Nothing is certain when it comes to the the NFL draft, but the 2022 wide receiver class seems to be more up in the air than most years.
Most prognosticators agreed that Ja’Marr Chase was the top wide receiver prospect last year. This year, five prospects — Drake London, Garrett Wilson, Chris Olave, Treylon Burks and Jameson Williams — are heavy favorites to be picked in the first round, but we are not quite sure what the order should or will be. This selection process is hazardous for NFL general managers, who will have many similar wide receivers to choose from and are likely to be intensely second-guessed if they pick a bust.
A statistical analysis of what has correlated to success in the past could be helpful to break up the logjam of closely rated prospects. Enter Football Outsiders’ Playmaker Score, which is a model that projects NFL success for wide receivers based on a statistical analysis of all Division I wide receivers drafted in the years 1996-2018. See the full methodology at the bottom of this piece here. The output is the average number of regular-season receiving yards that the wide receiver will gain per year over the course of his first five NFL seasons.
Below, we take a look at Playmaker’s top wideout prospects in the 2022 draft and how they match up against each other. We also pick similar historical prospects based on former players who were similar in their Playmaker statistics, along with a sleeper receiver to watch. You might see us compare two physically dissimilar players because they were similar statistically.
Note: Players are listed in order of their projected average receiving yardage.