2021 will bring yet another loaded wide receiver draft class to the NFL. Here are some of the names you should know ahead of this year's NFL Draft. JJ Stankevitz Who's available?
50 wide receivers were invited to participate in the NFL's modified 2021 scouting combine, which officially took place at college pro days on various campuses:
Jonathan Adams, Arkansas State Tutu Atwell, Louisville Jhamon Ausbon, Texas A&M Rashod Bateman, Minnesota Dyami Brown, North Carolina Rico Bussey, Hawaii Ja'Marr Chase, LSU Nico Collins, Michigan Frank Darby, Arizona State Jaelon Darden, North Texas Dai'Jean Dixon, WR, Nicholls State Brennan Eagles, Texas D'Wayne Eskridge, Western Michigan Simi Fehoko, Stanford Dez Fitzpatrick, Louisville Trevon Grimes, Florida Warren Jackson, Colorado State Cade Johnson, South Dakota State
Tim Jones, Southern Mississippi Terrace Marshall Jr., LSU Javon McKinley, Notre Dame Isaiah McKoy, Kent State Racey McMath, LSU Dax Milne, BYU Elijah Moore, Mississippi Rondale Moore, Purdue Dazz Newsome, North Carolina Tre Nixon, UCF Josh Palmer, Tennessee Whop Philyor, Indiana Cornell Powell, Clemson Amari Rodgers, Clemson Anthony Schwartz, Auburn Ben Skowronek, Notre Dame Brandon Smith, Iowa DeVonta Smith, Alabama Shi Smith, South Carolina Ihmir Smith-Marsette, Iowa Amon-Ra St. Brown, USC Marquez Stevenson, Houston Mike Strachan, Charleston Sage Surratt, Wake Forest Tamorrion Terry, Florida State Kadarius Toney Florida Tyler Vaughns, USC T.J. Vasher, Texas Tech Jaylen Waddle, Alabama Tylan Wallace, Oklahoma State Austin Watkins Jr., UAB Seth Williams, Auburn What do experts think?
NFL.com's Lance Zierlein ranked wide receiver as the best position group in this year's NFL Draft, writing:
"For the second year in a row, the receiver position appears to be the deepest in the draft. For what it's worth, I actually have the top three receivers in 2021 ranked above the top three receivers from last year, both as a group and individually. Ja'Marr Chase, DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle all have game-breaking elements to their play, while targets like Elijah Moore and Kadarius Toney are going to be nightmares to cover from the slot. It's also worth noting the amount of size/speed prospects with good upside that will be available on Day 3 of the draft."
Seven of Daniel Jeremiah's top 50 players are wide receivers: Chase (No. 3), Waddle (No. 5), Smith (No. 6), Toney. (No. 23), Terrence Marshall Jr. (No. 37), Moore (No. 38) and Rashod Bateman (No. 48). Wideouts are similarly stacked in Dane Brugler's top 100: Chase (No. 4), Waddle (No. 6), Smith (No. 9), Toney (No. 28), Bateman (No. 31), Moore (No. 35), Marshall Jr. (No. 48), Rondale Moore (No. 50), Dynami Brown (No. 58), Amari Rodgers (No. 64), Amon-Ra St. Brown (No. 67), Tylan Wallace (No. 79), Nico Collins (No. 82), Dwayne Eskridge (No. 88) and Tutu Atwell (No. 95).
In Sam Monson's latest mock draft for Pro Football Focus, he has seven receivers being taken in the first round: Chase (No. 5, Bengals), Smith (No. 9, Broncos), Waddle (No. 16, Cardinals), Bateman (No. 19, Washington), Rondale Moore (No. 25, Jaguars), Marshall (No. 28, Saints) and Elijah Moore (No. 32, Buccaneers).
Who's on the Colts?
The Colts re-signed T.Y. Hilton in free agency, keeping him with this group of receivers:
Parris Campbell Quartney Davis Ashton Dulin DeMichael Harris Gary Jennings J.J. Nelson Zach Pascal Dezmon Patmon Michael Pittman Jr.
The Colts drafted Pittman Jr. (second round) and Patmon (sixth round) in 2020, while Campbell was a 2019 second-round pick. General manager Chris Ballard has drafted two other wide receivers with the Colts: Daurice Fountain (fifth round, 2018) and Deon Cain (sixth round, 2018).