Eagles face a historically deep WR Draft class: Ranking the top 30

1. CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma

For: Spectacular and reliable hands. Lamb has great contact balance and a lot of moves after the catch. He sells his short-intermediate routes well, but not at the highest level of the draft. Has good cuts, doesn’t lose speed in between breaks. In other words, Lamb is a QBs best friend.

Against: Not elite top speed compared to other prospects, but compensates easily by selling his routes well. 

Draft talent: Top 10

2. Jerry Jeudy, Alabama

For: Along with Van Jefferson, Jeudy runs the best routes you’ll see in the draft class. Filthy cuts, phenomenal fakes, drops his weight and manipulates defenders easily. Could watch him run all day. Terrific deep speed. Ballerina feet that destroy press coverage. Really good in open space, and is a smooth hands catcher. Was the most productive WR in a stacked group.

Against: Has concentration drops, especially on deep routes, which are a tad concerning.

Draft talent: Top 10

3. Henry Ruggs, Alabama

For: Likely the fastest guy in the draft class, only really challenged by K.J. Hamler (no, i don’t think Reagor’s play speed is at this level). Can score at any play vs off coverage. Has high level ball tracking. Some of the safest hands in the class, dropping only 2.4 % of targets. Has shown ability to get off press although not challenged by it alot. Experience on both outside and slot.

Against: Rouns cut-offs and occassionally undisciplined breaks. Can lose b alance in routes after contact. Get-off is slower than expected.

Draft talent: Hands and speed alone makes him top 15.

4. Justin Jefferson, LSU

For: Dominated the highest level in college football despite only playing 2 years. Has experience (and did well) in both slot and outside. The most dominating over-the-middle WR in 2019. Gave the highest % chance of converting 3rd down or TD when targeted. Had the highest chance of completing a pass when a defender was within 3 feet of all WRs in class. Hands are natural, catches tough low/high/wide balls. Elevates and positions freakishly. Has good stop-and-go in his routes, flashes good cuts, and has good (not elite) speed. His WR coach praised athleticism and competitiveness to the moon – moved to slow to make room for Chase. 

Against: Wasn’t challenged a ton with press coverage, so not a convincing sample to truly judge ability there. Needs to add a little muscle, can get off route with contact.

Draft talent: Top 20.

5. Denzil Mims, Baylor

For: Showcased a nasty outside step – lean – and speed finish on streak routes. Master of snap turns on hitch routes. Highlight reel catches due to body control and catch radius. Tremendous combination of size, speed, and body control. Doubts about route tree put to rest with a dominating senior bowl. Combine hero. 

Against: Ugly, uncontested drops occassionally. Not a burner – separation and success in NFL will come solely on mastering routes, which makes him very raw, considering he mostly ran hitch/slant/go in college. Decent route tree but excells on only a few routes. 

Draft talent: First round

6. K.J. Hamler, Penn State

For: The most explosive get-off from the line of scrimmage I’ve seen. Elite speed, when he’s even, he’s leavin’. Can score on any play. Smooth cuts, doesn’t lose any speed in breaks. Smothers press coverage with quick feet and explosive twitches. Dynamic returner. Severely underrated route runner. Combining route running, getoff, and ability vs press in the slow projects well for transitioning to outside WR. 

Against: Drops were an issue, although many of them came on deep, high speed routes with defender nearby, which shouldn’t be an excuse. Exclusive slot experience, but that doesn’t mean he’s locked there. Skinny (but bigger than Hollywood Brown). Hype hampered by lack of 40 yard dash. 

Draft talent: First round

7. Jalen Reagor, TCU

For: Quick, has breakaway speed. Not the play speed of Hamler and Ruggs, but still elite level. Good release and acceleration. Dangerous after the catch and as returner, can find room when there is none. Major production despite a terrible QB situation. Elevates well for the ball. Beautiful double moves.

Against: Rounds cuts, doesn’t sell his routes, and route tree is in general limited. Has ugly drops, Hamler-ish with 13 % of on-target throws. Doesn’t beat press fast and convincingly.

Draft talent: Top 40

8. Brandon Aiyuk, Arizona State

For: Good play speed. Elite yards after catch and return ability. High points the ball well, makes some pretty spectacular catches. Occasionally has brilliant cuts where he drops weight beautifully. 

Against: One year wonder. Simple route tree. Most of big plays where against DBs with criminally suspect technique. Flashes ability, but breaks are simply inconsistent. Struggles on contested catches and against press. 

Draft talent: 2nd round 

9. Van Jefferson, Florida

For: Freak route runner. On par with Jerry Jeudy. Hard cuts, uses leverage well to change direction. Has good fakes and footwork. Beats press easily all day. Reliable hands, not spectacular. Lateral explosiveness. Father is NFL WR coach. Leading WR in a horrific offensive system. 

Against: Will be 24 years-old before first NFL snap. Not flashy ability after the catch. Usually avoids contact in-route with elusiveness, but when it happens it can throw off the route. Needs to get bigger. 

