The 2017 NFL Draft features an incredible wide receiver class, but instead of top-flight talent, the strength is found on the second and third days of the draft.
There is one standout, a few first-round-worthy picks, and a whole lot of value in the second and third days.
This list could have been 25 players long (and it might prove to be soon), but here are my top 10 receivers in the 2017 NFL Draft:
10 Carlos Henderson, Louisiana Tech
The 5-foot-10 (maybe) Conference USA receiver was prolific in the Bulldogs’ super-spread attack, but many of the characteristics that made him a mid-major force should carry over to the NFL — crisp route running, great hands and tremendous speed.
9 Artavis Scott, Clemson
A boom-or-bust candidate, Scott has tremendous upside but will have to take on a different role than the one he had at Clemson, where he was one of the best receivers in the nation. His transition to a role that would feature more time in the slot is critical to his success, but —don’t overthink it — his production at Clemson says that he could be the steal of this draft.
8 DeDe Westbrook, Oklahoma
He’s fast and prolific, but there are serious concerns about his off-field issues and his lack of bulk — even diminutive cornerbacks might be able to control him at the line of scrimmage.
7 JuJu Smith Schuster, USC
An incredible talent — first-round quality talent — but he was too easily locked up at USC. Will teams buy his measurables or his tape?
6 Zay Jones, ECU
He doesn’t project as a No. 1, but Jones helped his stock significantly at the Senior Bowl and his ability to play any receiver position will make him a valuable No. 2 or No. 3 option teams can land on the second day.
5 Cooper Kupp, Eastern Washington
The Division 1 record holder for career receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns was the best player at the Senior Bowl. He’s not a prototypical No. 1, but there’s plenty of reason to believe that he will be a prolific possession receiver at the next level. If you don’t know the name now, get used to hearing it.
4 Jalen Robinette, Air Force
Some don’t have Robinette on their draft boards. That’s a massive mistake. Though he was in a triple-option offense that didn’t target him often, he used his 6-foot-3 frame and excellent hands to be one of the nation’s best big-play receivers. And, something that isn’t talked about often — he’s an excellent blocker as well. In a pro offense, I see him shining.
3 John Ross, Washington
There are no flaws in Ross’ game — he might not be the strongest receiver, but he has height, a great catch radius and truly elite speed.
2 Corey Davis, Western Michigan
Davis is extremely polished, and he’s prolific as well. As a complimentary receiver to an elite No. 1, he’d be astounding, but don’t count him out as a top target in the NFL.
1 Mike WIlliams, Clemson
He’s getting Calvin Johnson comparisons. That’s not hyperbole — he’s worthy of that lofty comparison. Size, strength, speed and next-level ball skills make Williams worthy of a top-five pick.