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Top 5 wide receiver prospects in the 2021 NFL Draft


MINNEAPOLIS, MN – AUGUST 29: Rashod Bateman #13 of the Minnesota Gophers carries the ball against the South Dakota State Jackrabbits during the game on August 29, 2018 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Gophers defeated the Jackrabbits 28-21. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

Drafting a wide receiver in Round 1 of the NFL Draft can be tricky, but taking any of these five prospects will dramatically upgrade a team’s offense. 

The 2020 NFL Draft was loaded with talent at wide receiver, but teams shouldn’t sleep on the quality of options in this year’s class. These five prospects should comfortably go off the board in Round 1. It’s possible that five wideouts will be drafted in the first 20 overall picks.

The emergence of more three wide receiver sets at the pro level continues to make the slot position more and more valuable. Big receivers who can thrive on the outside still have more value than their diminutive peers on the inside, but the gap is narrowing.

In the modern NFL it’s imperative for good teams to have dynamic playmakers who can turn short throws into long touchdowns. That’s a speciality for the fifth-ranked wide receiver in this year’s draft class.

5. Rashod Bateman

Bateman isn’t a massive target at 6-foot-1 but that gives him plenty of size to line up on the outside at the NFL level. That’s where his excellent route-running can make opposing cornerbacks look silly.

He may not be an elite track guy, but his ability to create separation often makes him appear faster than he actually is. There are a lot of similarities between Bateman and Jerry Jeudy in that regard. Expect the former Minnesota standout to have a similar impact on his NFL offense as a rookie.

Bateman doesn’t deserve to be in the same tier as the top four guys on this list, but he’s a clear Round 1 talent who’s ready to help a team right away. Landing a potential Pro Bowler in the back half of the first round is an attractive outcome for any team in need of help at receiver.



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