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Steelers 2023 NFL Draft Big Board: Wide Receiver rankings and scouting reports

The BTSC Big Board crew is back, breaking down every notable wide receiver in the 2023 draft class!

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 02 Pac-12 Championship - Utah vs USC Photo by Ric Tapia/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Draft season is here, ladies and gentleman, and BTSC is excited to bring you our exclusive NFL Draft Big Board for the third consecutive year! Between January and April, we will be giving you an in-depth look at over 200 prospects in this draft class, ranking and analyzing noteworthy prospects at each position.

We will unveil this board one position at a time, with the final top 250 draft board coming out right before the draft. This compilation of rankings, stats, and analysis is completed by a combination of BTSC staff and community members. The rankings and grades are my own and will be updated throughout the process, while the stats and measurables are compiled by site moderator SNW. The analysis is a collaborative effort, which includes myself, Ryland B., Jeremy Betz, Noah_E., Necksnation, John O’Malley, Adam Curry, and Steve Martucci.

UPDATE: We have a new big board site coming, created by BTSC member DaveInBalt. We will show you how to use it to your advantage on draft weekend in the coming days.

As it pertains to the grading scale, first-round grades will include top-five, top-ten, mid first, and late first grades. Rounds 2-4 will have early, mid, and late grades, while grades fifth round or worse will have a generic round grade. Prospects with a Round 7 grade will not be differentiated from those with an undrafted grade.

Just like last year, each big board article will be a complemented by a separate article discussing whether or not the Steelers should draft said position in the 2023 NFL Draft. Ryland will be heading up that portion of the draft coverage once again this year.

Our next position on the board is one near and dear to Steelers fans’ hearts: wide receiver. The Steelers are no stranger to drafting wide receivers early on, and it is entirely possible they do so again. With Steven Sims signing with the Texans and Calvin Austin returning from injury, adding a physical slot receiver is likely on the agenda.

If you have any thoughts on this wide receiver class, be sure to share it in the comment section below. Let’s dive in!

1. Jaxon Smith-Njigba | Ohio State | 6‘0“, 197 lbs

2022 Stats: GP 3, Rec 5, Yds 43, TD 0.
2021 Stats: GP 13, Rec 95, Yds 1606, TD 9.
Wilbar’s Grade: Late 1st

Jeremy: JSN is everything you’d want from a number one receiver who projects as mainly a slot weapon at the NFL level. Displays elite foot quickness and change-of-direction ability. An expert route runner with a knack for creating subtle separation at the catch point and enough play strength to handle more contested catches in the middle of the field. He won’t blow you away with blazing speed, but his agility and savvy allow him to create space despite that. He possesses adequate size to handle blocking assignments in the run game. Overall, JSN is an elite weapon on all three levels and can be a high-volume target from Day 1.

2. Zay Flowers | Boston College | 5‘10“, 177 lbs

2022 Stats: GP 12, Rec 78, Yds 1077, TD 12.
Wilbar’s Grade: Late 1st

Noah_E: Over the last couple of months, Zay Flowers has been flying up draft boards, and for good reason. He is one of the twitchiest and most explosive receivers I’ve ever seen. He’s someone that makes the quarterback’s job easy, consistently creating separation on all three levels of the field. Not to mention he has phenomenal body control and strong hands that allow him to make catches in traffic look easy. However, where Flowers really shines is after the catch. His ability to make guys miss is otherworldly and he rarely goes down on the first try. Anytime he touches the ball there’s potential for a house call. Of course, no prospect is perfect. Flowers is on the smaller side and his play strength at the NFL level will certainly be a question mark. He does drop more passes than you’d like, something that can be fixed with some time on the JUGS machine. His combination of speed, twitchiness, route running, and RAC ability make him a dangerous weapon at any receiver spot. However, his size will likely limit him to a slot role, but I think he has the potential to thrive no matter what team he’s on or where he lines up.

