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2024 Combine Preview: Top Wide Receiver Prospects

One of the most important chapters of the offseason has arrived, with the NFL Scouting Combine taking place from Monday, February 26, to Monday, March 4, in Indianapolis. The week-long process will see draft prospects go through different phases of evaluation in an attempt to maximize their stock, including interviewing with teams, undergoing measurements and medical examinations, and, for most, working out in front of executives, coaches, and scouts.

For fans, the greatest draw is typically the on-field workouts, which will take place from Thursday through Sunday. Defensive linemen and linebackers will be up first, followed by defensive backs and tight ends on Friday, quarterbacks, wide receivers, and running backs on Saturday, and closing out with offensive linemen.

For teams, the next week will be a calculated fact-finding mission. Each organization has certain benchmarks that must be checked when deciding how to rank prospects, whether that be explosiveness, size, or character. These interviews and testing provide much-needed context that will aid in their evaluations and help narrow down their draft boards.

The Patriots should be well-represented in Indy, with MassLive‘s Mark Daniels reporting Jerod Mayo and a handful of assistant coaches from his new-look staff will be in attendance. De facto general manager Eliot Wolf is also expected to speak to the media on Tuesday morning at 10 am ET. With the team embracing a more collaborative approach that includes collaboration from both the coaching staff and the front office, their presences make sense ahead of what will be a crucial few months.

New England has needs at nearly every position, particularly on offense. Free agency will ultimately determine which spots are needier than others, but their most glaring holes will likely be addressed with both veteran and rookie talent.

As Eliot Wolf told reporters Tuesday morning, the Patriots need to weaponize the offense. That starts with adding explosiveness to a receiving corps that’s perennially lacked speed and separation ability. Impending free agent Kendrick Bourne was the only reliable veteran wideout last season, and his ACL injury forced rookie DeMario Douglas to carry the passing attack. DeVante Parker and JuJu Smith-Schuster are still under contract, and Tyquan Thornton is still on his rookie deal, but none proved they should be viewed as more than role players in a competitive offense.

With that need in mind, here are the top wide receiver prospects who will be in attendance during the Combine based on NFL Mock Draft Database’s consensus big board.

In case you missed my previous installment:

Marvin Harrison Jr., Ohio State – Height: 6’4″, Weight: 205 lbs

Background

  • Born: August 11, 2002 (21)
  • Class: Junior
  • 4-star recruit in 2021 class, per 247Sports
  • Son of Hall of Fame wide receiver Marvin Harrison

Accolades

  • Fred Biletnikoff Award (2023)
  • Unanimous All-American (2022, 2023)
  • Heisman Finalist (2023)
  • First-Team All-Big Ten (2022, 2023)

Scout’s Take

“Harrison Jr. is an elite wide receiver with a full set of tools to be a day-one WR1 in the NFL. He is what teams look for in a high-volume target to lead their passing offense. He will be his quarterback’s best friend early in his career. He has been compared to A.J. Green. I see the potential for him to become a bigger Davante Adams—an elite top-five wide receiver during the peak of his career!”
Damian Parson, The Draft Network

Consensus Projection: Round 1, Pick 4 (ARI)

Malik Nabers, LSU – Height: 6’0″, Weight: 200 lbs

Background

  • Born: July 28, 2003 (20)
  • Class: Junior
  • 4-star recruit in 2021 class, per 247Sports

Accolades

  • Unanimous All-American (2023)
  • First-Team All-SEC (2023)
  • LSU’s All-Time Receiving Yards Leader

Scout’s Take

“Overall, it’s easy to see how Nabers could make an instant impact in the NFL. His combination of speed, quickness and yards-after-the-catch skills will translate into explosive plays right away. Nabers can be a twitchy, field-stretching Z from day one with the potential to grow into a more well-rounded player.”
Derrik Klassen, Bleacher Report

Consensus Projection: Round 1, Pick 6 (NYG)

Rome Odunze, Washington – Height: 6’3″, Weight: 215 lbs

Background

  • Born: June 3, 2002 (21)
  • Class: Senior
  • 4-star recruit in 2020 class, per 247Sports

Accolades

  • Consensus All-American (2023)
  • First-Team All-Pac-12 (2022, 2023)
  • Team Captain

