There’s one word to describe the 2022 NFL Draft class for wide receivers: Loaded. Early in the process it might have seemed superstar top-heavy, but through all-star games, the Combine and other workout showcases, there’s been more exciting talent to make the position much deeper in terms of true impact.
There’s the same three-man race for the top between former Ohio State big playmakers Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson and their former teammate, Jameson Williams, who used hi significant time at Alabama to jump into the the mid first round, too.
But there’s also a strong trio not far behind them with the potential of six wide receivers now going in the first round. Beyond that, there are high upside players for the outside and slot on Day 2, and there are good depth values to be had through Round 7.
Here are The Sporting News’ rankings of the top 10 wide receivers in the 2022 NFL Draft.
NFL Draft 2022 wide receiver rankings
1. Chris Olave, Ohio State (6-0, 187 pounds)
Olave has great speed, quickness and burst to stand out with those attributes in a strong wide receiver class. He was omnipresent as a No. 1, helping top QBs such as Justin Fields and C.J. Stroud deliver downfield. Olave separated from Wilson and Williams with great pure speed at the Combine. Either he or Wilson will be off the board first, with an outside shot at the top 5 for more likely around the top 10.
2. Garrett Wilson, Ohio State (5-11, 183 pounds)
Wilson is a great complement to Olave with his smarts, quickness, route-running and hands. He is dangerous in making plays after the catch. He can be a similar co-No.1. for many teams with a little more well-rounded game, but his skill set is a rather strong crossover to Olave’s with his own share of big playmaking. He shouldn’t last long on the board, either, for the earliest wideout-needy teams.
3. Jameson Williams, Alabama (6-1, 179 pounds)
Williams, who found his comfort zone as a No. 1 away from Olave and Wilson at Alabama playing off the speed big-play threat of John Metchie, profiles a bit like many of the recent top Crimson Tide picks showing technical skills but standing out and rising boards for his flat-out big-play ability. There’s some concern about the knee injury he suffered in the national championship game vs. Georgia, but he’s expected to recover and tap back into his immense talent not too deep into the 2022 NFL season. He won’t be around after the top 20 at worst.
4. Drake London, USC (6-4, 219 pounds)
London matches his nice catch radius with great hands and quickness, which makes him a big-play and red zone threat in the Mike Evans vein. There’s been too much hype around that profile as Olave, Wilson and Williams are still more complete receivers with smaller frames. London still should go from late first-round consideration to more mid first-round range.
5. Jahan Dotson, Penn State (5-10, 178 pounds)
Dotson is a speedy vertical threat with the quickness to also make big plays after making strong catches in open field. He’s proved he’s elusive in any which way he can get the ball in his hands. Dotson also doesn’t get enough credit for some savvy route-running to facilitate getting the ball in stride. He should also be a late first-rounder.
6. Treylon Burks, Arkansas (6-2, 225 pounds)
Burks is a huge target with reliable big hands to match. He can dominate smaller, less physical corners and has deceptive speed. He didn’t have the greatest Combine, raising concerns about just how speedy and explosive he can be, but he plays faster than he straight up runs and has some hybrid qualities with his strength and toughness. He has fallen a bit, but Burks is still a bona fide late first-rounder.
7. John Metchie III, Alabama (5-11, 187 pounds)
Metchie is the latest Crimson Tide speed merchant, combining some of the on-field qualities of Henry Ruggs III and Jaylen Waddle. He also can be a smooth technician like Jerry Jeudy and DeVonta Smith. Williams is the better all-around prospect, but Metchie, battling his own injury-shortened season, will find a nice complementary role for a team spreading the field to boost their No. 1. The Canadian prospect shouldn’t last long in the second round.
8. Christian Watson, North Dakota State (6-4, 208 pounds)
Watson showed he was an incredible athlete at the Combine. Even if he’s still considered raw, he should have greater appeal because of the size-speed upside and strong work ethic. He played in a dynamic offense and has an intriguing No. 1-style frame to make him a hot second-round sleeper.
9. Skyy Moore, Western Michigan (5-10, 195 pounds)
This Moore is a hybrid of Elijah and Rondale from last year’s draft as Skyy can fly well out of the slot. He is be the best pure inside receiver in this class with his quickness and necessary toughness. He’s a lot different from past WMU products Greg Jennings and Corey Davis and should land between them somewhere in the second round.
10. Jalen Tolbert, South Alabama (6-3, 190 pounds)
Tolbert is an enticing size-speed prospect that can be a fine outside start with good work on his hands and routes. He gets the nod for the last spot in the top because of that upside, which helps shake off concerns about his smaller-school pedigree. He also has some potential as a big slot. He is a late second-rounder or early third-rounder, with a team such as the Bears opposite Darnell Mooney being a good fit.