Even after selecting Drake London 8th overall last year, the Falcons need a lot of help at the position. This is a pretty weak looking class for wide receivers, so the Falcons are going to have to really do their homework. I have some names on this list I’ve previously talked about in my offseason mock draft series linked below:
- Falcons: Offseason 2023 Mock Draft 1.0 (5 Rounds)
- Falcons: Offseason 2023 Mock Draft 2.0 — Post Senior Bowl (5 Rounds)
- Falcons: Offseason 2023 Mock Draft 3.0 — Post Combine (5 Rounds)
- Falcons: Offseason 2023 Mock Draft 4.0 — Post Tampering Period (5 Rounds)
- Falcons: Offseason 2023 Mock Draft 5.0 — Trade Down Scenario (5 Rounds)
Previous editions of this series are listed below:
I’ll be evaluating players by multiple criteria. I like to mainly focus on traits and intangibles. Since we don’t get access to one-on-one team interviews and medicals, unfortunately, I just have to do my best in that aspect. Additionally, I’ll be doing prospects the Falcons may not be in range for. For example, even though Will Anderson Jr. likely won’t be available with the 8th overall pick, I’ll act as if the Falcons could trade up for any player.
I’ll also be referencing Relative Athletic Score, which is a number from 0 to 10 that combines athletic scores from the combine, with 10 being the best. If you want to check it out, click the link here. Let’s get started!
Current Rostered Wide Receivers
WR Drake London
WR Mack Hollins
WR Scotty Miller
WR Frank Darby
WR Jared Bernhardt
After losing Calvin Ridley, this room is pretty thin. They added Mack Hollins and Scotty Miller in free agency, but they still need more.
23. Matt Landers — Arkansas
I have to show some love to Matt Landers here. He tested out of his mind, and he seems to have gotten a lot better after leaving Georgia and Toledo. He had some issues with drops in the past, but he has improved and posted some impressive numbers. A 4.37 40-yard dash at 6’4 is pretty hard to ignore with a wide receiver. I’m not sure how far he’ll go in the NFL, but I’m rooting for the guy.
22. Kearis Jackson — Georgia
Every time Kearis Jackson made a catch at Georgia, it felt like it was in a huge moment. Jackson is a reliable set of hands and is dangerous with the ball after the catch — he should be able to contribute on special teams immediately. He isn’t going to tear up the NFL as a rookie, but I think he’s a guy who could carve out a WR3 role on a roster somewhere and play for a long time.
21. Jayden Reed — Michigan State
Reed made some big time plays for Michigan State, mostly thanks to his ability to win at the point of attack. He has strong hands and made a lot of contested catches for the Spartans. He ran a little faster than I expected, but I wanted to see some better leaping numbers out of a possession receiver — especially at only 5’11.
20. Ronnie Bell — Michigan
One of my favorite potential day three options, the last time we saw Ronnie Bell he was torching TCU in the playoffs. Bell went for 135 yards on six catches with a score, and he was a big reason Michigan kept clawing back into the game. Bell has really long arms and good hands. He could carve himself a nice role as a possession receiver in the NFL.
19. Parker Washington — Penn State
Washington is an interesting prospect, because he was built like a brick wall while playing in the slot for James Franklin. He’s a strong guy for his size, and I’d expect teams to use him in motion in a variety of ways to maximize his ability with the ball in his hands. At 5’9, he could be a real weapon if utilized properly.
18. Rakim Jarrett — Maryland
The Florida transfer Jarrett was a big part of Mike Locksley’s offense at Maryland, and he had a pretty good combine to match. His arms are a bit on the short size, but he has great hands and quickness in space. He’s a menace in the open field with the ball in his hands.
17. Dontayvion Wicks — Virginia
Wicks showed off his hops at the combine, and he was a bright spot on a pretty bad Virginia team. He has great feet, strong hands, and a good blend of length and short-area burst. His 40 time was disappointing, but he’s still a good looking prospect.
16. Tyler Scott — Cincinnati
Scott’s going to need to work on his hands and his frame, but he’s an exciting prospect. The former track star has great speed, and Desmond Ridder’s old buddy could rise before the draft. His leaping ability and 40 were impressive, but his arm length is a concern at only 30.875 inches. He’s a true deep threat that can make some noise with the right quarterback.
15. Kayshon Boutte — LSU
Probably the biggest disappointment of this group, Boutte didn’t show off the gamebreaking ability he had at LSU at the combine. His 29 inch vertical is alarming. Regardless, he’s still a solid route runner and makes some impressive cuts with the ball in his hands. His 4.5 40-yard dash isn’t the end of the world, but I expected him to be much faster. His production and tape doesn’t lie, but his combine performance really hurt his stock.
14. A.T. Perry — Wake Forest
One of the big winners from the combine, Perry tested much better than I anticipated. A 4.47 at 6’3 was much better than I predicted, and one of Sam Hartman’s favorite targets has the tape to match. Perry’s great with contested catches at the point of attack, mostly due to his strong hands. He can make big things happen with the ball in his hands — watch out for this kid.