Scout’s Take

“Odunze is a quarterback’s best friend. He’s a reliable route-runner with good size and an accuracy-erasing catch radius. Odunze can be a classic X receiver who moonlights as a slot receiver from time to time thanks to his awareness and ability to play in traffic.”
Derrik Klassen, Bleacher Report

Consensus Projection: Round 1, Pick 9 (CHI)

Brian Thomas Jr., LSU – Height: 6’4″, Weight: 205 lbs

Background

  • Born: October 8, 2002 (21)
  • Class: Junior
  • 4-star recruit in 2021 class, per 247Sports

Accolades

  • Second-Team All-SEC (2023)

Scout’s Take

“Thomas has the big-play potential to be a weapon in the NFL. It’s hard to find players with his size, speed and instant burst. While he may not yet be the most complete receiver, Thomas has plenty of good traits to work with and is still a growing, developing young receiver. Thomas would be best served in a vertical offense that unlocks his field-stretching ability.”
Derrik Klassen, Bleacher Report

Consensus Projection: Round 1, Pick 17 (JAX)

Keon Coleman, Florida State  – Height: 6’4″, Weight: 215 lbs

Background

  • Born: May 17, 2003 (20)
  • Class: Junior
  • 4-star recruit in 2021 class, per 247Sports
  • Transferred from Michigan State to Florida State in 2023

Accolades

  • First-Team All-ACC (2023)
  • Third-Team All-Big Ten (2022)

Scout’s Take

“Coleman will have to get better with some of his route running, as he will get lazy at the top of his route at times and that will be something he cleans up when facing NFL defenders. But overall, Coleman has everything you want to be a team’s No. 1 option and will likely be a difference-maker early on in his NFL career.”
Brentley Weissman, The Draft Network

Consensus Projection: Round 1, Pick 28 (BUF)

Troy Franklin, Oregon  – Height: 6’3″, Weight: 187 lbs

Background

  • Born: February 6, 2003 (21)
  • Class: Junior
  • 4-star recruit in 2021 class, per 247Sports

Accolades

  • First-Team All-Pac-12 (2023)
  • Second-Team All-Pac-12 (2022)

Scout’s Take

“Franklin projects as a WR2 in a vertical NFL offense. Pairing him with an undisputed WR1 and a big-armed quarterback would get the very best out of his game. He has the speed and athletic ability you cannot teach. Pre-snap movement would be ideal due to his issues versus nasty bump-and-run DBs. ”
Damian Parson, The Draft Network

Consensus Projection: N/A

Adonai Mitchell, Texas  – Height: 6’4″, Weight: 196 lbs

Background

  • Born: October 8, 2002 (21)
  • Class: Junior
  • 3-star recruit in 2020 class, per 247Sports
    • Rose to 5-star recruit as a transfer
  • Transferred from Georgia to Texas in 2023

Accolades

  • CFP National Champion (2021, 2022)
  • Big 12 Offensive Newcomer of the Year (2023)
  • Second-Team All-Big 12 (2023)

Scout’s Take

“Mitchell is a good long-term play for a starting outside WR. Between his length, sufficient speed and relatively flexible movement ability, Mitchell has all the tools to blossom into a feature piece of an NFL offense with a bit more consistency.”
Derrik Klassen, Bleacher Report

Consensus Projection: Round 1, Pick 32 (KC)

Ladd McConkey, Georgia – Height: 6’0″, Weight: 185 lbs

Background

  • Born: November 11, 2001 (22)
  • Class: Redshirt Senior
  • 3-star recruit in 2020 class, per 247Sports

Accolades

  • Wuerffel Trophy (2023)
  • CFP National Champion (2022, 2021)
  • Second-Team All-SEC (2022)
  • SEC All-Freshman Team (2021)
  • Top Senior Bowl Wide Receiver (American Team)

Scout’s Take

“McConkey can be a good slot/Z type in the NFL. He can play both inside and out, he is a highly effective route-runner, and his hands are reliable enough. With that said McConkey’s lack of size and strength will likely limit him to being a complementary piece rather than a core part of his future offense.”
Derrik Klassen, Bleacher Report

Consensus Projection: Round 2, Pick 33 (CAR)

