There’s no time to spare as the 2022 NFL Draft is just around the corner. Teams begin to shorten the already short list of players on their radar. In the past years, the series of wide receivers seem to set the bar high. This year is no different. After watching players like Davante Adams and Tyreek Hill flourish since entering the professional realm, we look forward to an influx of impressive wide receivers gracing the league moving forward.
Although the list packs more than five competent names, Nitrobetting focuses on the top wide receivers of the class. We dig a little deeper and give you a list of the top five prospects this year.
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5. Drake London
USC wide receiver Drake London makes his way to the top five names for this position. He holds an imposing and long possession receiver with enough confidence to play outside or from the slot. London might fall behind in top-end speed and separation ability to provide clear throwing windows but does have a sense of maturity in his movements. He can shift the tempo for him when the ball goes his way. His experience as a top-tier basketball player helps with body positioning as well.
He has the size and skill to take over the catch step, his monotonous speed and route-running mean more contested catches coming his way. His pro career can take advantage of a more versatile receiving unit that gives way to play-callers and London’s expertise.
Drake London’s work rate is already approaching pro levels. Matching this with extensive experience as an outside and slot target while fostering his aerial abilities, he can back up his stand as a top-five pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.
4. Chris Olave
Chris Olave inaudibly made a name for himself leading up to the draft. His stint as an integral component of the Ohio State wide receiver unit showcased his smooth, steady, and determined characteristics. He has fluid movements and is reliable from snap to catch points. All of his positive traits equate to a valuable wide receiver that appeals to offenses trying to secure a field-stretcher with enough prowess to take on good catch volume.
Finesse is very obvious in Olave’s movements. He has top-end speed that can trigger more vertical opportunities. That and bursts for separation on various spectrums play heavily on his strengths. Furthermore, Chris Olave possesses proficient ball skills and well-timed hands.
Some of the areas of improvement fall into his lack of desired play strength. Inconsistency working back to the throw needs to be managed right away once he joins the league. Overall, he remains a solid pick for teams going for a workable wide receiver.
3. Jameson Williams
Jameson Williams put his name in the history books after scoring 22 touchdowns as a senior wide receiver at Cardinal Ritter College Prep. Going over his resume, the 21-year-old commands route-running abilities with impressive long speed to become a home-run threat or decoy to draw defenders away. He is known to start slow and requires more practice for a cleaner start off the mark.
His strengths lie beneath his ability to animate extra speed before route break forces coverage to hold back. Williams plays with good hands to collect high throws. These are several characteristics that take him up Nitrobetting’s top-three wide receiver prospects.
Conversely, Jameson picked up an ACL injury in the past that could play a role in determining his destination. We don’t expect the injury to affect his overall game. Nonetheless, it does raise several questions on the subject of which team secures his services first.
2. Garrett Wilson
Ohio State Junior Garrett Wilson will have a crack at this year’s draft. Some might see his game as rough around the edges but gets the praise of scouts after watching his most recent performance. His play strength and run-after-catch ability make him a hot commodity alongside teammate Chris Olave. He’s a direct, inside/outside receiver with long speed. Acceleration burst is what makes him an effective separator.
Wilson needs to focus on uncovering all three levels, but he has what it takes to become a dependable primary or secondary receiver if he devotes himself to his weaknesses.
That said, Wilson needs to be more concise with his takeoff plans. Combine that with better route adjustment in traffic and he supplies good worth to any team. While he suffered from focus drops by the sideline, his aforementioned assets still weigh enough to get him to the wide receiver frontrunners.
1. Treylon Burks
Topping Nitrobetting’s wide receiver list is Treylon Burks from Arkansas. He has the versatility that allows him to operate from multiple areas. Burks can take on the competition with his size and strength. Arkansas profited from his skill for some time by putting the ball in his hands in different scenarios. There’s enough reason to believe that NFL play-callers will benefit from the same style.
His strengths include his size-to-speed ratio. Huge hands and headroom for wideout plays to his advantage. A plethora of perks like good run routes and acceleration, good body movements to nail the catch, and a stiff-arm and build-up speed to turn short catches into long catches are all astounding characteristics for a proper wide receiver.
However, some of his weaknesses are weight consistency and better numbers when it comes to contested catches. He takes time slowing down and making intermediate breaks and occasionally makes unorthodox catch attempts. Other than that, his effectiveness exceeds his weaknesses. If he does get around to the smaller issues, we expect Burks to prosper in his professional career as one of the top wide receiver drafts of the 2022 class.
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