Wide Receivers Drafted in the 2022 NFL Draft

Which wide receivers were drafted in the 2022 NFL Draft, and how does the group compare to other WR classes of the past 10 years?

Which wide receivers were drafted in the 2022 NFL Draft? Who were the teams that drafted those WRs, and how does the 2022 class compare to previous years?

Which Wide Receivers Were Drafted in the 2022 NFL Draft?

Drake London, USC | Atlanta Falcons

Round 1, Pick 8

I can’t fault Drake London for having an underwhelming season when the metrics say otherwise.

From an efficiency standpoint, London’s usage was incredible for a rookie. His 29.4% target share was the fifth highest in the league, and his 32.4% target per route run rate was second. Plus, he averaged 2.4 yards per route run, 11th in the NFL.

No team ran the ball more than the Atlanta Falcons. They were committed to the run regardless of the game script or situation. London ran just 21.2 routes per game and was the clear No. 1, but the offense was unable to get any rhythm in the passing game under Marcus Mariota.

While the QB situation remains a question with Desmond Ridder, London’s upside remains the same. Expect positive growth in 2023.

Garrett Wilson, Ohio State | New York Jets

Round 1, Pick 10

The New York Jets reportedly tried to trade the 10th overall pick for Deebo Samuel, but sometimes, the best trades are the ones that never happen. Wilson caught 83 of 147 targets for 1,103 yards and four touchdowns in 2022. Those numbers could’ve been even better if he didn’t have to endure nine games of the quarterback who shares his last name under center.

MORE: FREE NFL Mock Draft Simulator With Trades

The reigning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year could be set for a Davante Adams-level ascension in 2023 if the Jets can finalize a trade for Aaron Rodgers. Wilson, at the moment, certainly appears to be the best receiver of the draft class.

Chris Olave, Ohio State | New Orleans Saints

Round 1, Pick 11

The New Orleans Saints traded up to grab Chris Olave, who left Ohio State as the all-time leader in receiving touchdowns. While the forgotten man by some, Olave was a difference-maker as a rookie and stepped up massively for the Saints, who once again had to deal with life without Michael Thomas.

Olave had a stellar rookie campaign. He caught 72 of 119 targets for 1,042 yards and four touchdowns in 15 games. Olave’s 14.0-yard average depth of target was inside the top 10. His 29 deep targets were the fourth-most in the league.

Olave saw a 26.7% target share as a rookie, which was inside the top 15, and he was targeted on 29.3% of hits routes run (inside the top 10). And Olave did this all with subpar quarterback play, something the Saints believe they addressed by adding Derek Carr.

Jameson Williams, Alabama | Detroit Lions

Round 1, Pick 12

The Detroit Lions surprised everyone by trading up to grab Jameson Williams with the 12th overall pick. Although there were some expectations that Williams would be able to return relatively early in 2022, that never felt realistic. More than likely, he was going to be redshirted for the 2022 season, as the Lions have tended to be on the conservative side when it comes to handling injuries.

That was the case last season. Williams made his first appearance in Week 13 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. However, he didn’t take long to make his first impact. Just one week later, against the Minnesota Vikings, Williams hauled in his first career catch for a 41-yard touchdown. It was also his only catch of the season, as he ended the year with one reception on nine targets.

Jahan Dotson, Penn State | Washington Commanders

Round 1, Pick 16

After trading back, the Washington Commanders secured Jahan Dotson out of Penn State with the 16th pick. Dotson was coming off a 1,182 receiving-yard season with 12 receiving touchdowns at Penn State, but his NFL career got off to a slow start, as he lost a significant portion of his rookie season due to a hamstring injury.

After posting 12 receptions, 152 yards, and four touchdowns on 22 targets in Weeks 1-4, Dotson returned to action in Week 10 and averaged 2.9 on 4.9 targets for 46.4 yards and 0.4 touchdowns, ending his rookie campaign with 35 receptions on 61 targets for 523 yards and seven touchdowns.

