Top 10 Wide Receivers in the 2022 NFL Draft: Jameson Williams challenges for the crown

Who are the top 10 wide receivers in the 2022 NFL Draft? As we put together a new consensus big board, we revisit that question.

We’ve arrived at the month of the 2022 NFL Draft, and it’s time to finalize our list of top wide receivers. Before the season, everything was in flux. But now, a hierarchy is starting to fall into place. Less than four weeks removed from the 2022 NFL Draft, who are the top 10 wide receivers at the event?

Top 10 Wide Receivers in the 2022 NFL Draft

These are the top 10 wide receivers in the 2022 NFL Draft as of today.

10) Erik Ezukanma, Texas Tech

Erik Ezukanma‘s production doesn’t pop off the page like other receivers. The Texas Tech product never eclipsed 50 catches or 750 yards in a given season. That’s likely why he still goes overlooked, even into April. But looking past the lower production and looking at the traits, there’s a lot more than what initially meets the eye.

Ezukanma is around 6’2″, 209 pounds, with massive 33.5″ arms. He also has underrated athleticism. He ran a 4.53 40-yard dash at his pro day and logged a 36.5″ vertical and a 126″ broad jump at the NFL Combine. The numbers encapsulate what Ezukanma shows on tape. He’s a dangerous weapon with dual-sided RAC and contested ability, and his raw talent demands a place on the list of top 2022 NFL Draft wide receivers.

9) Jalen Tolbert, South Alabama

Production alone isn’t the end-all, be-all for WR prospects. Ezukanma is a perfect example. But sometimes, production can help guide you to prospects who are a cut above their level of competition. Jalen Tolbert is one of those players. A dominant receiver in the Sun Belt, Tolbert amassed 146 catches, 2,559 yards, and 16 touchdowns over the past two seasons alone.

Though Tolbert measured slightly smaller than his listed 6’3″ height, he still has very good proportional length with 32 1/4″ arms, which shows up on tape. Tolbert has great instincts at the catch point, and with his length, he can outreach defenders and extend for off-target throws. Tolbert also has a good combination of explosiveness and speed. With his twitch, he’s a natural separator in 1-on-1 situations.

8) Christian Watson, North Dakota State

Perhaps none of the top wide receivers in the 2022 NFL Draft have helped themselves this offseason as much as North Dakota State’s Christian Watson. Highly regarded for his playmaking ability at the FCS level, Watson has leveraged strong Senior Bowl and NFL Combine showings into guaranteed Day 2 draft capital — and there’s talk that he could be a surprise Round 1 pick as well.

Watson still has some development to undergo as a pure receiver, but the physical talent is near the top of this class. At the Combine, Watson measured in at 6’4″, 208 pounds, with 32 1/2″ arms. In testing, he ran a 4.36 40-yard dash, had a 38.5″ vertical, and a Combine-best 136″ broad jump. He’s a dynamic, versatile chess piece with rare upside.

7) John Metchie III, Alabama

Everyone fawns over the high-upside wide receivers each draft cycle, and there’s a good reason for that. As evaluators, you’re projecting what players can be, not what they are now. But if you’re looking for stability and proven production at wide receiver, sometimes it doesn’t hurt to add a high-floor player with reliability. That’s what Alabama’s John Metchie III is.

Metchie isn’t an imposing specimen. He’s only around 5’11 1/4″ and 187 pounds, with arms under 31″. He may not have an elite athletic trait either, but he has an extremely well-rounded profile with very few glaring flaws. With good explosiveness, speed, twitch, and nuanced usage, Metchie can separate as a route runner. He tracks the ball well and also brings some skill after the catch.

6) Jahan Dotson, Penn State

The WR1 hype has cooled off, but Jahan Dotson still has a steady place in our top 10 rankings for 2022 NFL Draft wide receivers. It’s well-deserved after Dotson put up 91 catches for 1,182 yards and 12 touchdowns as Sean Clifford’s top target in 2021. On Day 2, Dotson is one of your best bets at finding a contributor at the next level.

Dotson is a bit on the smaller side, having measured in at just 178 pounds during the Combine. He won’t be every team’s preferred mold with that light frame, but he’s a great athlete with explosiveness, long speed, and throttle control on his routes. When the ball is in the air, he leaps to it without strain, with hands that can be relied upon.

