football Edit

NFL Draft: Top five WRs heading into combine

Jerry Jeudy
Jerry Jeudy (AP)

The NFL Scouting Combine is right around the corner and so it’s time to take a look at our list of top wide receivers entering the event, along with two others to watch heading into Indianapolis.

MORE COMBINE: Top 5 QBs | Top 5 RBs | ACC breakdown

CLASS OF 2020 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

CLASS OF 2021 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

TOP FIVE

1. Jerry Jeudy, Alabama

Recruiting: In the summer before his senior season, Jeudy committed to Alabama over his other favorites: Florida, Florida State, Miami and Tennessee.

Stats: The former five-star had two blockbuster seasons with 145 receptions for 2,478 yards and 24 touchdowns in his sophomore and junior seasons. Over his three-year career at Alabama, Jeudy averaged more than 17 yards per catch.

Farrell’s take: Jeudy emerged as one of the best receivers in the country and that’s no surprise based on our ranking out of high school. We saw him as the next great Florida receiver to make an impact at ‘Bama. He had size and a frame to fill out and the downfield speed teams covet but it was his route running that made him special. When Jeudy wanted to be, he was unstoppable and we are seeing that now. He is the No. 1 player overall on some NFL draft boards and some say he’s the best offensive player in the country and I tend to agree. He’s going to be special.

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2. CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma

Recruiting: Lamb committed to Oklahoma, de-committed from the Sooners and then re-committed again. After “thinking things over” after he backed off his pledge, he decided to pick Oklahoma over Texas A&M and others in the end.

Stats: In three seasons with the Sooners, Lamb caught 173 passes for 3,292 yards and 32 touchdowns. The former high four-star recruit averaged 19 yards per reception.

Farrell’s take: Lamb was one of those players I thought was underranked when we finished the 2017 cycle. While he was still a Rivals100 prospect and top-10 at his position, it was his size, speed and home run ability that led me to believe he was an amazing fit for the Big 12. We don’t rank players based on the team or conference they choose because so many factors can change (coaches, systems, etc.), but this was a match made in heaven for Lamb and the Sooners' staff and he emerged as one of the top wide receivers in the country. many have him No 1 at wide receiver and I can see why and I think it’s 1A and 1B with Jeudy and Lamb. He’s a surefire first rounder.

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3. Henry Ruggs, Alabama

Recruiting: On National Signing Day, Ruggs committed to Alabama over Auburn, Florida, Florida State and Penn State.

Stats: The speedy receiver finished with 98 catches for 1,716 yards and 24 touchdowns as he averaged 17.5 yards per reception during his time in Tuscaloosa.

Farrell’s take: Ruggs was a tiny receiver with great speed coming out of high school and his ability to separate was what had him so highly ranked. He’s a touchdown waiting to happen in college and the same could be said about high school. He should kill it at the NFL Combine with his 40 time and should land in the first round if he runs a sub 4.3 as many expect.

4. LAVISKA SHENAULT, Colorado

Recruiting: Shenault admitted he didn’t know much about Colorado before an unofficial visit shortly before his commitment, but he loved the environment and decided to pick the Buffaloes. LSU, Alabama, Oklahoma State, Baylor and others were involved.

Stats: Shenault had a monster sophomore season with 86 receptions for 1,011 yards and six touchdowns. He followed that up with 56 grabs for 764 yards and four TDs this season.

Farrell’s take: Shenault was a mid-range three-star with good size, but we questioned his top-end speed and football quickness. Clearly that was incorrect, as he’s emerged as one of the best playmakers in the country. He has the size we liked, but has added shiftiness and explosion and is a threat to score from anywhere on the field. Defenses were all over him but he still produced. I don’t think he’s a first-rounder, but he could be a second round steal.

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5. TEE HIGGINS

Recruiting: On July 4, with fireworks included in his commitment video, Higgins committed to Clemson although he had previously named Tennessee his leader and had been committed to the Volunteers. Ole Miss, Florida State and Ohio State were also considered.

Stats: Over the last two seasons, HIggins totaled 118 catches (59 each season) for 2,103 yards and 25 touchdowns as Clemson made a run to the College Football Playoff twice including one national championship.

Farrell’s take: Higgins was a five-star freak coming out of high school, a tall and big receiver who had great body control and reminded me of AJ Green. He’s took the next step this season despite some early offensive struggles at Clemson and the NFL will love his size. It depends on if he runs well whether he will be a first-rounder or not.

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TWO TO WATCH

JALEN REAGOR, TCU

Recruiting: In October of his senior season, Reagor flipped his commitment from Oklahoma to TCU. The four-star cited location as being a factor in his decision, plus teammate Kennedy Snell was also a part of that Horned Frogs class.

Stats: In three seasons, Reagor had 148 receptions for 2,248 yards and 22 touchdowns. He averaged more than 15 yards per catch.

Farrell’s take: Reagor was a huge get for TCU, a thick wide receiver with good speed and an excellent ability to adjust to the football. He impressed us at the Under Armour All-America week and we felt he could be an impact guy in the Big 12. He’s been as good as expected and I think he can be a second round steal.

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Michael Pittman, USC

Recruiting: An early UCLA commitment, Pittman backed off that pledge and then shortly after he committed to USC over Oregon and others.

Stats: Pittman played all four seasons at USC and finished with 171 catches for 2,519 yards and 19 touchdowns. Eleven of those scores came in his senior year.

Farrell’s take: Pittman has had a nice career at USC. He was dynamic in high school and has shown flashes of that and broke out this season. He was highly regarded for his speed and if he runs well he will rise on the list. He’s turned into one of the top players in the country and could be a mid round steal.

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