We have started off these rankings by breaking down the top-10 wideouts in this class and then WRs 11-20 as a follow-up. Make sure to check out that intro piece on WRs 1-10 to gauge more of the methodology on what goes into these early ranks. You can also find the rest of the rookie rankings and all other 2021 rankings for seasonal and dynasty formats as they arrive in our 2021 rankings hub.
As is the case with all of the prospects, I will add noteworthy nuggets as we get them for these wideouts as we get more workout data through all of the Pro Days. This wide receiver class still has plenty of intriguing depth past the top-20 wideouts we have covered, so let’s roll into the remainder of this class.
21.Cade Johnson, South Dakota State, FY Age: 22.7 (MR: WR13)
Johnson is a model favorite due to his hyper-production at South Dakota State in which he racked up 1,332 yards 1,222 yards over the 2018-2019 seasons with 17 and eight touchdowns before sitting out 2020. Playing in the FCS did not give us a competition sample while Johnson is projected to be a pure slot man in the NFL. Johnson measured in at 5’10” and 186 pounds at the Senior Bowl and played 75.7% of his snaps inside over his final two seasons. Projected to be a solid athlete, Johnson also comes with a strong history as a kick returner, having the second-most kick return yardage (1,496) among wideouts in this class.
22. Anthony Schwartz, Auburn, FY Age: 20.3 (MR: WR36)
Schwartz is a favorite of many due to his stellar track background and is expected to be one of the fastest timed wideouts in this class (Schwartz was reported 4.26-4.31 per various sources at his Pro Day). Speed will get him drafted, but there is not much here to latch onto from what Schwartz actually did on the field. He averaged just 10.7 and 11.8 yards per reception his past two seasons at Auburn while he scored more rushing touchdowns (seven) than receiving (six) ones over his three seasons. He also is a tweener at 6’0″ and 186 pounds. But with his speed and only being a 21-year-old rookie, Schwartz still has plenty of upside if things come together at the next level.
23. Amari Rodgers, Clemson, FY Age: 21.3 (MR: WR29)
After starting his career out on the outside (17.6% slot rate 2017-2018), Rodgers was moved inside the past two seasons (85.6% slot rate) while he closed his final season out with 1,020 yards and seven touchdowns.
Rodgers is built like a running back (5’10” and 210 pounds) and teams had him work out there at his Pro Day. Rodgers only had six career rushing attempts at Clemson, but as we saw with Antonio Gibson last season (who had just 33 college carries before 170 as a rookie), that is not a major hang-up. Rodgers is not as big as Gibson (6’0” and 228 pounds at last year’s combine), but can be used as a Ty Montgomery-like player next level that can play in the backfield and the slot.
Rodgers did not really do himself a ton of favors at his Pro Day, registering in the 35th percentile in agility score and 31st percentile in explosion score, but showed solid speed for his size with a 4.51 40-time.
24. Simi Fehoko, Stanford, FY Age: 23.2 (MR: WR17)
A four-star recruit that had interest from Clemson among others, Fehoko has the size (6’3” and 222 pounds at his Pro Day) that stands out and ran a 4.42 range 40-yard at his Pro Day. Fehoko only made four starts for Stanford over his three seasons, but notched 412 yards in those games. Fehoko is on the older side for a prospect since he did a two-year church mission, but if his athleticism checks out at his size, the league will take an interest. At his Pro Day, Fehoko registered as a 93rd percentile athlete.
25. Marlon Williams, UCF, FY Age: 21.5 (MR: WR22)
After a 51-717-6 line in 2019, Williams took over as the lead wideout for UCF in 2020 with Gabriel Davis leaving for the NFL. With that elevation, the senior turned in an impressive 71-1,039-10 season in just eight games. He cleared 100 yards in five of those games while turning in a strong 8-97-2 game to close the season against a stingy Cincinnati defense. His 8.9 receptions per game in 2020 were fourth in this draft class. Williams has size (5’11” and 209 pounds) and was second in this class in missed tackles forced (22) in 2020. Oddly enough, despite that strong 2020 season, Williams was left off of the official combine invite list.
