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Dynasty Rookie Draft Rankings & Tiers: Wide Receivers (2024 Fantasy Football)

Dynasty Rookie Draft Rankings & Tiers: Wide Receivers (2024 Fantasy Football)

The 2023 fantasy football season may be over, but for those of us who start our 2024 seasons in January, our sights are on the upcoming NFL Draft class. Whether you’re an avid dynasty player or only drive in the redraft lane, this class has a crop of players you need to know as you head into next season.

While the world has its eyes on where Caleb Williams will land, the position you need to get most acclimated with before your fantasy and rookie drafts is wide receiver. The strength of this WR class doesn’t just lie in the first round, either. There are viable options to help you win your leagues in 2024 and beyond at X, Flanker and slot WR.

Below are the ones you need to know about before your leaguemates.

2024 NFL Draft: Rookie Wide Receiver Rankings

Tier 1

1. Marvin Harrison Jr. (WR – Ohio State)

  • Height: 6’4?
  • Weight: 205 pounds
  • Year: Junior

To say that Marvin Harrison Jr. may be the best WR prospect of all time would not be an exaggeration. I graded only one WR prospect higher than Harrison Jr. going back to 2009, Julio Jones. The Biletnikoff Award winner has the pedigree, being the son of Colts Hall-of-Fame WR Marvin Harrison. He checks just about every box when looking at his production as well. He sports an elite 3.44 Yards per Route Run (YPRR) while amassing nearly 2,500 receiving yards and 26 TDs over his last two seasons at Ohio State. The best part about evaluating Harrison Jr. isn’t just checking his box scores. When diving into his tape, you get an idea of just how special he will be at the NFL level.

What He’s Got:

  • Elite body control and spacing
  • Impressive footspeed and twitch
  • Diverse release package
  • Aggressive at the catch point with reliable hands
  • Incredible long speed and wiggle (potential to run a sub-4.4 40)
  • Consistent and smooth route runner with a full route tree
  • Best route pacing in the class
  • High football IQ

What He’s Not:

  • He has more trouble with first contact than you would expect a player of his size to have
  • RAC ability leaves you wanting more at times
  • Need to improve as a blocker

Fantasy Outlook: What you need to know is any knock on Harrison Jr. is nitpicking. He should immediately be a top-three or four dynasty WR based on where you have CeeDee Lamb ranked. In redraft leagues, he should compete to be the most valuable rookie WR, regardless of landing spot. Still, if he ends up an Arizona Cardinal or a Chicago Bear, we could see something that flirts with the best rookie wide receiver season we have ever seen.

Tier 2

2. Malik Nabers (WR – LSU)

  • Height: 6’0?
  • Weight: 200 pounds
  • Year: Junior

When breaking down this class, there is a clear tier break after Harrison Jr. However, when it comes to Nabers, he is also in a tier of his own. Nabers leaves LSU as the record holder for all-time receiving yards, 3,003. And yes, that means more than Ja’Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson. One of the most impressive playmakers in this class, Nabers, has incredible vision with the ball in his hands. He showed adaptability and development in his understanding of route running from the 2022 to 2023 season. Nabers is the next great LSU WR and has the potential to land in a perfect spot in the draft with his likely top 8-10 draft projection.

What He’s Got:

  • Best playmaker in the class
  • Elite burst
  • Solid release package and route pacing
  • Plays bigger than his frame
  • Incredible agility and athleticism
  • Premier separator
  • High football IQ
  • Tracks the ball well regardless of coverage

What He’s Not:

  • Has struggled with concentration drops
  • He still has room to grow as a route runner
  • Needs to improve as a blocker

Fantasy Outlook: Nabers will be a force at the NFL level. He is essentially the prototype for WR fantasy football production in today’s NFL. Nabers should establish himself as a top-12 dynasty WR as early as his rookie season. The dream landing spot is with Justin Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers. If he does land in LA, he will compete not only with Harrison Jr to be the best rookie for fantasy production, but he is also a candidate to be a WR1 in redraft leagues.

