Like the running back class, the top five of the wide receivers class is full of talent that will immediately produce in the NFL. We haven’t had a wide receiver class like in a long time, and now that we do, there will be many conversations had about who the best receiver is in this class. All I can do now is show you my November top 5, so let’s get into it.
*Disclaimer*: I am ranking these players based off talent, injuries and other red flags will be factored into my final grade, but for now I am not taking them into account.
1. Jerry Jeudy, Alabama
Jerry Jeudy doesn’t do much wrong. From his route running, to his RAC ability, to his hands, to his athleticism, Jeudy is incredible in almost every facet of the game. Without a doubt, Jeudy has the best route running ability of any receiver in this class. He can get defenders to bite on a head fake and will instantly get multiple yards of separation. When he gets a chance to catch the ball, he rarely drops it. He has incredible hands and will pluck the ball from the air. Once he gets the ball in his hands, he’s a menace in the open field. He can stop on a dime and make any defender miss in the open field. Jeudy is an all-around great receiver and will be a WR1 in the NFL, which is why he’s at the top of our Top Five Wide Receivers list.
2. Ceedee Lamb, Oklahoma
Ceedee Lamb is the leading receiver in that Oklahoma offense and has been on a tear this season. Lamb’s best trait is his ball skills; he has incredible hands and great body control that allows him to grab just about any ball thrown his way. After he gets the ball in his hands, he’s a magician. Lamb is able to swerve and juke his way past multiple defenders and break into space to take the ball as far down the field as he can. He’s a joy to watch and, like Jeudy, he will be a WR1 in the NFL.
3. Henry Ruggs III, Alabama
The definition of speed. Henry Ruggs possesses true game breaking speed that allows him to take any reception to the endzone. He has fantastic hand strength and can secure any throw coming his way. Ruggs isn’t the biggest of receivers, but he has no problem getting up and challenging bigger defenders for the ball, and he comes down with it a lot of the time. He still isn’t the most nuanced route runner, but with some work that can change. Along with routes, Ruggs could work on his releases to beat press coverage. Once he develops those two things, he could be even more dangerous than he already is.
4. Laviska Shenault, Colorado
Laviska Shenault is the playmaker of the Buffalo’s offense. The offense likes to scheme up different ways to get him the ball because once he gets the ball in his hands, he is fantastic. Shenault has great field vision and athletic ability to work past defenders. He has good ability in contested catch situations as well. He has the necessary hands and concentration in the air to beat the defender and come down with the ball. One big question mark about his game is the fact that he hasn’t played a full season yet, so his durability is a question mark. He also needs to develop his route running, as he is mainly getting manufactured touches, his routes aren’t as efficient as they should be.
5. Tylan Wallace, Oklahoma State
Unfortunately, Wallace suffered an ACL tear but that doesn’t change his talent. Wallace isn’t the biggest receiver, but he plays with tremendous physicality. He’s very competitive at the catch point and doesn’t let bigger defenders bully him. He has fantastic RAC ability; he has good vision in the open field and has more than enough contact balance to withstand hits. He’s not overly athletic, but he does well to use his strengths to his advantage. He doesn’t matchup against press coverage much, so it’s not known how he handles it. He doesn’t run as many routes as you would you hope but his ability to win in any situation with his physicality shows he could handle a full route tree. If it wasn’t for his injury, Wallace would be very high on my board in the end of the year, but because of the injury, who knows where he’ll end up. The injury is a large reason of why he’s at the bottom of our Top Five Wide Receivers list.