Xavier Worthy, Texas  – Height: 6’1″, Weight: 172lbs

Background

  • Born: April 27, 2003 (20)
  • Class: Junior
  • 4-star recruit in 2021 class, per 247Sports

Accolades

  • Freshman All-American (2021)
  • Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year (2021)
  • First-Team All-Big 12 (2021, 2023)
  • Second-Team All-Big 12 (2022)

Scout’s Take

“In the NFL, Worthy will be an auxiliary pass-catcher used to stretch the field and stress defenses horizontally at the line of scrimmage. However, given Worthy’s lack of size and overall inconsistency (especially with his hands), he has a high-risk, high-reward profile that may not be for everyone.”
Derrik Klassen, Bleacher Report

Consensus Projection: Round 2, Pick 37 (LAC)

Xavier Legette, South Carolina – Height: 6’3″, Weight: 227 lbs

Background

  • Born: January 29, 2001 (22)
  • Class: Senior
  • 4-star recruit in 2019 class, per 247Sports

Accolades

  • Second-Team All-SEC (2023)
  • Team Captain
  • Senior Bowl

Scout’s Take

“Xavier Legette projects as WR2/3 early in his career with plenty of potential. He can be used in a multitude of ways. Legette can operate as a constant vertical deep shot threat for a heavy run-and-play action offense. Additionally, he makes plays with manufactured touches like jet sweeps and jet pop passes. He should be featured as a run-after-catch threat frequently. He is a talented kick return specialist.

A former high school QB turned wide receiver, his developmental upside/ceiling is high if nurtured properly.”
Damian Parson, The Draft Network

Consensus Projection: Round 2, Pick 56 (DAL)

Ja’Lynn Polk, Washington – Height: 6’2″, Weight: 204 lbs

Background

  • Born: April 11, 2002 (21)
  • Class: Sophomore
  • 3-star recruit in 2020 class, per 247Sports
  • Transferred from Texas Tech to Washington in 2021

Accolades

  • Third-Team Freshman All-America (2022)

Scout’s Take

“Polk is a ball-winning No. 2 WR in the NFL. He can dunk on DBs down the field and in the red zone, as well as serve as an underneath bully type on the outside to help move the chains. Polk may not be the star in an NFL offense, but he can be a reliable high-level contributor.”
Derrik Klassen, Bleacher Report

Consensus Projection: Round 2, Pick 59 (HOU)

Devontez Walker, North Carolina – Height: 6’2.5″, Weight: 200 lbs

Background

  • Born: June 19, 2001 (22)
  • Class: Redshirt Junior
  • 3-star recruit in 2020 class, per 247Sports
    • Rose to 4-star recruit as a transfer
  • Transferred from North Carolina Central to Kent State in 2021
  • Transferred from Kent State to North Carolina in 2023

Accolades

  • First-Team All-MAC (2022)
  • Third-Team All-ACC (2023)
  • Senior Bowl

Scout’s Take

“The scope of Walker’s skill set is a bit narrow right now, but he is an elite deep threat with a solid frame. Speed will always play in the NFL. Walker can be a dangerous field-stretching Z right away with the hopes he can develop into something a little more well-rounded.”
Derrik Klassen, Bleacher Report 

Consensus Projection: Round 2, Pick 34 (NE)

Roman Wilson, Michigan – Height: 6’0″, Weight: 192 lbs

Background

  • Born: June 19, 2001 (22)
  • Class: Senior
  • 4-star recruit in 2020 class, per 247Sports

Accolades

  • CFP National Champion (2023)
  • Second-Team All-Big Ten (2023)
  • Senior Bowl Midseason All-American (2023)
  • Senior Bowl

Scout’s Take

“Wilson projects as a slot receiver who can thrive in the short and intermediate areas of the field. He has the potential to become a chain mover for an offense. With tight alignment and his speed, Wilson can make defenses respect his ability to generate big plays in the passing games.”
Damian Parson, The Draft Network

Consensus Projection: N/A

Malachi Corley, Western Kentucky – Height: 5’11”, 210 lbs

Background

  • Born: March 21, 2002 (21)
  • Class: Redshirt Junior
  • 2-star recruit in 2020 class, per 247Sports

Accolades

  • First-Team All-CUSA (2023, 2022)
  • Biletnikoff Award Watch List (2022)
  • Top Senior Bowl Wide Receiver (National Team)

