Top WRs at the Shrine Bowl: Jalen Coker, Malik Washington Ready To Steal the Show

Which wide receivers should you be watching as the 2024 East-West Shrine Bowl takes center stage in the pre-draft process?

The 2024 East-West Shrine Bowl is here, and the wide receivers boast a deep group this season. Plenty of standout rookies like Zay Flowers, Demario Douglas, Jake Bobo, and A.T. Perry got their start at the Shrine Bowl last season.

Are any of this year’s Shrine Bowl wide receivers destined for top NFL Draft picks and stardom?

Shrine Bowl WR Rankings

The Shrine Bowl begins on Saturday, Jan. 27, and will be a spectacle for all NFL Draft enthusiasts. This year’s wide receiver class brings a deep FCS group to Frisco, delivering plenty of intrigue.

Here’s how those WRs stack up against one another at this stage of their prospective NFL Draft journey.

1) Jalen Coker, Holy Cross

Holy Cross’s success this season saw their head coach make a leap up to the FBS level to James Madison. Coker was a massive part of that success. The only wide receiver to finish in the top ten in Walter Payton Award voting this season, Coker had 59 receptions for 1,040 yards, averaging a whopping 17.6 yards per reception and a program-record 15 touchdowns.

All Coker did was show up in pretty much every game, showing good routes, great hands, and a great mentality attacking the football. For his size, he’s a fluid mover and can do some damage with the ball in his hand. I’d expect Coker to be one of the biggest risers of this week’s Shrine Bowl and put himself firmly in draftable territory.

2) Malik Washington, Virginia

Virginia’s Malik Washington set the single-season ACC receiving record this season, serving as the first, second, third, and maybe even fourth and fifth options on a Virginia offense desperate for playmakers. Washington catches nearly everything that gets thrown his way and has the acceleration to win after the catch and deep.

3) Tahj Washington, USC

The USC offense was disappointing this season, but Tahj Washington delivered as the only USC wide receiver to cross 1,000 yards under Lincoln Riley. Washington showcased good tempo through his routes and had just one drop this season. He also has extensive special teams experience, something that will only help his case.

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The 1-on-1 format is a great showcase for Washington’s skill set. Don’t be surprised if he pops off as a standout from this week.

4) Joshua Cephus, UTSA

A massive target at 6’3″ and almost 200 pounds, Cephus will stand out in Frisco at the Shrine Bowl off of his size alone. However, Cephus is a good athlete for his size and can separate downfield and win in contested situations, making him a valuable deep threat. Furthermore, he dropped one pass on over 100 targets this season, proving his reliability.

5) Jaxon and Jadon Janke, South Dakota State

I’m cheating *just a tad* by putting the two identical twins here together, but the two are remarkably similar on and off the field.

Jadon is a better route-runner and can do more damage in the intermediate areas and after the catch, but Jaxon is a threat with the ball as well and can win downfield. The two of them play off of each other’s skills so well that it isn’t a surprise South Dakota State had one of the country’s best offenses this season.

6) Lideatrick Griffin, Mississippi State

A former cornerback, Lideatrick Griffin’s athleticism shines off the film. Mississippi State’s passing attack did not mesh well with his playing style, as he can win downfield, and Will Rogers…does not. Griffin can be a nice weapon for a team, especially after the catch, but his real appeal is as a special teamer. Griffin is one of the best returners in the country and will shine in Frisco.

7) Drake Stoops, Oklahoma

A late invite to the Shrine Bowl, Drake Stoops is a player who will shine in drills. Stoops plays with good route tempo and was often Oklahoma’s go-to player in “gotta have it” situations. His route-running and hands will shine in drills at the Shrine Bowl. Stoops also boasts special-teams experience and could put himself on draftable radars.

8) Tayvion Robinson, Kentucky

Explosiveness is the name of Robinson’s game. I found myself repeatedly writing his name down on film when watching Devin Leary, and it’s a shame Robinson couldn’t get more production. He has the potential to be a real weapon downfield and after the catch.

9) Tejhaun Palmer, UAB

UAB’s passing offense wasn’t much to talk about this season, but Tejhaun Palmer made the most of what he had. A good route runner for his 6’2″ 210 frame, Palmer has good movement skills and ball tracking and looks like a potential “X” wide receiver at the next level.

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Palmer has just one drop this season. I’d like to see what he could do with a more expanded route tree and do better at beating press coverage, but he has the athleticism to be a real riser from the Shrine Bowl.

10) Isaiah Williams, Illinois

Isaiah Williams showed time and time again that he was one of the most electric players with the ball in his hands this past season. Williams led the Big Ten in receptions (82) and finished second in receiving yards (1,055) behind only Marvin Harrison Jr. while also finishing top 10 in yards after the catch.

11) Anthony Gould, Oregon State

Much like Lideatrick Griffin, Gould is a dynamite player with the ball in his hands but shines as a returner. Gould flies downfield and is a superb deep threat. That speed will certainly set him apart from the crowd in Frisco, and it will earn him a shot to be drafted.

12) Bub Means, Pitt

Another former DB turned wide receiver, Means is a prototypical height/weight/speed receiver. Means has been pretty underrated with Pitt’s offensive struggles but has the athleticism to be a real riser out of the Shrine Bowl and put himself on draftable radars.

13) David White, Western Carolina

White’s 6’4″, 200-pound frame sets him apart from the FCS competition, and makes me intrigued to see how he does against better competition. White was often lined up in the slot, but he eats up ground in a hurry and looks pretty fluid for his size. He’s a little rough around the edges, but the movement skills and frame are enticing and could make him a real riser.

14) Cornelius Johnson, Michigan

An “X” wide receiver, Johnson can make nice contested grabs and be a red zone threat, which has a chance to pop in drills at the Shrine Bowl. I’d like to see him show up more than he did for Michigan while in Frisco and show off a bigger skill set than what he did this season.

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