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4 receivers to look out for in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft

Dynamic slot receivers will be available in the middle of the first round

Jordan Addison, WR, USC

Jordan Addison is a mid-first-round prospect that excels out of the slot. He produced 3,134 yards and 29 touchdowns throughout his time at both Pitt and USC. Addison has elite athletic ability and would add some juice out of the slot. His change of direction is some of the best in the draft and he shows toughness catching in traffic. Addison is one of the better route runners in the first round, but he’s a bit undersized at 6’0” and 175 pounds. He can struggle with physical corners and struggled against larger defenders. He’s a willing blocker in the run game, but again, his size limits him in that department. The lack of blocking may be a deterrent for Matt LaFleur who loves to bring his receivers in to block defenders in the box.

Jaxson Smith-Njigba, WR, OSU

Smith-Njigba is an exceptional route runner and knows how to separate from defensive backs. While he is able to get open, he doesn’t have elite long speed or the ability to take the top off the defense. However, his consistent ball skills, run-after-the-catch ability, and body control make him a lock for the first round. There may be concern about his hamstring injury and ability to stay healthy as he only played in three games in 2022. He’s another slot receiver, but has a solid build with the ability to block in the box. His 1,605-yard Sophomore season shows some of his potential, but whether the athletic skills are enough to separate at the NFL level remains to be seen.

Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU

Quentin Johnston has elite physical traits. He’s 6’4” and 210 pounds with real speed, long arms, and great leaping ability. He’s a violent runner who can break tackles with the ball in his hands and could add a physical identity to the receiving corps. However, he can be inconsistent with his route running and has had some concentration drops. He has the physical tools to be a top-tier player with the ability to play outside, but has struggled blocking and could take time to fully develop.

Jalin Hyatt, WR, Tennessee

Hyatt has elite speed. He is amazing with the ball in his hands and has top-tier quickness off the line of scrimmage. While having a little bit of a smaller frame, he’s still able to beat press and has a surprisingly large catch radius. The tools and flashes are there, but he was asked to run a pretty limited route tree while at Tennessee. He played most of his snaps at slot, so it remains to be seen if he can move around the formation and contribute outside.