“The best wide receiver draft in history”. Since the start of the 2020 draft process, this wide receiver class has been regarded as the most talented in draft history, even after the historic 2014 draft class that contained studs such as Odell Beckham Jr, Mike Evans, Davante Adams, Sammy Watkins, Brandin Cooks, Jarvis Landry, Allen Robinson and Kelvin Benjamin. This years class is viewed to surpass the multitude of talent that was the 2014 draft class with guys like CeeDee Lamb, Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs headlining it, and I for one, would have a hard time arguing against that with the talent that is set to break into the league from this 2020 draft class. Each receiver that I have ranked in my top ten in this class, I currently have a second round grade on which is historic in it’s own right, not including the plethora of talent that’s left outside my top ten.
1. CeeDee Lamb- WR, Oklahoma
If you asked 20 draft experts who the number one receiver in this class is, 10 would say CeeDee Lamb and 10 would say Jerry Jeudy. Many view Lamb and Jeudy as 1a and 1b for this class, as do I, but I have Lamb slightly over Jeudy. CeeDee Lamb has prototypical wide receiver one build. He is great after the catch, he has great instincts to feel where the open creases are and great strength to fight out of multiple tackles on a given play, Lamb also possesses very good ability to go up and make the tough, 50/50 balls because of his strength and frame. A number of teams played off coverage frequently against Lamb and Oklahoma because of their explosive offense which led to Lamb running routes a little nonchalant, but that’s an area he can always clean up and sharpen. Bottom line is Lamb is a natural born play-maker who can sky a defender on 50/50 balls and also catch a screen pass and run through defenders for 80 yards. He’s without a doubt going to be an instant start at the next level.
2. Jerry Jeudy- WR, Alabama
Jerry Jeudy, much like Lamb, is a play-maker in his own right. Jeudy is absolutely lethal in open space with his multitude of moves and shiftiness in open space, he has the ability to take cornerbacks ankles and juke them out of their cleats. Along with Jeudy’s great RAC ability, he has great long speed to take the top off of defenses which makes it very tough for corners to cover him because of his play-making versatility. The most impressive part of Jeudy’s games is his polished route running ability, he is ultra technical with it, when you watch him you can see the work Jeudy has put into trying to and perfect it. Jerry Jeudy will step on the field day one for a team and become a great number one option.
3. Henry Ruggs III- WR, Alabama
4.28 forty yard dash. Leading up to the NFL Combine in February, there was no doubt Henry Ruggs would blaze the forty yard dash and threaten John Ross’s record and Ruggs did just that. Even though he failed on breaking the 40 yard dash record at the combine, he without a doubt solidified him being a top 20 pick with his performance. Henry Ruggs has the ability to run past a corner on a fly while also being able to take a screen 80 yards to the house untouched. I think Rugg’s hands go a little under the radar because of his blazing speed, he runs routes well and catches the ball naturally in space and while covered heavily at times. Ruggs’s abilities and what he can provide for an offense is why he is highly regarded and will go top 20 come draft night, I am interested to see the level of success he will have at the next level with players with similar skill sets before him facing struggles at this level.
4. Denzel Mims- WR, Baylor
Before the combine back in February when I knew little about him, I remember thinking very little of Mims and even having Tee Higgins ahead of him in my rankings. After seeing him run a very impressive forty time, I immediately made it a priority to sit down and watch his film and I came away very impressed. The very first thing i remember highlighting about his game was his strong hands and his ability to catch pretty much every back shoulder throw that came his way. Mims possesses great body control and ball adjustment ability which makes him a very serious threat in the red zone. Mims possesses great ability to create separation off of press coverage because of the physicality he plays with and that was most certainly on display during the Senior Bowl practices. I really like how Mims’s game translates to the next level, I think he’s going to be very good for a long time for whichever team picks him up.
5. Justin Jefferson- WR, LSU
Justin Jefferson is probably coming off the most productive year of any receiver in this class after 1500+ receiving yards and 18 TD’s. Justin Jefferson is one of those reliable receivers you can go to when you need a big play, he reminds me a lot of Tyler Boyd by his frame and play style. Jefferson is solid in just about every aspect a receiver should be able to do, he has good hands, he runs routes well, he understands where the soft spots in zone are, he’s good at re-routing when the play gets extended and he can win over the top of a defense and make plays down the field. Jefferson isn’t that prototypical number one receiver teams love but his production simply can’t be denied and I think he will come into the league and be that same type of player that a quarterback will look to when they need a big play.