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Tier 3

3. Rome Odunze (WR – Washington)

  • Height: 6’3?
  • Weight: 216
  • Current Year: Junior

Rome Odunze was a human highlight reel for the Huskies this year. His athleticism is his calling card in this class. He profiles as a player who should blow up the combine and be an NFL team’s X receiver of the future. The odd thing with Odunze is that his speed and strength don’t often translate to separation in his routes. He starts tier three for me, and depending on the declaration status of Emeka Egbuka, he may once again be the only player in his tier. My grade on Odunze would have had him slightly ahead of Jaxon Smith-Njigba in last year’s class, and he shouldn’t fall outside the top 15 in the NFL Draft this year.

What He’s Got:

  • Most complete athlete among WRs
  • Aggressive at the catch point
  • Wreaks havoc against zone coverage
  • Thrives in contested catch situations
  • Impressive catch radius
  • Solid footwork and diverse release package

What He’s Not:

  • Has struggled to create separation
  • He still has room to grow against man coverage
  • He must show he can win at a similar clip in NFL contested-catch situations

Fantasy Outlook: Rome Odunze should be an immediate impact player for an offense in 2024, but I would not be surprised to see him have a Chris Olave-like rookie season. That is not a must-have player in redraft, but it’s also not a knock on what he can do. Redraft managers can expect a WR18-25 finish, depending on where he lands in the NFL Draft. Dynasty managers can slot him in just outside the top-15 Dynasty WRs for now, with a chance to jump much higher if he squashes the very few concerns he has in his profile.

4. Emeka Egbuka (WR – Ohio State)

  • Height: 6’1?
  • Weight: 206
  • Current Year: Junior

Egbuka is one of my favorite players to watch tape on in this class. There is a fair chance he goes back to school next year, but if he doesn’t, he is firmly in my third tier for WRs. He profiles very similarly to his former teammate, Smith-Njigba. He is the technician of this class, even if he does leave you wanting to see more as a pure athlete. He may be used exclusively as a slot receiver in his early career, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Egbuka have a Tyler Lockett-like emergence at the NFL level. His 2023 was a bit of a disappointment with the change at quarterback from CJ Stroud to Kyle McCord and his nagging injuries all season. That said, in 2022, during his sophomore season, he eclipsed 1,100 receiving yards and hit double-digit touchdowns while stacking up 75 receptions. If he does declare, he is likely looking at late-first to early-second-round NFL Draft capital.

What He’s Got:

  • Elite route runner (pacing, footwork, release, IQ)
  • Best hip mobility in class
  • Best change of direction in class
  • Can beat both zone and man coverage consistently
  • Plays bigger than his frame
  • Reliable hands
  • Solid contested catch rate

What He’s Not:

  • He may be exclusively used as slot WR
  • Average speed and burst

Fantasy Outlook: Egbuka needs to declare for the Draft, which is the first obstacle. If he does, unless he gets that first-round draft capital, redraft fantasy football managers may be OK with letting him be a very late-round pick or even a waiver wire watch. He is likely to start his career in the slot, and while that can bring PPR value with it, it rarely turns into rookie-year breakout production for fantasy teams. Dynasty managers are the ones who should be locking in on Egbuka. He would fit just inside my top-25 dynasty WRs, and I would be confident taking him as early as the rookie 1.07 in superflex leagues and the rookie 1.05 in 1 QB leagues.

Tier 4

5. Brian Thomas Jr. (WR – LSU)

  • Height: 6’4?
  • Weight: 205
  • Current Year: Junior

Brian Thomas Jr. is a solid prospect in this class with elite upside. Thomas Jr. was one of the primary reasons Jayden Daniels had a Heisman season, alongside the second player on this list in Nabers. Thomas Jr. had just under 1,200 yards and 17 TDs. No, that’s not a typo. It was a true breakout season for the Tiger. If he develops his route running and can run a more complete route tree at the NFL level, he can do a lot of damage in the deep and intermediate areas of the field. My player comp for Thomas Jr. is 2023 breakout WR Nico Collins.

What He’s Got:

  • Great speed and acceleration
  • Impressive mobility for his frame
  • Fluid route runner
  • Tracks the ball well
  • Solid burst
  • Elite YAC ability

What He’s Not:

  • Limited route tree
  • Contested catch ability is unimpressive for his size
  • Needs to improve strength
  • Needs to improve footwork

Fantasy Outlook: Thomas Jr., while currently ranked below Egbuka, would be much more likely to bring value to redraft leagues. He should be, at worst, a team’s WR2 from the jump. He may be more of a flex play early on in single-year formats, but his big play ability is something that you can stash away at the end of your bench, and he could be an absolute steal come the end of the year and fantasy football playoff time. Dynasty managers can expect to have to spend as early as a rookie 1.04 in 1 QB leagues or 1.06 in SF leagues. The payoff could be huge, though, as he has true alpha wide receiver upside in his career and can still help a contending team win in his rookie season.