However, it’s worth noting that Washington was cautious with his return, and he flashed as a perfect complement to Terry McLaurin despite three different quarterbacks starting five or more games.

Treylon Burks, Arkansas | Tennessee Titans

Round 1, Pick 18

After a tough day at the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine, Treylon Burks‘ stock fell a little prior to the NFL Draft. However, after the Tennessee Titans sent A.J. Brown to the Philadelphia Eagles in a trade, they immediately replaced him with Burks. The Arkansas receiver had 1,104 receiving yards and 11 receiving touchdowns in his final season in the SEC.

Unfortunately, his rookie season didn’t live up to expectations, as he caught just 33 balls for 444 yards and three touchdowns. Burks saw a 17.6% target share last season while ranking 35th in air-yard share and 32nd in yards per route run.

While hampered by a poor Tennessee passing attack, Burks did win his individual assignments more than some noticed. Regardless, the Titans experienced a significant step back from Brown to Burks at the WR1 position.

Christian Watson, NDSU | Green Bay Packers

Round 2, Pick 34 

For all the questions surrounding Christian Watson entering the draft, he showed why he was one of the fastest risers at any position last year. An elite athlete with blazing 4.36 speed at 6’4”, 208 lbs, Watson caught 41 of 66 targets for 611 yards and seven touchdowns. That’s a 17% TD rate.

MORE: Ranking the Best NFL Draft Classes of All Time

What must be remembered is Watson did this in roughly just half a season, as he dealt with nagging hamstring issues in the early part of the season. Watson ranked 14th in open rate, 12th in yards per route run (YPRR), and was fourth in yards after the catch (YAC) per reception behind only Deebo Samuel, Rondale Moore, and Jaylen Waddle. Not bad for only seeing a 15.2% target share, something that will sit closer to 25% in 2023.

Wan’Dale Robinson, Kentucky | New York Giants

Round 2, Pick 43 

Wan’Dale Robinson was a polarizing prospect due to his dominance in college while being significantly undersized at 5’8″ and 179 pounds. As a rookie, he wasn’t able to match his senior season at Kentucky, where he saw 39% target share and caught 104 passes for 1,334 yards and seven touchdowns.

Robinson was injured in his first NFL game. He returned five weeks later, played the next five games, and then tore his ACL. However, the week prior, he showed why the New York Giants selected him, catching nine of 13 targets for 100 yards in a game where New York was devoid of other options.

Robinson may not have been able to play much, but he was featured when he did. He saw a near 20% target share in his healthy games and was targeted on 27.7% of his routes run, totaling 23 receptions on 27 targets for 227 yards and one touchdown in six contests.

John Metchie III, Alabama | Houston Texans

Round 2, Pick 44 

Coming off a torn ACL, John Metchie was likely not going make an immediate impact, but he was expected to get involved by midseason. Unfortunately, Metchie’s rookie season ended before it began due to a diagnosis of leukemia. Metchie’s NFL career was put on pause as he rightfully focused on his recovery and will look to hit the field at the start of 2023.

Tyquan Thornton, Bayor | New England Patriots

Round 2, Pick 50 

There is something about wide receivers coming from Baylor that seem to disappoint in the NFL despite otherworldly athletic profiles. Perhaps the issue is that testing numbers are being overinflated and causing players to be over-drafted.

That could be the case for Tyquan Thornton, but the jury is out after an up-and-down rookie season where the speedster caught 22 of 45 targets for 247 yards and three touchdowns.

Thornton never broke into the starting rotation, waiting until Week 14 to record a 90% snap rate in a single game. But even then, little changed, as Thornton averaged 28.6 routes run over the Patriots’ final five games.

George Pickens, Georgia | Pittsburgh Steelers

Round 2, Pick 52 

The flash was there, even though the consistency wasn’t. George Pickens showed exactly what the Pittsburgh Steelers were hoping to see out of him: explosion, incredible body control, and buttery soft hands. Seeing 84 targets, Pickens finished with 52 receptions, 801 yards, and five touchdowns.

