Top 10 2025 NFL Draft WR Rankings: Luther Burden, Tetairoa McMillan the Early Favorites for WR1

There are plenty of top WRs to know in the 2025 NFL Draft, but Luther Burden III and Tetairoa McMillan are the top contenders for the WR1 mantle.

We’re in the midst of a golden age at the wide receiver position, and the 2025 NFL Draft will carry that trend forward. At first glance, who are the top WR prospects in the 2025 NFL Draft class, and how do they stack up in the early summer months?

Way-Too-Early Top 10 WR Prospects in 2025 NFL Draft

Wide receiver has always been a talent-dense position, but in the modern age of the NFL, that truth has become even more distinct. Over the last five cycles, at least 14 WR prospects have gone within the first three rounds. Next year’s class should be more of the same.

The NFL was spoiled with the “Big Three” of Marvin Harrison Jr., Malik Nabers, and Rome Odunze in the last cycle, and we may never see a triumvirate like that again for some time. Nevertheless, the talent of the 2025 class is very exciting, and the class could look even better down the stretch.

10) Oronde Gadsden II, Syracuse

Medicals will be critical for Oronde Gadsden II. After a ground-breaking 2022 campaign that saw him log 975 yards and six touchdowns on 61 catches, he missed most of the 2023 season with a Lisfranc injury requiring multiple surgeries.

If he can get back to 100% and stay healthy, Gadsden is a talent who blends the lines between wide receiver and tight end. At 6’5″, 223 pounds, he can box out defenders up the seam and on the vertical plane, but he can also separate on quick slants and in-breakers.

9) Dane Key, Kentucky

The Kentucky Wildcats’ passing attack could be special in 2024 — if all goes according to plan. The Wildcats have two WR prospects on our preliminary 2025 NFL Draft WR Rankings, and another — North Texas transfer Ja’Mori Maclin — is an honorable mention. Dane Key comes in first at ninth overall.

Key, who arrived in Lexington as a four-star recruit, stands at 6’3″, 195 pounds, and has the size and athleticism to buoy an early-round profile. To this point, however, his most marketable trait has been his rare body control, contortion ability, and focus at the catch point.

8) Will Sheppard, Colorado

Vanderbilt isn’t often known for its prolific passing attack, but for the better part of the past three seasons, Will Sheppard was a bright spot. The 6’3″, 205-pound pass catcher amassed 150 catches for 2,037 yards and 21 scores over his final three seasons with the Commodores.

Sheppard was always steady as a route runner and catch-point threat, and his stubborn RAC ability also proved valuable. Now, in Colorado’s offense with Shedeur Sanders at the helm, Sheppard has a chance to put up career-high numbers ahead of an NFL ascent.

7) Barion Brown, Kentucky

The 2025 NFL Draft class won’t have a prospect like Xavier Worthy — or anything close. But Barion Brown might best fit that profile. He was a state champion track athlete in high school, who ran a 10.49 100m dash, and he’s a special kick returner, with 1,000 yards and four touchdowns since 2022.

KEEP READING: Top QBs in the 2025 NFL Draft

At wide receiver, Brown can be more consistent with his hands and catch-point instincts. Furthermore, he struggles with physicality at times. But at 6’1″, 174 pounds, Brown’s hyper-elite combination of burst, long speed, and short-area twitch can be devastating in several phases.

6) Isaiah Bond, Texas

There’s an air of uncertainty over the Alabama football program after the retirement of Nick Saban, but the passing offense should only improve with Kalen DeBoer as head coach. That said, they’ll be working without one of their top targets from 2023, as Isaiah Bond transferred to Texas.

At 5’11”, 185 pounds, Bond is a bit undersized, but he’s a true speed threat with blistering explosive capacity out of his breaks, and he also has the hip sink, nuance, and efficient footwork to send DBs lurching on breaks. Coming off a 668-yard 2023 campaign, he could be due for more as Texas’ premier WR.

5) Nic Anderson, Oklahoma

While the Oklahoma Sooners lost Dillon Gabriel through the transfer portal, the passing offense still has enough firepower to stay afloat. Nic Anderson, in particular, will be relied upon for his big-play ability, and with more responsibility, an NFL Draft rise could be on the way.

At 6’4″, 213 pounds, Anderson notched an impressive 798 yards and 10 touchdowns on just 38 catches in 2023, averaging 21 yards per catch. This kind of profile always feels somewhat “boom-or-bust,” but Anderson quietly has good route running building blocks for his size.

4) Evan Stewart, Oregon

After losing Troy Franklin, the Ducks still have Tez Johnson as a holdover from the 2023 season. However, the more notable member of the receiving core is transfer addition Evan Stewart, who arrived in Eugene after accruing 1,163 yards in two seasons at Texas A&M.

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In a space-dominated modern NFL, Stewart has many alluring tools. At 6’0″, 175 pounds, he’s a featherweight at the WR spot, but he makes up for it with a bristling hyperactive twitch, electric foot speed, high-end speed and acceleration, and sharp route-running chops.

3) Emeka Egbuka, Ohio State

Heading into the 2024 NFL Draft cycle, Emeka Egbuka graded out as a first-round prospect on my board. And while injuries slowed his advance in 2023 and ultimately played a hand in his decision to return, he’s still a prospect with immense three-level upside.

At around 6’1″, 206 pounds, Egbuka has a streamlined frame with impressive lean mass, and he’s an explosive glider of an athlete who can carve through zone coverage with his speed and spatial instincts. Beyond that, he’s an instinctive catch-point presence and a wiry RAC threat.

2) Tetairoa McMillan, Arizona

Coming out of high school as a five-star recruit, Tetairoa McMillan originally committed to Oregon, where he would’ve played with Bo Nix and Franklin. But soon after, he switched his commitment to Arizona, becoming the highest-rated signee in school history.

McMillan quickly lived up to his five-star billing, and in 2023, he amassed 90 catches for 1,402 yards and 10 scores. At 6’5″, 210 pounds, McMillan has dominating size, but he’s also absurdly flexible and free-flowing at that size, with the burst to create space.

1) Luther Burden III, Missouri

It’s important not to anchor to early grades in a given NFL Draft cycle — but there are times when a prospect is talented enough and productive enough to let it slide. Ja’Marr Chase was one. Harrison was another. Luther Burden III could be a similar case.

Burden was a five-star recruit from St. Louis who chose to stay in-state and help resurrect the Missouri Tigers’ standing in the SEC. Two years later, he’s accomplished just that. Along the way, he’s solidified himself as a potential blue-chip prospect.

At 5’11”, 208 pounds, Burden has the elite explosiveness, agility, and contact balance to perfectly fit the mold of the modern-age RAC threat. But beyond those surface-level traits, he’s also an extremely natural separator with his use of space and an acrobatic catcher.

Honorable Mentions

  • Tez Johnson, Oregon
  • Elic Ayomanor, Stanford
  • Caullin Lacy, Louisville
  • Jared Brown, South Carolina
  • Ja’Mori Maclin, Kentucky
  • Tory Horton, Colorado State
  • Jayden Higgins, Iowa State
  • Jaylin Noel, Iowa State
  • Germie Bernard, Alabama
  • Chris Lewis, Troy

KEEP READING: Top 100 NFL Prospects to Watch in 2025 NFL Draft

Other 2025 NFL Draft Position Rankings

Check out our other way-too-early position rankings for the 2025 NFL Draft:

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