The 2023 NFL Draft is less than a week away! It's time to get to know the top NFL Draft wide receiver prospects who could be rising up fantasy football rankings as rookies. As you prepare for dynasty fantasy football drafts and update your dynasty rookie rankings, check out these scouting reports for the best WR rookies in this year's Draft. Jaxon Smith-Njigba headlines the top WR prospects, but we have plenty of other intriguing talents like Jordan Addison, Quentin Johnston, and Zay Flowers. Recent 2023 NFL mock drafts have 3-4 receivers being drafted in the first round, so your favorite team could land one of these future studs. Let's now dive into the top 2023 NFL Draft Wide Receiver prospects ahead of the first round on April 27th.
If you missed it, check out more positional scouting reports for the 2023 NFL Draft:
2023 NFL Draft Top Wide Receiver Prospects
Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Ohio State
Jaxon Smith-Njigba is the consensus top WR prospect in this NFL Draft class. Some NFL evaluators even believe that Smith-Njigba might be better than fellow former Ohio State receivers Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson, who both went in the first round last year. JSN, which he may come to be known as in fantasy football leagues, was the third fiddle to Olave and Wilson two seasons ago for the loaded Buckeyes offense. He excelled in the slot in 2021, when he racked up 95 receptions and 1,606 receiving yards – leading Ohio State in both categories despite Olave and Wilson playing in the same offense. Smith-Njigba is a crisp, smooth, and skilled route-runner and a sure-handed pass-catcher who can dominate the middle of the field. JSN was limited to just three games last season while dealing with a hamstring injury and sitting out ahead of the NFL Draft. He doesn’t boast elite size or speed, but he can be an NFL starter from Day 1 as a slot receiver.
Zay Flowers, Boston College
Since he comes out of Boston College and is undersized, Zay Flowers doesn’t always get mentioned in the same breath as other top WR prospects this year. However, he has the potential to be the best wideout in this draft class if we fast-forward five seasons. Flowers is an elite route-runner with the short-burst quickness to get open and make plays after the catch. He’s explosive with the ball in his hands and can stretch the field as a downfield target. Despite being smaller in stature at 5-foot-9 and 180 pounds, Flowers was a sure-handed pass-catcher who still put up weekly numbers on a bad Boston College team. He averaged 6.5 receptions, 89 yards, and a TD per game last year for an offense that was among the worst in the Power Five. Of course, his size is the biggest knock and could limit him from becoming a true No. 1 wideout in an NFL offense.
Quentin Johnston, TCU
If you watched TCU at all last year, then you surely saw Quentin Johnston’s complete skillset on full display. Johnston has the unique combination of size, speed, and athleticism that can translate right over into being a No. 1 WR at the next level. At 6-foot-3 and 212 pounds with an 82-inch wingspan, he can be a matchup nightmare in the red zone against smaller corners. Johnston also boasts breakaway speed and quickness to make big plays after the catch. His below-average hands and raw pass-catching ability led to some drops in college. Plus, Johnston is as polished a route-runner as others in this draft class. If he develops those traits, though, don’t be surprised to see Johnston as an NFL star.
Jordan Addison, USC
At Pitt two seasons ago, Jordan Addison broke onto the national radar with 100 receptions, 1,593 receiving yards, and 17 TDs. His numbers dropped off a bit in 2022 after transferring to USC in a more loaded offense. Addison is a crisp, smooth route-runner with top-notch short-area acceleration, making him incredibly tough to cover one-on-one. He’s a reliable target underneath with the downfield speed to go over the top of of defenses. At 5-foot-11 and 170 pounds, Addison has a lankier build without much physical strength to make contested catches. He projects as a starting slot WR in the NFL.
Jalin Hyatt, Tennessee
After being relatively unknown two years ago, Jalin Hyatt vaulted up NFL Draft boards this past season as one of the top playmakers in Tennessee’s high-powered offense. The speedy wideout racked up 1,267 receiving yards and 15 TDs while averaging 18.9 yards per catch. Hyatt is an elite field-stretcher with the acceleration to run by defenders in coverage as a deep-ball threat. His route-running and raw pass-catching skills need development, and his stats last year were likely aided by playing in an uptempo offense. Still, he’s a TD waiting to happen on any reception due to his pure breakaway speed.
Josh Downs, North Carolina
For those that played any college football DFS, you know Josh Downs as a PPR monster during his time at North Carolina. As the slot receiver in UNC’s offense, Downs racked up receptions on a weekly basis with 195 catches and 2,344 receiving yards combined over the past two seasons. He’s a shifty and instinctive route-runner in the short and medium parts of the field to be a reliable target for any QB. Though he’s undersized at 5-foot-9 and 175 pounds, Downs makes up for it with above-average agility and toughness to play bigger than his frame. His lack of size will keep him as a slot receiver, but he can develop into one of the better short-yardage pass-catchers in the NFL.
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