Wide Receivers Drafted in 2023 NFL Draft

Let's revisit all of the wide receivers selected in the 2023 NFL Draft. How did they perform as rookies?

Which wide receivers were drafted in the 2023 NFL Draft? Who were the teams that drafted those WRs, and how does the 2023 class compare to previous years?

Which Wide Receivers Were Drafted in the 2023 NFL Draft?

Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Ohio State | Seattle Seahawks

Round 1, Pick 20

The Seahawks made Jaxon Smith-Njigba the first wide receiver off the board in the 2023 NFL Draft. However, they certainly didn’t treat him like the top prospect he was.

Smith-Njigba operated primarily out of the slot and mostly played in three-receiver sets, unable to challenge DK Metcalf or Tyler Lockett for targets. JSN caught 63 of 93 targets for 628 yards and four touchdowns. While far from a bust … yet … Smith-Njigba will need to take a significant step forward this year to justify the pick.

Quentin Johnston, TCU | Los Angeles Chargers

Round 1, Pick 21

Sometimes, the NFL Draft community gets it right even when the NFL front offices do not agree. Quentin Johnston was the most obvious bust candidate of this year’s first-round wide receivers. Everything about his rookie season suggests the naysayers were correct.

Johnston caught a mere 38 passes for 431 yards and two touchdowns. Even after both Mike Williams and Keenan Allen went down, Johnston couldn’t earn targets. Barring a substantial and unexpected improvement, the Chargers are going to regret not taking one of the next two guys on this list.

Zay Flowers, Boston College | Baltimore Ravens

Round 1, Pick 22

After playing at 172 pounds for the majority of his Boston College career, Flowers shocked many with his body transformation at the NFL Combine. Adding 10 pounds in a short space of time showcased that the electric pass catcher can add bulk to his frame.

MORE: List of Offensive Rookie of the Year Award Winners

The addition didn’t appear to hamper his straight-line speed, either. A 4.42-second 40-yard dash time might have been slower than his desired 4.3 but was still inside the top 10 WR times in Indianapolis. An 8.29 Relative Athletic Score was impacted by height and weight measurements that are considered very poor by Kent Lee Platte’s athletic testing metric.

Nevertheless, Flowers hit the ground running as a rookie, catching nine passes for 78 yards in his first NFL game. In total, Flowers amassed 77 receptions for 858 yards and five touchdowns, finishing sixth in Offensive Rookie of the Year voting. He is probably miscast as the Ravens’ WR1 but looks the part of a high-end NFL WR2 — and very much worth this selection.

Jordan Addison, USC | Minnesota Vikings

Round 1, Pick 23

You just don’t find this combination of short-area agility, ball skills, and separation prowess frequently. Being a 21-year-old rookie certainly helped as Jordan Addison’s most significant issues are coachable.

Losing Kirk Cousins halfway through his rookie season severely hindered Addison’s production. But before that, he was on pace to receive Offensive Rookie of the Year votes.

Addison caught 70 passes for 911 yards and 10 touchdowns. Quarterback play may hinder his production as a sophomore, but his own talent is undeniable.

Jonathan Mingo, Ole Miss | Carolina Panthers

Round 2, Pick 39

At 6’1 3/8″ and 226 pounds, with 32″ arms, Jonathan Mingo looks the part of a classic outside clasher. Unfortunately, we saw none of that on the field.

Mingo caught 43 passes for 418 yards and no touchdowns as a rookie. At times, he looked lost on the field. There’s little reason to be optimistic about Mingo’s prospects going forward.

Jayden Reed, Michigan State | Green Bay Packers

Round 2, Pick 50

Looking at Reed’s athletic framework, in particular, he isn’t missing much in his arsenal. At 5’10 3/4″ and 191 pounds, he’s a bit undersized. Yet, at that size, Reed is fast, explosive, fleet-footed, and extremely twitchy on the lateral plane. He also has stellar hip flexibility and suddenness, which he can use to compound separation as a route runner.

Beyond the physical qualities, Reed uses his traits very efficiently as well. He’s a diabolical route runner at his best, mixing quick releases, lateral twitch, sharp throttle control, hip sink, head fakes, and post-stem acceleration into a potent separation stew. At the catch point, Reed has elite ball-tracking ability and body control. His hands rarely fail him, and his best plays come in the clutch.

Those qualities were on full display in his inconsistent rookie season. Please don’t interpret the word “inconsistent” as too much of a negative, though; it was more that the Packers did not ever feature one particular receiver. When they did utilize Reed, he delivered.

