2022 NFL Draft Cheat Sheet: Wide Receivers

Garrett Wilson, Ohio State

The first of two Ohio State prospects we’ll be looking at in this class, Garrett Wilson can just fly down the field. The NFL Combine showed that he has 4.3 speed, and his film showcases that in just about every game. Wilson has the potential to be a star at the next level, and I think with his combination of moves off the line, pure speed, and big-play ability, it’s more likely than not that he’s going to realize that potential.

My only reservation with Wilson is that sometimes he tries to do a little too much when coming off the line. Garrett Wilson wants to embarrass you, he wants to make you fall down at the line of scrimmage. He wants it more than anything in the world. He wants to put you on a highlight reel that’s going to go viral on TikTok and have people clowning on you for weeks. And I love that about him! But sometimes during a game, that results in him falling down at the line. Wilson is lanky, and sometimes his legs get tied up and he loses a play because he fell. If he can tone it down, and really become all-killer no-filler? Superstar.

Comparison: Wilson gives me shades of a healthy Will Fuller if he drank two or three cups of coffee before coming onto the field.

Chris Olave, Ohio State

As Wilson’s teammate, Olave fills in all the gaps for what Wilson’s game lacks. And I love that about him. Olave might not be as blistering fast as Wilson (although he did run just under a 4.4 at the Combine) but he is by far the smoothest receiver in this class. Olave’s routes, release off the line, acceleration; all buttery smooth. His hands are among the softest and quietest in the class. He is an extremely polished prospect whose football knowledge and route-running are far beyond his years. Among the receivers in this class, I think he’s my favorite.

Where Olave struggles is, of course, the places where Wilson’s game shone through when they were both with the Buckeyes. Open is open, but Olave’s highlight reel is less extravagant than Wilson’s. He’s not the biggest or fastest receiver in the class, so press coverage might be an issue at the next level, although his routes and releases could make up for it. I have very little doubt that Chris Olave is going to be a star at the next level, but uber-physical play may be able to rattle him in the NFL.

Comparison: Olave is a lot like Jarvis Landry, but I think his ceiling is much higher than that as a prospect.

Treylon Burks, Arkansas

Arkansas receiver Treylon Burks has become something of a media darling over the past few weeks of the draft process, and it’s easy to understand why just from looking at him. A 6’2, 225-pound beast of a wide receiver, Burks plays bully ball and is a surprisingly smooth athlete despite being so big. His hands are massive (nearly 10″) and he’s extremely hard to tackle. Defensive backs just aren’t expecting 6’2 225 to be able to get up and go in the way that Burks does, even if he lacks the 4.3-4.4 speed that Olave and Wilson have.

My concerns with Burks lie mostly with his attention to detail. I can forgive the 4.55 40-yard dash, especially at his size, but what I can’t look past is the messiness he sometimes displays in his routes. They’re not consistently all over the place, but when I’m looking at a receiver, I need to have the trust that they’re going to be in the right place, at the right time, every single time. I’m not trying to call Burks a freelancer, but rather I’m saying that he’s a bit raw for my liking. With some refinement on his route-running, I could see myself falling in love with Burks.

Comparison: Quite a few people have noted that Burks reminds them of A.J. Brown, and I can totally see it.

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