3. Quentin Johnston | TCU | 6‘4“, 193 lbs

2022 Stats: GP 14, Rec 60, Yds 1069, TD 6.
Wilbar’s Grade: Late 1st

Andrew Wilbar: The first thing that pops out with Johnston is his athleticism. Johnston does an excellent job using his combination of size and speed to get downfield and win on 50/50 balls. He possesses outstanding body control, leaping over and around defenders to make catches with still maintaining balance and staying his feet to make something happen after the catch. This true acrobatic ability is also a benefit on third downs, as Johnston does a great job of keeping his feet in bounds and maintaining forward momentum to move the chains on passes near the line to gain. The most talked about issue with Quentin is his hands. He struggled with drops throughout his collegiate career, many of which are due to poor concentration. He often turns his head upfield before securing the catch, and his hand positioning is the slightest bit off at times. Johnston also needs to cut back on the body catches and trust his hands more. Another concern I have with Johnston is his lack of speed at the beginning of his route. He does not have a great first step off the line, and it sometimes takes him a couple steps to really accelerate. I am also not impressed with his physicality as a run blocker. Ultimately, I see Johnston as one of the bigger boom-or-bust prospects at the wide receiver position. However, the risk may be worth it, as his physical abilities are among the best in the class.

4. Jordan Addison | USC | 6‘0“, 175 lbs

2022 Stats: GP 11, Rec 59, Yds 875, TD 8.
Wilbar’s Grade: Late 1st

skyfire322: Addison has been considered one of the top prospects coming out of college and for a good reason. The 2021 Biletnikoff Award winner made waves during his sophomore season at Pitt but transferred to USC for his Junior year. While his numbers declined, he still led the Trojans in receptions, yards, and TDs. He has world-class route-running capability, has stellar footwork, and easily creates separation at all levels. While he had an 11.5% drop rate in his final year at Pitt, that number dropped drastically to 3%, which was the second lowest in the 2023 draft class. Addison is also very football smart, studies the playbook and film day and night and is well disciplined. That said, He has a small catch radius and tends to catch more with his body. His smaller frame makes it easier for longer and larger CBs to bully him, and he is a bit weaker in press coverage, as well. Addison’s poor results during the combine and pro day certainly lowered his draft stock and showed more of his weaknesses. Despite his weaknesses, he is an elite slot receiver and will easily be a Day 1 starter for any team.

5. Jalin Hyatt | Tennessee | 6‘0“, 175 lbs

2022 Stats: GP 13, Rec 67, Yds 1267, TD 15.
Wilbar’s Grade: Late 2nd

Adam C: Hyatt played as an outside receiver for Tennessee and had a monster season in 2022, with 1,267 yards and 15 touchdowns, and 18.9 yds/rec. This productivity earned him the Fred Biletnikoff Award for best receiver in college football. A burner with great game speed, Hyatt routinely took the top off defences. He also had an unusual amount of option routes for an outside receiver, showcasing a high IQ. However, the unusual offense at Tennessee does mean we haven’t seen him exhibit a pro style route tree, and his speed on film didn’t show up in the numbers from his combine, leading to more question marks. He has the potential to be a productive starter at the next level but hasn’t demonstrated the ability in a pro-style offense, making him a high risk but high reward.

6. Josh Downs | North Carolina | 5‘10“, 180 lbs

2022 Stats: GP 11, Rec 94, Yds 1029, TD 11.
Wilbar’s Grade: Late 2nd

Ryland B.: The first thing that stands out when watching Downs is his acceleration. He’s lightning-fast off the snap with elite change of direction ability. He might be the quickest receiver in this class, and his long speed isn’t bad, either. However, despite Downs’ impressive agility, he isn’t always the greatest separator on tape. His route running can get a little lazy at times, and his lack of physicality is alarming. He isn’t the biggest guy in the first place, and he often shies away from contact when getting RAC. He struggles when it comes to press coverage and being guarded by physical corners, and he’s a very poor blocker. His hands are solid but he can struggle with concentration, and his body language post-drop isn’t great. If this scouting report sounds a little familiar, you aren’t the only one. Downs reminds me a lot of current Steeler Diontae Johnson in both strengths and weaknesses. As a result, the North Carolina product has a lot of upside as a pro, but his downsides could be seen as red flags.