Reed caught 64 passes for 793 yards and eight touchdowns. He also ran the ball 11 times for 149 yards and had two more touchdowns. Reed finished sixth in Offensive Rookie of the Year voting.

Rashee Rice, SMU | Kansas City Chiefs

Round 2, Pick 55

Right away, Rice’s build and athleticism present appeal. At 6’1″, 204 pounds, with arms nearly 33″ long, he has excellent frame density and reach — traits that help him in multiple phases. He’s an explosive, physical RAC threat who can break both tackles and tackling angles. And at the catch point, he’s a massive headache for DBs with his length, alpha mentality, and abnormal instincts.

Rice’s catching instincts are elite, as he mixes together high-level body control, timing, ball-tracking ability, and hand strength. He’s an alpha with a “my ball” mentality and willing physicality. And after the catch, he’s a twitchy, energetic mover with explosiveness upfield who can shed arm tackles and use successive cuts to manipulate tackling angles.

This scouting report on Rice proved pretty prescient, as Rice’s targets came almost exclusively near the line of scrimmage. He quickly emerged into a reliable set of hands for the best quarterback to ever step on a football field, Patrick Mahomes.

Rice caught 79 passes for 938 yards and seven touchdowns. He, too, finished sixth in Offensive Rookie of the Year voting.

Marvin Mims Jr., Oklahoma | Denver Broncos

Round 2, Pick 63

Marvin Mims Jr. can’t do much about his naturally smaller build. After all, there’s only so much muscle mass he can put on before sacrificing his trademark athleticism and body control.

GET DRAFTING: Free NFL Mock Draft Simulator With Trades

Broncos head coach Sean Payton blamed himself for not utilizing Mims more. However, there’s no real way to spin 22 catches for 377 yards and one touchdown as a positive.

With that said, Mims was quite prolific as a kick returner, earning a Pro Bowl selection for his role on special teams. He’s solidified a role there but will need to do more offensively to justify where the Broncos took him.

Rounds 3-7

9) Nathaniel Dell, Houston
Round 3, Pick 69 | Texans

10) Jalin Hyatt, Tennessee
Round 3, Pick 73 | Giants

11) Cedric Tillman, Tennessee
Round 3, Pick 74 | Browns

12) Josh Downs, North Carolina
Round 3, Pick 80 | Colts

13) Michael Wilson, Stanford
Round 3, Pick 94 | Cardinals

14) Tre Tucker, Cincinnati
Round 3, Pick 100 | Raiders

15) Derius Davis, TCU
Round 4, Pick 125 | Chargers

16) Charlie Jones, Purdue
Round 4, Pick 131 | Bengals

17) Tyler Scott, Cincinnati
Round 4, Pick 133 | Bears

18) Justin Shorter, Flordia
Round 5, Pick 150 | Bills

19) Dontayvion Wicks, Virginia
Round 5, Pick 159 | Packers

20) Puka Nacua, BYU
Round 5, Pick 177 | Rams

21) Parker Washington, Penn State
Round 6, Pick 185 | Jaguars

22) Kayshon Boutte, LSU
Round 6, Pick 187 | Patriots

23) Trey Palmer, Nebraska
Round 6, Pick 191 | Buccaneers

24) A.T. Perry, Wake Forest
Round 6, Pick 195 | Saints

25) Elijah Higgins, Stanford
Round 6, Pick 197 | Dolphins

26) Xavier Hutchinson, Iowa State
Round 6, Pick 205 | Texans

27) Andrei Iosivas, Princeton
Round 6, Pick 206 | Bengals

28) Demario Douglas, Liberty
Round 6, Pick 210 | Patriots

29) Antoine Green, North Carolina
Round 7, Pick 219 | Lions

30) Colton Dowell, Tennessee-Martin
Round 7, Pick 228 | Titans

31) Jalen Brooks, South Carolina
Round 7, Pick 244 | Cowboys

32) Ronnie Bell, Michigan
Round 7, Pick 253 | 49ers

33) Grant DuBose, Charlotte
Round 7, Pick 256 | Packers

Draft with your friends today! PFN’s Mock Draft Simulator now supports multiple drafters during the same draft! Ensure your player rankings are up to date on the 2024 NFL Draft Big Board and you know what every NFL team needs before drafting.

Listen to the PFN Inside Access Podcast!

Listen to the PFN Inside Access Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Fantasy Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms.  Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review!

Join the Conversation!

Related Articles