At his Pro Day, we got a glimpse as to why the league may not be as high on Williams as his closing production profile as he came out the event in the 18th percentile athletically at his position.
26. Shi Smith, South Carolina, FY Age: 22.2 (MR: WR27)
Another strictly slot man in this class, Smith (6’1” and 186 pounds) played 82.6% of his snaps inside at South Carolina. The four-year senior racked up 174 receptions (11th in this class), but was 22nd in receptions per game played (4.1) and 42nd in yards per reception (12.7). In a class overstuffed with his archetype, Smith is going to have higher draft capital than anticipated for an early-career path to playing time.
27. Mike Strachan, Charleston, FY Age: 23.5 (MR: WR34)
The DII standout is listed at a massive 6’5” and 225 pounds. Despite the small school, Strachan was invited by the NFL to the pretend combine this offseason. Strachan and Charleston did not play in 2020, but in 2019, Strachan was first-team All-MEC with a 79-1,319-19 line.
28. Tutu Atwell, Louisville, FY Age: 21.2 (MR: WR19)
Atwell is an absolute burner who improved all four seasons of his college career in terms of yardage gained. Louisville tried to get him the football regularly near the line of scrimmage (40 of his career receptions were screens) or deep downfield (25 were over 20 yards). At just 5’8” and just 155 pounds, Atwell was not a major touchdown threat (six or fewer touchdowns in every season) while it is hard to project significant touches and a large fantasy role for Atwell at the next level given his size.
29. Dax Milne, BYU, FY Age: 20.9 (MR: WR24)
After 31 catches for 354 yards and three scores over his opening two seasons at BYU, Milne was the top target for Zach Wilson in 2020, reeling in 70 receptions for 1,188 yards (17.0 yards per catch) and eight touchdowns. Milne even showed some versatility, handling 11 carries for 67 yards on the ground. An early declare that has yet to take his mission (he just turned 21 this February), Milne (6’1” and 190 pounds) is tracking to be the first BYU drafted since Austin Collie in 2009.
30. Austin Watkins, UAB, FY Age: N/A (MR: WR33)
Watkins is a five-year college player and JUCO transfer that broke out in 2019 with 57-1,092-6 while averaging a gaudy 19.2 yards per reception. Returning for seven games in 2020, Watkins took a step back with 34-468-3 (13.8 yards per catch). Playing at UAB, the only Power-5 opponents we got to see Watkins face was Tennessee in 2019 (3-34-0) and Miami last season (3-32-1).
31. Ihmir Smith-Marsette, Iowa, FY Age: 21.3, (MR: WR44)
Smith-Marsette does not have much of a receiving profile. His best season came in 2019 with 44-722-5. He had just 25 receptions for 345 yards and four scores this past season in seven games, but those receptions were second on the Iowa team while he led in yardage and touchdowns. What Smith-Marsette does have in his pocket is that he is the best kick returner in this class, handling the most kickoff returns (53) for the most yardage (1,520 yards and 28.7-yard average) with two touchdowns to give him a path to a roster spot and avenue to potentially get reps as a receiver.
32. Desmond Fitzpatrick, Louisville, FY Age: N/A (MR: WR35)
Fitzpatrick caught 45 passes and nine touchdowns as a freshman in 2017, but then never got back to those totals again over the next three seasons, although he did close his career out with career-highs in yardage (833) and yards per catch (19.4 yards) in his senior season. Building off strong buzz at the Senior Bowl, Fitzpatrick helped himself at his Pro Day, registering as a 58th percentile athlete at 6’2″ and 208 pounds.
33. Tyler Vaughns, USC, FY Age: 23.6 (MR: WR28)
Vaughns is a redshirt senior (the second-oldest wideout in this class) that was productive at USC, but always was overshadowed by a younger and more productive wideout. Vaughns has size (6’2” and 190 pounds), but has never had much sizzle (12.6 career yards per catch) while scoring six or fewer touchdowns in all four of his seasons on the field. His best season came in 2019 with a 74-912-6 line.