That doesn’t even do justice to some of the incredible body adjustment catches he made as a rookie. It’s rare that a rookie WR paired with a rookie QB can combine for over 800 yards and five touchdowns, which suggests the future in Pittsburgh is very bright.

Alec Pierce, Cincinnati | Indianapolis Colts

Round 2, Pick 53 

Without cheating, how many targets did Alec Pierce see last year? Have a guess? I’ll bet you undershot it. He actually saw 77 targets, catching 41 passes for 593 yards and two touchdowns. A receiver with good size, Pierce was expected to being more verticality to the Indianapolis Colts’ offense after running a 4.41 40-yard dash.

Unfortunately, the acquisition of Matt Ryan didn’t solve the revolving door at QB, and Ryan was benched mid-season for Sam Ehlinger. Additionally, Frank Reich was let go and replaced with then-interim-head coach Jeff Saturday. Given the disappointment and chaos of the season, it’s difficult to get a good read on Pierce.

Skyy Moore, Western Michigan | Kansas City Chiefs

Round 2, Pick 54 

One of the top-rated “sleepers” of the draft, Skyy Moore quickly rose up boards, and the minute Kansas City called his name, his ascension was all but written in the stars. Twelve months later, Moore’s stock fell apart like the most recent Starship launch.

MORE: Ranking the Best NFL Draft Steals of All Time

Moore earned just a 5.6% target share in 2022, catching 22 passes (33 targets) for 250 yards and no touchdowns. Moore saw four or more targets in just four games and was consistently behind JuJu Smith-Schuster, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Mecole Hardman, and even RB Jerrick McKinnon in the pecking order.

Round 3-7

14) Velus Jones Jr., Tennessee
Round 3, Pick 71 | Chicago Bears

15) Jalen Tolbert, South Alabama
Round 3, Pick 88 | Dallas Cowboys

16) David Bell, Purdue
Round 3, Pick 99 | Cleveland Browns

17) Danny Gray, SMU
Round 3, Pick 105 | San Francisco 49ers

18) Erik Ezukanma, Texas Tech
Round 4, Pick 125 | Miami Dolphins

19) Romeo Doubs, Nevada
Round 4, Pick 132 | Green Bay Packers

20) Calvin Austin, Memphis
Round 4, Pick 137 | Pittsburgh Steelers

21) Khalil Shakir, Boise State
Round 4, Pick 148 | Buffalo Bills

22) Montrell Washington, Samford
Round 5, Pick 162 | Denver Broncos

23) Kyle Philips, UCLA
Round 5, Pick 163 | Tennessee Titans

24) Jalen Nailor, Michigan State
Round 6, Pick 191 | Minnesota Vikings

25) Michael Woods II, Oklahoma
Round 6, Pick 202 | Cleveland Browns

26) Bo Melton, Rutgers
Round 7, Pick 229 | Seattle Seahawks

27) Dareke Young, Lenoir-Rhyne
Round 7, Pick 233 | Seattle Seahawks

28) Samori Toure, Nebraska
R7, Pick 258 | Green Bay Packers

How Many Wide Receivers Were Drafted in 2022?

In the 2022 NFL Draft, a total of 28 wide receivers were drafted. Intriguingly, despite the flurry of activity on Day 1, that is tied for the lowest number of WRs drafted in a single year. Only in 2013 and 2019 has the number of receivers been below 30 before this year.

The first round of the 2022 NFL Draft saw five receivers selected for the second straight year. That’s less than the six we saw in 2020, and marks the third-straight year in which five or more receivers were taken in the first round. Prior to that, the last time five receivers were drafted in the first round was in 2015, when six were taken.

Listen to the PFN Scouting Podcast

Listen to the PFN Scouting Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Scouting Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms.  Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review! Rather watch instead? Check out the PFN Scouting Podcast on our Scouting YouTube channel.

Related Stories

Related Articles