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NFL Draft Notebook: Top 30 WR rankings and NFL player comps

Rogers' 2024 NFL Draft WR rankings
Connor Rogers reveals his WR rankings for the 2024 NFL Draft, which features star talent such as Marvin Harrison Jr. and Malik Nabers at the top as well as some major depth.

It’s true. This wide receiver class is special. I know, everyone is getting tired of hearing that every year in April leading into the NFL draft. However, this one truly has it all with superstars going off the board in the top 10, the dynamic athletes going somewhere between the middle of Round 1 and early Round 2, and still having enough depth that teams can grab starters on Day 3.

With so much talent on the board, it was difficult to narrow it down to just a top 10. So, here are my top thirty wide receivers, with player comparisons where I see fit.

1. Marvin Harrison Jr., Ohio State

Not many receivers come into the league as pro-ready as Harrison Jr. He’s got ideal size, build-up speed, polished routes and elite tracking. It’s easy to see a lot of A.J. Green in his game.

2. Malik Nabers, LSU

Nabers plays with the “NFL Blitz” turbo button held down. His acceleration with and without the ball just looks different. Nabers’ expected usage and play style is very similar to D.J. Moore’s coming out of Maryland.

Moore jumped 11-0” in the broad and 39.5” in the vertical at 6-0, 210 pounds. Nabers jumped 10’9” in the broad and 42” in the vertical at 6-0, 200 pounds.

3. Rome Odunze, Washington

There aren’t a lot of players in this draft that will outwork Odunze and that showed in 2023. He hauled in 21 of his 28 contested catch opportunities, compared to just 4 of 16 in the previous year. He’s even worked out with Washington’s basketball team in the offseason.

It’s hard to land on a perfect comparison for Odunze, who tested well but often wins with crafty footwork, timing and ball skills. I see a blend of Keenan Allen with T.J. Houshmandzadeh.

4. Brian Thomas Jr., LSU

When Brian Thomas Jr. walks onto the field, even one in an NFL stadium, he will always be one of the best athletes. His game isn’t perfectly rounded, but he’s an acrobat that can win over the top. That dynamic athleticism is similar to Christian Watson coming out of North Dakota State.

RELATED: Vikings, Bills, Eagles headline top trade-up candidates

5. Troy Franklin, Oregon

Over the last two seasons Franklin has 60 catches of 15+ yards and is a consistent, explosive play machine. His first step off the line of scrimmage and straight line gas gives me some flashbacks to Will Fuller at Notre Dame.

6. Ja’Lynn Polk, Washington

Polk plays with a different edge than a lot of the receivers in this class, all the way down to his energetic blocking. It’s lofty to compare anyone to Chris Godwin, but Polk’s fearless mindset over the middle and standout concentration is extremely similar.

7. Ricky Pearsall, Florida

Pearsall is a slippery separator who can make difficult adjustments to throws away from him. His overall build and lateral quickness to consistently get open has some shades of Greg Jennings.

8. Ladd McConkey, Georgia

McConkey’s excellent route running combined with the variety of ways he attacks different coverages give him a promising floor at the next level. A lot of his strengths are identical to Jordan Addison’s, the 23rd overall pick in last year’s draft.

9. Adonai Mitchell, Texas

The highs of Mitchell’s game stand alongside the best receivers on this list, but his inconsistencies drop him down to the ninth spot. He hits cruise control on way too many routes and will often let assignments easily work past him in the run game. His combination of size, speed and vertical ability is similar to D.J. Chark.

10. Keon Coleman, Florida State

One of the more polarizing prospects on this list, Coleman (much like Adonai Mitchell) has highlights that are as jaw dropping as anyone else’s. He’s not an efficient separator, needing to often play above the rim. His ability to climb the ladder or run through defenders after short passes looks like Braylon Edwards.

RELATED: Marvin Harrison vs. Malik Nabers as top WR in class

11. Xavier Worthy, Texas

The new record holder for the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine, it’s no secret that Worthy has speed in a unique tier. He’s very difficult to mirror off of double moves and does a nice job tracking the deep ball. At 165 pounds with 9th percentile hand size, there are legitimate play strength questions in his game.

12. Roman Wilson, Michigan

Wilson constantly stresses defenders in single coverage by simply hitting a gear they don’t have. That sudden burst with and without the ball reminds me of Laveranues Coles.

13. Xavier Legette, South Carolina

Legette was a late breakout, tallying 1,255 receiving yards in 2023, compared to the 423 he had in the previous four seasons combined. He carries a ton of mass and uses his frame to shield and high point the ball over defenders. He doesn’t have the lateral agility to be a consistent separator, but his straight line speed and physicality will help him produce.

14. Malachi Corley, Western Kentucky

Corley is as creative as they come with the ball in his hands and Western Kentucky threw him 149 screen targets over the last three seasons (per PFF). He’s built like a fire hydrant and defensive backs constantly bounce off of him. Corley has understandably drawn Deebo Samuel comparisons. Even if those seem a tad rich, it helps paint the picture for his NFL usage.

