WR rankings kick off summer scouting here at NFLMocks. The 2024 NFL Draft promises another talented crop of pass catchers, but who are the five best heading into the college football season?
As fantasy football continues to dominate the sports lexicon, the wide receiver position garners more and more national attention each season. With the likes of Justin Jefferson, Ja’Marr Chase, and Garrett Wilson making instant superstar impacts in Year 1, the expectations have never been higher for pass catchers entering the league.
2024 NFL Draft: Harrison Jr., Odunze Pave The Way In Summer WR Rankings
The 2024 NFL Draft boasts an impressive group with all shapes and sizes at wide receiver. From the son of a former NFL legend to a couple of Washington Husky standouts, there is no shortage of talent at the collegiate level. Let’s take an early look at the best prospects heading into the 2023 season.
No. 1: Marvin Harrison Jr. (Ohio State)
No surprise here, folks. Marvin Harrison Jr. is as advertised. The 6-foot-4, 205-pound receiver looks nothing like his father physically, but the crisp route running, fluid movement, and blazing speed resemble a carbon copy of the elder Harrison.
MHJ served as the No. 1 option in a high-powered Buckeye offense led by first-round pick C.J. Stroud. His 1,263 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns ranked sixth and fourth in the nation, respectively.
Projecting Harrison Jr. to the NFL is as easy of an evaluation as there is. He would have been the first wide receiver taken if eligible for the 2023 NFL Draft, and there is a realistic path to the OSU alum being the highest-drafted pass catcher since Calvin Johnson at No. 2 overall in 2007.
No. 2: Rome Odunze (Washington)
Next up is Washington’s Rome Odunze. The Husky star ranked inside the top 10 in receiving yards last season (1,145) and hauled in 75 receptions, ranking third in the Pac-12 behind two other pass catchers in my top 10.
On tape, Odunze flashes franchise cornerstone traits at wide receiver. He stands 6-foot-3, weighs 201 pounds, and moves remarkably well for his size. The fourth-year wideout high points the ball well, exhibits top-tier body control and flashes elite hands in traffic.
Right now, Odunze is a fringe first-round player on several 2024 NFL Draft boards. For me? He is locked into a Day 1 grade. Not many prospects are as well-rounded, and even fewer possess the swagger and confidence that Odunze has in spades.
No. 3: Emeka Egbuka (Ohio State)
Emeka Egbuka is often overshadowed by his teammates; make no mistake, he is a phenomenal prospect in his own right. The former four-star recruit got lost in the shuffle as a freshman, but Year 2 saw him thrust into a larger role due to the injury of Jaxon Smith-Njigba.
Stepping into the starting role opposite Harrison Jr., Egbuka was left one on one often, and boy, did he take advantage. He finished his breakout campaign with 74 receptions, 1,151 yards, and 10 touchdowns, serving as the safety valve for Stroud throughout the year.
A polished route runner, Egbuka wins with his suddenness at the top of the route. He sinks his hips well, and changes direction with ease, exhibiting the trademark smoothness from Ohio State receivers of the past. At 6-foot-1 and 205 pounds, the Junior can play on the boundary or in the slot at the next level.
No. 4: Zakhari Franklin (Ole Miss)
Every NFL Draft cycle, I plant my flag for some “my guys” from the class. This year, Zakhari Franklin claims the title for the wide receiver position. Dating back to his time at UTSA, the veteran pass catcher has flashed superb route running, a relentless work ethic, and some of the best hands in the country.
Although Franklin is not the most physically gifted receiver, he makes up for it with polish. He has zero wasted motion when running routes and creates separation consistently both from the slot and on the outside. The 6-foot-1 wideout tied for second in the nation in touchdowns (15) last season and finished seven receptions shy of the 100-catch mark.
Franklin’s receptions, yards, and touchdowns increased each of his four seasons at UTSA, so another leap in production cannot be ruled out. Regardless, his tape speaks for itself at this point and makes him an easy Day 2 player with the potential to elevate to Day 1 with a successful campaign in Lane Kiffin’s high-octane offense.
No. 5: Xavier Worthy (Texas)
Xavier Worthy has been a focal point of the offense since arriving on campus. The spark plug receiver is a threat to score on any play, showing home run hitting speed and ankle-breaking moves throughout his Longhorn career.
Worthy’s frame is incredibly slim and a legitimate worry at the next level, but even if he is forced into a slot role, his talent masks the frame from the inside. Drops are another red flag, but word is Worthy played with a broken hand for most of the 2022 season, explaining away some of the more concerning plays from his tape.
He is surprisingly deadly in the touchdown department. Worthy reached the end zone on an astonishing 16.5 percent of his career receptions. Big play ability mixed with an underrated route tree and track star speed makes for a worthwhile risk early on Day 2. If the Texas pass catcher adds consistency to his game, a team selecting him in Round 1 is well within reason.
2024 NFL Draft: Round Out The Top 10 WR Rankings
•Malik Nabers (LSU)
•Jalen McMillan (Washington)
•Johnny Wilson (Florida State)
•Jacob Cowing (Arizona)
•Troy Franklin (Oregon)