7. Jonathan Mingo | Ole Miss | 6‘2“, 215 lbs

2022 Stats: GP 13, Rec 51, Yds 861, TD 5.
Wilbar’s Grade: Early 3rd

Andrew Wilbar: Mingo is a physical receiver who is best utilized as a big slot receiver. While Mingo may not be the most natural hands catcher, he uses his frame to box out defenders in the middle of the field, hauling in the vast majority of passes that are thrown into traffic. He is not a precise route-runner, but he has a knack for finding the soft spots in zone coverage and getting open underneath. Do not think he is limited to underneath routes, though, as his speed is impressive for a receiver his size. If Mingo can decrease the drops and expand his route tree, he has the ceiling of a Deebo Samuel or even formal Rebel A.J. Brown.

8. Bryce Ford-Wheaton | West Virginia | 6‘3“, 220 lbs

2022 Stats: GP 12, Rec 62, Yds 675, TD 7.
Wilbar’s Grade: Early 3rd

Andrew Wilbar: Bryce Ford-Wheaton is my favorite receiver nobody is talking about. You can complain about the drops all you want to, but at the end of the day, the quarterback play was putrid. Yes, some of the drops were easy catches that should have been made, and I am not dismissing that area of his game and considering it polished. However, the inconsistency at quarterback was evident in just about every game, which forced BFW to constantly readjust. I do believe this was part of the problem, and it is fair to assume it will be less of an issue in the NFL. As it pertains to the rest of his game, how could you not fall in love with the player? This man has been gifted with incredible athletic traits, from speed, to size, to physicality, and much more. Even his route-running is impressive for a receiver his size. He runs his routes with correct depth, and he can change direction relatively quickly, which is not normal for a 6’4”, 222 pound receiver with 4.38 speed. He has the ceiling of former Steeler Martavis Bryant athletically, and his off-the-field resume is much better than Bryant’s. If he is there in Round 4, the Steelers should run their card to the podium.

9. Marvin Mims | Oklahoma | 5‘11“, 177 lbs

2022 Stats: GP 13, Rec 54, Yds 1083, TD 6.
Wilbar’s Grade: Early 3rd

Noah_E: After a standout season as a true freshman, Marvin Mims looked like a sure-fire 1st round pick and despite improving his numbers in both his Sophomore and Junior seasons, he has started to fly under the radar. Mims plays bigger than his size, routinely attacking the catch point and coming down with contested catches. He’s also an excellent route runner that wins at the top of his route and knows how to settle down in zone coverage. He makes catches outside his frame and is a willing blocker with a lot of physicality. Mims has good long speed (4.38 40-Yard Dash) and projects as someone who can be a field stretcher while also winning with his route running. After the catch, he is a little underwhelming and lacks explosiveness at times. His release could also use some work as it’s sluggish and will be taken advantage of at the NFL level.

10. Charlie Jones | Purdue | 6‘0“, 188 lbs

2022 Stats: GP 13, Rec 110, Yds 1361, TD 12.
Wilbar’s Grade: Late 3rd

Adam C: Jones has a good feel for the game, and has excellent hands, regularly coming out with the ball on contested catches. He is tough, hardworking and fights through contact well in his routes. Good, smooth route runner with deceptive speed, running a 4.43 40-yard dash at the combine. He will work better against zone heavy defenses, as he is smart enough to manipulate defenders and utilize leverage to get open. He needs to work on releases as they tend to not vary. Also, much more effort is needed in run blocking at the next level. However, he does offer some special teams value, and has room to develop, with only 1 year of high production in college. He likely enters the league as a back-up receiver and punt/kick returner, but with high upside which teams will like.

11. Jayden Reed | Michigan State | 6‘0“, 185 lbs

2022 Stats: GP 11, Rec 55, Yds 636, TD 5.
Wilbar’s Grade: Late 3rd

Ryland B.: Reed is one of my favorite receivers in this class. He’s made a name for himself as an explosive deep threat, and although the tape shows that he doesn’t exactly have NFL-level elite speed, he can still be a game breaker. Reed is quick as well and a decisive route runner. What surprised me the most, however, was his physicality. Reed is a great contested catcher and a very willing blocker. His smallish size can limit his effectiveness, but it’s refreshing to watch a receiver who isn’t afraid to be a willing contributor in the run game. Reed is in the upper-echelon of athletes in this receiver class, and his football IQ and toughness are even more impressive. He will be great value for teams looking for a contributor in the middle rounds.

