Summer Scouting: Top 5 Wide Receivers

The college football season is just around the corner. With that in mind Rory Daniels’ brings you his top 5 draft eligible prospects at each position ahead of kickoff. We also include an FCS prospect to watch courtesy of resident small school expert Rebecca Rennie.

1. Chris Olave

It would have been no surprise to be writing about Olave in the context of an NFL training camp. However, the Ohio State Buckeye is a surprise returner for his senior year. Yet to crack the 1000 receiving yard barrier in his previous three seasons he should be the focal point of the offense this year. Smooth routes and deep speed mean his rail-thin build is of little importance. He deserves to be top of the tree for now given his consistency.

Best Trait: Route running

2. Justyn Ross

The college football world was relieved to see Ross cleared for action after losing last year to a neck condition that jeopardised his future career. If he returns to the player he was in his freshman year we are in for a treat. Ross was the main threat even in a receiving room that boasted Tee Higgins. Ross is an athletic phenom with a huge catch radius and eye for the spectacular. Expect fireworks as Clemson pair him with their new starting QB DJ Uiagalelei.

Best Trait: Athleticism

3. George Pickens

We have another selection here whose status will be defined by how injury effects him in 2021. Pickens could have been atop this list if it wasn’t for a knee injury sustained in spring camp. Whether he chooses to declare as an underclassmen or return to play as a senior he will be held in high regard. A brief cameo at the business end of the Georgia season could be enough to cement top-10 status. Built in a lab he is as likely to blow past you as he his to go ’above the rim’ and physically dominate corners.

Best Trait: Explosive ability

4. Garrett Wilson

As if the Big 10 didn’t have enough to worry about, lining up across from Chris Olave will be Garrett Wilson. Another prospect who flashed hard as a freshman should show us he is NFL ready in the 2021 season. Wilson is well built but retains elite speed. Highlighted by his use on kick returns. That size and burst make him a nightmare to tackle. He will excel at the next level not only as a traditional wideout but on trick plays. Wilson is a big-time danger in the open field.

Best Trait: YAC ability

5. John Metchie

When you are an Alabama receiver you have to wait your turn. Metchie has laid in wait behind the likes of Henry Ruggs, Jerry Jeudy, Devonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle during his time in Tuscaloosa. However an injury to Waddle last year saw him grasp a more prominent role. That led to over 900 receiving yards on a National Championship winning side. Metchie snaps in and out of routes, has the speed to be a field stretcher and A+ ball tracking. Don’t expect him to shirk the physical side of the SEC side either. He should relish the lead role in an explosive offense.

Best Trait: Ball tracking

FCS Prospect to Watch: Christian Watson

Rebecca Rennie: Watson stands out as an athletic level above the majority of the FCS. A big-play threat, the Bison playmaker is a versatile offensive weapon and explosive kick returner. He’s averaged over 21 yards per catch over his career, has totalled close to 300 rushing yards out of the backfield and in 2020, he scored on 2 kick returns.
With a long and lean frame, Watson has the deep speed and stride length to challenge downfield. What somewhat surprised on film, however, is the short-area burst and acceleration in his releases. Despite the lean build, he plays tough and willingly absorbs hits. The NDSU receiver is a fantastic runner after the catch to exploit space in the open field. That is no more evident than on special teams.
The potential is there to by a coveted prospect at the position with a big final year in 2021.
Mock Draft

Rory-Joe Daniels

Cfb contributor

formerly writing for the inside zone, rory will be breaking down college tape and keeping you up-to-date with all things CFB for the touchdown. an avid bengals fan, you can also find some of rory’s work at