It’s no secret that the wide receiver class in the 2023 NFL Draft is special. There are a handful of NFL-ready receivers prepared to go on night one. Teams are circling as they’re eager to get these future stars to put pen to paper in their colors as they take the next step in their respective careers.
The 2023 wide receiver class has a handful of consensus first round prospects in Ohio State’s Jaxon Smith-Njigba, USC’s Jordan Addison, Boston College’s Zay Flowers, TCU’s Quentin Johnston, Tennessee’s Jalin Hyatt and North Carolina’s Josh Downs.
These pass catchers have gone up and down teams’ draft boards and that’s left many wondering who the best receiver is in the eyes of scouts. Look no further than Las Vegas to give you the answer with just a few weeks remaining before the draft.
The current favorite wide receiver to be drafted first is Smith-Njigba, who has -250 odds at FanDuel Sportsbook.
Smith-Njigba missed most of the 2022 season with a hamstring injury. He was limited to just five catches, but it’s what he did the season before that has scouts intrigued. The soon-to-be former Buckeye tallied 1,600 yards and nine touchdowns as a sophomore in 2021.
There is a widespread belief that he’s the most naturally gifted receiver available and his odds reflect that. However, behind Smith-Njigba, it seems to be a crapshoot.
Flowers is a name that’s shot up draft boards after a solid showing at the combine. He’s the second favorite to be the first WR taken with +350 odds. Addison is the only other individual with odds of 10-to-1 or shorter — he currently sits at +600.
While Johnston (+1200), Hyatt (+5000) and Downs (+10000) are still likely to be off the board within the first 31 picks — don’t forget, the Miami Dolphins lost their first round selection this year — they’re the longshots to be the first players taken at their position.
Nevertheless, it’ll ultimately depend on what each team wants. Smith-Njigba and Addison are seen as complete packages; there is also strength with Johnston, versatility with Downs and Flowers and deep-ball playmaking abilities with Hyatt. Teams will have their pick from a talented all-around group of pass catchers.
The 2023 wide receiver class seems to be just as deep as that of the 2022 NFL Draft. Six wideouts were off the board by the time the Minnesota Vikings had made their selection with Pick No. 32. The same may happen again in 2023.
The first round of the 2023 NFL Draft is set for Thursday, April 27 at 8 p.m. in Kansas City, MO.