Welcome to draft season! This is the second of 11 positional breakdowns leading up to the NFL draft (April 29-May 1). Here are my top 10 wide receivers:


1. Ja'Marr Chase (Jr., LSU, 6-foot-0, 201 pounds)

Chase had a historic sophomore season (1,783 yards and 20 touchdowns) before opting out last season due to COVID-19. He dominates jump balls, breaks tackles and showcases elite toughness for a receiver. Projected: Top 10

2. Devonta Smith (Sr., Alabama, 6-0, 170)

Smith glides across the field like Fred Astaire on wet pavement and took Wite-Out to Chase's single-season conference records during his Heisman campaign. The only critique is he's slightly bigger than a Micro Machine. Projected: Top 15

3. Jaylen Waddle (Jr., Alabama, 5-9, 180)

Waddle is a special athlete and elite playmaker whose mere presence puts pressure on a defense. He's capable of being a dynamic return man as well, but that's how he broke his right ankle last season. Projected: Top 15

4. Elijah Moore (Jr., Ole Miss, 5-9, 178)

Moore is a three-year starter who is explosive in the open-field and thrives on slants, screens and jet sweeps. He only had one drop on 101 targets in 2020. Projected: 1st or 2nd round

5. Rashod Bateman (Jr., Minnesota, 6-0, 190)

Bateman is a productive, route-technician with excellent hands. He was a three-year starter on his high school hoops team and received scholarship offers from several Division I programs. Projected: 1st or 2nd round

6. Terrace Marshall Jr. (Jr., LSU, 6-2, 205)

Marshall is a capable deep threat with prototypical size/speed traits. Almost a quarter of his 94 receptions the last two seasons were touchdowns (23). He has broken his left foot (2019) and fibula (2017). Projected: 2nd round

7. D'Wayne Eskridge (Sr., Western Michigan, 5-8, 190)

There are durability concerns with Eskridge because of his size, and he's still underdeveloped as a route runner but he was Indiana's Mr. Track and Field as a senior in high school. He's a proven playmaker who is tough as nails (he also played cornerback and lined up as a gunner on punt coverage for the Broncos). Projected: 2nd or 3rd round

8. Kadarius Toney (Sr., Florida, 5-11, 193)

This former high school quarterback is a dangerous playmaker outside, in the slot or in the backfield. Multiple off-field incidents and durability concerns could offset immense talent. Projected: 1st or 2nd round

9. Tylan Wallace (Sr., Oklahoma St., 5-11, 194)

Wallace is a dynamic playmaker who has mastered the route tree. He produced a first down or touchdown on almost 74 percent of his 205 collegiate receptions. He suffered a torn ACL in his right knee in 2019. Projected: 2nd or 3rd round

10. Rondale Moore (So., Purdue, 5-7, 181)

Moore is a powerful creator after the catch, almost running back-like, who could thrive in the slot at the next level, but he's unproven as a downfield threat and has missed 11 of 18 games the past two seasons due to injury. Projected: 1st or 2nd round

BONUS. Amon-Ra St. Brown (Jr., USC, 5-11, 197)

St. Brown doesn't feature top-end speed, but his balance, route-running and physicality remind me of Steve Smith Sr. Projected: 2nd or 3rd round

BONUS. Amari Rodgers (Sr., Clemson, 5-9, 212)

Rodgers is physical after the catch, similar to Deebo Samuel. He spent the last three seasons as the Tigers' featured punt returner. Projected: 2nd or 3rd round

BONUS. Nico Collins (Sr., Michigan, 6-4, 215)

Collins features an impressive height/speed combination and isn't afraid to make plays over the middle of the field. His production at Ann Arbor was underwhelming considering his talent. Projected: 3rd round

BONUS. Dyami Brown (Jr., North Carolina, 6-0, 189)

Brown oozes big-play ability — he had five receptions of 50-plus yards in 2020 — and has developed into an advanced route runner. He needs to work on his inconsistent hands (15 drops the last two seasons). Projected: 2nd or 3rd round

BONUS. Tutu Atwell (Jr., Louisville, 5-8, 155)

Obviously Atwell is undersized and he drops too many balls, but you can't teach his type of speed. Only Alabama's DeVonta Smith had more yards after catch in 2019. Projected: 3rd or 4th round

BONUS. Cade Johnson (Sr., South Dakota St., 5-10, 184)

Johnson is a former walk-on with decent quicks who was super productive for the Jackrabbits — he had 139 receptions, 2,554 yards and 25 touchdowns his last two seasons. The only real question mark is his lack of experience against top competition. Projected: 4th to 7th round

BONUS. Semi Fehoko (So., Stanford, 6-3, 222)

Fehoko features elite size/speed combination and specializes in difficult catches, but he's still very raw despite him turning 24 in 2021. He committed to a two-year religious mission before attending school. Projected: 3rd to 5th round

BONUS. Frank Darby (Sr., Arizona St., 6-0, 201)

Darby's career production was mediocre, but he can make plays at every level and has some of the best ball skills in this class. He was a team captain his senior season and is a bona fide leader on and off the field. Projected: 5th to 7th round

BONUS. Anthony Schwartz (Jr., Auburn, 6-0, 186)

Schwartz is a developmental project with world-class speed. He won the silver medal in the 100 meters (10.22) at the IAAF world championships in Finland, taking the gold medal in the 4x100 relay (38.88) for Team USA. Projected: 4th to 7th round

BONUS. Seth Williams (Jr., Auburn, 6-3, 211)

Williams is a ball-winner who could develop into a productive red zone threat in the NFL. Projected: 3rd to 5th round


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