The New York Giants have expressed significant interest in the 2023 NFL Draft class’s top wide receiver prospects. As we inch closer to the draft, now’s the time to take a look at this year’s top-five wide receiver prospects in the class that Giants could target with the 25th overall pick.
1. Jaxon Smith-Njigba – WR, Ohio State
Jaxon Smith-Njigba is quickly becoming the consensus top wide receiver prospect in this draft class. According to Jim Nagy, the NFL “isn’t nearly as high on this year’s WR class as media,” as “numerous teams that have only one first-round grade at the position. That guy is JSN.”
The Giants met with Smith-Njigba ahead of his Pro Day several weeks ago and took the OSU wideout to dinner. If he’s somehow on the board when the Giants are on the clock, JSN will be a top target for Big Blue.
JSN is a crisp route-runner with high football IQ and the ability to make plays with the ball in his hands. His elite change of direction was demonstrated at the Combine as he posted a 6.57s 3-cone drill and a 3.93s 20-yard shuttle.
Smith-Njigba was a dominant force during his 2021 sophomore season, posting 95 receptions for 1,606 yards and nine touchdowns. Injuries forced Smith-Njigba to appear in only three games in 2022, which could be a cause for concern. However, when healthy, Smith-Njigba’s talent is undeniable.
2. Jordan Addison – WR, USC
Many analysts are down on USC wide receiver Jordan Addison after a disappointing outing at the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine. Addison, 5-foot-11, weighed in at just 173 pounds, running a 4.49s 40-yard dash. These numbers seem to concern some of the top NFL Draft analysts.
However, it was not long ago that Addison was viewed as the top wide receiver in the country. In 2021, Addison totaled 1,593 receiving yards with 17 touchdowns on 100 receptions, winning the 2021 Biletnikoff Award, presented annually to the country’s most outstanding receiver.
Jordan Addison is a versatile wideout that can line up inside and outside. He’s arguably the draft class’s top route-runner, finding ways to separate and get open at every level. He lacks the size, strength, and speed to challenge big cornerbacks vertically on the outside. However, Addison’s ability to get open will make him a productive and dependable receiver at the next level.
3. Quentin Johnston – WR, TCU
Quentin Johnston out of TCU is the draft class’s most dynamic wide receiver prospect. Johnston is described as one of the class’s most “boom-or-bust” prospects. However, the “boom” is worth investing in and makes Johsnton the class’s top wide receiver prospect according to some analysts.
Johnston is 6-foot-3, 208 pounds with a 40.5-inch vertical and 11-foot-2 broad jump. He totaled 1,069 receiving yards and six touchdowns on 60 receptions in 2022, however, Johnston also dropped 10.2% of his career catchable passes and is “a work in progress as a route-runner.”
Johnston possesses a rare blend of size and speed that could make him a matchup nightmare in the NFL. He has room to grow, but Johnston’s ability to break tackles and add yardage after the catch helps him stand out in this class. Johnston could be an absolute weapon on the outside at the next level.
4. Zay Flowers – WR, Boston College
Zay Flowers out of Boston College has quickly shot up draft boards and moved toward the top of the class. ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. recently listed Flowers as the top wide receiver in the class and the tenth-best prospect on his board. Flowers could be the first receiver taken in this year’s draft.
Flowers is a speedy vertical threat with excellent route-running. In college, Flowers played at 170 pounds. But he bulked up for the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine, weighing in at 182 pounds and looking NFL-ready. Flowers posted 12 touchdowns in the ACC in 2022 to go along with his 78 receptions for 1077 yards. He’s a dynamic route-runner that can play on the inside and outside to separate vertically.
The Giants are scheduled to host Flowers for a top-30 visit on Wednesday after taking the dynamic prospect out for dinner last month. New York’s interest in Flowers is significant. He could be a top fit on draft night.
5. Jalin Hyatt – WR, Tennessee
Jalin Hyatt out of Tennessee is a burner. Hyatt ran a 4.40s 40-yard dash at this year’s Combine. That speed shows up all over his tape as Hyatt consistently burned opposing cornerbacks on deep balls.
Hyatt was named the top wide receiver in the country this year, winning the Fred Biletnikoff Award after totaling 67 receptions for 1,267 yards and 15 touchdowns in the SEC.
Like Flowers, the Giants are also hosting Hyatt for a top-30 visit on Wednesday. Hyatt could realistically be on the board when the Giants are picking at 25 overall. New York, in need of extra speed and big-play threats, might prioritize a home-run hitter like Jalin Hyatt.
Which wide receiver prospect do you think the Giants should be targeting in the first round of this year’s draft? How do you rank this class’s top receiver prospects? Comment your thoughts below!