12. Tre Tucker | Cincinnati | 5‘9“, 172 lbs

2022 Stats: GP 12, Rec 52, Yds 672, TD 3.
Wilbar’s Grade: Early 4th

Jeremy: Tre is a twitched up athlete with kick return ability. His game is based on being faster and quicker than defenders. Plays bigger than his size and offers value as a run after the catch and jet sweep specialist. Not an especially good route runner, but can stretch the field as a deep threat and work underneath on slants and crossers. Just get the ball in his hands and let him rack up the YAC.

13. Rashee Rice | SMU | 6‘1“, 189 lbs

2022 Stats: GP 12, Rec 96, Yds 1355, TD 10.
Wilbar’s Grade: Early 4th

Andrew Wilbar: Rice is a guy I want to love, and cannot figure out why I don’t. I like his upside if he is being taken outside the top 80 picks, but there is something missing in his game that always leaves me slightly underwhelmed. Unlike many receivers in this class, Rice put up big-time production, bringing in nearly 100 catches for over 1,300 yards and 10 touchdowns. Top-end speed may not be there, but Rice is quick off the snap, and he has proven an ability to separate late on vertical routes with a second-gear burst. An area of concern I have for Rice is his ability to get off the line. He struggles to get good positioning against physical corners who press him, which will greatly limit his versatility in the NFL if not fixed. Nonetheless, I see Rice as a competent WR2 in the NFL with a high ceiling.

14. Andrei Iosivas | Princeton | 6’3”, 205 lbs

2022 Stats: GP 12, Rec 54, Yds 899, TD 9.
Wilbar’s Grade: Mid 4th

Jeremy: Big fan of Iosivas in this draft. With his size and speed, he offers plenty of upside as a boundary receiver who can get deep and handle contested catches in the third level of the defense. Needs refinement as a route runner, and struggles to create separation against stickier corners who can match his speed. Reminiscent of Christian Watson’s skill set that made him a Round 2 pick in 2021. Attacks the ball in the air and can get vertical quick. Teams looking for a perimeter burner with size could do worse late on Day 2/early Day 3.

15. Parker Washington | Penn State | 5‘10“, 212 lbs

2022 Stats: GP 10, Rec 46, Yds 611, TD 2.
Wilbar’s Grade: Mid 4th

Adam C: Washington projects as a slot receiver at the NFL level and has plenty of experience having lined up purely in the slot in his first 2 years for the Nittany Lions. He’s a solid athlete, built like a running back, and is good underneath and with the ball in the open field. He can be a versatile weapon at the next level, fitting the trend in the league towards offensive weapons who can line up at multiple positions. He has reliable hands and solid ability to catch in traffic, especially important in the slot. However, he isn’t a brilliant route runner and struggled a lot against press coverage. He occasionally struggles to separate in man coverage at the college level, that will only worsen at the pro level. He’s versatile and offers good special teams ability which teams will like, but ultimately is a big step away from being a starter in the NFL.

16. Tyler Scott | Cincinnati | ‘“, lbs

2022 Stats: GP , Rec , Yds , TD .
Wilbar’s Grade: Mid 4th

Adam C: Scott is an explosive athlete, who showed the ability to separate across all levels of the field for Cincinnati. He has elite speed and good agility, burning corners deep, whilst also able to cut smoothly, gaining good separation downfield. Whilst not the biggest receiver he has a good catch radius and solid hands. Once the ball is in his hands, he is a dynamic playmaker and can get good production post catch. His two drawbacks are his weight, he has a lean build and doesn’t have ideal play strength, and his drops, Scott had a fair number of drops over his college career. Scott is a great athlete and polished player, who could make a great No.2 receiver immediately entering the league.