5) Treylon Burks, Arkansas

Treylon Burks experiencing a post-Combine slide? Not here at PFN. To be fair, one’s perception of Burks depends partly on what they’ve always thought of him. If you were expecting a 4.3 at 225 pounds, perhaps his 4.5 at the NFL Combine was more disheartening. But watching Burks’ film, it’s clear that his type of speed is more build-up than sudden. Give him a lane, and he’ll make it work.

That’s the exciting part about Burks’ game in an NFL that’s becoming increasingly geared toward giving playmakers space to work with. As a big slot, the 6’2″, 225-pound Burks has the athleticism and size to be a dangerous weapon. While he’s not yet a purely independent creator, he can levy quick cuts and separate on slants. Combine that with his 33.5″ arms and near-elite instincts in contested situations, and he’s a diverse offensive weapon with exciting potential.

4) Chris Olave, Ohio State

Even now, after the 2021 season, the debate of Garrett Wilson vs. Chris Olave is still split clean down the middle. Many evaluators prefer Wilson as a prospect, while another sizable portion of the scouting base gravitates to Olave.

Looking at it from the outside, it appears to be a matter of preference. The staff at PFN generally defers to the upside Wilson has with his superior explosiveness, twitch, and RAC ability. But Olave arguably has a higher floor.

Olave has a much different style. While Wilson is the diagonal menace who separates with quick lateral movements and deceptive throttle control, Olave wins with smooth acceleration, keen spatial awareness, and blind-spot manipulation. He’s an expert at pacing his routes and sneaking into open zones with speed and burst. And when the ball comes his way, he tracks it with effortless ease.

3) Jameson Williams, Alabama

We see the value NFL teams put on speed nearly every other cycle. John Ross went ninth overall in the 2017 NFL Draft after running a 4.22 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. Henry Ruggs III was the first WR off the board in 2020, having ran a 4.27. And although we didn’t get to see Jameson Williams run the 40 due to an ACL injury, his game-breaking speed shows up plenty on tape. That was a primary factor in him amassing 1,572 yards and 15 touchdowns on 79 catches this past season.

Williams’ counterparts on this list naturally invite skepticism. However, Williams is easily the best prospect out of the group. He sports a long, wiry 6’1 1/2″ build with 32 1/8″ arms, but he shrinks and sinks his hips with unnatural suddenness at his route stems. His route pacing and throttle control also evoke awe at times, and he flashes the body control and tracking ability to make plays with the ball in the air.

2) Drake London, USC

When he was healthy, there was not a more dominant receiver in college football than Drake London in 2021. In just eight games, London paced the nation with 88 catches, 1,084 yards, and 7 touchdowns. A legitimate target funnel, London picked up at least 10 receptions in five games, and at least 15 in two.

London was essentially USC’s entire offense when he was healthy — so it’s no surprise that he’s just as inspiring as an NFL Draft prospect.

Though he measured in a bit smaller than his listed height at the NFL Combine, London still came in with dominating size at around 6’4″, 219 pounds, with 33″ arms. He uses this size extremely well on tape, boxing out defenders in the air and using his wingspan to outreach.

London’s contested-catch ability is phenomenal, but he’s also a surprisingly natural separator with strong agility and footwork. Additionally, he has great run-after-catch ability.

1) Garrett Wilson, Ohio State

Olave and Garrett Wilson manned the No. 1 and No. 2 spots, respectively, before the season when we first ranked the top 10 wide receivers in the 2022 NFL Draft. Olave was once the chosen Ohio State receiver. But now, the roles have shifted. Wilson is now taking home the crown as the top wide receiver prospect in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Sharing targets with Olave and 2023 NFL Draft prospect Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Wilson still collected 1,058 yards and 12 touchdowns on 70 catches in 2021. Wilson’s skill set demands that he receive the ball often. He’s a true three-level threat with rare suddenness and twitch as a route runner. That ability also extends after the catch, and in the air, he’s a natural at contorting and making acrobatic catches in crowded areas.

Honorable Mentions

  • Wan’Dale Robinson, Kentucky
  • Romeo Doubs, Nevada
  • Skyy Moore, Western Michigan
  • David Bell, Purdue
  • Alec Pierce, Cincinnati
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