NFL Post Draft: Rookie WR Rankings

ROOKIE WR RANKINGS

Justin Rosser- May 9, 2021

With the 2021 NFL draft complete, Fantasy GM’s prepare for their upcoming dynasty rookie drafts. I will be ranking my rookie WR’s now that we know where their homes will be for this and future seasons.

  1. Ja’Marr Chase- Cincinnati Bengals (Round 1, pick 5)

Ja’Marr Chase is in a separate tier here, easily at the top of my rankings. Reuniting with his college Quarterback Joe Burrow, with whom there is established chemistry (won a national championship together), all Chase needs to do is learn/perfect the playbook.

With Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd already there, I still don’t see it slowing Chase down. Drafted 5th overall, he will be used a ton and should be drafted inside the top 4 of every rookie draft (except Superflex where QB’s fly off the board early). He is the perfect body size, wheels, and a great route tree, plus hands.

  • Height: 6’0″
  • Weight: 208 lbs
  • Speed: 4.38 40 yard time
  • Hustle
  • Route running
  • Elite Catching ability

2. Jaylen Waddle- Miami Dolphins (Round 1, pick 6)

Waddle was drafted with the 6th overall pick of the draft, joining the Dolphins WR group that includes DeVante Parker and Will Fuller. Projected to start his year in the slot, I can’t get enough of this guy and think he will finish as Miami’s #1 WR on the year.

Waddle is so fast off the line and if he even gets the smallest seam in the defense, he is gone with ultra-speed. Waddle can open up this offense as a great downfield target and another perk is his returning abilities, where he can contribute. Draft him and just sit back and enjoy.

  • Height: 5′ 10″
  • Weight: 182 lbs
  • Speed: 4.37 40 yard time
  • Acceleration
  • Burst off the line of scrimmage
  • Great hands

3. DeVonta Smith- Philadelphia Eagles (Round 1, pick 10)

2020 Heisman winner, with 1856 yards receiving and 23 TD’s (2020), Smith is a beast. Great as a wideout or slot, DeVonta beats you with his route running and speed. Joining a WR room that’s in desperate need of some cavalry reinforcements. He already has a previous history with Eagles QB Jalen Hurts, so the chemistry should come quick.

Smith steps in day one as the top dog and produces big-time, some people dislike his size and wonder if it will affect him in the NFL. No questions here as he lands #3 on my list with no second-guessing.

  • Height: 6’1″
  • Weight: 170 lbs
  • Speed: 4.49 40 yard time
  • Route running
  • Quickness

4. Rashod Bateman- Baltimore Ravens (Round 1, pick 27)

Drafted by the Ravens at the end of round 1, Bateman fills a major need for Baltimore. With Marquise Brown and Sammy Watkins leading the charge, I like Bateman coming on as an immediate starter. With great route running, Rashod always seems to get open and can play in any position.

Credit: Draftkings Nation

The only problem is the Ravens don’t throw that much, which might limit his targets and slow his progression.

  • Height: 6’0″
  • Weight: 190 lbs
  • Speed: 4.43 40 yard time
  • Route running

5. Elijah Moore- New York Jets (Round 2, pick 34)

Elijah Moore was one of the biggest consensus risers in the fantasy community as the NFL Draft approached. With the Jets selecting Elijah Moore early in the second round, it seems there is an odd man out in a crowded WR group including Corey Davis (FA signing), Denzel Mims, and Jamison Crowder. Playing time early on in the season might be a bit tougher than other WR situations, but his talent should elevate him by the year’s end, that is if they don’t let go of Crowder.

Joining fellow rookie and new franchise QB Zach Wilson, I have high expectations of E. Moore and what he can do in his career in what seems to be an offense-injected new-look New York J-E-T-S.

  • Height: 5′ 9″
  • Weight: 185 lbs
  • Speed: 4.34 40 yard time
  • Pace
  • YAC

6. Terrace Marshall Jr.- Carolina Panther (Round 2, pick 59)

Marshall joins D.J Moore and Robby Anderson in Carolina with new QB Sam Darnold tossing them the rock. There are a lot of new/moving pieces in this offense and everyone should get their opportunity, Marshall is fast and should immediately have a role, most likely in the slot.

This addition is great for the future, with Robby Anderson is on the last year of his contract, look for Marshall to have an increased role in 2022. Marshall would have been drafted earlier in the NFL draft if it were not for his injury question marks.

  • Height: 6’2″
  • Weight: 205 lbs
  • Speed: 4.40 40 yard time
  • Size

7. Kadarius Toney- New York Giants (Round 1, pick 20)

I love Toney’s balance and ability to break tackles, if he had landed in a less crowded group of WR’s, he could have a monster season. The Giants currently have Kenny Golladay, Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton, and John Ross, so playing time won’t be ideal.

The other side to the argument is that they spent a first overall pick on him and we would assume the Giants will want him to be involved, then Toney can earn more opportunity and show them what he can do on the field.

He would be higher in my rankings and is a potential late bloomer, but worth the wait for your dynasty rosters.

