Connect with us

2024 NFL Draft

Bell: Ranking Top Wide Receivers in 2024 NFL Draft



Steelers WR Rome Odunze 2024 NFL Draft Wide Receivers

With the NFL Draft right around the corner, it’s time to rank the wide receivers in the 2024 class. This group features a ton of top-end talent with five true first-round grades to go along with plenty of depth including a myriad of skill sets to choose from. For further context, at least the top 15 wide receivers on this list will finish as sure-fire top-100 players on my big board which tells you how stacked this years group truly is.

It’s safe to say that it’s a good year for the Pittsburgh Steelers to need a playmaker, or two. Here we go!

1. Marvin Harrison Jr., Ohio State

Classic, prototype X-receiver who possesses a rare blend of size, fluidity and technical refinement. Even on the rare occasion where defenders make the rep seem competitive, Harrison’s body control and catch radius make it look like he’s playing the game on easy mode. This is a day-one alpha on the perimeter and a transcendent talent who could realistically meet already sky-high expectations.

2. Malik Nabers, LSU

Turbo-charged playmaker who can consistently slice defenses up at all three levels of the field. Nabers has a knack for quickly transitioning from receiver to runner, with change of direction agility and burst that contribute to house calls. At just 20-years old and already insanely dynamic, it’s scary to think about what he could transform into down the line with more time to hone in on his craft.

3. Rome Odunze, Washington

Dominant ball-winner on the vertical plane thanks to natural tracking ability and hand-eye coordination at the catch point. In addition to that, he’s a savvy, detailed route runner who can change gears and beat man coverage. Odunze isn’t extraordinarily explosive but you’re drafting a tailor-made WR1 that can be the focal point of a quality passing attack right out of the gate.

4. Adonai Mitchell, Texas

Loose and fluid bucket getter who thrives when given the green light to isolate defenders 1v1. Especially for his size, Mitchell’s combination of quick twitch, lower body flexibility and straight-line speed is incredibly difficult to find. There’s flashes of dominance on tape but in order to tap into his near-limitless potential, he’ll need to lock in from a focus perspective.

Pittsburgh Steelers 2024 NFL Draft Target LSU WR Brian Thomas Jr.

LSU wide receiver Brian Thomas Jr. (11) carries on a touchdown reception past Army defensive back Cameron Jones (10) in the first half of an NCAA college football game in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Oct. 21, 2023. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

5. Brian Thomas Jr., LSU

Height-Weight-Speed freak who annihilated everyone in his path during the 2023 season. His athletic profile is the clear selling point but Thomas is a rapidly improving receiver who is still in the beginning stages of his development path. He role in college was extremely straight-forward but the right coaching staff could mold him into a game-changing terror.

6. Xavier Worthy, Texas

Supersonic speedster with a top gear that no one in this class, and few in NFL history, can even dream of. His acceleration puts the fear of God into defensive backs but his joystick change of direction ability presents more versatility than this archetype typically presents. Worthy won’t win many contested catch opportunities but in the right situation, it might not matter.

7. Ladd McConkey, Georgia

Thin, route-running savant who understands how to create separation. McConkey’s stop-and-start ability is his calling card and corners are rendered completely helpless if they can’t get their hands on him early. He’s relatively unproven versus press coverage but every offensive coordinator would gladly welcome a chain-mover to pepper throws to underneath.

8. Troy Franklin, Oregon

Skinny, long-striding glider with a penchant for manufacturing big plays. Franklin’s combination of twitch and tempo variation led the way to back-to-back productive campaigns. His hands are better than they appeared in 2023 and even though his frame creates some obvious roadblocks, there’s plenty of translatable aspects his game.

Pittsburgh Steelers 2024. NFL Draft Prospect Florida WR Ricky Pearsall

Ricky Pearsall, Florida Athletics

9. Ricky Pearsall, Florida

Snappy route runner who uses the art of deception to instill doubt into defenders and keep them off balance. The term “quarterback-friendly” applies to Pearsall thanks to plus spatial awareness and natural hands that are magnetic in nature. Play strength can be an issue on film but there’s reason to believe he offers enough versatility to operate as a complimentary piece within a strong passing attack.

10. Jalen McMillan, Washington

Silky smooth operator with a keen understanding of how to attack the leverage of defenders. McMillan is a three-level threat out of the slot: an option route guru and dangerous when given a runway to work vertically. Injuries wiped out his entire 2023 season, but his tape as a junior further cements him as the most undervalued receiver in this entire class.

11. Xavier Legette, South Carolina

Promising athlete with unique explosiveness for his dense frame. Legette is a certified killer on crossing routes over the middle and he regularly embarrasses people with jaw-dropping hang time at the catch point. It’s fair to classify him as unusually raw for a fifth-year senior but the collection of top-end traits are what position coaches covet.

12. Ja’Lynn Polk, Washington

Jack of all trades type of wideout with excellent ball skills and superb play strength which allows him to will through contact. Polk is a bully between the lines and consistently dependable because of the way he attacks the football in the air. The lack of a real trump card makes you question his ceiling, but he checks so many boxes that it’s hard to envision him not at least being a solid pro.

13. Javon Baker, UCF

Throwback X-receiver who can dismantle press with an array of different releases off the line. Baker can climb the ladder and practically every back shoulder-fade  near the sideline seemed like an automatic completion last season.  His burst off the ball is underwhelming but he’s got good size and is flexible enough to run the full route tree out wide.

14. Keon Coleman, Florida State

Young, humongous target with a “my ball” mentality when the quarterback throws his way. Coleman offers a physical presence and strong hands while displaying an edge in the run blocking department. A glaring lack of desperation exits within his profile. A shift to a power slot-type of role could yield positive gains.

15. Jermaine Burton, Alabama

Effortless tracker of the football with flashes of dominance as a deep threat. Burton’s entire game revolves around the element of speed but aside from that, he can instantly sink his hips to drop defenders off on curls back to the quarterback. The talent is undeniable with Burton, but his evaluation is made more difficult due to character concerns that he’ll have to address with each NFL team prior to draft weekend.

Roman Wilson, Michigan Athletics

16. Roman Wilson, Michigan

Slot-specific receiver who is an outstanding athlete whose route running requires more attention to detail.

17. Devontez Walker, North Carolina

Possesses all of the athletic qualities that you can’t teach but needs to prove he can do more than just run in a straight line.

18. Malik Washington, Virginia

Everyone knew he was getting the ball last year and no one could stop him but a major lack of size/length hurts his stock.

19. Malachi Corley, Western Kentucky

Tough, tank-like ball carrier that had his development stalled as a gadget player in college, making him a total projection.

20. Jamari Thrash, Louisville

Crisp route runner with some concerning blemishes at the catch point making for a difficult projection to the next level.