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Top 10 Wide Receivers in the 2022 NFL Draft: Drake London breaks into the top three

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’re living in a golden age at the wide receiver position. Every year, and especially in the 2022 NFL Draft, it’s difficult to trim down to a list of top 10 wide receivers in the NFL Draft. But now, eight weeks through the season, we’ve compiled big boards from three of our draft analysts — Tony Pauline, Oliver Hodgkinson, and myself — to come up with a consensus board. These are our wide receiver rankings, according to that board.

Top 10 Wide Receivers in the 2022 NFL Draft | 6-10

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

10) Zay Flowers, Boston College

At the back end of our Top 2022 NFL Draft Wide Receiver Rankings, Boston College’s Zay Flowers sneaks in at tenth. Any mock draft you read likely isn’t going to have Flowers in Round 1, but he is one of the more underrated candidates for that billing. His production hasn’t been nearly as consistent since starting quarterback Phil Jurkovec went down with an injury, but Flowers still shows off his traits on a regular basis.

Size isn’t where Flowers wins. He’s listed at 5’10”, 177 pounds, and he may be even smaller than that. But what Flowers does have is game-breaking dynamism. The electric receiver is extremely explosive and fluid, and his hips are incredibly loose. He can use that looseness to generate separation with the snap of a finger, and he can also use it to evade tacklers and pick up yards after the catch. Flowers’ explosive skill set is tailor-made for the modern NFL.

9) Romeo Doubs, Nevada

With two top-75 grades on our consensus PFN Big Board, Romeo Doubs has enough buzz to break into our Top 10 2022 NFL Draft Wide Receivers list. Doubs wasn’t having quite as productive a year heading into our big board update — until he nearly doubled his reception total with a 19-catch, 203-yard eruption against Fresno State. He’s now up to 45 catches, 590 yards, and 3 scores in six games. Once again, targets are being funneled his way.

You’ve heard the term “three-level threat” a couple of times now. Few receivers in this class excite me more than Doubs in that regard. At 6’2″, 200 pounds, Doubs has a solid frame with great proportional length. He has loads of contested-catch potential.

However, his strength rests in his ability to move laterally. He’s an extremely explosive and twitchy athlete. Not only can he separate with ease, but Doubs also has slippery RAC potential. He’s on the Senior Bowl watch list, so there’s a chance he’ll get a shot to showcase his skills in Mobile and drive up his stock.

8) John Metchie III, Alabama

John Metchie III isn’t the only Crimson Tide wide receiver in the 2022 NFL Draft’s top wide receivers conversation. But for now, he’s the first Alabama pass catcher listed on our consensus PFN Big Board. While Jameson Williams has stolen the spotlight with his speed, Metchie has quietly been productive this year as well. In eight games, he has 52 catches for 601 yards and 5 touchdowns.

Metchie doesn’t quite have the elite speed that Williams possesses, but he’s still a viable speed threat in his own right. Metchie brings some nuance as a route runner, and his frame is also more filled out at 6’0″, 195 pounds. Going further, Metchie has shown he can accumulate yards after the catch with his elusiveness. That multifaceted ability will help him later in the process.

All this being said, Metchie wasn’t the consensus top Alabama receiver in our rankings. Williams is right on his tail.

7) Justyn Ross, Clemson

Back in 2018, it was almost a certainty that Justyn Ross would be one of the top wide receivers in the 2022 NFL Draft. In fact, many expected he’d be a prospect by his true junior season. However, Ross’ 2020 campaign was taken from him by a dangerous spinal injury. He’s since recovered, but his draft stock still hasn’t. His rankings fluctuated on the PFN consensus board, but he didn’t receive universal top-50 grades.

Nevertheless, Ross’ lowest ranking was well within the Top 100. Even with his reduced production in 2021 (33 catches for 341 yards and 3 scores), Ross still has appealing NFL upside. He’s a good athlete within his 6’4″, 205-pound frame. Although the current Clemson offense hasn’t been able to showcase Ross as effectively as it did in the past, his size-athleticism combination will earn him fans in the offseason.

6) Erik Ezukanma, Texas Tech

Ever since a season opener that saw him catch 7 passes for 179 yards, Erik Ezukanma has cooled off — a lot. But he missed some time with a concussion, and usage has also played a role. When he’s on the field, and when Texas Tech gets him involved, Ezukanma does nothing but produce. So far this year, he has 32 catches for 508 yards and a score. He also has 5 carries for 74 yards and 2 additional TDs.

