2023 Post-Draft Dynasty Rookie Rankings: Wide Receiver
Below are my dynasty rookie wide receiver rankings following the 2023 NFL Draft. After the rankings, I have a detailed breakdown of the biggest risers and fallers through the draft. I have a deeper breakdown of the running back class in my pre-draft dynasty rankings Part 1 and Part 2.
My dynasty rookie position ranks will be posted throughout the week with analysis on the biggest movers as a result of the draft.
Dynasty Wide Receiver Rankings
|Rank||Name||Team||NFL Draft Pick|
It’s an awkward landing spot for Jaxon Smith-Njigba. He won’t play on two-receiver sets as a rookie and his competition for targets will be steep. However, he should mesh well with Geno Smith‘s elite accuracy on short and intermediate throws. Speaking of awkward, Justin Herbert was extremely hesitant to throw contested targets in 2022. He ranked 39th out of 49 quarterbacks with at least 100 dropbacks in contested throw rate, and that tracks with his style coming out of Oregon. Quentin Johnston had an enormous, 27 percent contested target rate in college. The Chargers drafted Johnston with a role for him in mind, though I still question the fit as a rookie.
If I were to break my receiver rankings into tiers, the second group would start with Zay Flowers and end with Jonathan Mingo. Mingo’s obstacles toward a full-time role are a pair of veterans on new teams and Terrace Marshall. He has the physical profile of a No. 1 receiver and also gets to play with the best rookie quarterback of the class.
Going into the draft, I was worried Tank Dell’s size, 5'8/165, would prevent teams from viewing him as a Day Two pick despite his dominant production profile. Dell cleared the draft capital hurdle with ease after Houston took him early in the third round. Dell will play exclusively in the slot in the NFL because of his frame, but Houston doesn’t have anyone lined up for that job right now. A starting, high-volume role in three-receiver sets is on the table for Dell as a rookie.
Jayden Reed ranked as my WR16 before the draft. He broke out as a true freshman at Western Michigan but saw his market share numbers dip after transferring to Michigan State. He then bounced back with a 34 percent Dominator Rating, only to see it once again fall as a senior. In three years at Michigan State, Redd operated as the team’s top receiver just once. However, the Packers keyed in on the positive attributes of his profile and took him with pick No. 50, making it clear they see him as a potential WR1 down the road.
The Chiefs also selected a receiver with a mixed bag of analytics metrics in Rashee Rice. The SMU grad produced for four years but did not post a true breakout until his senior season. Taking that long to emerge against weak competition is concerning, but his final season was unquestionably elite. He averaged 2.85 yards per team pass attempt and reached a 32 percent Dominator. Rice also lit up the combine with a 9.53. If he is simply an average receiver, the boost of playing alongside Patrick Mahomes will carry him the rest of the way. If he is as good as his final season indicates, the sky (not Skyy) is the limit.
Antoine Green was an unassuming prospect who didn’t cross even a 20 percent Dominator threshold until his final season at UNC. He was a deep threat in college, averaging 19 yards per catch over the course of his career before running a 4.47 Forty at the combine. Green could get some run as the Lions’ field-stretcher while Jameson Williams serves his suspension, giving him some late-round dynasty juice.
Justin Shorter was entirely off my radar heading into the draft, but the Bills put him on the map by spending a fifth-round pick on him. With the Gabe Davis experiment failing last year, there could be an opening for another receiving to step into a starting role. Shorter’s college numbers were uninspiring, but he does have a massive, 6'4/229 frame.