2019 Draft: Final Positional Rankings, Wide Receiver

The end of the road, my pals. We’ve made it. Another year, another group of prospects, and another panic-stricken couple weeks leading up the draft just hoping that this front office has it all together and can hit in the early-rounds. Briefly, before we proceed, some housekeeping items. I’ve often commented on how the draft is a “process”. Thoughts, opinions, and players’ grades change as we move closer to the finish line. Below, you can reference where my head was at for the initial unveiling of my positional rankings, followed by my pre-Combine thoughts, to where I ultimately ended up. It’s useful when contextualizing a players value, I think. If they stayed highly-touted throughout the months, chances are, we have a good player on our hands.

Early top-10 positional rankings are here. Pre-Combine rankings (thread) can be found here.

Top-5

No big surprises here, I don’t believe. I see a lot of Alshon Jeffery in N’Keal Harry‘s (Round 1) game. He’s strong enough off the line, although not as quick as other prospects, but makes a living winning downfield and in contested situations. Don’t overthink it. Perhaps Parris Campbell (Round 1) is a stretch for some folks? The 2.5-sigma, elite athlete reminds me of a bigger-faster-stronger Curtis Samuel. There are questions and concerns about his “manufactured yards” and ability deep, but I see an underrated route-runner and a player with better hands than given credit for.

Top-10

Deebo Samuel (Round 1-2) has made himself a lot of money since the Senior Bowl. His ascent has only continued, and may earn him a top-32 selection on Thursday. Miles Boykin (Round 2) is an ultra-rare, 3-sigma athlete. Suspect quarterback play didn’t do him (or any other pass-catcher in that offense for that matter) any favors at school. The ceiling is obviously sky-high, given the test results. JJ Arcega-Whiteside (Round 2) is one of the better red zone targets in a class filled with playmakers. A PFF favorite, and for good reason.

Top-15

Preston Williams (Round 2-3) has some of the best film in the class. His ability with the ball in the air, coupled with the elite body control, is an impressive combination. Unfortunately, we’re left with more questions marks given the poor athleticism scores. He won’t go in this range, but off talent alone, it’s easy money. You can make the argument and move Hollywood Brown (Round 2-3) up the board several slots. I’m sure I’ll get funny looks for his current placement. I try not to factor in the unknown of injury, for a Lisfranc for a wide receiver that depends on his speed is a scary proposition.

Top-30

Terry McLaurin (Round 3) showed off at the Senior Bowl himself, and should parlay that into a relatively high draft slot. There’s a gap both age and testing-wise, between him and Campbell, despite the promising week in Mobile and cleaner footwork. Not necessarily a knock on McLaurin’s game, just due praise for Campbell’s potential. Diontae Johnson (Round 4) seems to be the most popular name this deep in the process. I’m late to the party, but I’m now on board. Greg Dortch (Round 4-5) has the production and notable breakout age (84th percentile), but really needed to pair that with elite test scores in order to justify his smaller frame and transition at the next level. I’m still a fan, but I got out over my skis early on the process.

Catch me on Twitter: @StillRyanFive

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