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2024 NFL Draft Prospects: Undervalued Wide Receivers (Fantasy Football)

2024 NFL Draft Prospects: Undervalued Wide Receivers (Fantasy Football)

At the top of the 2024 NFL Draft, there are some very talented pass-catchers. Potentially the best trio we’ve seen in the draft process in quite some time. Certainly, there will be teams spending the draft capital to select those players but what about the wide receivers flying under the radar?

2024 NFL Draft Guide

Under-the-Radar WRs

Ricky Pearsall (WR – Florida)

My highest-ranked player on this list is Ricky Pearsall from Florida. He earned a top-50 grade on my big board and he’s just one of those players that consistently gets open. Checking into the NFL Scouting Combine at 6-foot-1 and 189 pounds, Pearsall ran very well and displayed the speed and explosiveness (4.41 in 40-yard dash & 42” vertical jump) that teams desire when drafting wide receivers. 

He’s got the size and athletic ability needed to play inside and outside but it wouldn’t be surprising if teams make him a slot receiver in the NFL. He’ll be dependable and much of his success is due to his route-running prowess. Shifty in and out of his breaks, Pearsall can shake defenders with his quickness and ability to sink his hips and change direction with ease. Even though we’ll hear his name called on the second day of the draft, there’s potential that he will carve out a significant role for the team that drafts him. 

Scouting Combine Results:

  • Measurables: 6’1” and 189 pounds with 30 ⅞” arms and 9 ¼” hands 
  • 40-yard Dash: 4.41 seconds
  • 10-yard Split: 1.57 seconds
  • Vertical Jump: 42”
  • Broad Jump: 10’ 9” 
  • 3-Cone Drill: 6.64 seconds
  • 20-yard Shuttle: 4.05 seconds
  • Bench Press: 17 reps 

Jermaine Burton (WR – Alabama)

The more I watched Jermaine Burton, the more I became a fan of his game. Playing with a good blend of speed and physicality, he can create yards after the catch due to both. Remaining strong at the catch point, he shows he can withstand contact from defenders but he’s also able to run through arm tackles consistently. 

Even though he’s not as detailed of a route runner as other receivers in the class, Burton can win at all three levels of the field. Best suited to run vertically or in-breaking routes, there’s certainly a role for him in the NFL. It shouldn’t surprise anyone if he carves out a spot as a number two or number three receiver for teams. 

Scouting Combine Results: 

  • Measurables: 6’0” and 196 pounds with 31” arms and 9 ⅞” hands
  • 40-yard Dash: 4.45 seconds
  • 10-yard Split: 1.53 seconds
  • Vertical Jump: 38.5” 
  • Broad Jump: 11’ 1”

Ja’Lynn Polk (WR – Washington)

I’ll be higher on Ja’Lynn Polk than most scouts and draft evaluators. For whatever reason, I’m a sucker when prospects can excel in jump ball situations and Polk does just that for the Huskies. Showing no issues with going up and getting it, he makes some really good adjustments on the football. The way he tracks the football is one of the biggest benefits of his game.

While he was used in motion and the short areas of the field, it doesn’t feel like that’ll be a role for him very often in the NFL. He doesn’t have blazing speed but he should be a consistent possession receiver with the ability to excel when used vertically downfield or in the red zone. Versatile enough to play inside (222 slot snaps per Pro Football Focus) or outside (317 wide snaps per Pro Football Focus), there’s certainly a spot on NFL rosters for Polk to have some type of role and impact on an NFL offense. 

Scouting Combine Results:

  • Measurables: 6’1” and 203 pounds with 31 ¾” arms and 9 ¾” hands
  • 40-yard Dash: 4.52 seconds
  • 10-yard Split: 1.52 seconds
  • Vertical Jump: 37.5” 
  • Broad Jump: 10’ 9”

Malik Washington (WR – Virginia) 

The player Malik Washington will get compared to most is Zay Flowers from last year’s draft. While their measurables and combine results are oddly similar, Washington isn’t nearly the same route runner Flowers was last year. That doesn’t mean Washington can’t run routes or that he doesn’t run them well or effectively. He does.

He just doesn’t run them with the snap or violence Flowers runs his routes. That being said, Washington is great after the catch and makes defenders miss due to his shiftiness in tight spaces. He catches the ball away from his body and absorbs contact like a running back. Well-built and primarily a slot receiver, Washington should have no issues producing in an NFL offense. 

Scouting Combine Results: 

  • Measurables: 5’8 ½” and 191 pounds with 30 ⅜” arms and 9 ¼” hands
  • 40-yard Dash: 4.47 seconds 
  • 10-yard Split: 1.53 Seconds 
  • Vertical Jump: 42.5” 
  • Broad Jump: 10’ 6”
  • Bench Press: 19 reps

2024 NFL Draft Coverage

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