The 2017 wide receiver class does not appear to be as strong as the last three receiver classes. The depth of the class will once again hinge on whether or not underclassmen like Ju Ju Smith Schuster declare. If he does, Schuster would be the number receiver in this class. Here’s my top ten heading into 2017.
1. Ju Ju Smith Schuster, USC 6-2 215: Schuster is long and lean. He is a terrific route runner who can separate after the catch because he is a long strider. Schuster has plus hands and a wide catching radius. He can high point the ball in one on one situations. Average blocker who needs to be more consistent in this area.
2. Mike Williams, Clemson, 6-3 220: Williams could be the next great receiver to come out of Clemson following in the footsteps of Sammy Watkins, DeAndre Hopkins and Martavius Bryant. Williams is long and athletic. He is a good route runner who is smooth in and out of his cuts. Transitions with ease and is fluid enough for his size to be effective on double moves. Williams is an average blocker but that’s ok. He’ll be DeShaun Watson’s number one target this season.
3. Travin Dural, LSU, 6-2 192: Dural is your prototypical LSU receiver in recent years. He’s long, lean and a vertical threat. Explosive after the catch, Dural can separate from defensive backs and finish plays. Dural has had injury issues. He needs to prove he can stay healthy.
4. Darren Carrington, Oregon, 6-2 195: Carrington is a terrific route runner who has plus hands and a wide catch radius. He is a vertical threat who can separate after the catch. He isn’t featured as much as he should be but he’ll get more targets this season as the Ducks number one option in the passing game.
5. Isaiah Ford, Virginia Tech, 6-1 180: I really like Ford’s explosiveness in the open field. He is a start and stop, quick twitch athlete who can separate after the catch. Ford is still learning how to be a good route runner but he’ll figure it out this season playing in Justin Fuentes wide open offense.
6. Corey Davis, Western Michigan, 6-3 205: Davis has been highly productive as the Broncos number one receiver the last two seasons. He is a smooth route runner who gets in and out of cuts with ease. Davis is a big target with a wide catch radius. He’s not a speedster but Davis has the look of a number two receiver in a west coast offense.
7. Malachi Dupre, LSU, 6-3 187: Dupre has the talent to be a top three receiver in this group but he’s inconsistent and lacks the top end speed to be an elite, number one type receiver.
8. K.D Cannon, Baylor, 6-1 175: Cannon will put up monster numbers in Baylor’s spread offense but there are question marks as to whether or not his game can translate to the NFL. Corey Coleman’s success in Cleveland will be a litmus test for Baylor receivers in the NFL.
9. Ricky Seals-Jones, Texas A&M 6-5 235: Jones is similar to former Aggie Mike Evans but he’s not as smooth or explosive. Jones would be an ideal red zone target on fade balls and the back shoulder fade ball. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was used as a move tight end in the NFL.
10. Artavis Scott, Clemson, 5-10 190: Scott will see an increased role in the Clemson offense this fall. He is a vertical threat who runs good routes and can separate after the catch.