17. Jason Brownlee | Southern Miss | 6‘2“, 198 lbs

2022 Stats: GP 13, Rec 55, Yds 891, TD 8.
Wilbar’s Grade: Mid 4th

Andrew Wilbar: Brownlee will get overlooked because of his poor 40 time, but this guy plays with heart, and he’s more athletic than you are probably giving him credit for. Brownlee did run a 4.59 in the 40 at the combine, but everything else from the workout was positive. Not only did he record 16 reps on the bench, a 39.5” vertical, and a 131” broad jump, but he also looked extremely fluid in drills, displaying great footwork and reliable hands. His route-running still needs a bit of improvement, but he is a fluid mover on the field, and he does display good body control in traffic. This aids in his ability to win contested catches, which makes up for his inability to create separation at the end of his routes. At the end of the day, it is unfair to expect Brownlee to ever be a WR1 in the NFL. However, with his competitiveness, toughness, and work ethic, he could become a valuable WR2. He just lacks the versatility to move around in the formation, as he is almost exclusively an outside receiver.

18. Xavier Hutchinson | Iowa State | 6‘2”, 203 lbs

2022 Stats: GP 12, Rec 107, Yds 1171, TD 6.
Wilbar’s Grade: Mid 4th

Jeremy: Hutchinson thrives as a YAC receiver on the outside, possessing terrific size and play strength after the catch. Struggles with boxing out defenders at the catch point despite an advantageous frame. Possesses enough speed to work all 3 levels of the field, but not enough to be considered a deep threat. Inconsistent hands can be frustrating, but once he gets the ball in his hands he is a chore to wrap up and bring down. In all, he’s a perimeter WR3 with upside if he can improve as a route runner and operate in a system that features his YAC skills.

19. A.T. Perry | Wake Forest | 6‘3”, 198 lbs

2022 Stats: GP 13, Rec 81, Yds 1096, TD 11.
Wilbar’s Grade: Mid 4th

Jeremy: Perry is one of the few true playmaking X receiver Ms in this class with the speed and length to work the intermediate and deep portions of the field. Has a George Pickens vibe to him on the field, possessing elite body control and the ability to high-point the football with ease. As with most mid round receivers, could use refinement as a route runner. Not a big run-after-catch guy. Has a chance to be an explosive weapon in the right offense.

20. Cedric Tillman | Tennessee | 6‘3“, 215 lbs

2022 Stats: GP 6, Rec 37, Yds 417, TD 3.
2021 Stats: GP 12, Rec 54, Yds 1081, TD 12.
Wilbar’s Grade: Late 4th

Adam C: Tillman had a great 2021 season at Tennessee; however, his 2022 season was hampered by a high ankle sprain in week 3. He demonstrated toughness to come back from that injury during the season, but never reached the heights of the previous year. He has ideal size to play at the next level and uses that size well, catching aggressively and frequently pulling the ball in when contested. He has a good radius and smooth route running. There are two real question marks. Firstly, his explosiveness out of breaks is less than desirable and he may struggle to separate in underneath routes at the next level. Secondly, similarly to his teammate Jalin Hyatt, there are questions over how translatable Tennessee’s offensive scheme is to an NFL route tree. Tillman did line up in tight splits or in the slot occasionally, which should leave scouts with less question marks over the completeness of his game.

21. Nathaniel (Tank) Dell | Houston | 5‘10“, 155 lbs

2022 Stats: GP 13, Rec 109, Yds 1398, TD 17.
Wilbar’s Grade: Late 4th

Ryland B.: “Tank” Dell is your classic undersized, speedy wide receiver who would be an early round pick if he were 6’2” and 190 lbs. Instead, Dell is 5’10” and right around a buck 60. Unsurprisingly, his size is the biggest negative by far on his scouting profile. By NFL standards, Dell is outright tiny. But there still is a lot to like in his game, starting with Dell’s college production. He put up videogame numbers last year, which is even more impressive given his diminutive frame. His shiftiness and speed are very good, although not quite elite. He displays solid hands but his catch radius is obviously rather small and he can struggle at holding onto the ball through contact. He has some value in the return game as well. Overall, Dell’s lack of elite athletic traits make him a risky pick given his size, but he still projects as a contributor in the right NFL offense.