15. Devontez Walker, UNC

Walker is a great athlete with strides that quickly eat up turf to gain ground while working down the field. He was plagued by drops throughout Senior Bowl week and doesn’t offer a ton after the catch, but there’s still a lot of upside in his game for a vertical passing attack.

16. Javon Baker, UCF

Baker’s sharp routes, body control and deep ball tracking are extremely underrated in such a deep wide receiver class. He doesn’t have upper tier speed, but he puts himself in ideal positions in contested situations. A lot of his film reminded me of Romeo Doubs coming out of Nevada.

17. Jamari Thrash, Louisville

Thrash is undersized but has mastered the art of the double move to consistently challenge the opposition vertically. I compared him to K.J. Hamler coming out of Penn State.

RELATED: Chris Simms’ 2024 NFL Draft WR Rankings

18. Jermaine Burton, Alabama

Burton, who posted a 95th percentile broad jump, is an explosive outside receiver with 15 touchdowns on just 79 catches over the last two seasons. His routes lack refinement, but he finds a way to make plays in crowded areas with strong hands.

19. Malik Washington, Virginia

If you want a player that can create after the catch like Malachi Corley but at a discount, say hello to Malik Washington. His contact balance is ridiculous, posting 710 yards after the catch with 387 coming after contact (per PFF). He’s built and plays like Rondale Moore, who, like Washington, posted an absurd 42 ½” vertical.

20. Anthony Gould, Oregon State

Gould was first-team All-Pac 12 return specialist in 2022 after bringing two punts back for scores while averaging over 18 yards per return. His jet fuel explosiveness not only helps on special teams, but also crossing routes. I compare him to Calvin Austin III, another speedy receiver with a big-time track background.

21. Brenden Rice, USC

Rice doesn’t always play to his timed speed (4.5 forty), but his big body and catch radius make him a consistent red zone presence. A lot of his upside and limitations are similar to Ben Skowronek coming out of Notre Dame, who has stuck on the Rams roster the last three seasons.

22. Ainias Smith, Texas A&M

Smith is another small slot receiver in this group who plays above his weight class at times. He brings value as a punt returner, where he brought two back for a touchdown over the last three seasons.

23. Jalen McMillan, Washington

McMillan eats up zone coverage with great awareness. He looks most comfortable working out of the slot, where he can work in the quick passing game and juke defenders after the catch. He has below average play strength, where he can lose balance when things get physical throughout the route.

24. Luke McCaffrey, Rice

The former quarterback turned receiver put on a show in the agility testing with an 87th percentile three-cone and 91st percentile shuttle. He’s still learning how to vary his release package against press but he catches everything that comes his way. He’s the ideal project receiver to take on Day 3.

25. Jacob Cowing, Arizona

Cowing’s 3rd percentile height, 1st percentile weight and 3rd percentile arm length all work against his pro projection. What works for him is that he’s extremely quick and knows how to get open underneath. I don’t expect him to go this early, but it’s easy to see a lot of Wan’Dale Robinson in his skillset.

26. Johnny Wilson, Florida State

At 6-6 and 231 pounds with 99th percentile arm length, Johnny Wilson is built like a tight end. Yet Florida State used him as a true outside receiver a majority of the time, where he was able to shield corners in contested situations with his frame. Wilson isn’t slow at his size, but he’s not a natural pass catcher. He has more upside in the red zone, despite only catching five touchdowns in 2022 and two in 2023.

27. Cornelius Johnson, Michigan

A big-bodied target, Johnson is a very similar player to Isaiah Hodgins. He uses his size, catch radius and speed to win outside the numbers. His tape has plenty of spectacular catches, but there are way too many layups dropped. He did a good job working back to J.J. McCarthy when plays broke down, which will be a vital aspect for him if he wants to carve out an NFL role.

RELATED: Kyle Dvorchak’s Mock Draft 2.0

28. Jha’Quan Jackson, Tulane

The nephew of NFL Hall of Famer Ed Reed, Jackson has vertical wheels that are particularly effective when working out of the slot. He was banged up throughout college and won’t win in contested situations, but in four and five receiver sets he’ll provide a deep threat.

29. Tahj Washington, USC

Washington might seem like just another undersized, crafty slot receiver, but he was also a key part of the punt and kick coverage teams throughout college. His hands drastically improved in 2023 and he really understands how to utilize tempo throughout his routes. Much like Jacob Cowing in this class, his size (4th percentile weight, 2nd percentile arm length, 3rd percentile hand size) makes him an extreme outlier. I still think he can be the next Greg Dortch.

30. Ryan Flournoy, Southeast Missouri State

Flournoy is a small school product with over 1,800 receiving yards across the last two seasons without much help from his quarterbacks. His size and hang time on jump balls is reminiscent of A.T. Perry from last year’s class.