2024 NFL Draft: Ranking 9 wide receivers I like before the draft

When we’re assessing fantasy football rookies, so much of our analysis depends on a player’s landing spot. Thus, grading rookies before the NFL Draft can often be an exercise in futility.

Nevertheless, it is still helpful to watch video of the incoming class of rookies and assign preliminary rankings to these players based on production, talent, and how you think they will transition to the NFL.

Here are nine incoming wide receivers I like, in order, before the 2024 NFL Draft plays out and shakes things up.

1. Marvin Harrison Jr., Ohio State

So silky smooth, so talented, and has the potential to be even better than his Hall of Fame dad of the same name. He’s a Day 1 starter for whichever NFL team drafts him, and, likewise, for whichever fantasy teams he lands on. There are very few can’t-miss prospects and Harrison is one of ‘em. Barring a horrible landing spot with bad quarterback play or a terrible injury, Harrison is full systems go.

2. Malik Nabers, LSU

Would easily be the No. 1 receiver in other drafts, and some even have him rated higher than Harrison in this one. He has blazing speed to blow by defenders in the secondary and is adept at taking a slant over the middle a long, long way. His change of speed can leave defenders on ice skates and his size is ideal for overpowering corners and winning jump balls.

3. Rome Odunze, Washington

Yet another stud player who could have been a No. 1 receiver in other classes, Odunze was extremely productive in college. He’s got a great frame, awesome ball skills, and will regularly win those 50/50 battles. His body control and positioning is a thing of beauty.

4. Brian Thomas Jr., LSU

Yet another impressive wide receiver to come out of LSU. Very big frame and deep touchdown threat who found paydirt often in college. Needs to clean up the route running a bit, but I’ll take his speed/size combination any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

5. Xavier Worthy, Texas

Full disclosure here: I am generally against selecting wide receivers that are under 6-feet tall. In the recent history of this game, few stud receivers are of the shorter ilk — you could probably count them on one hand. But there’s something about Worthy — and not only his NFL Combine-record 4.21 40-yard dash — that I find enticing. His overall package, his separation, his play awareness — there will be an offense that finds a use for him and he will be a big-play threat in the mold of a Tyreek Hill or Jaylen Waddle.

6. Keon Coleman, Florida State

Following up my comments on a “short, speedy guy,” we now look at a massive, above-the-rim baller. Coleman’s athletic profile is sick. Attacks the ball in the air with his hands, high-points balls, will win those 50/50 passes. Needs to work on his breaks and gaining separation, but he will find a home somewhere as a dependable pass catcher.

7. Adonai Mitchell, Texas

I like Mitchell’s size and speed combination. Good foot quickness in and out of breaks. He can win jump balls and has a large catch radius. His aggression and intensity has been called into question, so as long as he can maintain the mental toughness and willingness to engage all game, he can be a serviceable player.

8. Xavier Legette, South Carolina

I’ll be honest: Legette’s landing spot matters a lot to me. He’s got good, straight line speed but is not the most fluid in side-to-side movement. As such, he’s not the best route runner and will need to make his living on catch-and-run plays, or patterns that ask him to go up and get the ball in contested catch situations — which he can succeed at while utilizing his size and strength.

9. Troy Franklin, Oregon

Very successful last year, Franklin has the speed and tools to be a dangerous slot weapon, giving an offense big plays off catch and runs. He’s a tall receiver but has a slender frame so he could run into durability issues or have troubles fighting off press coverage. He needs better focus tracking balls and avoiding drops.