Ezukanma’s production has been solid his entire career, but from a traits standpoint, he’s even more impressive. The Texas Tech wide receiver has a similar size-athleticism combination to Treylon Burks. In fact, one could make the argument that he’s better as a lateral athlete. Beyond that, Ezukanma has tantalizing three-level potential. He can separate and make contested catches, but his contact balance after the catch is a unique trait that only compounds his potential.

Top 10 Wide Receivers in the 2022 NFL Draft | 1-5

Who are the top five receivers as we inch closer to the 2022 NFL Draft?

5) Treylon Burks, Arkansas

Any time you find a 6’3″, 220-pound wide receiver with near 4.4 long speed, you’re going to be partial to that player. Treylon Burks has made it easy to root for him with his simple big-play generation ability. In this case, correlation is causation. When Burks is on the field for Arkansas, big plays happen. The hope is that the team that picks him in the 2022 NFL Draft will benefit the same way.

Burks’ rankings fluctuated on the consensus board, as he isn’t viewed as a great separator or technician across the board. Still, Burks received solid rankings all around, and he comes in as one of the top wide receivers in the 2022 NFL Draft. On top of his size and speed, Burks has dominant length and incomprehensibly large hands. He has the tools to be an elite contested-catch threat, and yet his strength right now is his run-after-catch ability. That’s why the upside is so enticing.

4) Jahan Dotson, Penn State

He’s not an imposing specimen at 5’11”, 184 pounds. However, Jahan Dotson was one of the most consistently ranked players on our midseason consensus big board at PFN. All three NFL Draft analysts had Dotson in their Top 50, and one analyst had Dotson in their Top 25. That’s not by accident. Dotson is a player, and he’s proven that this year.

While his size isn’t overwhelming, Dotson negates any concerns regarding that size with his style of play. A player with punt return experience, Dotson is explosive, and he can absolutely separate — both laterally and vertically. He’s also shifty enough to generate yards after the catch in open space. However, his most eye-popping trait is his ability to adjust for and track any pass in his reach. Inaccurate passes aren’t inaccurate when Dotson is on the field.

3) Drake London, USC

There has not been a more dominant receiver in college football than Drake London this year. Averaging over 11 catches per game, London has been a total target sponge. Through seven contests, he currently has 79 catches for 1,003 yards and 5 touchdowns. Even as USC has experienced quarterback inconsistency, London has been a steady constant — in the most demoralizing type of way for opposing defenses.

London can separate well for his 6’5″, 210-pound frame. He also has enough elusiveness to extend plays after the catch. Those traits alone make him dangerous. Yet, London is best in contested situations. He’s not as twitchy as smaller receivers, but he is dominant in close quarters. He can use his length to track the ball, and he can use his size to box out and out-muscle opponents. Oliver Hodgkinson has London as his WR2, and it’s easy to see why.

2) Garrett Wilson, Ohio State

While Chris Olave is still a top-20 player on my big board, I had Garrett Wilson over him at WR1. My reasoning was simple: While Olave has great speed and technical refinement, Wilson has shown that same refinement this year, and he’s a better three-level threat. A three-level threat, of course, refers to a receiver’s ability to convert before the catch, at the catch point, and after the catch.

Wilson might not quite have the top-end speed that Olave has, but one could argue he’s a more universal threat when the ball comes his way. He has searing lateral explosiveness and twitch, which he can use to separate. When the ball is in the air, Wilson is a great contested-catch threat with impressive focus and body control. And after the catch, he can use that same lateral explosiveness to generate big plays. Whether you have Olave or Wilson at WR1, it’s always going to be close.

1) Chris Olave, Ohio State

It makes sense that we end with a player who might’ve been a first-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft had he declared. Chris Olave has picked up right where he left off last year. In six games this season, he has 32 catches for 518 yards and 8 touchdowns. He’s still my WR2 behind Wilson, but Hodgkinson and Pauline both had him in the WR1 slot, giving him the title overall.

Olave is a more than respectable WR1. At 6’1″, 189 pounds, he’s shown that his game-breaking speed is once again an issue for defenses. Additionally, he brings a smooth style with steady route nuance and awareness, and he’s shown he can contort for the ball in tight spaces. He’s one of the most complete prospects in the 2022 NFL Draft, and that’s why he’s PFN’s consensus WR1 at the moment.

Honorable Mentions

  • David Bell, Purdue
  • Jalen Tolbert, South Alabama
  • Jameson Williams, Alabama
  • Ainias Smith, Texas A&M
  • Khalil Shakir, Boise State

Ian Cummings is a Draft Analyst for Pro Football Network. You can find his writing here and his voice and face on Pro Football Network Daily. Follow him on Twitter @ian_cummings_9.

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