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Atlanta Falcons Blog

Atlanta Falcons blog by D. Orlando Ledbetter, the pro football and Atlanta Falcons reporter for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Top 10 wide receivers in the 2017 NFL draft

FLOWERY BRANCH — Here are the top 10 wide receiver prospects (with projected draft round) for the 2017 NFL draft, which is set for April 27-29 in Philadelphia:

  1. Mike Williams, 6-4, 218, Clemson (first round): Williams waited his turn behind Sammy Watkins and Martavis Bryant. He became the No. 1 receiver as a sophomore and led the team with 1,030 receiving yards. He missed most of the 2015 season with a neck injury. He came back strong in 2016 and led the ACC with 98 receptions for 1,361 yards and 11 touchdowns.
  2. Corey Davis, 6-3, 209, Western Michigan (first): Davis led the Broncos in receiving for four straight years. He had a career-high 97 catches, 1,500 yards receiving and 19 touchdowns last season to earn the MAC offensive player of the year honors.
  3. John Ross, 5-11, 188, Washington (first): He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.22 seconds at the scouting combine, setting a new record. The previous record of 4.24 was held by Chris Johnson and was set in 2008. Ross caught 81 passes for 1,150 yards and 17 touchdowns for the Pac-12 champion Huskies last season.
  4. Chad Hansen, 6-2, 202, California (second): A late bloomer, who became a starter as a junior in 2016 (nine starts) and led the Pac-12 in receptions (92) and receiving yards (1,249), adding 11 touchdowns to earn second-team All-Pac 12 honors.
  5. ArDarius Stewart, 5-11, 204, Alabama (second): He had to wait his turn behind Amari Cooper and play in the shadows of Calvin Ridley. He started all 15 games as a sophomore and finished behind Ridley with 63 catches for 700 yards and four touchdowns. He started 12 games last season and had 54 catches for 864 yards and eight touchdowns. He was named first-team All-SEC. “ArDarius Stewart is a guy that can bounce around, play outside and inside,” NFL Network analyst Bucky Brooks said.
  6. Chris Godwin, 6-1, 209, Penn State (second ): He was a two-time Academic All-Big Ten pick. With two different quarterbacks and offensive coordinators, he led Penn State in receiving the past two seasons (with two different quarterbacks and offensive coordinators. He finished his career ranked fourth in school history in receiving yards (2,421) and receiving touchdowns (18).
  7. Carlos Henderson, 5-11, 199, Louisiana Tech (second): A burner who should be a deep threat in the NFL. Held the FBS with eight 50-plus yard receptions in 2016. He averaged 26.5 yards per kickoff return with three career touchdowns. He finished his career third on the touchdown reception list with 28 and sixth in receiving yards with 2,878.
  8. Zay Jones, 6-2, 201, East Carolina (second-third): Son of former NFL star Robert Jones, who’s in ECU’s hall of fame. He played as a freshman and took over when Justin Hardy left for the NFL and was drafted by the Falcons. In 2016, he hada FBS-best 158 receptions for 1,746 yards, which both were school records.
  9. JuJu Smith-Schuster, 6-1, 215, USC (third ): Smith-Schuster caught 70 passes for 914 yards and 10 touchdowns, earning second team All-Pac 12 honors.
  10. Isaiah Ford, 6-0, 194, Virginia Tech (third): He holds the Virginia Tech records for catches, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns – both single-season and career.


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About the Author

D. Orlando Ledbetter is the Atlanta Falcons beat writer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.