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2024 NFL Draft Rookie Prospect Rankings: Wide Receivers (Fantasy Football)

2024 NFL Draft Rookie Prospect Rankings: Wide Receivers (Fantasy Football)

As we approach the end of April, that means one thing and one thing only…the NFL Draft. With the 2024 NFL Draft just single-digit days away, we will soon find out which prospects are destined to join your favorite team. We’ll have you covered up to, through, and after the 2024 NFL Draft with all of our fantasy football and NFL Draft prospect coverage.

Check out my 2024 NFL Draft Guide and scouting reports to get you ready for this year’s draft.

Russell Brown’s 2024 NFL Draft Guide (downloadable PDF)

With that, here are my WR prospect rankings with brief notes on each for the 2024 NFL Draft.

2024 NFL Draft Guide

Draft Prospect Rankings: WR

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

My top-ranked player for the 2024 NFL Draft, Marvin Harrison Jr., has that “it” factor for an NFL offense. I’m not overly concerned with him not working out this offseason other than on a football field. As he said, “I’m focused on football.” Teams in the NFL will love that. Harrison Jr. has the size and fluidity needed to be a successful No. 1 receiver for a team. He’s the type of player you build your franchise around, specifically your offense. Whether he’s playing inside or outside, he can win at all three levels of the field. The pacing of his routes are terrific and he should be a high-impact player early in his career.

2. Malik Nabers (WR – LSU)

I’m not sure if I believe Malik Nabers has been boxing since the age of six. On the football field, there’s no denying his talent. Able to play anywhere on the field, he is projected to be a plug-and-play receiver who should produce from day one in the NFL. He’s an explosive playmaker that never stops moving. Whether it’s pre-snap motion or being able to run after the catch, he was a difference-maker for Jayden Daniels and the LSU offense. One of the best receivers in the draft to execute double-moves, he consistently makes defenders regret biting on the first move. He should make an impact early in his career.

3. Rome Odunze (WR – Washington)

Labeled as a “workhorse”, Rome Odunze is just that on and off the football field. He is about as talented as they come for wide receivers entering the NFL. He’s got great size to be an ‘X’ receiver but he’s athletic enough to move around for an offense. Playing with great physicality, he can withstand contact and run through defenders. Meanwhile, he consistently catches the ball away from his frame. There’s potential for him to be one of the best players to come out of this drop and he’s worthy of being a top-10 selection in this draft.

4. Adonai Mitchell (WR – Texas)

Now that we’re through the first and top tier of wide receivers, we move on to the next one. There’s a slight drop-off from Nabers, Harrison Jr. and Odunze but I think the next best receiver is Adonai Mitchell from Texas. There are gaps of limited or no production on tape but there are some real bright spots when he gets the football. For example, his performance against Kansas was one of his best games. Looking at his tape from Georgia to Texas, it does feel like whenever those offenses needed a big catch, they turned to Mitchell. He’s got the speed (4.34 seconds in the 40-yard dash) and he makes some tremendous adjustments on the football when it’s in the air, especially in the red zone. Whoever ends up drafting Mitchell will be able to play him inside and outside of the formations but they’ll consistently need to keep him involved for those flashes of brilliance to set an offense on fire.

5. Brian Thomas Jr. (WR – LSU)

We all know about Brian Thomas Jr. and his basketball background. He had offers to play college hoops at Florida, Texas A&M and other schools but he ended up at LSU to play football. When watching his tape, you can see he’s still a working project from the route tree to the pacing of his routes. However, teams looking for a vertical receiver who can get upfield in a hurry are in luck. Best suited to play the slot, he does have the size and athleticism to play inside or outside for an offense. He needs some polishing but the tools are there for him to be a No. 1 receiver in the NFL.

6. Keon Coleman (WR – Florida State)

Play speed over track speed, folks. That’s all you need to know about Keon Coleman from Florida State. As a prospect, he’s fallen under the radar but he’s still a good football player. On tape, he can play above the rim and win on 50/50 balls or you can throw to him behind the line of scrimmage (LOS), so he can run after the catch. His routes aren’t as crisp as other receivers but his size is destined to have him aligned as an ‘X’ receiver for an offense. Best suited to play 1-on-1 with defenders, there’s potential for Coleman to blossom into a No. 1 receiver.

