Well, we are in unprecedented times. Almost all sports are either canceled and postponed due to the outbreak of the coronavirus. However, as of now, the 2020 NFL Draft is still scheduled for late April. WFNY is here for you to get you familiar and ready for the 2020 NFL Draft.
The Cleveland Browns had a disappointing season where it began with so much promise and hope but ended with just more dysfunction and change. With the poor season, the Browns completely remade their coaching staff and front office, bringing in Kevin Stefanski at head coach and Andrew Berry at the general manager to lead this franchise into the future. The Browns still have a lot of work to do this offseason to fix the roster and get this team back into the mix of contention. Free agency is set to begin Monday. But, the biggest opportunity of improving this roster is through the 2020 NFL Draft.
With all of this in mind, I have been examining each of the positions in the upcoming draft, giving my top five prospects at each position group, while also giving my thoughts on the overall class for each position. The series began with the most important position on the roster, quarterbacks. I am now turning my attention to the wide receiver position. Here are my top five wide receivers and my overall thoughts on the wide receiver class in the 2020 NFL Draft.
1. CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma
2. Jerry Jeudy, Alabama
3. Laviska Shenault, Colorado
4. Denzel Mims, Baylor
5. Brandon Aiyuk, Arizona State
Best of the Rest: Tee Higgins (Clemson), Henry Ruggs III (Alabama), Michael Pittman Jr. (USC), Justin Jefferson (LSU), K.J. Hamler (Penn State) and Jalen Reagor (TCU)
Which wide receiver do you feel stronger about than most people?
I love Laviska Shenault of Colorado. He is a unique tough athlete with a big frame at 6-foot-1, 227 pounds. He pairs this size with great speed for a man his size and solid agility. After the catch, he can make big plays with his speed, but also his strength to break through tackles. He shows good ball skills and hands, using his frame to win contested balls. What makes me bullish on him is his route running. At his size, you may think it would be tough for him to get in and out of breaks. That is not the case. He is a smooth route runner with the ability to create separation through that route running. Shenault is going to a playmaker in the NFL.
Who is your No. 1 wide receiver in the class and why do you believe he is the best wide receiver?
My No. 1 receiver in the class is CeeDee Lamb. Lamb may be the best playmaker in the entire draft at any position. He has good size and athleticism. After the catch, he makes unbelievable plays by either using his elusiveness to elude tackles or his strength to stay upright withstanding tackle attempts. He high points the ball well, winning in many 50/50 jump ball opportunities. His route running is good, allowing him to gain separation from his defender. He is a true playmaker at wide receiver.
What are your thoughts on the overall wide receiver class? How would you rate the class?
This is the best class of wide receivers I have ever evaluated. It is immensely deep. I had nine receivers vying for a top-five spot in my rankings. The top nine receivers made it incredibly hard to rank them and get my final top five. Any of those nine players could have made a top-five list in any other class besides this one. A team will be able to find a starting level receiver throughout the top and middle rounds of the draft. If you need a receiver, this is the class for you.
Who has the best single skill set and what is that skill set?
I think Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy’s route running is the best skill set in the class. He has amazing fluidity that few players in the NFL possess. He is able to smoothly break in and out of routes without losing much speed, leading to great separation from his defender. His route running alone gives him a cushion from his coverage defender.
Who is a sleeper wide receiver who you are keeping an eye on?
I think Michael Pittman Jr. of USC is a receiver people are sleeping on in terms of his ranking in the class. I had him right in contention as a top-five receiver. He is a smooth operator with good route running ability and reliable hands. He has great size at 6-foot-4, 223 pounds, but moves fluidly at that size. He will be a good receiver for whoever drafts him.
What is the impact of this wide receiver class to the Browns?
The Browns should be in the market for a No. 3 wide receiver. This class is set up well for the Browns as they will be able to draft a receiver in the middle to late rounds, who should be able to compete for the No. 3 spot behind Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry.