2022 NFL Draft Big Board: Wide Receivers & Tight Ends (Pre-Combine)

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As with previous drafts, this class is absolutely loaded with talent at wide receiver. Even in the later rounds, there should be quality names available for a Falcons team that could be looking at a total revamp of the position in 2022. If Calvin Ridley is traded, the only returning receiver on Atlanta’s roster will be 2021 sixth-round pick¬†Frank Darby. Even if Ridley is brought back, this group needs a lot of help.

The same can be said for tight ends. Even though Atlanta used the fourth pick in 2021 on Kyle Pitts, Hayden Hurst is a free agent and Lee Smith has retired. Arthur Smith loves his tight ends, so I wouldn’t be too shocked to see another selected. If you don’t see your favorite prospect, don’t worry — I’ll be updating this after the combine with athletic scores and new names. Previous editions are listed below:

 

 

Wide Receivers

 

14. Calvin Austin III — Memphis

Although Austin is your typical smaller slot receiver, he uses his top tier quickness and athleticism to create seperation and get open. He’s more of a one-trick pony at receiver, but he does that one trick very well.

 

13. Tre Turner — Virginia Tech

Turner was fantastic for his whole career with the Hokies, and his ability to understand the route tree and run routes smoothly will appeal to a lot of NFL teams. Right now, Turner isn’t exceptional in one area, but he’s pretty solid all around.

 

12. Jalen Tolbert — South Alabama

Tolbert was highly productive at South Alabama, and he used his size to win on a lot of contested balls on the outside. He has a rock solid catch radius, and he’s a big target that quarterbacks are going to love throwing to.

 

11. John Metchie — Alabama

I had high hopes for Metchie going into 2021 with Alabama losing multiple wideouts to the NFL, and he delivered. Metchie is a great athlete that can play multiple roles in an offense, and his ability to line up in the slot or out wide can help an offense that needs immediate help with multiple roles.

 

10. Wan’Dale Robinson — Kentucky

Get the ball in Robinson’s hands and get out of the way. Robinson is an electric playmaker, and he can take a short or intermediate route the distance with just a little bit of space. I could see a team trying to use him in a Deebo Samuel role.

 

9. Jahan Dotson — Penn State

Dotson is a great athlete that doesn’t have a lot of holes in his game. He is a really dependable option that still has room to grow, and his route running should allow him to make an impact on an NFL roster from day one.

 

8. David Bell — Purdue

There are a lot of prototypical X receivers in this class, and David Bell has the potential to be the best out of the entire group. Although he’s a bigger receiver, he has insane athleticism and a really good catch radius. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if he became one of the better players from this group.

 

7. George Pickens — Georgia

While we didn’t get too much of an extended look at George Pickens, there’s undeniable pops of talent on tape. He has a MASSIVE catch radius, and he’s a very physical receiver at the point of attack. He looked to be healthy during Georgia’s National Championship run, and I think an NFL team will steal him on day two.

 

6. Chris Olave — Ohio State

Chris Olave is the smoothest route runner in this entire class — bar none. The way he can work himself open at any level of the field is so impressive. Combine that with the fact that he doesn’t have many other holes in his game, and it’s easy to see why he’s another blue chip in a very talented group.

 

5. Jameson Williams — Alabama

It really speaks to the talent on this list that Jameson Williams is fifth on my board. I was sold on Williams watching Alabama play Miami in Week 1. While Williams is an exceptional deep threat, he can also take short and intermediate routes to the house with his blazing speed. He’s going to be a special talent in the NFL, and his route running will give defensive coordinators nightmares.

 

4. Garrett Wilson — Ohio State

Wilson is a guy who can make you pay if you play soft coverage at any level of the field. If he gets the ball in his hand, he’s a threat to score anywhere on the field.

 

3. Christian Watson — North Dakota State

I’ll take all of your Christian Watson stock right now. Watson moves like a receiver half his size at 6’5 and 210 pounds. He’ll have to get used to an NFL route tree, but with his raw gifts and insane catch radius, I’m calling my shot and saying he’ll be one of the best receivers in this entire class.

 

2.¬†Drake London — USC

The former basketball player has exceptional hops and athleticism, and that’s a dangerous combination when you stand 6’5. London uses his frame and physicality to make a ton of contested catches, and there’s no doubt in my mind he has the potential to be an All-Pro if he can put it all together.

 

1. Treylon Burks — Arkansas

Every time I see Treylon Burks, I can’t help but look at Odell Beckham Jr. in his rookie season. Burks has an absolutely absurd catch radius — he can go and get balls that seem like hopeless passes. He is a master of the contested catch, and he has fantastic athleticism and burst in the open field. I really like Burks as a prospect, and he profiles as a big-time impact player from day one.

 

Tight Ends

 

7. Charlie Kolar — Iowa State

I really like the floor of Kolar, he profiles as a solid run blocker and has soft hands. He can make plays vertically or in the red zone, and I think he’ll be one of the safer options in this class.

 

6. Cole Turner — Nevada

Turner was a highly productive player alongside Carson Strong at Nevada, and he possesses great athleticism for the position. He can get vertical and go get balls at 6’6 — he’s a big time sleeper at the position.

 

5. Cade Otton — Washington

If you’re looking for a mauler in the run game that wants to punish defenders, Cade Otton is your guy. He has the potential to be an immediate impact player with his run blocking.

 

4. Jeremy Ruckert — Ohio State

Although Ohio State’s offense was loaded with weapons, Ruckert found his way into the endzone multiple times when defenses forgot about the Senior. Ruckert totaled 12 touchdowns, and he’s a solid athlete who can make plays in the Red Zone.

 

3. Jalen Wydermyer — Texas A&M

Wydermyer could easily play wide receiver, but he has great size and athleticism for the position. He has reliable hands and made a ton of plays for Texas A&M in 2021. He isn’t an exceptional blocker, but he’s a guy you can move all over the field to make big time plays in the passing game.

 

2. Isaiah Likely — Coastal Carolina

Part of Jamey Chadwell’s potent offense at Coastal, Likely is a great athlete who does his best work when he gets vertical. He can burn down the field, and teams will look to use him in multiple roles in their offense. Out of this group, I think Likely followed by Wydermyer has the most potential to become a Pro Bowler.

 

1. Trey McBride — Colorado State

In a class that isn’t that deep, give me the steak over the sizzle. McBride is a versatile piece that Colorado State used in multiple ways, and the unanimous All-American shattered multiple records over his four year career. He has a lot of experience as a primary target in an offense, and if he can develop as a blocker, he’s going to be a great NFL player.

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