- Ohio State’s Marvin Harrison Jr.: The son of a Hall of Famer could be one of the best receiver prospects in the PFF era.
- Ohio State’s Emeka Egbuka: Harrison’s teammate looks like the second-best receiver in the 2024 draft.
- Texas’ Xavier Worthy: With a bounce-back junior campaign, Worthy could re-establish himself as one of the best receivers in the 2024 draft.
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
That trend almost assuredly won’t continue in 2024, as JSN’s teammate, Marvin Harrison Jr., could go down as the best receiver prospect in the PFF era. Here are 10 wide receivers to keep in mind as we head into summer scouting for the 2024 class.
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Hall of Famer Marvin Harrison’s son could be one of the PFF era' best wide receiver prospects. He’s a freak athlete at 6-foot-4, 205 pounds and was both the highest-graded and most valuable receiver in the country this past season, according to PFF’s wins above average metric. Against single-coverage, the sophomore’s 878 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns led all FBS wide receivers.
I tore my ACL watching Marvin Harrison Jr. do this pic.twitter.com/4DHelh7VxZ
— Max Chadwick (@Chad_Maxwick) November 13, 2022
Outside of Harrison Jr., Egbuka was the most valuable Power Five wide receiver last year according to PFF’s wins above average metric. Only Harrison recorded more receiving yards and receiving touchdowns in 2022 than Egbuka among returning Power Five receivers. Egbuka’s 2.98 yards per route run ranked third in that same group as well. He’s a savvy player who can create after the catch, though he needs to prove he can win more consistently on the outside against press coverage.
— Ohio State on BTN (@OhioStateOnBTN) January 18, 2023
It was a relatively down year for Worthy, whose 70.1 receiving grade in 2022 was over 10 points lower than what he posted last year as a true freshman. Despite finishing with 10 more targets this season, the sophomore posted 224 fewer receiving yards and four fewer touchdowns than his dominant 2021 year.
A major reason for that is that he became much more of a downfield receiver in 2022. His average depth of target was 17.6 yards last season, which was the seventh highest in the Power Five, which dwarfs his 13.4-yard figure in 2021. By making him more of a downfield threat, Texas took away one of Worthy’s best attributes: his ability after the catch. As a true freshman, Worthy’s 526 yards after the catch were the 10th-most in the Power Five. He fell to 41st this year with 324 yards after the catch. The Longhorns should prioritize getting him more touches in the open field and letting his suddenness shine as a route-runner. Worthy also needs to put on serious weight to his 6-foot-1, 164-pound frame.
XAVIER WORTHY IS VERY FAST.
(Via ESPN) pic.twitter.com/b7sIbCv5go
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) October 9, 2021
Odunze’s 605 yards against single-coverage trailed only Harrison Jr. among returning Power Five receivers. He’s also the third-most valuable returning Power Five receiver according to PFF’s wins above average metric. Odunze is a bigger receiver at 6-foot-3, 201 pounds but is still a pretty fluid athlete for his size.
FILTHY work by Rome Odunze ???? pic.twitter.com/7cmRoYdgAV
— The Transfer Portal CFB (@TPortalCFB) November 27, 2022
Nabers was a monster after the catch this year, as his 21 forced missed tackles on receptions were the fifth most among Power Five receivers. Nabers’ 204 receiving yards after contact were also eighth in the Power Five.
Malik Nabers is unstoppable ????
LSU is up 49-0 in the third ???? pic.twitter.com/vPxKmuSzex
— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) January 2, 2023
Wilson is practically built like a tight end at 6-foot-7, 235 pounds. He’s obviously a load to bring down at that size. Wilson’s 205 receiving yards after contact were the seventh most in the Power Five last season. He was also incredibly efficient, as his 3.36 yards per route run led the Power Five in 2022.
Johnny Wilson is a star pic.twitter.com/lGXk3VXAvS
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) December 30, 2022
At 6-foot-3, Franklin has a massive catch radius with strong hands, dropping only 3.1% of his catchable targets in 2022. His 139.2 passer rating when targeted ranked 10th among Power Five receivers. He’s a strong receiver after the catch but can stand to add more strength to handle press coverage on the outside, as he weighs only 178 pounds.
— Nick Penticoff (@NickPenticoff) April 17, 2023
Mitchell transferred to Texas following two seasons at Georgia. He’s yet another bigger receiver on this list, standing 6-foot-4. Even at that size, he sinks his hips very well in his routes and is still pretty sudden. Mitchell only has 562 career yards after missing nine games in 2022 due to an ankle injury. If he can remain healthy, he should become more of a household name this season.
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) January 10, 2023
After an impressive freshman year at Oklahoma where Williams earned a 77.9 grade, that dropped to 61.8 this past season at USC. Still, he’s lightning quick at 5-foot-9, 180 pounds. The issue was his drops, as he dropped 12.2% of his catchable targets in 2022 after not dropping any as a true freshman. If he can fix that, he can re-establish himself as one of the top receivers in the 2024 draft.
USC WR Mario Williams is out here taking ankles????
— On3 (@On3sports) September 11, 2022
McMillan was the ultimate chain-mover for the Huskies this year. His 54 receiving first downs/touchdowns trailed only Harrison Jr. among returning Power Five receivers. The junior’s 29 catches of 15-plus yards were tied for second in that same group. Most of his production came from the slot with free releases, so it’d be good to see him win more on the outside this upcoming season.
Jalen McMillan what a grab ???? pic.twitter.com/BSkmeqUwPa
— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) December 30, 2022