  • Height: 5’11”
  • Weight: 193 lbs
  • Speed: 4.39 40 yard time
  • Breaking tackles
  • Balance

8. Rondale Moore- Arizona Cardinals (Round 2, pick 49)

Moore could sneakily be the steal of your rookie drafts, in a fairly crowded group with D. Hopkins and C. Kirk, and A.J Green, he definitely will have a role in the slot. A smaller style WR with high-end speed. What I love about Moore is his ability to get open on the field.

Arizona loves using multiple WR sets, so this works in his favor. With Larry Fitzgerald not re-signed, Moore could carve a large role as a rookie with his speed and agility, but the question is if his size will hold him back? I would not be afraid to draft Rondale Moore, he should produce just like he did at Purdue.

  • Height: 5’7″
  • Weight: 181 lbs
  • Speed: 4.37 40 yard time
  • Great at finding space
  • Hasty

9. Amon-Ra St. Brown- Detroit Lions (Round 4, pick 112)

This is a player I’m much higher on than most people, he fell a bit on most boards when he ran a 4.65 (40 yard-time). The reason he is so high is his opportunity for targets and playing time off the bat. Joining a below-average WR corps including Breshad Perriman, Quintez Cephus, and Tyrell Williams, St. Brown should have a role from day 1.

Amon-Ra has quick feet off the line of scrimmage, so most likely be playing in the slot. Goff loves the slot WR, so this addition will benefit them both.

  • Height: 6’1″
  • Weight: 195 lbs
  • Speed: 4.51 40 yard time
  • Agile/Quick feet
  • Snaps + QB loves slot WR

10. Amari Rodgers- Green Bay Packers (Round 3, pick 85)

Ah, I hope Aaron Rodgers stays in GB just so we can hear announcers say “A. Rodgers deep connection to A. Rodgers for a beautiful touchdown.”.

This pick is a bit more volatile in its positioning, based on if Aaron Rodgers stays or leaves. Amari Rodgers would step into a great position as the long-awaited help for the Packer’s WR situation. Probably grabbing him in your second round of rookie drafts, he might have been drafted higher if he had better numbers on his pro day.

Purely on the eye test, Rodgers looks good on the field, it might be the Trevor Lawrence factor, but he has the silky smooth route running with good hands and he could do well in the NFL.

  • Height: 5’9″
  • Weight: 212 lbs
  • Speed: 4.54 40 yard time
  • 2020- 77 receptions for 1020 yards and 7 TD’s at Clemson

11. Dyami Brown- Washington Football Team (Round 3, pick 82)

I am not the biggest fan of Dyami going to WTF, this pick feels like a “taxi” squad ad for all of us Dynasty owners. Brown will be trying to get a spot as the 3rd WR behind Terry “F1” McLaurin and recently signed Curtis Samuel, which I do think he wins.

Targets will be hard to come by for his rookie season, but this could be a future payoff as watching the North Carolina product was a thing of beauty. So the talent is there, the question is when can he show off what he has at the next level??

  • Height: 6′ 0″
  • Weight: 195 lbs
  • Speed: 4.46 40 yard time
  • Upside, deep threat
  • Back to back 1000 yard seasons at North Carolina

12. D’Wayne Eskridge- Seattle Seahawks (Round 2, pick 56)

I like this pick for the Seahawks, Eskridge should get volume with the departure of David Moore and immediately position himself on the depth chart as the WR3, behind D.K Metcalf and Tyler Lockett.

Credit: wmubroncos.com

The speedy ex-cornerback should keep defenders honest or Russel might be cooking steak and lobster for dinner on Sundays. This makes all 3 WR’s on the Seahawk’s threats that can go deep each play.

  • Height: 5’9″
  • Weight: 190 lbs
  • Speed: 4.38 40 yard time
  • Deep ball

13. Nico Collins- Houston Texans (Round 3, pick 89)

Trading up to add Nico Collins, the Texans need help at WR. Having just Brandin Cooks, Collins could steal that #2 role right away. I don’t see Randall Cobb outperforming Collins for targets in 2021.

A nice size for a WR, hopefully, the QB situation is figured out by the time you draft, it really will affect the value and short-term future for Collins.

  • Height: 6’4″
  • Weight: 215 lbs
  • Speed: 4.43 40 yard time
  • Little competition to earn a shot

14. Tutu Atwell- Los Angeles Rams (Round 2, pick 57)

This pick from Los Angeles had me scratching my head, the Rams are deep deep deep at WR position. Atwell is a smaller speedy receiver, some are calling him DeSean Jackson JR.

Could be a great play with an injury or just a stash for future years, I consider Atwell a sleeper, but I like how he fits in this offense with his skill set.

  • Height: 5′ 9″
  • Weight: 155 lbs
  • Speed: blazing 4.32 40 yard time
  • top level YAC

15. Josh Palmer- Los Angeles Chargers (Round 3, pick 77)

Palmer is one of my favorite “red zone” WR’s in this class. With good size and fair speed, he always bodies defenders off the ball and has shown he can win those toss-up throws.

Credit: hogshaven.com

Fighting for targets, Mike Williams is on the last year of his contract and if Palmer can prove that he can fit that larger frame WR “role”, then he could earn a more predominant role going forward.

  • Height: 6’2″
  • Weight: 210 lbs
  • Speed: 4.51 40 yard time
  • Big frame/Red zone threat

Justin Rosser- May 9, 2021

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