As college football and NFL Draft fans, we have become spoiled with ludicrous WR draft classes lately. Players like Ja’Marr Chase, CeeDee Lamb, and Jaylen Waddle don’t come out of every draft. We have taken that for granted. The 2023 WR class is a good, not great, draft class that may bring down some of those elevated expectations.
#1 Jaxson Smith-Njigba- Ohio State Buckeyes
Jaxson Smith-Njigba is the top receiver in the 2023 class. One can argue that he deserves his own tier. In a receiving trio that included Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave, Jaxson Smith-Njigba shinned as the top receiving threat on the field for the Buckeyes.
#2 Kayshon Boutte- LSU Tigers
Kayshon Boutte is the latest great WR in the long lineage of LSU Tiger receivers. Explosive in the open field, Boutte is capable of a big play every time he touches the football. Kayshon Boutte has shown us glimpses of greatness, but can he put it all together for an entire season in 2022?
#3 Jordan Addison- USC Trojans
Jordan Addison will be a fascinating case for NFL talent evaluators. Addison was wildly productive at Pittsburgh last season as he was on the opposite end of passes from Kenny Pickett. Jordan Addison entered the transfer portal and will play for USC paired with the dynamic Caleb Williams.
#4 Quentin Johnston- TCU Horned Frogs
Quentin Johnston won’t provide you with high production and consistency like several of his counterparts in this class. On a play-to-play basis, Quentin Johnston offers as much upside as anyone. The TCU offense holds a talent like Johnston back.
#5 Marvin Mims- Oklahoma Sooners
Marvin Mims will get a chance to shine in 2022, as he should be the go-to receiver for the Oklahoma Sooners. Marvin Mims is a talented player. He has not put it all together thus far in his young career. With Caleb Williams and Lincoln Riley moving on to USC, Marvin Mims will have a new supporting cast around him in the Sooners’ offense.
#6 Ainias Smith- Texas A&M Aggies
Ainias Smith is one of the most versatile players, regardless of position, in college football. Two seasons ago, Ainias Smith had over 40 receptions AND 40 catches! Smith was not deployed as much as a runner last year. It will be interesting to see how the Aggies utilize Ainias Smith in 2022.
#7 Rakim Jarrett- Maryland Terrapins
Rakim Jarrett has been considered a prep superstar for quite some time. Jarrett took a step forward in 2021 after a disappointing freshman season in 2020. At 6’0 200 lbs. Rakim Jarrett has the physical profile that the NFL covets.
#8 Jermaine Burton- Alabama Crimson Tide
Jermaine Burton’s inclusion in this list will catch many by surprise. Much of this selection is based on projection. Jermaine Burton should be a focal point of the Alabama passing game following his transfer from Georgia.
#9 Ronnie Bell- Michigan Wolverines
Ronnie Bell is attempting to bounce back from a lost 2021 season. Bell was injured after one catch in the opener and was lost for the season. Ronnie Bell will never put up eye-popping numbers in the Michigan offense. The 2022 season will be crucial for Ronnie Bell to show talent evaluators that he is back to 100%.
#10 Josh Downs- North Carolina Tar Heels
Josh Downs is one of the most productive players returning to college football in 2022. Over 100 receptions and 1,300 yards receiving will get a scout’s attention. Josh Downs measures in at 5’10, 180 lbs. so many NFL evaluators will see Downs as a purely slot-receiver option only, which limits his appeal and drop his 2023 NFL Draft stock.
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