22. Michael Wilson | Stanford | 6‘2“, 210 lbs

2022 Stats: GP 6, Rec 26, Yds 418, TD 4.
Wilbar’s Grade: Early 5th

Andrew Wilbar: A player who helped himself tremendously at the Senior Bowl, Wilson was a true leader at Stanford who was looked up to by his teammates. Wilson’s motor is always going at 100%, and he never slows down in a route, nor does he ever give up on a play. While Wilson is not a natural hands guy, he does use his body well, fending off defenders and bringing in tough catches. He is surprisingly deceptive after the catch as well. There are just a lot of minor technical issues in his game, specifically when it comes to his route-running skills. I could see Wilson making an NFL roster as a WR4 or WR5 as a rookie, but I do not envision him ever becoming a focal point in an offense.

23. Kayshon Boutte | LSU | 6‘0“, 190 lbs

2022 Stats: GP 11, Rec 48, Yds 538, TD 2.
Wilbar’s Grade: Mid 5th

Ryland B.: Boutte is a frustrating prospect. There’s plenty of positives scattered over the tape – he entered the 2022 as a popular first round prospect – but his stock has recently plummeted. First, the good. Boutte is an incredibly smooth athlete who has had some impressive success at the SEC level. He had 308 receiving yards in one game as a freshman! He has flashes of top-notch RAC ability with his shiftiness and his body control is certainly above average, especially when making tough sideline catches. But at times, Boutte has looked outright sluggish as a route runner this past season, and he’s had a number of drops a receiver of his caliber should not be making. Boutte’s size, athleticism, and proven success undoubtedly make him a draftable prospect, but his dropoff in 2022 is a cause for concern. If Boutte rebounds, however, he could be a steal.

24. Michael Jefferson | Louisiana | 6‘3“, 195 lbs

2022 Stats: GP 12, Rec 51, Yds 810, TD 7.
Wilbar’s Grade: Early 5th

Andrew Wilbar: Just as Jefferson’s draft stock was beginning to rise, the Louisiana standout was involved in a multi-car accident on April 9th, which required multiple surgeries. Not all details about his recovery time have been made public, but it is something that will surely affect his draft stock. As it pertains to Jefferson as a prospect, I like his game as a whole. He uses his tall frame well, displaying a willingness to go up and high-point the ball in traffic. Once he maintains possession of the football, Jefferson displays great quickness getting upfield and racking up additional yardage after the catch. Although he is sluggish coming out of his stance, he has proven his ability to get faster the further he gets downfield, allowing him to beat slower defenders on vertical routes. Overall, I see Jefferson as a competent depth receiver as a rookie, but there is a good bit of upside long-term.

25. Matt Landers | Arkansas | 6‘5“, 200 lbs

2022 Stats: GP 13, Rec 47, Yds 901, TD 8.
Wilbar’s Grade: Early 5th

Andrew Wilbar: The long, lanky Matt Landers is a true vertical threat with size to win in the red zone. Running a 4.37 40 at the combine, Landers proved his top-end speed, which has been his calling card throughout his collegiate career. That is further proven by his nearly 20 yards per reception. While his physicality coming off the line is lacking, he finds a way to make catches at poor angles and with poor positioning. However, adding more physicality would prevent him from being rerouted so often, and it is something he will need to do before obtaining success in the NFL. Regardless, the reason his stock is this low is not due to a lack of physicality, but rather due to too many drops on tape. If he can fix the hands issue, he will be a great Z receiver and deep threat.

26. Rakim Jarrett | Maryland | 6‘0“, 200 lbs

2022 Stats: GP 11, Rec 40, Yds 471, TD 3.
Wilbar’s Grade: Early 5th

Noah_E: After a promising start to his career at Maryland, Rakim Jarrett looked ready for a breakout year. Unfortunately, his Junior season didn’t go as expected, but there’s no denying the talent he has. He’s a great athlete with good explosiveness as well as long speed. He isn’t afraid to go across the middle and make tough catches in traffic. His foot quickness allows him to beat press and he can make guys miss after the catch with his elusiveness. Jarrett isn’t a very nuanced route runner and relies on his athleticism to create separation. He also has a problem with drops and for someone with his level of physicality, he doesn’t come down with many contested catches. I don’t expect him to be taken before day 3, however, he could be a very solid slot receiver if he’s put in the right situation.

