The 2017 NFL Draft has a talented group of wide receivers. Western Michigan WR Corey Davis was the first off the board at No. 5 to the Tennessee Titans. But for the second and third rounds on Friday, there’s a group ready to hear their names.
Below, see rankings for the 2017 NFL Draft’s best available wide receivers.
2017 NFL Draft: Best available wide receivers rankings
1. TAKEN, Panthers: Curtis Samuel, Ohio State
Known as one of the most versatile playmakers in college football, Samuel produced 1,636 total yards from scrimmage in his third season with the Buckeyes. He had a knack for finding the end zone, too, scoring 15 total scores. While his team was shutout in the Fiesta Bowl, the 5-11, 200-pound duel-threat still tacked on 110 total yards. Boasting a similar skillset to former Florida do-it-all star Percy Harvin, Samuel should end up being selected in the second-round.
2. TAKEN, Steelers: JuJu Smith-Schuster, USC:
Even though the 6-2, 220-pound Smith-Schuster failed to match his production from the 2015-’16 season, he notched a respectable 70-catch, 914-yard and 10-touchdown stat line. He still exhibited his previous dominance in the Rose Bowl as well by making a mockery of Penn State’s secondary over the middle of the field. Overall, the Long Beach, Calif. native finished with seven grabs for 133 yards and a score. Smith-Schuster should find his way into the second or third-round.
3. TAKEN, New York Jets: ArDarius Stewart, Alabama:
Despite working with freshman QB Jalen Hurtz, who relied on his legs much of the time, Stewart still gathered 54 receptions for 864 yards and 8 touchdowns. However, he didn’t improve his draft stock much against Clemson in the title game with just two grabs for 12 yards. Yet, the 6-0, 205-pound receiver should maneuver his name into the early third-round nonetheless.
4. Malachi Dupre, LSU:
Similar to Stewart, the 6-3, 190-pound Dupre lacked a quality signal caller between QB Brandon Harris and his eventual replacement Danny Etling, who started the final 10 games of the season. Moreover, his 7-catch, 139-yard performance versus Louisville in the Citrus Bowl accounted for 23 percent of his total receiving yards in his junior season. Because he played in a ground-control offense, though, Dupre still possesses third-round value.
5. TAKEN, Bills: Zay Jones, East Carolina
If the previous two options failed to hit their stride, Jones made up for it in a hurry. The 6-2, 193-pound senior reeled in an improbable 158 catches, 1,746 yards and 17 touchdowns. On top of that, he hauled in an FBS record 399 receptions over his fours seasons with the Pirates. He should break into the third-round as a result. Plus, Dallas Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones could be fairly intrigued by the wideout given the fact that his father Robert Jones won three Super Bowls with the team in the 90’s.
6. TAKEN, Bucs: Chris Godwin, Penn State:
The 6-1, 205-pound Godwin entrenched himself as a deep threat as a junior, pulling in 59 snags for 982 yards and 11 scores. His vertical prowess was on display in the Rose Bowl by amassing 9 receptions, 187 yards and two touchdowns, which included a 77-yard scoring strike via QB Trace McSorely. Godwin seemed to benefit from the strong armed McSorely versus former signal caller Christian Hackenberg, especially in the end zone. He’ll be a mid to late third-round pick.
7. Noah Brown, Ohio State
Although the 6-2, 220-pound Brown showcased his abilities in a small sample size, he put together a solid 32-catch, 402-yard, 7-touchdown campaign. Within that total, he amassed a phenomenal four-score showing against Oklahoma amid the Buckeyes’ non-conference slate. The Flanders, N.J. native is also considered one of the best blockers in this group of receivers, propelling him into the late-third or early fourth-round designation.
8. Josh Malone, Tennessee
The junior receiver caught 50 passes in 2016 for 972 yards and 11 touchdowns. He went past the 100-yard mark in the last two games of the season. Against Vanderbilt, Malone had 7 receptions for 121 yards and a touchdown. In the 38-24 win against Nebraska in the Music City Bowl, Malone needed only 5 catches to get 120 yards and one touchdown.
9. TAKEN, Rams: Cooper Kupp, Eastern Washington
The senior had a huge 2016 season, making 117 receptions for 1,700 yards and 17 touchdowns. But he was a consistently dynamic performer, making more than 100 catches in three seasons (93 in the other his first year). He also had at least 1,400 receiving yards every year in Eastern Washington’s powerful attack.
10. TAKEN, Titans: Taywan Taylor, Western Kentucky
In Jeff Brohm’s impressive offense, Taylor caught 98 catches for 1,730 yards and 17 touchdowns. But he wasn’t a one-year wonder. In 2015, the 5-foot-11 receiver grabbed 86 passes for 1,467 yards and 17 touchdowns. He had his best game against Middle Tennessee, getting 12 receptions for 197 yards and a touchdown.