7. Xavier Worthy (WR – Texas)

The fastest player we’ve seen at the NFL Scouting Combine (4.20 seconds in the 40-yard dash), it’ll be interesting to see where Xavier Worthy lands in the NFL Draft. He’ll get questioned for his size but there’s no questioning his heart. This dude plays bigger than he’s listed and appears to do anything on tape to give his team the advantage to score points. He’s got the speed to run after the catch and threaten defenses vertically but his ability to track the football is superb. Time will tell how he deals with contact from defenders in the NFL but he’s shown on tape he will throw his body around and put it all on the line. There’s potential for Worthy to be a No. 1 receiver in the NFL but he seems destined to move into the slot where he can be paired with another weapon to take some of the pressure off him to start his career.

8. Ladd McConkey (WR – Georgia)

For my money, Ladd McConkey has the best releases of any receiver in this class. It’s clear he studies the tape of NFL receivers and tries to implement that into his game every chance he gets. There are times that his releases get a bit too complicated and that may work against him at times when his quarterback is dealing with pressure. However, he’s a route runner and should feast when running in-and-out breaking routes. Timing with his quarterback(s) will be important for his success and he’ll need to stay healthy. He dealt with back and ankle injuries last season. His size will get questioned when faced with more physical defenders. On tape, though, McConkey looks like an immediate starter with early Day 2 potential of being drafted.

9. Troy Franklin (WR – Oregon)

Getting to the next tier of receivers, Troy Franklin enters the chat as my 40th-ranked player and ninth-ranked receiver. His tape has splashes of great plays but there are also some inconsistencies. For starters, he plays good lateral quickness to get in and out of his breaks. He will eat up targets in the short and intermediate areas of the field. His length gives him advantages on 50/50 balls and he can adjust to the football on back shoulder throws. The question will be if he can adjust consistently on the football when faced with more physical defenders he’ll face in the NFL. Earlier in the pre-draft process, there was speculation he would be a first-round pick, but I think he’s likely to go somewhere on Day 2 of the draft.

10. Ricky Pearsall (WR – Florida)

I just love the tape of Ricky Pearsall. He was a player I studied early in the process. The more I watched, the more I felt he’d end up higher on my board. Just one of those guys you bet on at the next level. On tape, he’s a crafty route runner with good first-step quickness and the ability to explode off his jab steps. The way he adjusts on the football and hauls in difficult passes weekly is impressive. It’ll be interesting if those catches become limited due to the physicality of the NFL. Keep in mind he was more successful at getting open against zone coverage rather than facing man coverage. Overall, he seems likely to begin his career as a No. 2 or No. 3 WR but there’s potential for him to develop into a No. 1 option for an offense.

11. Xavier Legette (WR – South Carolina)

Built like a running back, Xavier Legette certainly passes the eyeball test. With a thick and strong lower half, he can withstand contact and can run through arm tackles with ease. We’re fortunate to talk about Legette in detail through the draft process because he got up-ended by Nate Wiggins this past season. Amazingly, Legette didn’t suffer a season-ending injury. He came back and finished the game and I imagine teams will love that type of toughness. Best suited for jump balls, he can win in contested catch situations but the lack of separation on those contested catches is somewhat concerning. Shorter arms and lack of fluidity could also create issues against faster and stronger defenders. He looks capable of developing into a strong No. 2 receiver for an NFL offense.

12. Roman Wilson (WR – Michigan)

I love Roman Wilson’s story and what he had to do to play football in Hawaii. His morning commute to high school in Hawaii consisted of getting up at 3:30 am to take an airplane to St. Louis High School. He has been labeled the epitome of hard work by coaches and teammates. Part of a run-first offense limits what Wilson can do or become as a receiver. Seeing him compete at the Senior Bowl should change the minds of NFL decision-makers. Wilson is a dynamic route runner who creates separation with ease. Much of his success is due to the pacing of his routes and his ability to sink his hips to successfully break in and out of his routes. Likely a Day 2 pick, Wilson could easily outplay his draft slot.