6. Jalen Reagor- WR, TCU
I think a lot of people view Jalen Reagor as a similar version of Tyreek Hill. Much like Tyreek Hill, Reagor has the ability to easily take the top off of a defense, he can effortlessly run past a corner on any play and can also go up and make a big play on 50/50 balls as well. Reagor is also ultra versatile, he is very dangerous as a returner and can also be used effectively on screens and fly sweeps as well. I do think Reagor struggles a bit with catching passes over the middle, I noticed a number of drops in those situations when he got hit over the middle and it is something he will have to work on. Overall though, Reagor’s versatility and play-making ability is why he’s so widely regarded in this years class and I think he can be a very good play-making piece for an offense.
7. Van Jefferson- WR, Florida
I get a little heat for putting Van Jefferson this high on my rankings, many people acknowledge Jefferson’s elite release ability off press coverage with his mixture of rhythm steps but do go on to say that he lacks play-making ability such as great speed in space and elite ability to make impressive catches in traffic. I do acknowledge he is limited athletically and doesn’t have game breaking speed but i do like the tools he does have. Like everyone else I love his route running and ability to create separation off of press coverage, but he also has good hands and a very good catch radius. Jefferson does a good job of using his length and extending his arms when he catches passes. Against LSU this past season he displayed that well against arguably the best corner in the nation in Stingley. Van Jefferson’s polished receiving techniques are why I am high on him, I think he become’s a productive primary target for the team that takes him.
8. Michael Pittman- WR, USC
Michael Pittman is highly regarded by many, I am not as high on him as most people, but I do recognize his abilities and what he brings to the table. Michael Pittman is that big bodied receiver that people love, he excels at making those big plays on 50/50 balls down field because of his big frame and catch radius. Pittman displays good body control and adjusts well to the ball when it’s in the air which plays a part in why he’s so good at making those big plays down field. Pittman does lack good long speed and short area quickness to create consistent separation which is why I think he may be limited at the next level, but with his physical skills I do think he can be that big body for a team that can make those contest catches down field and be a problem in the red zone.
9. Brandon Aiyuk- WR, Arizona State
Like Michael Pittman, I am a little lower on Brandon Aiyuk than most people are, but he does possess a very good skill set. Much like Jalen Reagor, Aiyuk is ultra versatile, he has the ability to get behind a defense and make a big play while also having the speed and short area quickness to be effective on screens as well as punt and kick returns, and can also be effective on sweeps and reverses. A few flaws I do see in his game is he doesn’t uses his hands when getting off of press coverage, he often relies on his quickness, which won’t fly against professional corners. My biggest problem with Aiyuk is he is a very heavy body catcher, he almost never extends his arms and uses his hands which is something i don’t like. Overall I like Aiyuk’s versatility and what he can bring to an offense which is why he is highly regarded and why he is in play to be a first round pick.
10. Tyler Johnson- WR, Minnesota
I think I’m one of the few who have Tyler Johnson in my top 10, especially with guys like Hamler and Higgins still left. Tyler Johnson isn’t the best athlete and doesn’t possess top end speed, which is why he was designated to the slot at Minnesota, and why many people are low on him and view him as a late third or fourth round pick. I understand Johnson isn’t the best athlete but the amount of production he put up at Minnesota can’t be ignored in my opinion. When I turned on his tape I immediately thought of Jarvis Landry, similar body type and not the best athlete but just ultra productive players and that’s what Johnson is. The big things that stand out from Johnson’s game is his good route running and he possesses great concentration to haul in difficult passes and I think he brings that natural production to a team and can become a consistent 65+ catch per year receiver for a team.
This receiver class is incredibly deep with talent with guys like K.J. Hamler, Tee Higgins, Antonio Gandy-Golden, Laviska Shenault and Donovan People-Jones not even making my top ten rankings and more underrated guys like Freddie Swain and James Proche likely to go day three that certainly have the ability to make an impact for a team. There will no doubt be a run of wide receivers in round one, we will most likely see five of six receivers ultimately be selected, with probably five of six going in round two as well. This receiver class has what it takes to be historic given the immense talent it has, and I for one am excited to see where everyone lands and how they impact their future teams.