Jayson Braddock’s Top 2017 Draft Wide Receivers

Jayson Braddock’s Top 2017 Draft Wide Receivers
  • Gregg Sussman
2017 NFL Mock Draft: Full Mock | Audio Podcast | Picks 1-16 | 17-32 | 33-47 | 48-64 | Rd 3 | rd 4 | rd 5 | rd 6 | rd 7
Positional Rankings: Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Wide Receivers | Tight Ends
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Mock drafts are meant to try and guess what NFL teams will do when they come on the clock, but talent evaluators don’t always see eye-to-eye with the consensus on these NFL Draft prospects.

That’s where positional rankings come in to play. Jayson Braddock has assembled a list of the top prospects at each position in the 2017 NFL Draft. His prospect list isn’t meant to predict where these players will get drafted, but instead to rank how he believes these players will fare at the NFL level. The grade listed by each prospects name is, again, not a prediction on where they’ll be drafted, but a grade based evaluation on the film that Braddock has studied and how they’ll evolve at the NFL level. For more from Jayson, follow him on Twitter @JaysonBraddock.

Video Podcast | Audio | Round 1 – 1-16 |  Round 1 – 17-32 | Round 2 – 33-47 | Round 2 – 48-64 | Round 3 | Round 4 | Round 5 | Round 6 | Round 7

1) Corey Davis – Top 5-10 pick – Elusive, fast and physical after the catch. Remarkable acceleration off of start / stop. A YAC machine that is deadly on drags. Understands that subtle moves are superior to wasted movements when setting up defensive backs. True stop on a dime ability at the top of the route. Can beat defensive backs in every phase of the game (bubbles, drags, go, post, etc). Needs to strengthen hands to hold on to contested hands catches above his head. After a big hit, seemed his focus would shift to contact. Has to be willing to block out potential head rattlers.

2) Mike Williams – Top 10 pick – Hard to tackle, have to force him down. Insane catch radius, will slide, dive, leap or whatever it takes to make the catch. Has supremely confident hands to pluck the ball. Tracks ball well. Unstoppable end zone and backshoulder weapon, almost floats while ball is in the air. A “throw-it-up” type of receiver. Willing and capable blocker. Underestimated speed and has great size to be physical after the catch. Easily manipulates body to adjust to any throw. Unnecessary drops on routine passes. Predominantly an “X” receiver with rare reps out of multiple positions.

3) John Ross – Top 20 pick – Great acceleration and speed. Dangerous North-South with quick feet for cuts. Deadly quickness on juke steps / fakes to set up routes. Tracks ball well. Has kick return ability. YAC guy when he trusts his instincts. Trust his hands. Doesn’t highpoint deep contested passes or end zone fades, instead lets them fall into his hands. These could be pass breakups or interceptions in the NFL. Not as effective running East-West. Doesn’t always play off of instincts on kick returns or while running after the catch. Lacks physicality and lets defensive backs knock him off of his routes. Occasional concentration drops or due to placing hands wrong on slants.

4) Cooper Kupp – 2nd round – Will move to give the quarterback a target. Has a dangerous jab step. Catches everything in his zip code. Provides a mismatch vs. man or zone. Loses defensive backs on cuts and finds the weakness in zones. Due to his soft hands, catching the ball is an afterthought. Exceptional runner after the catch, elusive and fast. Mostly played out of the slot despite showing outside ability as well. His blocking needs major improvement.

5) Zay Jones – 2nd round – Played a ton of reps all over the field. Runs good routes and is a natural catcher. Displays great concentration. Uses his body well to get into position for each catch. Lacks great speed and provides minimal separation down the field. No elite traits with the exception of hands. Gets shocked by stiff punch from defensive backs. Limited to a possession receiver that lacks YAC.

6) Carlos Henderson 2nd round – An electric player who has natural hands, elusive in space and great after the catch. Knows when to hands catch and when to use the body. Great hops and shows a phenomenal sense of using them on highpoint receptions. Doesn’t bring down the bulk of his contested catches. Needs better concentration in small, contested windows.

RELATED: Jake Ciely’s Fantasy Football Rookie WR Rankings

7) Chad Hansen – 2nd round – Beats press with shimmy. Immediately starts blocking out after winning over the top. Great hands to go with great ball tracking. Ability to make stellar catches and displays run after catch ability. Naturally highpoints and plucks the ball. Manipulates the sidelines and will fight for the contested catch. At times he gets stuck on press. Predominantly takes reps from the right side of the quarterback only. Will have concentration drops.

8) Josh Reynolds – 2nd round – Instant stop on hitches. Incredible shake off the line. Good acceleration matched by good speed. Dangerous after the catch. Will work back to the ball. Needs to add bulk to his frame. Rag dolled as a blocker. Can get knocked off of his routes and will make drops.

9) Ardarius Stewart – 2nd/3rd round – Instant acceleration, home run ability and elusive after the catch. Good speed and adjusts well to any pass. One of the better blocking receivers. Occasionally tries to take off before securing the ball. Doesn’t display natural hands.