6. Adonai (AD) Mitchell (WR – Texas)

  • Height: 6’4?
  • Weight: 196
  • Current Year: Junior

Adonai (AD) Mitchell may be one of the more under-the-radar WR prospects in this class with true Alpha WR upside. Originally a Georgia Bulldog, Mitchell transferred to Texas last year, where he had the best season of his college career. Mitchell has a big frame and plays to his size. He has an incredible catch radius and surprisingly hip mobility when running routes. An underrated part of his game is his ability to accelerate and decelerate. Mitchell can line up outside or in the slot at the NFL level and could see second-round draft capital. His only major obstacle will be getting clean medicals for the NFL Draft. We are looking at a less-refined Tee Higgins if he clears that hurdle.

What He’s Got0

  • Solid route runner
  • Diverse release package
  • Good hip mobility
  • Tracks the ball well
  • Reliable hands

What He’s Not:

  • Struggles through contact
  • Has battled injury
  • Decent but not above-average speed and athleticism

Fantasy Outlook: Mitchell can be viewed in fantasy football very similarly to Thomas Jr. The only caveat is that he doesn’t have that burner breakaway speed. Due to that lack of speed, I would not be surprised to see him fall in rookie drafts into the early-to-mid second round, and that is a value dynasty managers should capitalize on.

7. Devontez Walker (WR – North Carolina)

  • Height: 6’2?
  • Weight: 200 pounds
  • Current Year: RS Junior

Devontez Walker has had an interesting road to getting on the field in his college career. The last two seasons he has spent with Kent State and UNC, the latter allowing him to catch passes from highly-touted QB prospect Drake Maye. During his past two seasons, Walker played in 20 games and averaged five receptions for 80 yards and just under one touchdown per game. He wraps up tier four for me at the WR position and has all the physical attributes to make him a difference-maker at the NFL level. While “Tez” sports a similar upside to the players ahead of him, the one thing holding him back is how raw he is as a prospect. His floor is the lowest among the top-seven WRs in this class.

What He’s Got:

  • Premier burst and acceleration
  • Solid footwork
  • Solid strength and contact balance
  • Can bring versatility to an offense
  • Late hands

What He’s Not:

  • He needs to improve nuance in his routes
  • Needs to expand route tree
  • Has dealt with focus drops

Fantasy Outlook: Walker will likely not be much of an asset in redraft fantasy football leagues. It’s not an indictment on the player as much as it is just a massively oversaturated position in terms of fantasy-impactful players. Dynasty managers who are in a rebuild should make Walker a priority. He may be more of a developing player in year one for an NFL team, but if he can stay healthy, you could be looking at a massive value in your mid-to-late second round.

Tier 5

For this tier, I will highlight prospects’ strengths and weaknesses. I will also add some insight for some players who have a chance to jump up or separate themselves from the pack after we see them test at the combine, as well as a few players I am notably lower on than consensus at this point in their prospect profile.

8. Malachi Corley (WR – Western Kentucky)

  • Height: 5’10”
  • Weight: 211
  • School Year: Junior

Malachi Corley is one of my favorite WR prospects in the class. He is an aggressive player who doesn’t shy away from contact. Corley runs good routes and has strong hands, but he would benefit from continuing to develop a more complete route tree and diversify his footwork and hand technique off the line. He reminds me of a poor man’s DJ Moore, and NFL teams will likely be drafting him in the third round.

What He’s Got:

  • Elite short routes
  • Good intermediate routes
  • Big playmaker threat
  • Elite agility
  • He plays bigger than his size

What He’s Not:

  • Needs to improve consistency in contested-catch situations
  • He must improve deep-route consistency to take the next step in his game
  • More consistent hand technique

9. Keon Coleman (WR – Florida State)

  • Height: 6’4″
  • Weight: 215
  • School Year: Junior

Keon Coleman is a difficult evaluation. He has good-to-OK production between his time at Michigan State and Florida State. He also has probably the best highlight reel of anyone in the class. The issue is what Coleman does between those highlights. He shows flashes of competent route running but needs to be more consistent. Coleman relies on his size and athleticism more than he will be able to in the NFL. It will likely create issues when trying to do the same against NFL DBs. The range of outcomes for Coleman is somewhere between George Pickens and Laviska Shenault. I want to see him land with a team that is willing to take the time to develop him as a true wide receiver rather than an elite athlete who plays wide receiver before I completely buy in.

What He’s Got:

  • Late hands
  • Great size and strength combination
  • Wins 50/50 balls
  • Better route runner than people give him credit for

What He’s Not:

  • He needs to improve nuance in his routes
  • He needs to be more consistent
  • Lacks separation ability
  • Limited release package

10. Troy Franklin (WR – Oregon)

  • Height: 6’3″
  • Weight: 188
  • School Year: Junior

What He’s Got:

  • Elite speed and agility
  • Great route runner
  • Can lineup all over the field
  • High football IQ

What He’s Not:

  • Needs to improve strength
  • Needs to improve as a blocker
  • Adding strength will help him be more consistent in contested-catch situations

11. Ladd McConkey (WR – Georgia)

  • Height: 6’0″
  • Weight: 185
  • School Year: Junior

Ladd McConkey is a good prospect with a few elite traits. His lower position in this group is solely because of how good this wide receiver class is. In most other classes, he is likely vying for WR5-8.

What He’s Got:

  • Great route running
  • Tracks ball well
  • Plays bigger than his frame
  • Navigates space well

What He’s Not:

  • Lacks top-end speed
  • He needs to work on his release package to take another step in his development
  • He is not as agile as you would expect for his frame

12. Ja’Lynn Polk (WR – Washington)

  • Height: 6’2″
  • Weight: 204
  • School Year: Junior

What He’s Got:

  • Ideal size
  • Diverse route tree
  • Good catch radius
  • Makes mid-route adjustments better than most in this class
  • Navigates space well

What He’s Not:

  • Lacks top-end speed
  • He can improve in contested catch situations
  • Can sometimes round routes and get complacent

13. Jacob Cowing (WR – Arizona)

  • Height: 5’11”
  • Weight: 174
  • School Year: Senior

What He’s Got:

  • Great acceleration and release package
  • Impressive ability to run routes at every level of the field
  • Great in space
  • Late hands
  • High football IQ

What He’s Not:

  • He needs to improve his functional strength
  • Questions about how he will navigate traffic at the NFL level

14. Xavier Worthy (WR – Texas)

  • Height: 6’1″
  • Weight: 172
  • School Year: Junior

Xavier Worthy is a fun prospect who could skyrocket up this list if he not only tests well (he should) and can get solid draft capital. He profiles as a solid WR2 in the NFL right now, but if he can improve some of his functional strength and route running, he could join rarified air with his playmaking ability.

What He’s Got:

  • Big-time deep threat
  • Elite burst and speed
  • Navigates space very well
  • Good separator

What He’s Not:

  • He needs to improve nuance in his routes
  • He will have to develop a more complete route tree
  • Dealing with physical DBs will be a challenge at the next level

15 Xavier Legette (WR – South Carolina)

  • Height: 6’3″
  • Weight: 227
  • School Year: RS Senior

Xavier Legette is a favorite for many people, but I just don’t see it in his tape. He is an incredibly raw prospect who relies on his athleticism and had his breakout season in his fifth year in school. I am lower than consensus on him right now, and I do not see that changing anytime soon.

What He’s Got:

  • Athleticism
  • Versatility
  • Navigates open field well
  • Good agility

What He’s Not:

  • He needs to improve his route-running
  • Consistency at the catch point needs work (specifically focusing on his hands)
  • He will need to improve his football IQ and situational awareness

Fantasy Outlook: This group has a lot of role players with tremendous upside at the wide receiver position. For redraft leagues, that means it’s probably players you are picking up off of waivers, with the only real caveat being Keon Coleman if he gets that coveted first-round draft capital.

For Dynasty, it means players who you will need to be patient with on the end of your bench or taxi squad and will be able to draft them in the mid-second round of rookie drafts or later. Dynasty contenders should be focusing on Corley, Coleman, Franklin and Worthy, as they present the most upside in year one, even if the red flags are still present to varying degrees.

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