NFL Draft News & Analysis

2024 NFL Draft: Strengths, weaknesses for the top wide receiver prospects

2T46H0C October 28, 2023: Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. (18) during the NCAA Football game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Wisconsin Badgers at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, WI. Darren Lee/CSM (Credit Image: © Darren Lee/Cal Sport Media) (Cal Sport Media via AP Images)

• Marvin Harrison Jr. has few, if any, flaws: He proved he can be an after-the-catch threat in 2023 after that appeared to be a weakness the previous season.

• Dominant skill sets are littered throughout the top 10: It's a deep wide receiver class, and players like Texas' AD Mitchell and Georgia's Ladd McConkey have high ceilings.

• Draft and trade for yourself — Try PFF's mock draft simulator. Trade picks and players and mock for your favorite NFL team.

Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes


The 2024 NFL Draft wide receiver class is one of the deepest talent groups we have this draft season. Whether teams need an outside “X” receiver on the line of scrimmage, a moving flanker or a slot stud, they can find one.

Here, we highlight the strengths and weaknesses of the top 10 wide receivers, per the PFF big board, in the 2024 NFL Draft.


MARVIN HARRISON JR., OHIO STATE

Strengths

Harrison displays an understanding of how to win at the position like few college players do. He is well beyond his years in his releases, his route tree and his IQ to set up and manipulate defenders to maximize throwing windows. For a player as tall as he is (6-foot-4), his footwork, change of direction and long speed are excellent. He has reliable hands and good hand-eye coordination to make tough contested catches.

Weaknesses

Harrison had room to improve his after-the-catch ability following 2022, and he did as much in 2023. He averaged 4.2 yards after the catch per reception in 2022, before boosting that figure to 6.4 yards this past season. Continuing to show he can be a good YAC threat will nearly perfectly round out his profile.


MALIK NABERS, LSU

Strengths

Nabers was a football and baseball player in high school, and he also was a sprinter on the track team. This is evidence of his natural athletic ability on the football field. The way he accelerates while changing direction gives him a very high ceiling as a separation specialist. His feet are lightning-quick when he is getting off press at the line of scrimmage. He can run any route in the book with success.

Weaknesses

While the speed elements of Nabers' game will make an impact in the NFL, he could stand to get stronger, both in getting off press and at the catch point.


ROME ODUNZE, WASHINGTON

Strengths

Odunze checks the size boxes for height, weight and arm length to play all three receiver positions, and he does the same from an athletic standpoint. His route running is very smooth for a player of his size (6-foot-3, 215 pounds), and his acceleration is equally impressive. He became a more reliable catcher through contact in 2023 and is comfortable and confident hauling in passes away from his body.

Weaknesses

Odunze is a little slower to flip his hips on comeback routes, but it's nothing glaring when taking into account his size. He also doesn’t have a lot of yards after the catch, but that is likely more due to ball placement/routes than a lack of playmaking ability.


BRIAN THOMAS JR., LSU

Strengths

Thomas has smooth, long strides with good top speed to consistently threaten vertically. His technique and footwork were much improved on his releases in 2023, which has increased his effectiveness in winning routes early. On top of the speed element, he is a willing and competitive blocker.

Weaknesses

Thomas does not have much experience versus press, and that can show against some of the more seasoned press defenders. His catch percentage was lower than preferred over the past three years (though 2023 was his best). While he is a good athlete, he isn’t a “make you miss” type of ball carrier after the catch right now.


TROY FRANKLIN, OREGON

Strengths

Franklin consistently threatens vertically through long, smooth strides. At the snap, he has a loaded stance with no false steps, which allows him to get up to top speed quickly. He is a consistent hands catcher who extends his long arms for the catch rather than letting the ball into his body, and his excellent footwork shows up in releases and his ability to make players miss after the catch.

Weaknesses

Franklin's route tree is limited, consisting almost only of vertical routes (though likely not due to lack of ability). General strength (slender build) can be a concern, at times, but it does not affect his willingness to go up strong for catches or get his nose into blocks.


LADD McCONKEY, GEORGIA

Strengths

In addition to bringing NFL-level quickness and acceleration out of his stance and out of his breaks, McConkey has plus long speed and outside receiver experience and ability. That speed also makes him an impactful after-the-catch receiver for the quick game. A lack of overall size affects his efficacy, but he is a very willing blocker with good fundamentals.

Weaknesses

Size is seemingly McConkey's only weakness. It limits his catch radius for jump balls and affects his overall strength at the catch point and when blocking.


TEZ WALKER, NORTH CAROLINA

Strengths

Walker displays active hands on the line of scrimmage and uses both his hands and feet to effectively get off press. He is a very impressive athlete who has NFL-level explosiveness and top speed.

Weaknesses

Walker's routes in 2023 were not as crisp or polished version. He also struggled to haul passes in. We have seen flashes of some impressive catches, but especially at the Senior Bowl, his catch percentage was much lower than it needed to be.


AD MITCHELL, TEXAS

Strengths

Mitchel is a fast, fluid route runner for a player of his size (6-foot-4). He has impressive footwork for a big man, leading to quick releases off the line. He displays an effective shoulder dip when running by defenders into his routes and understands the nuance of how to get open, especially deep. This makes him a tough red-zone matchup.

Weaknesses

Mitchell's release speed is fast, but he could clean up some false steps/wasted steps and be even more effective. He could do a better job of attacking the ball in the air at his size.


KEON COLEMAN, FLORIDA STATE

Strengths

Coleman is an impressive athlete at his size; he is very explosive and strong. In 2022 and 2023, he had some of the most impressive contested catches you'll see. When going up against press coverage, he flashes active, strong hands. His athletic ability translates to yards after the catch, as we see in his punt return work.

Weaknesses

Though he is an explosive linear athlete, Coleman doesn’t showcase that same level of athleticness in his lateral agility. In a similar light, his lack of separation is an issue. Contested catches are his strength, but every catch seems to be contested.


XAVIER WORTHY, TEXAS

Strengths

Worthy has functional NFL speed and is not just a straight-line sprinter. He can vary his speeds to still be an efficient route runner while operating quickly. This makes him an elite vertical threat. He also has good deep tracking ability and can adjust when ball placement goes awry.

Weaknesses

Overall strength is a consistent concern in Worthy's game, including catch reliability. Worthy struggles to get off coverage using physicality. He can get locked up against a good press cornerback who gets their hands on him early. He needs to be better at using his hands to fight off defenders when he attempts to pass them vertically.

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