The NFL has changed in recent years to favor the passing game due to rule changes and play styles. In recent years, we have seen a tremendous influx of talent at the receiver position like Justin Jefferson, Ja’Marr Chase, A.J. Brown, Deebo Samuel, and more. They all landed in favorable spots for a rookie wide receiver where they have either a coaching staff to get the best out of them or a good quarterback tossing the ball around.
This year’s rookie wide receiver class, though, has been seen as hot and cold for some. Most of the fantasy community cannot wait to see guys like Chris Olave, Garrett Wilson, and Drake London all make teams and start projecting them. However, if you ask NFL Network’s Lance Zierlein, he isn’t very impressed with this class.
Is the fantasy community being premature about their excitement over this class? Or is Zierlein proving to be right with how he views this class? Only time will tell, but one thing that will affect things is where these guys land.
Let’s look at the teams best equipped to handle this incoming rookie wide receiver class.
The Atlanta Falcons lost Calvin Ridley for the year due to his gambling issues, and they also lost Russell Gage in free agency. They have signed Damiere Byrd and Auden Tate this offseason but yeah, let’s put a talented rookie in the mix.
They have Kyle Pitts there, who is sure to absorb a lot of the targets from new quarterback Marcus Mariota. Throw someone from rounds three or four with some speed like a Calvin Austin III from Memphis or Tyquan Thornton out of Baylor. Both are guys who can stretch the field vertically and have the physical tools to find success.
New York Jets
We don’t want to overreact to Zach Wilson’s rookie season because, despite the number, he finished the season very well. He didn’t throw an interception in the last five games, cutting down a problem he had earlier in the year, and he just looked more comfortable. Another year in the NFL will help him learn some more, but they need to give him the weapons, and offensive line, to succeed.
They brought in some tight ends this offseason, highlighted by C.J. Uzomah, but they need receiver help alongside Corey Davis. They have the second first-round pick at ten overall, which should be prime time for them to take someone. The only problem is it is not in general manager Joe Douglas’ history to take receivers that high. Adding someone like Drake London or Jameson Williams would give this offense and Zach Wilson a much-needed shot in the arm. Time will tell if they decide to do so.
The Cardinals are not getting talked about enough for having to be in the market for a wide receiver. They lost Christian Kirk to free agency but still have Rondale Moore and some guy named Deandre Hopkins. That is all well and dandy, but we saw what happened when they lost Hopkins down the stretch last year, so they need some extra receiver help.
With pick 23 in the NFL Draft, they could target someone like Jahan Dotson or Treylon Burks. Both would be excellent fits for what that offense needs, but I doubt they take one that high. If they go for someone in rounds two or three, they could target someone like Christian Watson, Bo Metchie, or Danny Gray. All those guys could take the top off the defense while also being able to create underneath. The Cardinals have a lot of pressure on them this coming season, so it is in their best interest, and the interest of the fantasy player, to make an investment.