13. Ja’Lynn Polk (WR – Washington)

I’ve made it no secret I love receivers who can high-point the football and excel in contested catch situations. Ja’Lynn Polk does just that and more. The Huskies moved him around the offense quite a bit on pre-snap motions so it wouldn’t be surprising if he earned a role out of the slot early in his career. I could see him catching the ball on designed screens or slot fades consistently at the next level. He won’t be known for his route-running prowess and there are times he doesn’t create a ton of separation. That said, he should be selected before the end of the second round.

14. Jalen McMillan (WR – Washington)

Moving on to the next Washington Huskies receiver, there’s much to be desired with Jalen McMillan. Best suited to play out of the slot, he’s an efficient route runner who runs his routes with good pacing and fluidity to keep defenders guessing. His speed will help him create separation quickly but it will also pose a threat to defenses down the field. He’ll need to stay healthy in the NFL but part of his game reminds me of Josh Reynolds. There’s potential for him to develop into a borderline No. 1 receiver but he seems most likely to be a No. 2 or No. 3 receiver.

15. Jamari Thrash (WR – Louisville)

One of my favorite players in the class, Jamari Thrash is one of the best route runners. He’s able to run anything on the route tree and he shows that consistently with what he’s accomplished at all three levels of the field. While he doesn’t have blazing speed, he’s got good enough speed to run after the catch. He wins with the burst and pacing within his routes and can run them at all three levels of the field. Projected to be a No. 2/No. 3 receiver, he seems likely to play out of the slot early in his career. There’s potential for him to develop into a consistent weapon for an NFL offense.

16. Jermaine Burton (WR – Alabama)

Jermaine Burton will be a favorite for some NFL teams and not so much for others. Much of that stems from character concerns throughout his time at Georgia and Alabama. But basing his grade strictly off the tape, he’s certainly a top-100 player in this class. Burton has a good overall frame to withstand contact and compete during contested catches consistently. He’ll need to get stronger but there’s potential for him to be a viable option for teams in the middle of the field and as a deep threat. Getting out of his stance, he shows great burst and gets upfield in a hurry while running his routes at a good pace. Able to play anywhere on the field, there’s potential for him to become a solid No. 2 receiver for an NFL offense that needs a receiver to create big plays downfield.

17. Brendan Rice (WR – USC)

There will be unrealistic expectations put on Brendan Rice due to his dad Jerry Rice being the greatest NFL receiver of all time. That said, Rice should be able to find success in the NFL. For starters, he has the skill set to easily be projected as a No. 2 or No. 3 receiver for an offense. Built like a prototypical ‘X’ receiver, he could fill that void for a team in search of one. He plays a physical brand of football and shows he’s at his best when running hitch and comeback routes. He’ll need to work on becoming more fluid within his lower half but he possesses the ability to run after the catch.

2024 NFL Draft Big Board Rankings: WR

Name Position School POS Rank OVR Rank Grade
Marvin Harrison Jr. WR Ohio State 1st 1st 1st
Malik Nabers WR LSU 2nd 3rd 1st
Rome Oudunze WR Washington 3rd 9th 1st
Adonai Mitchell WR Texas 4th 22nd 2nd
Brian Thomas Jr. WR LSU 5th 24th 2nd
Keon Coleman WR Florida State 6th 29th 2nd
Xavier Worthy WR Texas 7th 31st 2nd
Ladd McConkey WR Georgia 8th 32nd 2nd
Troy Franklin WR Oregon 9th 40th 2nd
Ricky Pearsall WR Florida 10th 46th 2nd
Xavier Legette WR South Carolina 11th 49th 2nd
Roman Wilson WR Michigan 12th 52nd 2nd
Ja’Lynn Polk WR Washington 13th 59th 2nd – 3rd
Jalen McMillan WR Washington 14th 65th 3rd
Jamari Thrash WR Louisville 15th 76th 3rd
Jermaine Burton WR Alabama 16th 82nd 3rd
Brendan Rice WR USC 17th 97th 4th

More 2024 NFL Mock Drafts

Here are a few early predictions for the 2024 NFL Draft. We’ll continue to add our 2024 NFL Mock Drafts leading up to the start of Round 1.

Fantasy Football Rankings: Dynasty Trade Value Chart (March 2024 Update)

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