Draft talent: 2nd round

10. Tyler Johnson, Minnesota

For: Has experience with entire route tree. Played outside and inside WR well. Good hands, especially through contact over the middle. Good concentration on contested deep passes. Decent release, but explosion in cuts is high end. Active NFL player source says he is by far NFL ready, understanding of play/route timing is on point. Doesn’t need wiggle to get open, knows how to use 1 explosive cut. 

Against: Lacks top speed. Occasional slower getoff from the line of scrimmage against press. Doesn’t always get consistent separation, but didn’t need it too often at college level. 

Draft talent: 2nd round

11. Devin Duvernay, Texas

For: Top of class reliable hands, 2.7 % drop rate. Natural hands catcher. Good positioning at catch point despite size. Often wins contested catches. Fine leap, good top speed, athletic. Good ability with ball in hands. Built tough, runs DBs over.

Against: Doesn’t sell routes consistently. Needs separation on streaks routes, no inside fake. Problems against press. Rounds off cuts, very rarely presents a really good break in-route. Needs explosion. 

Draft talent: Late 2nd, early 3rd.

12. Michael Pittman Jr, USC

For: Top of class hands, 2.7 % drop rate. Dominant positioning and size with massive catch radius. Fast for a 6’4″ 220 lbs body. Mean technique and leverage drop on short routes, which separates him from other tall receivers like Higgins and Johnson. Tracks ball exceptionally well.

Against: Limited YAC ability. Doesn’t sell deep routes convincingly, which is concerning for a transition to the NFL. Average separation against press on deep routes, for some reason really good on short/intermediate routes. Shaky competition. 

Draft talent: late 2nd, early 3rd round

13. Antonio Gandy-Golden, Liberty

For: Impressive movement for a large human being. Positioning and body control is made for bullying DBs at catch point. Incredible concentration at contested catches. Athletic, has sudden turns and good drop of weight at breaks. Good blocker. Had a really good senior bowl.

Against: Very limited route tree, raw talent. Dominated week in, week out, but against bad cornerbacks, raises questions about actual skill level. 

Draft talent: 3rd round

14. Tee Higgins, Clemson

For: Huge catch radius, massive wingspan, good leap. Good concentration on deep contested catches. Decent ability with ball in hands.

Against: Rounds breaks. Lacks explosiveness and suddenness in cuts. Get pressed to the sideline too often on deep routes. Lacks separation at line of scrimmage vs press. Has UGLY drops. Disappeared versus ranked teams. 

Draft talent: 3rd round

15. Laviska Shenault, Colorado

For: Awesome after the catch. Above average play speed. Reliable hands in short/intermediate routes. Good cuts in intermediate routes, can drop weight, has suddenness.

Against: Has problems tracking and positioning on deep passes. A lot of production against bad CBs. Route tree needs work. Has a lot of good tools, but injury concerns are scary.

Draft talent: 3rd round. 

16. Antonio Gibson, Memphis

For: Incredible contact balance. Freak speed at 228 lbs, 40 time was 4.39 but plays even faster. Can juke, spin, truck like a premiere RB. Dynamic returner. Can score on any play. Promising explosve getoff. Mostly reliable hands. Incredibly versatile. 

Against: The rawest prospect i’ve seen. Has 71 college carries and receptions combined. Rounds cuts in routes, lacks timing, and looks akwardly stiff relative to overall athleticism.

Draft talent: As raw, but also as talented, as they come. 3rd round. 

17. Donovan Peoples-Jones, Michigan

For: Jacked built. Fast for size. Good leap and positioning at catch point. Made a lot of adjustments on bad passes. Showcase ability to drop weight and explode on cuts. Decent feet. 

Against: Lacks consistency in breaks, suddeness. Has poor production, not even top WR in offense. Drop concerns with 10 %. 

Draft talent: Early 4th round

18. K.J. Hill, Ohio State

For: Has really good footwork, can use it well against press. Works well with space from the slot. Has good sudden turns. Expert in slant and in routes, manipulates CBs well with outside step. Reliable hands, can be counted on to catch easy passes.

Against: Lacks deep speed, can be caught after separation. Bad concentration drops down the field and struggles with contested catches. Despite good footwork he rounds routes too often. Limited route tree, works mostly underneath.

Draft talent: 4th round

19. Jauan Jennings, Tennessee

For: Freak contact balance. Difficult to tackle, bounces around tacklers and keeps churning legs forward. Has decent suddenness in cuts for his size, usually works best from the slot. Convincing and consistent double moves. Good hands especially in contested situations over the middle. Tracks ball well.

Against: Major issues getting off press, footwork needs refinement. Not suited for on-the-line alignment, limited outside ability. Lacks top speed to keep separating. Had difficulties separating at the senior bowl. Will be 23 years old before season starts.

Draft talent: 4th round

20. Isaiah Hodgins, Oklahoma State

For: Stupid good hands. Catches everything. Contested, deep concentration, sideline, routine, and spectacular catches are made easy. Has OK stem and sells his double moves convincingly, has some nice details in his routes. Fantastic leap, body control. Had really good timing with his QB, didn’t need a ton of separation before catch. OK getoff at line of scrimmage.

Against: Zero ability after the catch. Needs speed to continue separating. Lacks explosion in cuts. Top speed not impressive. Thin.

