Not since the New York Jets drafted Keyshawn Johnson with the No. 1 pick in 1996 has a wide receiver been first off the board in the NFL draft.
There is plenty of promise in the 2024 wide receiver class, and the top tier includes potential No. 1 options.
Ohio State’s Marvin Harrison Jr., who has the most impressive overall skill set of the group, is the son of former Colts wide receiver Marvin Harrison.
Unlike sleek and slender peers, Harrison is a big-bodied receiver who can fly for his size.
Harrison has ground to cover before the 2024 rankings are set in stone. Here’s a look at our initial top five, one year out.
1. Marvin Harrison Jr., Ohio State — A breakout sophomore season in 2022 included All-American recognition, and there’s reason to expect Harrison’s climb to continue.
His 6-foot-4 frame gives Harrison an edge in traffic, he has natural hands to win consistently above the fray and consistently separates with smooth athleticism. Potential and production plus existing tools point to Harrison being drafted in the top 10.
2. Rome Odunze, Washington — Body-catching habits and consistent free releases off the line of scrimmage have scouts nervous about grading Odunze as a first-rounder without seeing more this season.
That pessimism overlooks all of the things to love about his game.
The second-year starter had a breakout 2022 season with the emergence of Michael Penix Jr. as Washington’s quarterback. An incredibly agile athlete with the ability to separate and make people miss, his upside outweighs the missing pieces.
3. Emeka Egbuka, Ohio State — A natural outside receiver with good hands and athleticism to compete with any defender, Egbuka might be pegged as the second fiddle to Harrison, but this Buckeye has enough game to run with the top pack in the 2024 class.
A talented receiver, quick to get back into his stride after the catch, Egbuka has enough elusiveness to make plays with the ball in his hands. Another year of technical growth could put him squarely in the first round.
4. Johnny Wilson, Florida State — Now a junior who breaks the WR tape measure, he spent two seasons at Arizona State before the move to Tallahassee unlocked his talent in 2022. The enormous 6-7, 235-pound pass catcher is built more like a tight end than a wide receiver, but he has surprising top-end speed for a big man.
One of the most intriguing evals in the class with a combination of size, ability after the catch, and ball skills.
5. Jermaine Burton, Alabama — A sure-handed receiver with solid technique and a feel for maximizing space against zone, he’s more of a high floor than a high ceiling type of prospect.
The former Georgia receiver spent two years with the Bulldogs before crossing state lines. The move paid off in furthering his development, but he’s more of a smooth operator than offensive game changer at this stage.
–Field Level Media