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In a pass happy league, you can’t have passes without someone to catch them, right? NFL teams are constantly looking for new receivers to stretch the field and make those jaw-dropping grabs that we all love to see. Here is the cream of the crop that college has to offer:
1. Chris Olave, Ohio State
HT: 6’1” WT: 185 lbs.
2020 Statline: 2020 Statline: 50 receptions, 729 yards, 7 touchdowns
Great route running, track speed, soft easy-catch hands and run after catch ability is what describes Chris Olave. A top tier prospect last year, Olave chose to return to Ohio State because of “unfinished business,” but he will definitely declare this year. With a full season to display his ability, Olave will show he is the number one receiver in college football.
In just six games last season, Olave averaged over one hundred yards per game, ten receptions and a touchdown. The only glaring weakness may be his size as a slighter built receiver but it works in his favor.
2. Justyn Ross, Clemson
HT: 6’4” WT: 205 lbs.
2019 Statline: 66 receptions, 865 yards, 8 touchdowns
Ross is a big body that moves like someone smaller than him. He has been a stud since day one at Clemson and shown why he was considered one of the best receivers in college football. Ross has smooth route running and a lot of wiggle with the ball in his hands. He also knows how to use his size when attacking the ball in the air.
Ross missed all of last year with a spinal injury but should return in 2021 as one of the premier targets for Clemson. According to coach Dabo Sweeney, Ross will be moving to slot and he has the ability to do so. If he stays healthy and performs well, he is easily the second best receiver on the board.
3. Garrett Wilson, Ohio State
HT: 6’0” WT: 193 lbs.
2020 Statline: 43 receptions, 723 yards, 6 touchdowns
Wilson will come into this season needing to make a name for himself other than “Chris Olave’s running mate.” Don’t let that get you distracted from the talented receiver, he is just as good as any pass catcher in college football and has some flair to his game. A guy with a lot of utility, he has been used as a pass catcher, runner and returner, and he excels at each.
Wilson is amazing when the ball is in his area. He isn’t your typical six-footer at the position but also shows some limitations. He doesn’t have the wiggle you expect from someone of his size. A little stiff hipped, he is more of a speed route runner than a technician like his teammate Olave. He can improve there and become a first round pick in this year’s upcoming draft.
4. John Metchie III, Alabama
HT: 6’0” WT: 195 lbs.
2020 Statline: 55 receptions, 916 yards, 6 touchdowns
Who is John Metchie? Well, take the pass catching of DaVonta Smith and the speed of Jaylen Waddle and that’s who he is. Metchie has been down on the depth chart due to the sheer talent log jam at the position at Alabama but this season he will be the premier name in the group.
His hands are certified gold and his speed is elite for the position but his route running can improve. If he shows up in that department, he is a guaranteed day one starter for an NFL team in the slot and maybe a jack-of-all-trades type receiver at the next level.
5. Jahan Dotson, Penn State
HT: 5’11” WT: 182 lbs.
2020 Statline: 52 receptions, 884 yards, 8 touchdowns
You want an Odell Beckahm Jr. clone? Look no further than Jahan Dotson out of Penn State. Spectacular catches, elite speed, kick return/punt return ability and crisp routes are all the factors you want in a receiver and Dotson has them. He has shown he can be a number one with marginal quarterback play and can be a jump starter for a franchise in need of a receiver at the next level.
The only red flag for Dotson is his size. At under six feet and sub two hundred pounds, he will be bullied at the line against bigger corners in the NFL. He does do well beating the press with speed but lacks the hand strength and discipline to beat it with force. He can improve but is still one of the elite in the college ranks and a blue-chip prospect.