Scout’s Take

“Corley has a role as an underneath outlet in the NFL. His bulky frame, reliable hands and hard-nosed yards-after-the-catch ability give him clear use cases, even if limited. However, Corley may struggle to find an every-down role in the NFL.”
Derrik Klassen, Bleacher Report

Consensus Projection: Round 2, Pick 54 (CLE)

Ricky Pearsall, Florida – Height: 6’1″, Weight: 190 lbs

Background

  • Born: September 9, 2000 (23)
  • Class: Senior
  • 3-star recruit in 2018 class, per 247Sports
  • Transferred from Arizona State to Florida in 2022

Accolades

  • SEC First-Year Academic Honor Roll (2023, 2022)
  • PAC-12 All-Conference Honorable Mention (2021)
  • Senior Bowl

Scout’s Take

“Overall, Pearsall is a prospect who can be a reliable receiving option in the NFL. While his speed may not be elite level, he has shown that his usage as a versatile receiver option can still be effective at a high level, allowing him to dominate in the middle of the field.”
Keith Sanchez, The Draft Network

Consensus Projection: N/A

Brenden Rice, USC – Height: 6’3”, Weight: 205 lbs

Background

  • Born: March 18, 2002 (21)
  • Class: Senior
  • 3-star recruit in 2019 class, per 247Sports
    • Rose to 4-star recruit as a transfer
  • Transferred from Colorado to USC in 2022

Accolades

  • Second-Team All-Pac-12 (2023)
  • Senior Bowl

Scout’s Take

“Overall, Rice is an NFL-ready receiver with an all-around skill set. I have questions about his ceiling and wonder if he has enough juice to be a dynamic weapon at the next level, but I think he can step in on day one to be a solid No. 3 receiver who can develop into a top-end No. 2 option.”
Brentley Weissman, The Draft Network

Consensus Projection: N/A

Johnny Wilson, Florida State – Height: 6’7″, Weight: 237 lbs

Background

  • Born: April 3, 2001 (22)
  • Class: Redshirt Junior
  • 4-star recruit in 2020 class, per 247Sports
    • Dropped to 3-star recruit as a transfer
  • Transferred from Arizona State to Florida State in 2022

Accolades

  • Second-Team All-ACC (2022)
  • Third-Team All-ACC (2023)
  • Senior Bowl

Scout’s Take

“Wilson is a standard X receiver with one-of-a-kind size. His combination of length, relative mobility, and advanced route-running ability could make him an immediate contributor. Wilson would fit best in an offense that emphasizes true dropback concepts and allows him to work the 8-to-20-yard range outside the numbers.”
Derrik Klassen, Bleacher Report

Consensus Projection: N/A

Jalen McMillan, Washington – Height: 6’1″, Weight: 192 lbs

Background

  • Born: December 7, 2001 (22)
  • Class: Junior
  • 4-star recruit in 2020 class, per 247Sports
  • Baseball background
  • Battled a knee injury throughout 2023

Scout’s Take

“McMillan should contribute right away in the NFL. His well-rounded athletic profile, route-running chops, and reliable hands will allow him to be productive from day one, both from the slot and outside. McMillan’s alignment flexibility and balanced skill set make him a fit for any offense.”
Derrik Klassen, Bleacher Report

Consensus Projection: N/A

Jermaine Burton, Alabama – Height: 6’0″, Weight: 194 lbs

Background

  • Born: June 28, 2001 (22)
  • Class: Senior
  • 3-star recruit in 2020 class, per 247Sports
    • Rose to 4-star recruit as a transfer
  • Transferred from Georgia to Alabama in 2022
  • Allegedly assaulted a female fan during a road game in 2022

Accolades

  • CFP National Champion (2021)

Scout’s Take

“In the NFL, Burton should be a field-stretching No. 2 receiver. The offense should not run through him, but his ability to win vertically, find the ball in the air, and run a full route tree will make him a valuable piece for any offense.”
Derrik Klassen, Bleacher Report

Consensus Projection: N/A

Taylor Kyles

Taylor Kyles is the lead NFL Analyst for CLNS Media covering players, schemes, and tendencies through a New England Patriots-centric lens.

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