Spending High Draft Picks on Wide Receivers Hasn’t Worked Out Well Lately

Courtesy of GhettoGronk on Instagram:

Jeudy was decent as a rookie. It’s not like he had an Odell Beckham-esque rookie year, but he was solid. Ruggs on the other hand will have to improve a lot to live up to his draft spot.

We get caught up in the draft hype, but a lot of top NFL receivers were found in the later rounds:

  • Chris Godwin– 3rd round, 84 overall
  • Davante Adams– 2nd round, 53 overall
  • Stefon Diggs– 5th round, 146 overall
  • Tyreek Hill– 5th round, 165 overall
  • DeAndre Hopkins– 1st round, 27 overall
  • Keenan Allen– 3rd round, 76 overall
  • Allen Robinson– 2nd round, 61 overall
  • Robert Woods– 2nd round, 41 overall
  • Adam Thielen– didn’t get drafted, had to pay to attend a regional combine, was brought in by the Vikings to rookie camp for a tryout, spent a year on the practice squad and then two years playing special teams.
  • AJ Brown– 2nd round, 51 overall
  • DK Metcalf– 2nd round, 64 overall
  • Tyler Lockett– 3rd round, 69 overall
  • Juju Smith-Schuster– 2nd round, 62 overall
  • Justin Jefferson– 1st round, 22 overall
  • Antonio Brown– 6th round, 195 overall
  • Julian Edelman– 7th round, 232 overall

It really is remarkable how many great wide receivers were selected after the first round.

Does the NFL as a whole just suck at evaluating college wide receivers? It would appear so.

On the other hand, though, we can look at this information and say it’s good news for NFL teams that it’s not unusual to find star-level wide receiver talent in the later rounds of the draft. Teams and fans shouldn’t fret if their team misses out on the top-ranked guys, because recent history shows there are a lot of wide receiver gems hidden in the later rounds of the draft.

This means we shouldn’t be sleeping on guys who are considered second, third or even fourth-tier receivers in this draft. Kadarius Toney, Rashod Bateman, Rondale Moore, Elijah Moore, Terrace Marshall, Tylan Wallace, Dyami Brown, Amari Rodgers, Amon-Ra St. Brown–there’s a ton of guys who aren’t getting much attention that could turn into stars someday. Obviously not all of these guys will pan out, but I’m sure at least a few of them will outperform some receiver who will be drafted in the first round tomorrow night.

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