Jaxson Smith-Njigba and Quentin Johnston headline the wide receiver mock drafts
There were six wide receivers taken in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft. We will not have a repeat of that in the 2023 NFL Draft.
DraftKings Sportsbook lists the Over/Under on wide receivers drafted in the first round at 3.5, with the Over at -180 and the Under at +140. All six WR last season were taken from eighth to 18th and it was a pretty productive group, including Offensive Rookie of the Year Garrett Wilson, who went 10th as the second WR off the board.
Ohio State won’t be quite as well-represented in this year’s first round after having Wilson and Chris Olave back-to-back, along with Jameson Williams at 12, who was originally at Ohio State before transferring to Alabama. Jaxson Smith-Njigba is -300 to be the first wide receiver drafted. What happens after him will determine whether or not this prop goes over or under.
Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook as of April 27, 10:30 a.m. PT
Jaxson Smith-Njigba scouting report
Over/Under Draft Position: 12.5 (-275/+215)
It is a bummer that the 2023 season was a throwaway for JSN, as he was limited to just three games and he wasn’t healthy for those either. In the Rose Bowl, Smith-Njigba caught 15 balls for 347 yards with Wilson and Olave on the sidelines after opting out. He’s more of a slot receiver, but he can battle for contested catches and also created a lot of separation with the Buckeyes. He didn’t run at the combine, but coaches shouldn’t have many questions if he’s healthy. He fits the mold as an ideal possession receiver.
If he doesn’t come off the board first among WR, JSN is +300 to be the second one taken.
Zay Flowers scouting report
Over/Under Draft Position: 22.5 (-170/140)
There are a lot of questions with the receivers beyond Smith-Njigba, but the back half of the first round should still include at least Flowers, and likely more. The Boston College product is small at 5-foot-9, but ran a 4.42 40-yard dash and racked up over 3,000 receiving yards in four years with the Eagles. He had a revolving door at QB due to injuries that likely cut into his production, but the tools are there to be a good speed receiver and a valuable asset against press coverage.
Flowers is +135 at DraftKings to be the second WR selected and +550 to be the first WR off the board.
Quentin Johnston scouting report
Over/Under Draft Position: 26.5 (+160/-205)
Johnston has a lot of qualities that teams look for in a wide receiver. He’s tall, physical, and has the speed to get open down the field. He was also rather inconsistent at TCU and really only emerged during his final season with 60 catches for 1,069 yards. He won’t be a possession receiver like Smith-Njigba and Flowers, but he could be a home run threat on deep balls and make some tough catches along the sidelines for big plays.
Johnson is at +500 to be the second wide receiver selected along with and +800 to be the first WR plucked.
Jordan Addison scouting report
Addison is a much smaller target than Johnston, but a more versatile receiver who can line up anywhere and be a target for the quarterback. Addison has the size and toughness of a slot guy, but he has the quickness to be able to get open along the boundary. He’ll likely best fit in an offense that gets the ball out quickly and there are a lot of efficient offenses that do that and have picks in the tail end of the first round, so he could absolutely find himself going to one of those teams before the first night is over.
As mentioned, Addison is +400 to be the second WR taken and +800 to be the first WR taken.
Jalin Hyatt scouting report
Hyatt could also be a guy that cracks the first round, as the Tennessee product ran a 4.4 40 and was a big deep-ball threat for the Volunteers. Hyatt isn’t going to be much of a pass catcher in traffic, so he has a very specific fit with a QB that can put some air under the ball and let him run under it. But, he can also make some grabs over the middle of the field on quick-hitters and turn them into big gainers.Like Johnston, Hyatt really flourished in his final season, but he did rack up 18.9 yards per catch on 67 grabs in an explosive Vols offense.
Hyatt is +2500 to be the second WR selected.
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