2020 NFL Draft: Predicting where the top WRs will land

Jerry Jeudy Henry Ruggs NFL Draft
John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

The 2020 NFL Draft is absolutely stacked at the wide receiver position. From Jerry Jeudy to an underrated Denzel Mims, there’s a ton of talent to be had.

In fact, as many as seven wide receivers could go in the first round. It’s a tricky situation for teams. Last year saw multiple second-round picks perform better from the wide receiver position than those selected earlier.

Despite this, we envision a huge run of pass catchers within the first 32 picks come draft time later this month. Here, we predict their landing spots.

Jerry Jeudy, Alabama (Las Vegas Raiders)

We already know that Raiders head coach Jon Gruden fancies himself some shiny weapons on offense. Las Vegas’ decision to take a chance on Antonio Brown last offseason might have backfired. But it tells us a story of a team that will once again go after a wide receiver early in April’s draft.

There’s not a more complete receiver in the class than Jerry Jeudy. He absolutely dominated elite SEC competition for the Crimson Tide on a near never-ending loop. We’re talking about a player who already boasts NFL-level route-running ability and can take the top off a defense at any given time. This would be an absolute no-brainer for the Raiders at 12.

CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma (San Francisco 49ers)

Shafted by their former Northern California rivals? We wouldn’t go that far. What we do know is that Jeudy would be a perfect fit in Kyle Shanahan’s offense. Alas, it’s not meant to be. Instead, the defending NFC champs go with a physical freak in that of Lamb who has been compared to prime Dez Bryant.

This is exactly what San Francisco needs on offense to replace free-agent departure Emmanuel Sanders. The idea of teaming the electric 6-foot-2 Lamb up with stars George Kittle and Deebo Samuel would be too hard for the 49ers to pass up on. They get a legit play maker with the selection acquired in the DeForest Buckner trade.

Henry Ruggs, Alabama (Denver Broncos)

The Broncos absolutely love what they have in young receiver Courtland Sutton. Following the trade of the above-mentioned Emmanuel Sanders last season, this former second-round pick proved himself to be a viable No. 1 receiver. He ultimately caught 72 passes for 1,112 yards en route to earning Pro Bowl honors as a sophomore.

General manager John Elway and Co. now double down at receiver for talented young quarterback Drew Lock. Ruggs is a perfect fit opposite the 6-foot-4 Sutton. Much like his former teammate at Alabama, we’re talking about a freak physical talent with an ability to dominate out of the gate. We could not find a better fit for Ruggs or the Broncos in the first round.

Justin Jefferson, LSU (Philadelphia Eagles)

Instead of addressing wide receiver in free agency or through a trade, general manager Howie Roseman decided to focus on the defensive side of the ball. It’s not a bad plan for the defending NFC East champs. The wide receiver market was watered down. The 2020 draft class is stacked at this position.

Philadelphia opts to go with a pro-ready talent in Justin Jefferson with the 22nd overall pick. The 6-foot-1 receiver dominated SEC competition to the tune of 111 receptions for 1,540 yards and 18 touchdowns last season. He’s one of the primary reasons Joe Burrow put up an historical season. With an ability to play both on the outside and in the slot, Jefferson would be an ideal fit in Philly.

Denzel Mims, Baylor (Minnesota Vikings)

Common logic seems to suggest that Minnesota will go wide receiver with one of its two first-round picks after trading away Stefon Diggs back in March. The team has only Adam Thielen as a proven pass-catcher for Kirk Cousins, and he’s coming off an injury-plagued 2019 season.

Enter into the equation the fast rising Mims. He showed out during the NFL Scouting Combine back in February and would be that big-bodied target Cousins needs in Minnesota’s offense. Standing at 6-foot-3, he’s an absolutely mammoth target. It’s something the Vikings are missing. It doesn’t hurt that Mims put up 1,020 yards and a dozen touchdowns for the Bears last season.

Tee Higgins, Clemson (Green Bay Packers)

Higgins entered his junior season with Clemson as a projected top-10 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Nothing the 6-foot-4 receiver did during the season itself changed this. He recorded 1,167 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns at a clip of nearly 20 yards per catch.

The issue here are the verticals. Higgins struggled with numbers during the NFL Scouting Combine. Despite this, he’s seen as a legit starter-caliber receiver at the NFL level. It would be a match made in heaven if he were to land with Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. It would create a scary matchup problems for defense with Higgins and Davante Adams. That’s for sure.