Many scouts and NFL evaluators are saying 2020 is one of the deepest wide receiver classes in recent history. Todd McShay’s recent 2020 NFL mock draft bears that out, with three receivers going in the the first 13 picks, six in the first round and five more in the second round.
Evaluation of these soon to be rookie wide receivers is all over the board, but the top two seem to be in consensus at this point, with Jerry Jeudy and CeeDee Lamb atop most draft boards. That remains the same in McShay’s recent mock. After those two, things get tougher to predict. We go through McShay’s draft to see where the receivers shake out for the 2020 season.
Jerry Jeudy, 11th overall — New York Jets
The Jets let Robby Anderson walk in free agency and grabbed Breshad Perriman as his current replacement. Perriman showed well to end the 2019 season, but hasn’t gotten the job done for the rest of his career, which puts Jamison Crowder as the most consistent receiver on the team. That calls for an upgrade and Jeudy would quickly become a staple in the Jets offense and Sam Darnold needs the help.
CeeDee Lamb, 12th overall — Las Vegas Raiders
The Raiders did well to beef up their defense in free agency, which allows them to focus on offense with their first pick. They don’t have much for Derek Carr to throw to at the moment, as Tyrell Williams and Darren Waller lead the way for the team. Both showed they are above average players last season, but there’s no doubt the Raiders need a true No. 1 receiver to take heat off Josh Jacobs and Lamb is ahead of Jeudy on a lot of draft boards.
Henry Ruggs III, 13th overall — San Francisco 49ers
Ruggs is mentioned with the top tier of rookie receivers more than the rest of the crowd, but is still considered a tier below the top two by many. His elite speed and playmaking ability fit well in Kyle Shanahan’s scheme, as he loves players who can take a screen pass and turn it into an explosive play. Deebo Samuel, Jaylen Hurd and George Kittle are all players with that ability and Ruggs would fit in well while also being able to take the top off a defense if needed.
Brandon Aiyuk, 20th overall — Jacksonville Jaguars
This is earlier than I’ve seen for Aiyuk, who has raw ability, but needs more development. The Jaguars have D.J. Chark, who had a breakout 2019, but are still thin at receiver overall. Aiyuk would make a good rebuild piece as the Jaguars look to rebuild, but he may need more time than the other top receivers.
Justin Jefferson, 22nd overall, Minnesota Vikings
Jefferson is high on most draftniks wide receiver lists, ranking fourth or fifth. Jefferson had a huge 2019 with Joe Burrow throwing him the ball and Joe Brady sending in the plays, but showed plenty of ability in the process. He solidified his first round standing with a strong 40-time to add to his rout running and hands. The Vikings also just traded Stefon Diggs away and Jefferson would make for a good replacement.
Tee Higgins, 30th overall, Green Bay Packers
The Packers desperately need a receiver to take the pressure off of Davante Adams, while helping out an aging Aaron Rodgers and Higgins has the talent to do so. His long frame and body control make him a great red zone threat, as he wins on jump balls with consistency.
Michael Pittman, 34th overall, Indianapolis Colts
The Colts are looking to win now with Philip Rivers, so their window will only be open for a short time. That’s why McShay is mocking the Colts to add another receiver. Pittman isn’t a burner, but he has refined skills that should allow him to get on the field quickly as a possession receiver while T.Y. Hilton continues to work deep.
Denzel Mims, 36th overall, New York Giants
Mims did well at the combine, as his raw ability is ahead of his route-running. But, he’s not just an unrefined mass, as he has shown tremendous ability getting by coverage deep with his speed and can make difficult catches look easy at times. Running a 4.38 at 6’3” 207 pounds is something most receivers in the NFL can’t do, and he has the chops to become a big time play maker. The Giants have good wide receivers, so this pick doesn’t address a big need, but there is always room to upgrade for their second-year quarterback.
Laviska Shenault Jr., 46th overall, Denver Broncos
The majority of mock drafts I’ve seen have Shenault moving up higher than this, but if he does last this long, the Broncos would happily grab him, as they are in need of a wide receiver. Shenault won’t beat you with pure speed, but he is a load after the catch. At 6’1”, 227 pounds, he can take on any defensive back after the catch and win. He also lined up all over the field in Colorado and has shown his versatility. Courtland Sutton and Drew Lock need help in a big way.
Jalen Reagor, 50th overall, Chicago Bears
Reagor is a burner and would make a good complement to Allen Robinson. The Bears appear to still be in win-now mode, as their defense is still formidable and they’ve upgraded slightly at quarterback, so grabbing Reagor makes some sense.
Chase Claypool, 54th overall, Buffalo Bills
Claypool is a big man, measuring 6’4” 238 pounds. A team could try to convert him to tight end at some point, but for the Bills, he’d likely be there to help in the red zone and to move the chains while Stefon Diggs and John Brown get more deep work in.