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The 2021 wide receiver class will be even better than 2020

Arlington, TX, USA; LSU Tigers receiver Ja'Marr Chase (1) makes a catch at the one yard line in the second quarter against Miami Hurricanes cornerback Jhavonte Dean (6) at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The 2020 wide receiver class was heralded as an all-timer. When the dust settled, 11 of the top 50 picks in the 2020 draft were receivers. And while it remains to be seen how they’ll fare in the pros, that’s an already incredibly impressive start to the class from a draft capital perspective. The crazy thing is, the 2021 class has a good chance to beat it. The 16 receivers below are already likely to earn Day 1 or Day 2 grades from us here at PFF, and that’s not to mention the inevitable Justin Jefferson-esque breakout that’s sure to happen from a lesser-known receiver in 2020.

[Editor’s Note: Check out PFF’s 2021 Mock Draft Simulator as well as 2020 NFL Draft grades for all 32 teams. And if you haven’t already, be sure to pick up a copy of PFF’s 2020 NFL Draft Guide by subscribing to PFF EDGE or ELITE.]

The do-it-all receivers

For all the hoopla surrounding the 2020 class, it was admittedly thin on this type of receiver — the type that can line up anywhere, run any route and still get the job done. After Jerry Jeudy and CeeDee Lamb, there weren’t too many other sure-fire fits in this category. That looks like it’s going to change in 2021.

Ja’Marr Chase, LSU

Chase has a good shot at being one of the more overthought prospects in the 2021 class. There’s no way he’s going to match his numbers from a season ago when he led the nation in yards (1,780), touchdowns (20) and deep receptions (24) — that simply won’t happen without a quarterback named Joe Burrow throwing him the ball. The fact that he was capable of that as a true sophomore is all I need to know, though. He can beat you any way he wants to and even physically overpowered the 6-foot-1, 205-pound Trevon Diggs — a second-round pick — in their matchup last season.


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