The 2023 NFL Draft class might not have the talent as in years past, but there is a surprising amount of depth and upside to be found in the middle to later rounds. That’s right where Pittsburgh WR Jared Wayne hopes to hear his name called. While most of the conversation has been focused on the top names in the class, what does Wayne’s scouting report suggest about his NFL Draft stock?
Jared Wayne NFL Draft Profile
- Position: Wide Receiver
- School: Pittsburgh
- Year: Senior
A native of Canada, Wayne is originally from Ontario, Canada, but played his high school football at Clearwater Academy International in Florida, where as a senior, he totaled 61 receptions for 1,157 yards and 14 touchdowns. Wayne was ranked the No. 4 Canadian prospect by ESPN when he committed to the University of Pittsburgh.
“I thought I was going to be a hockey player growing up,” Wayne said. “I started to kind of take football seriously in high school.”
Playing in eight games as a true freshman with four starts, Wayne caught 18 passes for 261 yards and a touchdown while becoming the first Pitt freshman to log 100 yards in a game since 2013.
2020 was impacted by the pandemic, but Wayne’s stats did not change too much. He once again played in eight games, this time making three starts. He put up very similar numbers, catching 21 passes for 326 yards with one touchdown.
Wayne started in four games while appearing in 13 as a junior. With the offense firing on all cylinders with Kenny Pickett under center and fellow WR Jordan Addison going on to win the Biletnikoff Award, Wayne finished second on the team in receptions (47), receiving yards (658), and receiving TDs (tied with six). A former high school quarterback, he was also utilized on some gadget plays and finished with two completions for 36 yards and another score.
With Addison transferring to USC, Wayne took a significant role and was a full-time starter for the first time. He only missed one game due to an injury and compiled 60 catches for 1,063 yards and five touchdowns on the year. Finishing as a second-team All-ACC honoree, Wayne achieved only the eighth 200-yard receiving game in Pitt history in the regular season finale at Miami (FL).
The son of former Canadian Football League linebacker Patrick Wayne, Jared was not invited to the NFL Combine but had a chance to put up some impressive numbers during Pitt’s Pro Day. The 22-year-old Canadian-born wideout measured in at 6’2″ with a 79 5/8″ wingspan while weighing in at 209 pounds.
His 41.5″ vertical jump would’ve been best in class at Indianapolis. Additionally, Wayne’s three-cone time of 6.85 and 4.06 20-yard shuttle ranked second only to Ohio State wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba. His 40-yard dash numbers vary, with some reporting that he clocked in as quick as 4.53 seconds to as high as 4.71.
For a wide receiver, the number disparity is a significant difference in projected draft capital. However, given these did not come from the NFL Combine, the accuracy can be questioned within a few hundredths at least.
According to Wayne, “I feel like I really haven’t scratched the surface yet of my ability. I’m looking forward to what the future holds.” But to get a better idea of what the future might hold for Wayne as a likely late-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, we need to turn to his scouting report.
Tony Pauline’s Scouting Report for Jared Wayne
Strengths: Nice-sized WR with reliable hands. Consistently finds ways to separate from defenders, extends to make the reception away from his frame, and displays eye/hand coordination. Tracks the pass in the air, gets vertical, and competes to come away with the difficult catch. Possesses soft as well as strong hands. Displays excellent route discipline and quickly turns upfield after the catch. Works hard even if the play is away from him.
Weaknesses: Not a vertical receiver and struggles making the deep reception at full speed. Lacks a quick release off the line of scrimmage. Plays to one speed.
Overall: Wayne comes with nice size, long arms, and big hands that he uses to consistently catch the football. He’s also coming off a career season and offers possibilities as a possession wideout at the next level.
Jared Wayne Combine Measurements and Results
- Height: 6’2 3/4″
- Weight: 209 pounds
- Arm Length: 33 1/8″
- Hand Size: 9 3/4″
- Bench Press: DNP
- 40-Yard Dash: 4.53-4.71
- Vertical Jump: 41.5″
- Broad Jump: 10’7″
- Short Shuttle: 4.06
- Three-cone: 6.85
Note: All times and measurements come from Pitt’s Pro Day.
Pittsburgh WR Jared Wayne Current Draft Projection
The opinions on the 2023 NFL draft class of wide receivers have varied as pundits finalize their thoughts on the class. Is it underwhelming, or is there quite a bit of talent and depth which makes up for the lack of a legitimate unquestionable No. 1 prospect?
Personally, I think there’s quite a bit of underrated talent out there at the position, and 2023 represents a chance for teams to fill their depth chart with upside.
Wayne could be one of those players, as he currently comes in as the WR98 and the No. 603 ranked player on Tony Pauline’s Big Board. With a draft grade of 2.94, Wayne has an estimated draft projection that places him well outside the draftable range.
MORE: 2023 NFL Draft Big Board
There is no doubt about it; Wayne’s Pro Day undoubtedly helped his draft stock, especially when all 32 teams were in attendance. His on-field reps looked solid, and since the beginning of 2022, all he’s done is maximize his potential draft stock.
But has he done enough? I’m not sure. Working in the NFL takes more than just being big and fast. Everyone fits those parameters. You have to be well-rounded, and there are apparent questions in Wayne’s profile that could scare off teams. Granted, everyone could use more depth at receiver.
But there’s just as good of a chance Wayne goes undrafted as there is he hears his name called in the closing hours of the NFL Draft. Whether he gets picked or has to make his way as a UDFA, Wayne’s back will be against the wall as he begins his journey. But for someone with his quiet confidence, that might be just fine with him.
Listen to the PFN Scouting Podcast
Listen to the PFN Scouting Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Scouting Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms. Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review! Rather watch instead? Check out the PFN Scouting Podcast on our Scouting YouTube channel.