Some interesting comments in The Athletic from scouts about the WRs in this year's draft. Makes you realize how hit and miss even the "best" ones are in the draft. Look at the varieties of opinions. Not everyone is at all in love with Jeudy and Ruggs for example, let alone the guys who will likely be there at 22. More reason to love the Diggs trade. Adds fodder to the post that said the Bills were not thrilled about the WR value in the second part of the first round.
(I've pasted the WR part below, but it's just an excerpt from a much longer article on offensive players as a whole, so I hope that's OK.)
Wide receivers (9)
CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma (6-1 1/2, 195): Lamb’s ordinary combine workout — a 4.48-second 40-yard dash, a 34 1/2-inch vertical jump — encapsulated what is viewed as one of the deepest wide receiver classes ever, but one that perhaps lacks a generational talent. “I think this is a really good wide receiver group but this isn’t a slam-dunk, top-five group,” one scout said. “It’s loaded from like (picks) 20 to 50. There are 10 guys in that one. But there’s no Julio Jones, Calvin Johnson, those types of guys.” Lamb, a three-year starter, averaged 19 yards per catch and caught 32 touchdown passes. “Best run after the catch since Amari Cooper,” another scout said. “Every time he touches the ball it’s a potential touchdown. He had one drop in the six games I watched. He’s just so quick. Gets separation. Excellent on fly sweeps. He’d be a bigger Marquise Brown from there last year.” He returned punts all three years, averaging 8.8 yards per return. “You see him in person, you’re kind of turned off a little bit,” a third scout said. “Then you watch the guy after the catch. For a guy that’s his build, he plays stronger than you would expect. He’s a big-time playmaker.”
Brandon Aiyuk, Arizona State (5-11 1/2, 205): A onetime junior college player, Aiyuk “was a backup (in 2018),” said one scout. “Nobody even knew who the guy was prior to the season. Each game the guy improved. He’s much better than (N’Keal Harry) the guy last year that went in the first round. That guy was a jumper; this guy is a separator.” He ran the 40 OK at 4.53 seconds but had jumps of 40 inches in the vertical leap and 10 feet, 7 inches in the broad jump. “Really a utility player similar to Deebo Samuel,” another scout said. “Not a natural receiver. More of a jack of all trades. Just quick routes, end-arounds. Returns. He’s tough and has some explosiveness in his route-running.” Scored a 23 on his first crack at the Wonderlic intelligence test.
Tee Higgins, Clemson (6-3 1/2, 216): He elected not to work at the combine but did test Thursday at Clemson’s pro day. “He’s got great size, he’s exceptionally athletic, his ball skills are top-notch and he’s a really good route runner,” said one scout. He caught 135 passes, averaged 18.1 yards per catch and had 27 touchdown receptions. “He wasn’t the best receiver at Clemson,” another scout said. “The sophomore, Justyn Ross, was. When they needed a big play, they went to Ross. Physical receiver, excellent strength, body control and hands. I question his top speed and explosion. Reminds me of Mike Williams, who San Diego drafted in the first round (in 2017). He’s more of a strong, possession-type guy than a top speed guy. I’d estimate he’s 4.55.”
Henry Ruggs, Alabama (5-11, 188): He led everyone at the combine with a 4.24 in the 40, not to mention a vertical jump of 42 inches and a broad jump of 10 feet, 9 inches. “He’s super fast,” said one scout. “Speed, speed, speed. He’s really good.” Ruggs had 98 receptions, a 17.5-yard average and 24 touchdown catches in a three-year career. “Go look at the top 20 receivers that have run fast and none of them are any good,” another scout said. “People say, ‘Ruggs ran 4.2. He’s going to be a Hall of Famer.’ He was essentially, in Alabama’s offense, the third guy. He was really a specialist where they designed certain plays for him, mainly that over route where he goes from one side of the field to the other … and outruns everybody. He is fast, but when people get on him, you don’t see the same speed and route-running. He’s not a make-you-miss player. If you use him for what his strengths are, he’ll be good in your offense. If you expect him to come in and be your No. 1 receiver, I don’t see that. He’s a space-vertical linear route runner that needs space to catch the ball.”
Justin Jefferson, LSU (6-1, 202): The junior slot receiver for the national champions. “Whole thing with him will get down to speed,” one scout said in late December. “He was their second-best guy there. They have the sophomore (Ja’Marr Chase). He runs mostly possession routes. Acrobatic type catcher. Plays strong in traffic.” Jefferson made a statement at the combine by running 4.47 seconds in the 40. “He elevated his status when people were questioning if he was legit speed,” another scout said. “You didn’t see the 4.4 on tape. He worked out really well. Does his best work in the slot. Great feel. Really good hands. Savvy. Quick.”
Jerry Jeudy, Alabama (6-1, 193): A third-year junior and two-year starter. “He has good speed and runs great routes,” said one scout. “Gets a lot of separation. More of a polished guy than Ruggs and also taller.” Jeudy solidified his status by running 4.44 seconds in the 40. “He’s very, very quick,” said another scout. “Reminds me somewhat of Amari Cooper with the quickness, the routes, the run after the catch. He’ll play, but I don’t think he’ll be a big-time receiver.”
Chase Claypool, Notre Dame (6-4, 238): He is from Abbotsford, B.C., an hour east of Vancouver. “He had no fundamental sports background, including football,” said one scout. “You’ve got to temper your excitement a little bit. He tested out of this world but there’s still a lot of work to be done there. Not a natural catcher, not a natural route runner. Kind of gets by on his ability. This kid is a much better football player and way tougher than the (Miles) Boykin kid that came out last year. I think he’ll get drafted in the second round … but I need something more sure in that round.” Production improved each of his four seasons. Ran 4.44 seconds with a 40 1/2-inch vertical jump. “He goes to the combine and kills it,” another scout said. “Now he’s one of the buzz guys. People were talking about him as a tight end. I said this is a No. 1 (wide) receiver. Fluid, body control, girth, speed. Awful QB (in Ian Book), but still makes plays. Nothing’s wrong with him.” He scored a 27 on the Wonderlic.
Jalen Reagor, TCU (5-10 1/2, 206): He averaged 15.2 receiving yards, 9.3 rushing yards, 17.8 punt return yards and 24.2 kickoff return yards. “Holy (cow), he’s exciting,” one scout said. “He was one of the guys I got most excited about. He’s an explosive playmaker.” His father, Montae, was a second-round draft choice in 1999 who started 46 of 99 games for three teams as a defensive tackle. “He is as explosive a receiver as I saw this year,” another scout said. “I haven’t seen a better punt returner, either.” Ran 4.46 seconds in the 40. Said a third scout: “I thought he was the most explosive route runner on tape. He’ll go up over people with bodies around. Little bit raw. Strong hands, but a lot of easy drops. You’re always going to have to deal with drops with him but he is a playmaker.”
Denzel Mims, Baylor (6-3, 207): A three-year starter with 28 touchdowns. “I would have thought no way in the world just watching him on tape and now he’s top 50,” one scout said. “He’s a big guy and ran fast. You see he’s got savvy, hands, good route runner. Kind of a limited route tree at Baylor. Just kind of a catch-and-get-tackled guy. You didn’t see the deep speed.” Had a big week at the Senior Bowl, especially in the red zone, and then ran 4.38 seconds in the 40. His arms measured 33 7/8 inches. “He has strength and hands but I don’t think he’s anything special,” another scout said. “In the Big 12 Championship Game, Parnell Motley (of Oklahoma) totally shut him down and he’s a late-round pick. He’s a guy that makes the possession catches.”