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2018 NFL Draft: Potential first round wide receivers

If any team is looking for a wide receiver early in this draft, they may be taking them too early. The NFL has been blessed with several high-quality wide receiver classes over the last five years.

Because of these classes, there seems to be a stigma on this one, due to the lower quality of players. However, there are a few players that can make an impact for teams next season.

Calvin Ridley, Alabama

Calvin Ridley
Photo from foxsports.com

Ridley has stood out amongst the rest of the pack in terms of draftable receivers. The 6-foot-1 receiver from Alabama does not have the stats that are going to jump off of the page, but that is mostly due to the lack of quarterback talent and a heavy run game.

After starting for three years, Ridley has received a lot of praise for his solid hands, quick feet, long speed and great route-running ability. He has the size to play on the outside, while having the shiftiness and speed to play in the slot.

Though he is a late first-round talent, he will probably go anywhere within the top 15 picks.

Courtland Sutton, SMU

Sutton NDT Scouting
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If there is a wide receiver that might be better than Ridley, it may be Courtland Sutton. Sutton racked up over 1,000 yards for his second straight season while totaling 22 touchdowns during that span.

Sutton doesn’t have the versatility of Ridley, but he is more of a threat in the red zone with his great body control. His body control allows him to high point the ball and make great catches over defensive backs. Sutton’s size and hands make him a great red zone guy and a matchup nightmare because he is still relatively quick for his size.

Sutton will be picked anywhere between late in the first round to the beginning of the third.

 

Christian Kirk, Texas A&M

Christian Kirk

Kirk may be the only other potential first round pick at the receiver position. He has been a big part of the Aggies’ offense for the last three seasons where he has totaled 234 catches and nearly 3,000 yards.

However, not only is he a great wide receiver, but he is a dangerous returner too. In his career at Texas A&M, Kirk has scored seven special teams touchdowns, six of them from punt returns.

At 5-foot-11, he will mostly play in the slot and on special teams because of his speed and quickness. One thing that many have questions about is the consistency of route running and his catching ability.

Final thoughts

There are several talented wide receivers in this draft, but these three are the only ones that have the opportunity to be taken in the first round. This can change depending on how the draft process goes for each of these players.

Some receivers just missed the cut. That includes James Washington (Oklahoma State), Deon Cain (Clemson), Jordan Lasley (UCLA) and Deontay Burnett (USC).

 

Featured image by Brett Deering from Bleacher Report

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