The '20 Draft: Wide receivers

Lamb20Draft

JACKSONVILLE – The class is good. Very good.

And while we don't know for certain that the wide receivers in the 2020 NFL Draft make up the best draft class at the position – ever – pretty much every draft analyst will tell you this:

It has a chance to be just that.

"It's really good; I mean, it's really, really, really good," NFL Media analyst Bucky Brooks told jaguars.com.

The '20 wide receiver class isn't just strong at the top, it's strong at an eye-catching level in round after round – and after the rounds expire.

"It's the depth," ESPN Draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. said. "There are easily 35-to-40 deep in terms of guys who can play in this league. The wide receiver position to me is the strongest in this draft."

NFL Media draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah was asked where an impact wide receiver could be found in this year's class.

"I can find him in every portion of the draft," Jeremiah said.

That could be positive for the Jaguars. While wide receiver DJ Chark Jr. made the Pro Bowl last season in his second NFL season, Head Coach Doug Marrone talked extensively last week of the need to surround second-year quarterback Gardner Minshew II with more playmakers.

"You never have enough," Marrone said. "It's like chocolate chip cookies; there's never enough in the house for me."

While many analysts consider Oklahoma wide receiver CeeDee Lamb the draft's best receiver, a pair of Alabama wide receivers -- Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs III – also are projected as high as Selections No. 10-20 in Round 1. Also considered first-round possibilities: Tee Higgins of Clemson, Justin Jefferson of Louisiana State, Laviska Shenault Jr. of Colorado and Brandon Aiyuk of Arizona State.

Receiver also is a possibility beyond Round 1. While the Jaguars hold the Nos. 9, 20 and 42 selections overall, they also hold nine selections after that – including three in the fourth round. To hear analysts tell it, this is a draft in which quality receivers can be found in the middle rounds and beyond.

"You can find guys in the second and third round who can come in and play and have immediate impact," CBSSports.com NFL Draft analyst Ryan Wilson said. "You're talking about 20-to-25 guys being able to come in and make an impact? I believe that.

"There are a lot of options. If you want to surround the quarterback there, Gardner Minshew, with some playmakers on the outside, this is the draft to do it. Even into the fourth or fifth round, you're going to find guys who can help you. This class is as deep as I can remember at wide receiver."

PROJECTED FIRST-ROUND WIDE RECEIVERS

CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma; Jerry Jeudy, Alabama; Henry Ruggs III, Alabama; Tee Higgins, Clemson; Justin Jefferson, Louisiana State; Laviska Shenault Jr., Colorado; Brandon Aiyuk, Arizona State.

QUOTABLE I

Kiper: "You're going to see some really good players drop to points that you never thought were possible. You're going to get guys who aren't drafted that are going to make teams at wide receiver this year."

QUOTABLE II

Jeremiah: "In terms of the depth and the talent in this draft, the wide receiver group [is] as deep as I've seen. I've got 27 wide receivers with Top Three-round grades in this draft. We had a max of 35 taken in 2017. So, this is a really phenomenal group of wideouts. Not all those guys are going to go early. They'll end up spreading throughout the draft. But it's really a good group."

CHANCES JAGUARS TAKE A WIDE RECEIVER IN ROUND 1

Very Good. Perhaps not as good as cornerback and defensive tackle – but very good.

JAGUARS AT WIDE RECEIVER

DJ Chark Jr. (projected starter), Chris Conley, Dede Westbrook, Keelan Cole, Marqise Lee, C.J. Board, Terry Godwin, Charone Peak, Michael Walker, Jayson Stanley (wide receiver/cornerback).

OEHSER ANALYSIS

The Jaguars seem likely to address wide receiver at some point during the draft, with the primary question being when. The Jaguars need playmakers, and need to increase their ability to create first downs, above-the-Xs-and-Os plays – and most importantly – touchdowns. If they have the opportunity to select one of the premier receivers – Ruggs, Lamb or Jeudy – they would be difficult to pass. At the same time, this draft is so deep at the position that selecting wide receiver anywhere in the first four or five rounds is a real possibility.

SEXTON ANALYSIS

I wouldn't bet on the Jaguars making wide receiver a top priority in this draft, but if Lamb happens to be their pick at No. 9 or No. 20 who could argue? Imagine that kind of length and athleticism across the field from Chark! The same enthusiasm might be present for Ruggs, whose speed has been called "freakish," or Jeudy – whose all-around game is said to be as good as any receiver we've seen in the draft in a number of years. It's a deep position group and one the Jaguars can tap into all the way to Day 3 to find another young playmaker to go with Chark, Westbrook and Conley. If Lamb or Ruggs is the best player on the board, it would make a big difference for Minshew and the passing game.

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