27. Ronnie Bell | Michigan | 6‘0“, 192 lbs

2022 Stats: GP 14, Rec 62, Yds 889, TD 4.
Wilbar’s Grade: Early 5th

Andrew Wilbar: Bell’s injury history may be a concern to some, but he is certainly the most consistent receiver Michigan has had in recent memory. My biggest concern lies in his inconsistent involvement in the game plan. Weeks would go by where Bell was a complete non-factor, only to go off and have a big game the following week. Overall, though, I like Bell’s precise route-running and secure hands. He just isn’t going to be as physical as you would like from your slot receiver. At the very least, I see Bell as a special teams ace in the NFL, but when putting into account his experience and leadership, it would not shock me to see him carve out a prominent role early on.

28. Trey Palmer | Nebraska | 6‘0“, 180 lbs

2022 Stats: GP 12, Rec 71, Yds 1043, TD 9.
Wilbar’s Grade: Early 5th

Andrew Wilbar: Trey Palmer may be a one-trick pony, but that one trick is pretty good, and it is a trick you can’t coach: speed. Palmer is easily one of the rawest receivers in this class, but he could go as early as Day 2 if a team falls in love with his upside. A lack of physicality makes it a struggle for him to get off press coverage, but when he gets the inside track on a route, he is difficult to defend one-on-one. Perhaps the most frustrating part of Palmer’s game is when he gets the ball on a short pass and is given room to work with. He hesitates way too much as he decides where to run with football, and he loses additional yardage after the catch in the process. Overall, I am intrigued by Palmer’s potential as a true burner, but elementary route-running skills and minimal physicality limit his ceiling.

29. Derius Davis | TCU | 5‘9“, 168 lbs

2022 Stats: GP 14, Rec 42, Yds 531, TD 5.
Wilbar’s Grade: Early 5th

John O: Davis is a small shifty receiver who made some plays for TCU on the way to the National Championship game. He possesses enough swivel and twitch to get open here and there plus enough speed to compete. He doesn’t do either well enough to be a complete threat at WR or make anyone forget better players. He can return kicks/punts as an additional feature. In general, he has enough skill and gumption to make viewers believe he may be a NFL player for several years. The Steelers just lost a similar player in Steven Sims this off-season. Davis would be the junior version of Sims. If drafted, he could contribute. However, he isn’t going to change any trajectories for the team that drafts him.

30. Jalen Wayne | South Alabama | 6‘2“, 210 lbs

2022 Stats: GP 13, Rec 58, Yds 816, TD 9.
Wilbar’s Grade: Early 5th

Jeremy: I love watching Jalen Wayne play WR. He projects as a big slot receiver in the mold of JuJu Smith-Schuster, but can also flex outside and be productive. He runs crisp routes and does a great job out-maneuvering defenders in space. Possesses sure hands and excellent ball awareness. Struggles to take advantage of his size with the ball in the air, and won’t be mistaken for a deep threat. Overall, Wayne’s skill set makes him a late Day 2/early Day 3 option for a team in need of a physical slot weapon.

31. Shedrick Jackson | Auburn | 6‘2“, 196 lbs

2022 Stats: GP 12, Rec 16, Yds 217, TD 0.
Wilbar’s Grade: Early 5th

Andrew Wilbar: Jackson may not have the production of some of these other receivers, but his combination of solid size and elite speed are difficult to contain. The poor quarterback play at Auburn likely had a part in his lack of production, but recording only 1 career interception is definitely concerning. He does not run the most diverse route tree, but he is wise beyond his ears in that he knows when to come back to the football to make a catch. His speed is off the charts, and he is typically sure-handed. Ultimately, his success in the NFL will be determined by how much his route-running and physicality can improve. He has all the tools you could ever ask for.

32. Jacob Copeland | Maryland | 6‘0“, 202 lbs

2022 Stats: GP 12, Rec 26, Yds 376, TD 2.
Wilbar’s Grade: Mid 5th

Ryland B.: Copeland is a really promising prospect. He has decent size for the position and is a plus athlete with impressive change of direction for having such a lanky frame. He has very good long speed and a physical style of play, although he is a little inconsistent when it comes to making contested catches. His usage wasn’t great in college, but Copeland has the upside to be a solid boundary receiver at the NFL level if he can continue to refine his game.