13. Xavier Hutchinson — Iowa State
Hutchinson isn’t a guy who’s going to blow you away with his athletic traits, but he’s still a good athlete and is one of the more polished players in this group in terms of technique and route running. He’s physical and has a great frame with long arms to go along with soft hands. He has some wiggle in tight areas too, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he ended up being one of the better players in this class at the position.
12. Tank Dell — Houston
One of the few disappointing testers, Dell had a great Senior Bowl but didn’t have his best day in Indy. His numbers weren’t inspiring for an undersized guy, but his tape speaks for itself. We’re talking about a guy who had almost 1400 yards and 17 touchdowns last season. His route running is still impressive, and I saw enough at the Senior Bowl to leave him in this spot.
11. Rashee Rice — SMU
Rice jumped out of the gym at the NFL Combine, and he had a 1.49 10-yard split on his 40 yard dash, which showcased his explosiveness that scouts have raved about. Another guy who is a menace with the ball in his hands, Rice is a smooth athlete and fluid route runner. Although he played in an SMU system that will require a bit of a learning curve for the NFL, Rice is a good-looking prospect — especially on day two.
10. Josh Downs — North Carolina
Downs can jump out of the gym, and he can burn you on deep balls as well. Although he has one of the better route trees in this class, he isn’t a great blocker and will likely be limited to the slot in the NFL. I thought he would test a little better, but his athletic gifts make him a player to watch in this class.
9. Bryce Ford-Wheaton — West Virginia
One of the big winners of the combine, Ford-Wheaten probably pushed himself into day two of the draft. You have to be careful with combine freaks, but his tape backs up his play. It’s hard to ignore a 41-inch vertical and 4.38 40-yard dash at 6’4. With his route running ability and soft hands, I’m buying his stock leading up to the draft.
8. Jordan Addison — USC
This might be the one ranking that really comes back to bite me, but Jordan Addison had a rough combine. He only ran a 4.49 at 171 pounds, which is concerning. Regardless, he was Caleb Williams’ favorite target in Los Angeles, and he still has some of the smoothest routes in this entire class. For me, his stock took a hit at the combine.
7. Jonathan Mingo — Ole Miss
Another big combine winner, Mingo probably solidified himself as a draft pick with his showing in Indy. His leaping was elite, and he ran a really solid 40 for a guy his size. Additionally, he threw up 22 bench press reps. He has smooth technique and is a violent run blocker — a guy I could absolutely see the Falcons being interested in. He’s someone who just gets open and makes big plays with the ball in his hand. I came away really impressed with him, and he’s one of my favorite sleepers in this group. Concentration drops will be an issue, so he’s a boom or bust pick.
6. Cedric Tillman — Tennessee
Another one of my favorite sleepers in this class, Tillman is a strong runner with excellent hands. He really helped his case out at the combine. He is physical at the catch point and can control his body really well. He has the mark of a true possession receiver, and his 4.54 40-yard dash was solid for a guy his size. If he goes to the right team, he’s going to be a problem.
5. Marvin Mims Jr. — Oklahoma
Mims is straight up lightning in a bottle on the field. He’s a smaller player, but when he gets the ball in his hands, you better watch out. He showed off his explosiveness with his leaping ability and 4.38 40-yard dash at the combine. For his size, he’s a tough runner. His raw gifts make him an interesting ball of clay for any NFL team, and he can contribute right away as a kick and punt returner.
4. Zay Flowers — Boston College
Flowers is a lightning quick deep threat that can rip off massive chunk plays with the ball in his hands, and I’m getting some AJ Brown-lite vibes from the Boston College Eagle. Even with a smaller frame, he has a developed route tree from playing X at Boston College. His drops and frame are a concern, but there’s no denying his raw ability.
3. Jalin Hyatt — Tennessee
Some poor testing from others and a good showing from Hyatt has pushed him up my board. The Biletnikoff Award winner was a fantastic player in Josh Heupel’s offense. Even with a limited route tree, he’s super explosive and has the body to be a true X receiver in the NFL.
2. Quentin Johnston — TCU
After absolutely dominating Michigan, Johnston had a quiet performance in the National Championship against Georgia (1 catch, 3 yards). However, neither of those games dictates his entire body of work. He’s a big-bodied receiver with good skills at the point of attack and great athleticism for his size. I would have liked to have seen him test at the combine, but he absolutely has franchise WR potential.
1. Jaxon Smith-Njigba — Ohio State
For some, Smith-Njigba was the wire-to-wire WR1, but I’ve just now brought him back up to the top. He’s a really smooth route runner with good hands, and if not for his injury, Ohio State’s season may have gone differently. Regardless, his performance against Utah in the 2022 Rose Bowl really stands out to me, and he can be the dominant WR1 this class seems to be missing on its face.
Photo: Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire
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