34. Dazz Newsome, North Carolina, FY Age: 21.6 (MR: WR30)
Playing in the productive North Carolina offense, Newsome has a strong 2019 season (72-1,018-10) on his resume, but was at 705 yards or below in each of his other three seasons. Playing 98.7% of his snaps in the slot, Newsome also comes attached to a 9.6% drop rate. Newsome did not do a lot to help himself at his Pro Day, exiting in the 3rd percentile in overall athletic testing at his position.
35. Warren Jackson, Colorado State, FY Age: 21.5 (MR: WR14)
Jackson is the next in a long line of Colorado State wideouts that turned in impressive final seasons. Although he sat out 2020 due to COVID, Jackson turned in 77-1,119-8 when last on the field in 2019 and took over the role Preston Williams had vacated. Jackson is big enough (6’6” and 219 pounds) to be a clasher and red zone threat, but there are concerns with him separating at the next level after 25% of his 2019 receptions came in contested catch situations. On his Pro Day, Jackson did nothing but enhance those concerns, registering as a 4th (yes, 4th) percentile athlete, posting a 22nd percentile speed score and one the lowest agility scores ever with a 4.53 shuttle and 7.81 three-cone. A true clasher, Jackson may be best suited to transition to tight end if he can pack on more weight.
36. Jhamon Ausbon, Texas A&M, FY Age: 21.2 (MR: WR32)
Ausbon caught 50 passes as a true freshman in 2017, playing alongside future NFL wideouts Christian Kirk and Damion Ratley. After a step back in 2018 with 31-375-0 in nine games, Ausbon bounced back in 2019 to lead A&M with 66 receptions and 872 yards to go along with five touchdowns. He then sat out 2020 due to COVID. Ausbon never truly tapped into his upside, but at 6’2” and 210 pounds, Ausbon has the requisite size and was a four-star recruit with 13 offers coming out of high school.
- Frank Darby, Arizona State, FY Age: 23.3 (MR: WR47)
Overshadowed by N’Keal Harry and Brandon Aiyuk through his career, Darby never got much of a runway or targets. His best season was a 31-616-8 line in 2019. But Darby did average a strong 19.7 yards per catch over his career while turning 19.4% of his career receptions into touchdowns, which ranks fifth in this class. At his Pro Day, Darby checked out in the 23rd percentile athletically at his position.
- Josh Palmer, Tennessee FY Age:21.3 (MR: WR46)
Palmer does not have much of a production resume, never reaching 500 receiving yards in any of his four collegiate seasons with a high of 34 receptions coming in 2019. In the 15th percentile for career production, Palmer (6’1″ and 210 pounds) was a modest athlete, checking out of his Pro Day as a 57th percentile athlete at his position. Palmer was stuck in a stone-age offense and had success against some top SEC corners, but he is still in a bucket of low probability to hit given his lack of actual output and non-early declare status.
- Brandon Smith, Iowa, FY Age: N/A (MR: WR49)
Smith turned heads at the EXOS combine with a 44” vertical and 136” broad jump. That athleticism never turned into on-field production as the four-year wideout averaged just 11.4 yards per reception for his career with a high of 37 catches coming in 2019.
- Cornell Powell, Clemson, FY Age: 23.2 (MR: WR47)
The five-year wideout managed just 40-329-3 through four years at Clemson before a 53-882-7 line this past season at age 23. Never getting on the field over Tee Higgins and Justyn Ross is not the worst thing in the world, but already a 24-year-old rookie with limited production does not bode well for Powell leapfrogging other NFL talents at the next level.
- Dai’Jean Dixon, Nicholls State, FY Age: 22.2 (MR: WR31)
Dixon was invited to the league’s combine, but is actually still playing right for Nicholls State as their season started this spring. Just last week, Dixon posted a 7-115-2 game (Nicholls has also already beaten a team 87-3). It is odd that Dixon is still playing while being draft-eligible this close to the actual draft, but listed at 6’4” and 200 pounds, the small school project has plenty of size to go along with his production.
