Alignment breakdown for top WR prospects in 2022 NFL draft

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The Arizona Cardinals could be in the market for a wide receiver in the first round of the 2022 NFL draft, which will begin this coming Thursday. There are six top receivers in the draft that could go in the first round and one of them could be the pick for the Cardinals when the 23rd selection of the draft comes up.

There are tall guys and fast guys. But the Cardinals, at least looking toward the future, need more of an outside receiver than a slot guy. After all, they believe Rondale Moore, their second-round selection a year ago, can be that big-time slot receiver.

Aside from physical profile of height, length, weight and speed, teams will look at usage in college.

Since the Cardinals probably would consider more of an outside receiver, it would be reasonable to believe that they would select a player who has played more outside.

Pro Football Focus’ Austin Gayle compiled the data for alignment of the top receivers, breaking down the number of routes they ran from the perimeter and the number they ran out of the slot.

You might be surprised by the numbers.

Arkansas’ Treylon Burks by far saw the highest rate of his routes run out of the slot, with USC’s Drake London running about two slots for every one outside.

The rest all were more outside players, but the one player who stands out is Penn State’s Jahan Dotson, who ran more than 1,100 routes outside. That amounts to 83.6% of his routes coming on the outside.

London and Burks have the greatest length, a trait teams like on the outside, but both play more out of the slot and probably will be more comfortable there in the pros.

So keep an eye on Dotson as a potential target for the Cardinals, especially considering his production, mentality and speed.

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