZxY1— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) November 23, 2018
2. Kelvin Harmon, WR, NC State
I love Kelvin Harmon. Unlike DK Metcalf, he has that alpha mentality at the catch point all day. He is the most physical receiver in this draft and maybe the most polished receiver as well. If I had to bet on a sure thing, Harmon is that guy. He is a high floor, high ceiling type of prospect that we all seek to have. At 20, if AB were to be traded, Harmon is a great option.
For his size, he moves through routes and breaks extremely fluidly. I would normally not expect that from a guy at his size, but he is an outlier for this type of stuff. The guy just play and make an impact. His YAC ability has a lot of refinement to work on, but this is a guy who would make a wonderful duo with JuJu Smith-Schuster.
Much like N’Keal Harry, let’s not overthink NC State WR Kelvin Harmon. Not only is he a contested catch beast, but he is a nuanced route runner and versatile player that can move around alignments. I wish his YAC was better, but a 1st round talent. #DraftTwitter pic.twitter.com/r2iCJB1CcX— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) January 8, 2019
3. Deebo Samuel, WR, South Carolina
There might be detractors due to his frame or maybe even his ankle injury, but Samuel proved to be a dynamo in the offense of South Carolina. No one could stop the guy and he pretty much was their offense.
Samuel has elite YAC ability thanks to almost-RB like skills after the catch. His contact balance is just elite. He also has great foot speed and can vary that up with his pace, thus making him an elite and nuanced route runner as well to all areas of the field. As a release receiver, Samuel’s quickness allows him to staunchly beat press with ease.
The issue is his frame hinders his contested catch ability and thus his catch radius is lackluster. That is why he is lower than Harmon and Metcalf, but if the Steelers want a guy to take pressure off of JuJu, Samuel is a fantastic option.
Deebo Samuel isn’t just a senior bowl wonder. Dude’s tape was always super impressive. Check this out— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) January 26, 2019
- No wasted movement in release
- Stutter releases inside to gain leverage and mess with CBs foot speed
- Sharp cut into the middle to get separation.
He’s good folks. pic.twitter.com/haUaqnkgl4
4. DaMarkus Lodge, WR, Ole Miss
Lodge is an interesting study. He has largely been the third wheel of hype for all the Ole Miss WRs, and yet, I think he could end up being the best one easily.
It all comes from his ability to win deep and win in contested catch situations. His releases are fantastic and with it he can gain easy separation. His hips are more than fluid enough to show that he has the makings of being a great route runner. Lodge wins off the line with quick releases and deception, and then stacking CBs once he has beaten them deep.
The big questions are similar to Metcalf. Where is that alpha mentality at the catch point and why does he have some suspect drops? Clean that up. Oh, and he is a fantastic blocker. Classic Steelers player to me.
Hello, DaMarkus Lodge is the 2nd best receiver on that Ole Miss team. Vertical threat who is refined as a route runner. Dude is very fluid too. I feel like a lot of people should be higher on him than they are. #DraftTwitter pic.twitter.com/Wr8FaFPyds— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) November 28, 2018
5. N’Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State
He is stiff-hipped, he doesn’t get that much separation, and his long speed isn’t impressive, yeah, okay, whatever.
Harry doesn’t need that because of how much of a physical monster he is at the catch point. His ability to box out and just high point balls will translate well to the next level, regardless. He also has an extremely diverse route tree, so that will help him be more of an immediate contributor.
Harry might have the best YAC ability out of the whole class too. He literally will drag guys on his back for 10+ yards. Just ask Oregon how that happened, he killed them after the catch.
Arizona State WR N’Keal Harry deserves every bit of hype he gets. Look at how he dominates press here and then runs over guys for a huge YAC gain. This dude also has some of the craziest contested catch skills I’ve seen in a while. A whole beast. #DraftTwitter pic.twitter.com/B4qs7R1a8k— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) January 7, 2019
6. Keesean Johnson, WR, Fresno State
I might get some heat for having him this high, but Johnson is Muhsin Muhammad’s twin. If you remember just how good he was for the Panthers back in the day, Johnson has similar tendencies to him as a whole.
Johnson is a guy who is elusive in space, and while not a super speedy guy, his YAC skill is compounded by his ability to see the field and make moves in succession. As a route runner, there might be none better in the class than him. He is polished and has an expansive tree. He has more than enough of the burners to win deep too.
The question is does his athleticism hold him back? Probably, a bit. If he was faster he’d be far more dynamic and dangerous, but make no mistake, this is a very good prospect.
Fresno St WR Keesean Johnson is a beast. @TonyG_DFFscout and I are in agreement that Johnson is better than a lot of people have him ranked. He’s easily a top 10 receiver in this class to me. Smooth athlete and detailed route runner. He’s a good deep threat too. #DraftTwitter pic.twitter.com/IKhGDkFxTZ— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) December 12, 2018
7. Riley Ridley, WR, Georgia
He is a bit of a controversial receiver because his production is not up to par, but I see no reason why Riley Ridley should not be a WR3 at the next level.
He is raw in a good bit of areas, but his release skills will translate so well. His quick feet and ability to stop on a dime fluidly is just a trait you have to have to be a starter in the NFL and he has it. He can go up and grab any ball you throw his way, and as a route runner, he is a dynamic receiver with deception all in his game.
Don’t overthink him, friends, he is going to be a contributor. Not a WR1, but a good, solid contributor on a team.
Good at Football: A Riley Ridley Storypic.twitter.com/YPPAg7aSWk— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) January 30, 2019
8. Hakeem Butler, WR, Iowa State
Between his stiffness as a route runner and drop issues that he has, Butler has shrunk on me as the process has gone on. There is a question if he actually will be able to win the way he did now at the next level. Butler’s struggles versus man coverage also is an issue.
Yet, I cannot deny how much of a cheat code he was when the ball was thrown his way. He made acrobatic catches repeatedly and was a fantastic player to bail out to for Kempt. His YAC ability is freakish to say the least. He throws guys around like they are ragdolls. He is an impressive player.
He has to go to a vertical offense, so the Pittsburgh fit is great, to me.
Is Hakeem Butler good at football? Yes! pic.twitter.com/HXEs0NawR2— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) February 2, 2019
9. Marquise ”Hollywood” Brown, WR, Oklahoma
Well, this won’t happen since he is Antonio Brown’s cousin, but I wish it could. Brown is the next DeSean Jackson and can beat you with more than just speed. He has the quickness to burn past anyone and is a filthy route runner.
He will fly in the open field and likely runs sub 4.4 into the 4.3s. That open field speed is fantastic and he plays more physical than you think he would for his frame. That frame is an issue and he does need to bulk up, no doubt, but Hollywood is an electric weapon.
Hollywood Brown is a guaranteed top 50 pick, and he's a top 50 player, too. This guy is a big play threat all day with that speed. Just a lethal player who will create mismatches at the next level, love this guy. #DraftTwitter pic.twitter.com/YIgI2uqz9C— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) November 27, 2018
10. Emanuel Hall, WR, Missouri
Now here is the speed guy we have a shot of getting.
Hall is a tad slower than Brown, but still burns CBs with that speed. His release game is elite to say the least. That added to his quickness makes him a fantastic vertical threat. The most impressive aspect of his game is how good of a route runner he is, though. You would think that he might just be a vertical guy, but Hall can run fluid and sharp intermediate and short routes.
This is a dynamic receiver that can complement a #1 receiver easily and be a really key player on your team. He would be fantastic value.