NFL Hot Press: Teams Vary on First Wide Receiver Off the Board

Teams Vary on First Wide Receiver Off the Board

Updated April 7, 2023
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.

After a string of years with good wide receiver talent for the NFL drafts, the 2023 NFL Draft is viewed as a down year at the position with only three wideouts expected to be sure-fire first-rounders. Last year, four receivers were selected in the first dozen selection, with six going in the top-20 picks. For the 2023 NFL Draft, the first-round wideouts are considered to be TCU’s Quentin Johnston, Ohio State’s Jaxon Smith-Njigba and USC’s Jordan Addison. Boston College’s Zay Flowers is a candidate to sneak into Round 1 as well. However, the order they come off the board could be very random because there is not a consensus among teams about which one is the top receiver prospect.

Sources from a handful of teams said the offensive scheme and the type of receivers who are already on a roster are going to dictate what a team is looking to draft at the position.

“It will vary by team,” said an NFC general manager. “I think it will depend on the type of wide receivers they currently have under contract. Different flavors will appeal to different teams.”

The general manager elaborated that if a team wanted a big receiver, they would prefer Johnston, and if they wanted speedm they would be more inclined to Smith-Njigba or Addison.

“Jaxon [Smith-Njigba] and Quentin [Johnston] are the top two in my mind,” said an AFC director of player personnel. “Addison is third.”

Most team sources believe that a wide receiver will not crack the top 10, but that the top three could start coming off the board in the teens.