33. Joseph Ngata | Clemson | 6‘3“, 220 lbs

2022 Stats: GP 14, Rec 41, Yds 526, TD 2.
Wilbar’s Grade: Late 5th

Jeremy: Ngata is an ultra physical hybrid pass catcher. Often deployed as a mini TE in Clemson’s offense, Ngata has the nasty mindset of a blocking TE in a big WR’s body. In the pass game, he operates as a possession receiver with good hands and a good feel for zone spacing. He struggles to separate in man coverage and can get out positioned by defenders at the catch point. After the catch, he seeks out contact and often lands the bigger blow on would-be tacklers. He needs a lot of refinement as a route runner, but in the right system, he could eventually contribute in a hybrid TE/WR role and provide Special Teams value early in his career.


34. Jalen Moreno-Cropper | Fresno State | 6‘0“, 180 lbs

2022 Stats: GP 14, Rec 83, Yds 1086, TD 5.
Wilbar’s Grade: Late 5th

35. Chase Cota | Oregon | 6‘3“, 209 lbs

2022 Stats: GP 10, Rec 36, Yds 497, TD 3.
Wilbar’s Grade: 6th

36. Thyrick Pitts | Delaware | 6‘3“, 200 lbs

2022 Stats: GP 13, Rec 57, Yds 631, TD 10.
Wilbar’s Grade: 6th

37. Cody Chrest | Sam Houston State | 6‘1“, 200 lbs

2022 Stats: GP 9, Rec 36, Yds 548, TD 2.
Wilbar’s Grade: 6th

38. T.J. Luther | Gardner-Webb |

2022 Stats:
Wilbar’s Grade: 6th

39. Dontay Demus, Jr. | Maryland | 6‘3“, 217 lbs

2022 Stats: GP 12, Rec 22, Yds 233, TD 1.
Wilbar’s Grade: 6th

40. Elijah Cooks | San Jose State | 6‘4“, 215 lbs

2022 Stats: GP 12, Rec 69, Yds 1076, TD 10.
Wilbar’s Grade: 6th

41. Je’Quan Burton | Florida Atlantic | 5‘10“, 187 lbs

2022 Stats: GP 11, Rec 33, Yds 517, TD 4.
Wilbar’s Grade: 6th

42. Keylon Stokes | Tulsa | 6‘0“, 194 lbs

2022 Stats: GP 12, Rec 76, Yds 1224, TD 8.
Wilbar’s Grade: 6th

43. Sean Coyne | New Hampshire | 6‘0“, 190 lbs

2022 Stats: GP 13, Rec 27, Yds 386, TD 4.
Wilbar’s Grade: 6th

44. Grant DuBose | Charlotte | 6‘2“, 200 lbs

2022 Stats: GP 12, Rec 64, Yds 792, TD 9.
Wilbar’s Grade: 6th

45. Garett Maag | North Dakota | 6‘4“, 210 lbs

2022 Stats: GP 11, Rec 41, Yds 540, TD 5.
Wilbar’s Grade: 6th

46. Kearis Jackson | Georgia | 6‘0“, 200 lbs

2022 Stats: GP 15, Rec 21, Yds 320, TD 0.
Wilbar’s Grade: 7th/UDFA

47. Antoine Green | North Carolina | 6‘2“, 205 lbs

2022 Stats: GP 9, Rec 43, Yds 798, TD 7.
Wilbar’s Grade: 7th/UDFA

48. Elijah Higgins | Stanford | 6‘3“, 235 lbs

2022 Stats: GP 12, Rec 59, Yds 704, TD 2.
Wilbar’s Grade: 7th/UDFA

49. Mitchell Tinsley | Penn State | 6‘1“, 205 lbs

2022 Stats: GP 13, Rec 51, Yds 577, TD 5.
Wilbar’s Grade: 7th/UDFA

What are your thoughts on these wide receiver prospects? Do any of them make sense for the Steelers? Let us know your thoughts on these prospects in the comment section below!