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Rating NFL’s top 5 rookie WRs of 2022 by expected production: Tyreek Hill’s alternative to play key role

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The 2022 rookie class of receivers contains a number of flavors on the position, legit top-end talent and many depth. We had six wideouts picked in the highest 20 and and 10 in the highest 50! It’s turn into one of the crucial vital positions in football. Clearly. 

These are the five receivers who’ll be most efficient in 12 months 1. 

If it weren’t for the Falcons quarterback situation, London can be higher on this list. He was my WR1 within the 2022 draft class due to what I believed to be the very best combination of route-running ability, YAC dominance, and contested-catch mastery. At 6-foot-4 with basketball talent that clearly seeps into his game on the football field, London is the definition of a matchup nightmare. 

And he’s on the team that already contains a young matchup nightmare in Kyle Pitts, who led the team in targets, catches, and receiving yards last season. London and Pitts together formulates a youthful tandem with immense size and ball skills we’ve not seen in a protracted time. Atlanta’s defense is removed from being fully rebuilt, so the Falcons should find themselves in obvious passing situations most of the time. I just don’t love the concept of either Marcus Mariota or rookie Desmond Ridder firing London the football.

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Wilson finished higher than his teammate, Chris Olave, in my scouting gradebook. While Olave was the more polished route runner, Wilson exuded more all-around athleticism at nearly equivalent speed. He’s on an offense with second-year quarterback Zach Wilson, who really struggled as a rookie, and already features Corey Davis and the comparably explosive Elijah Moore, the Jets second-round pick in 2021. 

Wilson will get open, make acrobatic catches, and leave defenders whiffing at air in some instances once he has the ball in his hands. He’s like a crafty shooting guard who can all the time create his own shot. But with Davis, Moore, and the free-agent signing of C.J. Uzomah, and with a young unproven quarterback, Wilson’s ceiling is somewhat capped lower than another receivers in his class. 

3. Chris Olave, Saints

Olave enters the NFL known for his ability as a separator, a fame he carried with him for years at Ohio State. He’ll pair with the uber-productive possession wideout Michael Thomas in Jameis Winston’s offense. How will it look without Sean Payton calling the plays, though? That is a bit concerning. 

And for as dazzling as Olave is at simply getting open, his yards-after-the-catch ability is lackluster. He does have 4.39 speed though, and Winston definitely is not afraid to let it rip down the sector. Olave must be the intermediate and deep-ball weapon for Latest Orleans this season. But how much will the lack of Terron Armstead hurt the functionality of the passing game and Winston’s steadiness from contained in the pocket? The remaining of the road — outside of ultra-reliable right tackle Ryan Ramczyk — is not rock-solid either. 

The Titans have an almost unfathomable amount of receiving production to interchange from a season ago. They’ve the best available goal percentage (67.1%), overall available targets (351). and air yards (2,914), per 4for4.com. In fact, Robert Woods will eat into a few of that availability; nonetheless, he’s now 30 years old and coming back from a November ACL tear — not a significant concern to Burks’ production value. 

And while Burks is not quite as dynamic off the road as A.J. Brown, their games are strikingly similar. Burks won for years within the SEC together with his strong lower half that enables him to laugh off contact to power through tackling attempts. He’s sneaky-good in traffic down the sector too. While Derrick Henry will start the season as the point of interest of the Titans offense, for as much of a unicorn as he’s, the two-time rushing-yard champ is now 28 with nearly 1,600 profession carries (including the playoffs) on his resume, and he’s coming back from a serious injury last season. 

I raved about Moore in the course of the pre-draft process — he finished with a mid first-round grade for me — and, in fact, since he was drafted to play with Patrick Mahomes in a Tyreek Hill-less Chiefs offense, the raving about Moore continued. Sure, there’s Travis Kelce. He’s option No. 1. But who becomes option No. 2 for Mahomes is totally up for grabs at once. JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling have been productive within the NFL already and Mecole Hardman has a longtime rapport with Mahomes. 

But Moore’s skill set is simply too dazzling for him to not take off in Kansas City’s creatively potent attack. He dusts press coverage at the road, runs violently sharp routes, tracks it like an influence forward on the surface, and is a smaller version of Deebo Samuel on the subject of bouncing off tacklers. Moore can be an fast star. 

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