NFL Draft News & Analysis

2023 NFL Draft Big Board: Ranking the top wide receivers and tight ends

Fort Worth, Texas, USA; TCU Horned Frogs wide receiver Quentin Johnston (1) scores a touchdown against the Kansas State Wildcats in the third quarter at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The PFF draft board was due for a refresh at the midway point of the 2022 college football season.

Quarterback-needy teams, you’re in luck: This is one heck of a quarterback class, with five signal-callers making the top 50. It’s also a strong class at edge defender, running back, defensive tackle, cornerback and tight end.

Here are the class' top players at wide receiver and tight end.

WIDE RECEIVER

1. Quentin Johnston, TCU  (Junior)

Big board rank: 9

In nine years of college grading, I can say with certainty we have not seen a wide receiver quite like Johnston. At a rangy 6-foot-4, 215 pounds, he is a terror with the ball in his hands. His broken-tackle rate over his career is unlike anything we’ve graded, with 41 forced missed tackles on 97 career receptions.

That’s what you’d expect from a receiver with a running back-esque build like Deebo Samuel, not a pterodactyl like Johnston.


2. Jordan Addison, USC  (Junior)

Big board rank: 14

Addison is the next slim all-around separator who should be plug-and-play in the NFL. At 6-foot, 175 pounds, he’s not going to be your contested-catch guy, but with how often he’s open, he doesn’t have to. For his career, Addison has hauled in 70.3% of his targets with a healthy 11.2-yard average depth of target.


3. Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Ohio State  (Junior)

Big board rank: 24

A hamstring injury has derailed JSN’s junior campaign, but he’s still the same guy who put up 95 catches for 1,595 yards and nine scores a season ago. He’s an uber-reliable slot option with plus YAC ability.


4. Josh Downs, North Carolina (Junior)

Big board rank: 31

Downs brings to the table what every offense is looking for nowadays: electricity. I don’t care who he is going up against, corners are not going to be able to mirror him before and after the catch. His 5-foot-10, 175-pound stature will obviously limit his stock, but he’s athletic enough to overcome it.


5. Kayshon Boutte, LSU (Junior)

Big board rank: 46

Needless to say, things have not quite gone how Boutte had hoped this season. We saw the flashes in Week 7 of why he could be so special, with six catches for 115 yards against Florida. Before that, though, he had only 17 catches for 130 yards.


6. PARKER WASHINGTON, PENN STATE

Big board rank: 56

7. RASHEE RICE, SMU

Big board rank: 59

8. JALIN HYATT, TENNESSEE

Big board rank: 78

9. TREY PALMER, NEBRASKA

Big board rank: 95

10. ZAY FLOWERS, BOSTON COLLEGE

Big board rank: 96

 

TIGHT END

1. Michael Mayer, Notre Dame  (Junior)

Big board rank: 13

Mayer looks like one of the safest picks in the draft. Not only is he the focal point of Notre Dame’s offense — he has 51 catches for 624 yards and five scores on the year — but he also works his backside off in the run game. At 6-foot-4, 265 pounds, he’s built for the NFL.


2. Dalton Kincaid, Utah (RS Senior)

Big board rank: 43

Kincaid blends receiver-esque route-running ability with tight end size at 6-foot-4 and 240 pounds. He’s still on the smaller end for the position, but with his willingness in the run game, he can get by at the next level.


3. Luke Musgrave, Oregon State (RS Junior)

Big board rank: 48

It’s unfortunate that we’ve only gotten to see two full games of Musgrave this season because he looked like he was on his way to something special. The 6-foot-6, 250-pounder had 11 catches for 169 yards through that span and looked like a special athlete for the position.


4. DARNELL WASHINGTON, GEORGIA

Big board rank: 80

5. TUCKER KRAFT, SOUTH DAKOTA

Big board rank: 90

You've got the first pick with your finances. Western Southern Financial Group.
Sponsor

NFL Draft Featured Tools

  • Live picks, grades and reaction to the 2022 NFL Draft.

  • 250+ three-page scouting profiles - advanced stats, 3-year grades, player comps, combine data and Senior Bowl grades - for the 2022 draft class.

    Available with

  • PFF's Big Board for the 2023 NFL Draft offers three-year player grades, combine measurables, position rankings, and in-depth player analysis for all of the top draft prospects.

    Available with

  • Our exclusive database, featuring the most in-depth collection of NCAA player performance data.

    Available with

Subscriptions

Unlock all tools and content including Player Grades, Fantasy, NFL Draft, Premium Stats, Greenline and DFS.

$9.99 / mo
$79.99 / yr