2022 NFL Draft: 5 receivers to watch for first round

2022 NFL Draft: 5 receivers to watch for first round

There are a litany of quality receivers in the 2022 NFL Draft. Watch for these five to be among the first taken off the board.

5. Chris Olave, Ohio State

Olave is the first of two Buckeyes on this list. The senior played four seasons in Columbus and started for three of them. Although he never amassed 1,000 yards in any season at Ohio State, the belief is he can blossom further at the pro level. Olave has diminutive size at 6-feet and 187 pounds, but his speed is unquestioned in the 4.3 range. He’s going to be towards the back end of the first round, but he could produce right away for his new team.

4. George Pickens, Georgia

Pickens is an intriguing guy. At 6-foot-3 and 195 pounds, Pickens has decent size. He also runs a 4.47 in the 40-yard dash. In three years with the Bulldogs, Pickens only played 24 games, racking up 1,347 yards across those campaigns. So why is he worthy of a first-round pick? Because if he’s healthy — he tore his ACL in spring ball last year but returned for the final four games — he’s a dynamic threat who can stretch the field. Still, he’s more projection than production to this point.

3. Garrett Wilson, Ohio State

The second of our stars from Columbus, Wilson is a bit more polished than Olave despite coming out early. After to solid years as a freshman and sophomore, Wilson exploded as a junior, helping lead Ohio State into contention for the Big Ten title. Wilson amassed 1,058 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns, almost doubling his output from his first two years combined. He should be able to step in and contribute from Day 1.

2. Jameson Williams, Alabama

Williams is going to be a burner at the NFL level, much as he was for the Crimson Tide. He has a slight build at 6-foot-1 and 179 pounds, but few can fly like this Alabama star. He hasn’t done any pre-draft work for scouts to this point after tearing his ACL against the Georgia Bulldogs in the National Championship Game, but he could be ready for the start of the regular season. Following a transfer from Ohio State after two unproductive season, Williams went wild with Alabama, notching 79 receptions for 1,579 yards and 15 touchdowns. When healthy, he’s an elite talent.

1. Drake London, USC

At 6-foot-5 and 210 pounds, London is the most pro-ready receiver in the draft. He played three seasons with the Trojans and had his best year in 2021, catching 88 passes for 1,084 yards and seven touchdowns, while only playing eight games due to a fractured right ankle. He should be back in plenty of time to avoid missing games as a rookie, and his profile suggests an impact player from the jump.

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Author: Lucas Carlson