Draft talent: 4th round

21. Bryan Edwards, South Carolina

For: Good fakes and stem on slants, curls, and corner routes. Usually wins against press with good footwork on streak routes. Good physique with ball in hands. Makes spectacular catches, makes catches through contact at a high level.

Against: Lacks top speed. Overall athleticism is not great. Has some concentration issues on deep passes. A lot of time ran screens, raw route runner.

Draft talent: 4th round

22. Gabriel Davis, UCF

For: Good size, elevates really well. Has good top speed, doesn’t get off the line fast but has enough to keep separation once he achieves it. Tracks ball well, reliable hands. Sells double moves well and occasionally displays good feet.

Against: No ability after the catch. Rounds off breaks and doesn’t drop weight. Extremely limited route tree experience, and even then doesn’t master any of them.

Draft talent: 4th round

23. James Proche, SMU

For: Incredible hands, attacks ball, goes up and gets it. 2.5 % drop rate. Only 5’11” but plays a lot bigger. Utilizes space well in the slot. Quickness off the line. Incredibly productive, consistently dominant week in/week out. Some of his best games came against the best schools. Built tough, strong.

Against: Rounds cuts downfield. Limited abiity with ball in hands. Limited overall athlete relative to his size. Mostly bad competition, transition to NFL could be steep. Struggles against press coverage.

Draft talent: Late 4th round

24. Darnell Mooney, Tulane

For: Good release. Can work off press with speed and footwork. Positions well at catch-point, can high point ball. Has speed, but game speed is not top level. Decent wiggle in his routes even when getting speed.

Against: Has ugly drops, especially over the middle. Built too thin, contact in-route can throw him completely off. Played against poor competition. Speed, explosion, get-off, and ability to separate is not close to that of Hamler.

Draft talent: Hamler-light. Same size but not comparable level. Late 4th round.

25. Quintez Cephus, Wisconsin

For: Good size, built strong and plays physical. Beats press coverage nicely, quick off the line, uses good footwork. Drops weight really well, shows especially on hitches and out routes. Work middle well, find soft spots in zone, in line with physicality.

Against: Zero second gear speed. Burst out of cuts is missing, loses a ton of speed in cuts, lacks suddenness. Looks tight, not a good route runner.

Draft talent: 5th round

26. John Hightower, Boise State

For: Good speed, can create separation and has speed to keep separating. OK wiggle in his routes e.g. on streak routes before cutting definitively upfield. Tracks the ball well, looks like a natural catching deep balls. Can play with speed mid-route and manipulate the leverage of the CB.

Against: Goes down way too easy, zero contract balance. Gets taken out of his routes by physical CBs. Built thin. Extremely raw, 81 catches in college. Not consistent in his routes, probably comes with experience. Horrible QB situation hampered production.

Draft talent: 5th round

27. Joe Reed, Virginia

For: Superb with ball in hands. Can break tackles both physically and laterally. Gets extra yards consistently. Decent hands across the middle in traffic. Decent top speed.

Against: Poor cuts, doesn’t drop his weight, loses a lot of speed in-between cuts. Tracking is average at best. Heavy but doesn’t dominate physically accordingly. Problems getting off contact mid-route. Will likely only work from slow. Can’t get off press.

Draft talent: 5th round

28. Collin Johnson, Texas

For: Size is great, huge wingspan. Has some mobility to beat press. Decent hands.

Against: Injury history. Zero ability after the catch. Surprisingly poor positioning despite size, gets boxed out by CBs. No explosion in routes, doesn’t drop weight, loses all his speed. Allows CBs to play ball at catch point, doesn’t use size to shield off the ball.

Draft talent: 6th round

29. Chase Claypool, Notre Dame

For: Catches almost everything across the middle. Decent ability to hold on to the ball through contact. Has YAC ability like a TE, will go forward for a few yards. Incredible combine.

Against: Slow getoff. Zero explosion in his routes. Primarily did his work on crossing patterns. Creates no separation from outside WR. Is far from dominating at catch point despite size. Has drop issues with 9.6 % drop rate.

Draft talent: As a WR, i would only draft Claypool in the 7th round, maybe not at all. Could be moved to TE and be very successful down the stretch.

30. Quartney Davis, Texas A&M

For: Decent speed. Can create yards after the catch.

Against: Gets taken out completely by contact mid-route. Can’t get off press. 9.1 % drop rate. Only wins on crossing patterns. Doesn’t drop weight in cuts, loses speed in breaks, and doesn’t even try to sell his routes. Rarely wins 50/50 balls. Slow in and out of cuts.

Draft talent: 7th round

Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

2 thoughts on “Eagles face a historically deep WR Draft class: Ranking the top 30

    1. Knocking them due to Pac12 competition, no. Putting a larger emphasis on transitioning to the NFL, rather than e.g. a full time SEC starter, yes.

      The ranking of both Pittman and Shenault is not based on their competitional level in general, but rather due to getoff at the line from Pittman (although much better than Tee Higgins – playing a role in the ranking over him), and the lack of tracking of deep balls, injuries, and inconsistent route running.

Leave a Reply