- Whop Philyor, Indiana, FY Age: 22.4 (MR: WR42)
After a 70-1,002-5 breakout in 2020, Philyor took a step back in 2020 with 54-485-3 over eight games. His 14.3 yards per grab in 2019 look like an outlier as he has had 10.2, 10.2, and 9.2 yards per catch in his other three seasons, but his 54 catches still were 17 more than the next closest player on the roster this past season. In his final game versus Mississippi, Philyor turned 18 receptions into 81 yards. At 5’11” and 180 pounds, Philyor does have a school-record seven games with double-digit receptions.
- Rico Bussey, Hawaii, FY Age: N/A (MR: WR41)
After four years at North Texas, Bussey played his fifth season at Hawaii this past year, catching 31 passes for 274 yards and a touchdown over seven games. Bussey was First-Team All-Conference USA in 2018 after a 68-1,017-12 campaign, but has only managed to play nine games since.
- Javon McKinley, Notre Dame, FY Age: N/A (MR: WR38)
McKinley was a four-star recruit coming out of high school, but his road at Notre Dame has been tumultuous. The fifth-year senior did not record his first catch in college until the 2019 season before closing his career with a 42-717-3 line this past season with 17.1 yards per catch. Listed at 6’2” and 215 pounds, McKinley is a big body with pedigree, but his late-career production leaves plenty of question marks.
- Josh Imatorbhebhe, Illinois, FY Age: N/A (MR: WR39)
Imatorbhebhe is a former four-star recruit that originally went to USC before transferring to Illinois. Posting a total line of 57-942-12 over 19 career games in college, Imatorbhebhe was not going to receive an official combine invite, but made major noise with his Pro Day where he checked in at 6’1″ and 223 pounds while posting an 88th percentile speed score and 99th percentile explosion score with a 46.5″ vertical and a 11’3″ broad jump. Imatorbhebhe accounted for 24% of the Illinois receiving yardage and 30% of their touchdowns in 2020, so his raw stats were depressed by games played and quarterback play. Fitting the Chris Conley mold, Imatorbhebhe’s former pedigree as a high school recruit, size, and measured athleticism make him an intriguing dart.
- T.J. Vasher, Texas Tech, FY Age: 22.3 (MR: WR48)
The five-year senior has plenty of size (listed at 6’6” and 215 pounds), but Vasher never turned that into production, with his best season coming in 2018 with a 54-687-7 line prior to 42-515-6 (10 games) and 19-227-2 (six games) the following two seasons.
- Trevon Grimes, Florida, FY Age: 22.1 (MR: WR43)
Grimes originally was at Ohio State before transferring to Florida for the past three seasons. Grimes never caught more than 38 passes in a season over four years, but improved each year across the board in catches, yards, yards per catch, and touchdowns, closing his career out with 15.5 yards per catch and nine touchdowns this past season on those 38 catches. At 6’4″ and 220 pounds, Grimes has the requisite size and came out of his Pro Day as a 68th percentile athlete.
- Ben Skowronek, Notre Dame, FY Age: N/A (MR: WR45)
The fifth-year senior transferred from Northwestern to Notre Dame this past season, catching 29 passes for 439 yards and five touchdowns while averaging a career-high 15.1 yards per catch. At 6’3” and 224 pounds, Skowronek is a big body that led Notre Dame in touchdowns and red zone targets.
- Brennan Eagles, Texas, FY Age: N/A (MR: WR40)
Eagles is another big wideout (6’4” and 229 pounds), but only managed to post lines of 32-522-6 and 28-469-5 the past two seasons at Texas. While he did not tally a lot of receptions, his 16.8 yards per catch are 15th in this class while his 18.0% touchdown rate is sixth.
- Racey McMath, LSU, FY Age: N/A (MR: WR50)
McMath has a great name and is a big target (6’2” and 224 pounds) that just has never been able to get over the talent tornado that LSU has put out at wide receiver while he has been there. McMath had just 33 receptions in over his three seasons at LSU with four touchdowns.