2022 NFL draft preview: Chargers Wire’s top 10 wide receiver rankings

The 2022 NFL draft is just days away.

To get you prepared for it, here is a look at the Chargers Wire’s Cole Topham top 10 wide receiver prospects.

1) Jameson Williams, Alabama

Speed is the catalyst of Williams’ game, but these are no ordinary jets. Williams is transcendent at leveraging his lethal burners, which allows him to pull away from defenders with zero strain in his acceleration and choke off the angles of closing tacklers. He executes the little things well in the short passing game and maximizes his opportunity when the ball is in his hands. But the abundance of production on big plays in just his sole season at Alabama, where he finally saw a starting role after scrapping for playing time at Ohio State, suggests he may not have even scraped the ceiling of his exciting potential.

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2) Drake London, USC

London is the standout high-volume possession receiver of this class. He towers over defenders at 6’5” and uses all 210 pounds to box out his man from reaching the catch point. London led all college football receivers in contested catches in his final season despite playing only eight games due to a broken ankle. He’s more than just a jump ball target, though – his basketball background and short-area explosiveness come to the surface when he torques his lower body and sinks his hips to mimic crossovers in his breaks or during yards after catch opportunities.

3) Garrett Wilson, Ohio State

Slippery, chaotic, and cunning in the way he attacks his route tree, Wilson is a master of his craft who employs head fakes and sudden lower-body deception to manipulate defensive backs out of position. He turns into a magician when turning upfield for yards after the catch, shimmying his way through broken tackles with an extensive arsenal of juke moves, great contact balance, and natural elusiveness. Wilson is also an alert player who works back to the quarterback and taps into his creativity to help save off-script plays.


4) Treylon Burks, Arkansas

At 6’2” and 225 pounds, Burks was a mismatch no matter where Arkansas lined him up on the field. The Razorbacks deployed him in the slot, outside, backfield, and even at Wildcat quarterback. Defenses crumbled in their attempts to game plan for Burks, who oozes athleticism and flexibility in the open field as a ball carrier. His foundation is domination at the catch point – Burks consistently highpoints the ball over the reach of defensive backs and snags balls in traffic. His route running and technical mastery is less dynamic than other members of his class, but Burks’ list of intangibles is unmatched.

5) Chris Olave, Ohio State

A creative technician that has mastered the finer points of the route running craft, Olave finds himself alone at the top of his route for easy completions and deep touchdowns. He frequently distances himself from defensive backs in man coverage and is difficult to reign in once free. The combination of his route tempo and top-end speed turns routine plays into long gains and deep touchdowns. Space is Olave’s frequent companion, and he creates a ton of it to become a friendly target to his quarterback.


6) George Pickens, Georgia

A catch-point hog who locates the ball quickly and summits to the rim with authority, Pickens is a high-intensity player who won’t back down from talking smack or a physical challenge. He’s a limber, sinewy target at 6’3” whose long speed, ball tracking, and in-flight adjustments flash as a vertical threat. Pickens recently worked back from a torn ACL and has a history of behavioral issues, but his athletic upside at the outside receiver spot has a good chance to outperform his draft position.

7) Jahan Dotson, Penn State

Dotson overcomes his below-average size to consistently win against press coverage with stellar technique, explosiveness through his cuts, and premium speed. He expertly wards off press contact and superbly wipes away defensive backs down the route stem, which earns him late separation to become an unpredictable salesman in the intermediate area. Dotson has large, dependable hands that form a cocoon around the ball. He was often a magnet for big plays and long touchdowns.


8) John Metchie III, Alabama

Metchie has no absolute S-tier trait to hedge his game on, but what he consistently offers from the slot is reliable separation and a high football IQ to sniff out points of attack in zone coverage. Metchie has a deep release package and flows as a route runner, routinely gaining steps on his defender at the top of his route with snappy hips and even strides. He’s physical in the face of contact and fights for every yard.

9) Christian Watson, North Dakota State

This year’s Senior Bowl darling looked unguardable in 1-on-1 reps that took place during the practices leading up to the All-Star showcase. Watson offers a scary blend of height, size, speed, and athleticism, which were confirmed by his 4.36 40-yard dash. He is still raw and never received the volume of other pass-catchers in this draft, but his freakish talent is undeniable.


10) Calvin Austin III, Memphis

A firecracker off the line that employs a diverse array of releases to explode past his defender and win during his opening steps, Austin then becomes a calculated route runner who sinks his hips well and accelerates effortlessly through various intervals of his assignment. At 5’8” and 170 pounds, Austin is tough and dauntless when extending for catches he knows will come with punishment. He’s a slick creator after the catch that melts pursuit angles with his twitch and 4.32 speed.

Story originally appeared on Chargers Wire