10) JuJu Smith-Schuster – 2nd/3rd round – Insane acceleration off the line. Works to get open for his quarterback. Adjusts to the ball well and can make the highpoint catch. Quick, smooth stop at the top of his route. Has good hands and trusts them. His best route is the hitch. Lots of tenacity as a blocker. His speed doesn’t match is acceleration. Doesn’t display a ton of routes or YAC ability on those routes. Loses dynamic ability when going East-West.

11) Chris Godwin – 3rd round – A very willing blocker. Makes the tough adjustments. Shows great concentration, catches everything and highpoints well. Possession receiver that plucks the ball in traffic and is a natural backshoulder receiver.

12) Josh Malone – 3rd round – Big frame receiver with great speed. Quick feet to beat press or shake coverage. Soft hands and adjusts well to the ball. Has a great stop route.

13) Stacy Coley – 3rd round – Good on outs, tracks the ball well in the air and shows great concentration. Great separation on hitch and has run after the catch ability.

14) KD Cannon – 3rd round – Great combination of acceleration and speed to match. Amazing stop and go route. Has deep speed to win and tracks the ball well.

15) Dede Westbrook – 3rd round – Extremely fast and will stretch defenses. Will attack defenses mid stride without slowing. Also displays quickness to his game. Trust his hands and makes the contested catch.

16) Taywan Taylor – 3rd round – Shake and elusive after catch. Combination of acceleration and speed. Ability to make hands catches when he needs to. Almost like a running back after the catch.

17) Curtis Samuel – 3rd/4th round – Personnel grouping weapon (running back or receiver). Great burst and speed, true homerun threat. A space player that is very elusive. Decent routes, more of a receiver than a running back.

18) Chad Williams – 4th round – Gets numbers around quick on stop route. Great burst off the line, finds soft spot in zone and good hands to pluck the ball.

19) Ryan Switzer – 4th round – Has good speed, extremely quick and comfortable trusting hands. Killer on bubbles and tunnels. Impossible to stop after his jab step.

20) Gabe Marks – 4th round – Great hands, deadly sharp cuts on routes and snags the ball with his hands. Wins on all three levels and is a fighter as a blocker.

21) Travis Rudolph – 4th round – Extremely quick feet, burst off the line and elusive after the catch. Great focus on contested catches.

22) Shelton Gibson – 4th round – Good speed and burst off the line but loses his position on the field. Very unorthodox route runner.

23) Noah Brown – 4th round – A possession receiver that finds separation through his routes. Hands catcher with great concentration that can find the weakness in zone.

24) Malachi Dupre – 4th/5th round – Good hesitation a step and burst. Great size, smooth runner.

25) Trent Taylor – 5th round – Quick player with really good balance. Hard to cover.

26) Isaiah Ford – 5th round – Mistimes his highpoint leaps and needs to be more physical on contested catches.

27) Bug Howard – 5th round – Big receiver that makes contested catches and a quality nine route runner.

28) James Quick – 5th round – Gets roughed up on routes, struggles with press and lacks great speed.

29) Amara Darboh – 5th round – An impressive athlete playing receiver. Body catcher without quickness to his routes.

30) Mack Hollins – 5th round – A deep threat with great size and good speed. A top-notch blocker and special teams player.

31) Deante’ Gray – 6th round – An offensive weapon, kick returner, punt returner, running back or receiver. Elusive in the open field.

32) Artavis Scott – 6th round – His value is as a returner, just provides receiver depth.

33) DeAngelo Yancey – 6th round – Odd route runner that is a dependable possession receiver with run after the catch ability.

34) Fred Ross – 6th round – Dependable receiver that isn’t flashy in any way. Similar to Cody Core in the 2016 NFL draft.

35) Travin Dural – 6th round – Lacks the speed to separate but catches and blocks well.

36) Rodney Adams – 6th round – A playmaker with the ball in his hands, best if used in a Cordarrelle Patterson type of package.

37) Damore’ea Stringfellow – 6th round – Limited route, not polished but has good length and will lay out for the catch.

38) Speedy Noil – 7th round – A return man who also provides blocking ability and great concentration on catches. Could be a better pro than collegiate receiver.

39) Jehu Chesson – 7th round – A special teams gunner that can provide depth at receiver as he develops.

40) Amba Etta-Tawo – 7th round – Lacks explosion with bad drops and limited separation.

41) Quincy Adeboyejo – 7th round – Height / weight / speed guy that’s worth a flier.

42) Brandon Reilly – 7th round – Doesn’t play to timed speed. A possession receiver.

43) Kenny Golladay – 7th round – If he gets stronger in body and hands, he’ll be a steal.

44) Jalen Robinette – 7th round – Good speed and size combination. Another Stephen Hill.

45) Isaiah McKenzie – UDFA – Bad routes, hands etc but could be an offensive weapon.