Ranking the Top 5 Receivers in the 2020 NFL Draft

This year’s NFL draft class is loaded, to say the least, but one position for sure is full of competition. The receiver corps in this year’s NFL draft is as good as any of the previous years. As athletes continue to develop, we are starting to see more physically-gifted skill positions. From the regular season to the NFL Combine, we have seen some superb performances from some of college football’s best wideouts. This class of receivers can be compared to the 2014 draft class which included Odell Beckham, Sammy Watkins, Mike Evans, Brandin Cooks, Marquise Lee, and Davante Adams. This 2020 class is star-studded for sure, so here is my ranking of the top five receivers in the NFL draft.

1. Jerry Jeudy

For the past two seasons, Jerry Jeudy has been unguardable in college football. The guy knows how to get open, and one could argue that he is the best route runner in the country and with pro-style routes, his game will translate perfectly into an NFL system. In his last 28 games, Jeudy scored a ridiculous 24 touchdowns, almost a touchdown per game. Jeudy was extremely productive at Alabama gaining more than 1,000 yards in each of the past two seasons and winning the Biletnikoff Award in his sophomore season. He had a solid combine performance running a 4.45 in the 40-yard dash and a 35-inch vertical leap. Jeudy has good size at 6-foot-1, 193 pounds and with his speed, route-running ability, and the ability play in the slot and out wide, Jeudy is primed to be a future Pro Bowler in the NFL.

2. CeeDee Lamb

CeeDee Lamb’s accolades speak for itself: first-team Associated Press All-American, Biletnikoff Award finalist, and first-team All-Big 12 honors, all in 2020. He led Oklahoma with 62 receptions for 1,327 yards with 21.4 yards per catch and 14 touchdowns in 13 starts. Lamb finished his career with 3,292 yards and 32 touchdowns. Lamb can play at any receiver position and has the athleticism to dominate his competition. Lamb ran 4.5 in the 40-yard dash at the combine and jumped 34.5 in the vertical jump and at 6-foot-2, 198 pounds, he has the size and ability to be an elite receiver at the next level. The NFL transitioning to more spread offenses will benefit Lamb as he has played in a spread system at Oklahoma.

3. Henry Ruggs III

Henry Ruggs III is an athlete as he displayed that all season with the Crimson Tide with his play, averaging a team-high 18.7 yards per catch on a stacked receiving corps that included Jerry Jeudy and DeVonte Smith. Ruggs put up 40 catches for seven receiving touchdowns and a 75-yard rushing touchdown and grabbed 11 touchdowns as a sophomore. He displayed consistent production in arguably the toughest conference in college football. Ruggs backed up his in-season production with off-the-chart combine numbers, running a blazing 4.27 40 time and posting a 42-inch vertical to go with it. At 5-foot-11, 188 pounds, Ruggs has elite, game-breaking speed that doesn’t come around often. If I had to compare to him to an NFL player, it would be Tyreek Hill. Whoever drafts him is getting an exciting playmaker with high-level game experience.

4. Justin Jefferson

Whoever gets Justin Jefferson in the draft is getting a steal. Justin Jefferson was nearly unguardable this season, racking in a nation-leading 111 receptions for 1,540 yards and 18 touchdowns. Jefferson dominated every defensive back he played against with his great hands, great body control, and a superb first step off the ball. Jefferson also has decent size at 6-foot-1, 202 pounds with high-level game experience having won a National Championship this past season. Jefferson was solid at the combine running a 4.43 and jumping a 37.5-inch vertical. Whoever gets the receiver is getting a winner and sure-handed receiver.

5. Tee Higgins

Tee Higgins is an elite company at Clemson tying the school record for career touchdowns at 27 alongside Sammy Watkins and DeAndre Hopkins. The 6-foot-4 216-pound receiver has elite athleticism as he was also Tennessee’s Mr. Basketball as a junior in high school. Higgins has high-level game experience having won a national title and playing against elite competition for the last three seasons. The downside is that he did not perform drills at the combine, so scouts will have to wait until his Pro Day to get a full assessment of this star receiver. Nonetheless, the game film speaks for itself, Higgins is a matchup problem for any defensive back with his long frame and sure hands.

Other potential standouts include Brandon Aiyuk, Laviska Shenault, Jr. and Jalen Reagor. It will be interesting to see who goes where and how they will play out on their new teams but this will be an exciting class to watch as the years go by.


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