The 2022 Rookie WR class is already crushing expectations

From 2019 to 2021, 13 wide receivers were taken in the first round of the NFL Draft. Some of these receivers—namely Justin Jefferson, Jamar Chase, and Jaylene Waddell—showed up with historic record-breaking campaigns and ascended to the top of the position by the end of their early years. Others, like CeeDee Lamb, Jerry Jeudy and DeVonta Smith, had junior seasons a little above average, but have since blossomed into high-end novices. Sure, there were some NB make mistake Among the group, but for the most part, first-round freshman receivers are being produced earlier than at any other point in NFL history.

It’s early, but the 2022 first round rookie class looks like another special class. In two weeks, the quintet (excluding No. 12 Jameson Williams, who is perhaps the most talented Rookie this year, but will be on IR during at least week four as he recovers from an ACL tear) averaged just under eight goals, five Receptions, receiving 64 yards per game, with superstar talent showcasing the lead ringer Writer Ben Solak deduce in April that “there will never be a poor draft class at the receiving position again.”

With Week 3 fast approaching, let’s take a closer look at the performance of these five rookies and predict what their stats might look like by the end of the season.

No. 8 Peak Drake London, Atlanta Falcons

Statistics for two weeks: 19 goals, 13 receptions, 160 yards, 1 touchdown
Full season pace: 162 goals, 111 receptions, 1,360 yards, 9 touchdowns

The USC product was the first receiver drafted in April, and for good reason. At 6 feet 4, 213 pounds, London has been compared to Mike Evans, a big-bodied former basketball player with an almost unparalleled hunting radius. Atlanta’s new X receiver currently leads all novices in Pro Football Focus receiving, receptions, and receiving yards, and according to TruMedia, he also leads 33 percent of his team’s total goals, the highest in two weeks by any wide novice receiver since Larry Fitzgerald in 2004.

Some recruiting critics took FBS’s 19 contested catches in London last season as a red flag, and his lack of straight line speed is often cited as the reason he had to fight for so many jump balls in college. So far in the NFL, he’s above average 3.8 yards of class for each track and consistently generated additional yards after hunting despite not having wheels for some of his teammates.

Check out the clip below from week one against the Saints, when the rookie found the soft spot in the defense zone and with one cut was 12 yards above the field:

London finished the play with a truck stick, but note that he also had the mentality to immediately run toward the line of scrimmage to give Atlanta a chance to play again before the break. This is awareness on the top shelf for a receiver playing in his first game of his career.

His early appeal doesn’t stop there. The rookie displayed similar intelligence during this drill, scrambling with Marcus Mariota against the Rams in Week 2:

Sure, Mariota’s action may have kept this play alive, but it wouldn’t be anything without London’s free slalom and side-catch. It is this kind of clever and savvy play – against a solid defense – that makes London look like a futuristic star.

With two games with the Falcons, it’s clear that London is more than threatening with the jump ball at limited speed. At the moment, it looks like the better half of Atlanta “Twin Towers” And every part is as gifted as the other receivers in this class. Hawk lovers should only hope that Kyle Bates will join the fun soon.

No. 10 Beck Garrett Wilson, New York Jets

Statistics for two weeks: 22 goals, 12 receptions, 154 yards, 2 touchdowns
Full season pace: 187 goals, 102 receptions, 1,309 yards, 17 touchdowns

The former Ohio State star broke out in a big way in Cleveland last weekend, displaying the field-tilting speed and track-cutting that made him Top receiver Danny Kelly Heading to the 2022 draft.

For starters, let’s just take a second to appreciate its very meandering trajectory diagram from matching the Jets to the Browns:

Wilson finished the competition with 102 yards and two touchdowns, including fading out that goal line after he knocked fellow rookie Martin Emerson Jr. off his boots at the scrimmage line:

What stands out about Wilson’s performance in Week Two is how well he fared despite Joe Flacco’s accuracy issues throughout the match. Wilson consistently won in the fast-kicks against Brown, but Flacco’s passes were often swung behind the Novice or over his head. According to the PFF, three of Wilson’s 14 goals were incomplete due to inaccurate passes, including one that would have given him a third touchdown of the day:

But don’t worry, Gates fans. Flacco is an alternative to rising star Zach Wilson… from Drove The league’s bad throw rate last season. OK, so maybe there’s a quarterback issue in New York that will affect Wilson’s short- and long-term prospects. And hell, he’ll probably be subject to continued poor quarterback play throughout his career, similar to Allen Robinson II. Even in that scenario, though, it’s hard to imagine a polished Wilson – who currently leads the NFL eight Red zone targets, including seven within the 10-yard line – failed.

For now, we should celebrate the Jets’ crafting a really good future that’s only scratching the surface of its potential. We can save quarterback questions for another day.

No. 11 Choose Chris Olaf, New Orleans Saints

Statistics for two weeks: 16 goals, 8 receptions, 121 yards, 0 touchdowns
Full season pace: 136 goals, 68 receptions, 1,029 yards, no touchdown

Apparently the Saints wanted to throw it deep into the 6 foot fast driver, which the Saints wanted to recruit so badly that they basically traded five choices For the opportunity to be selected in the April draft.

In two weeks Olave leads all receivers at targets over 20 yards and has an amazing average 38.7 Air yards on such plays. It also ranks fourth among recipients in transmission ratio (perhaps a blessing and a curse), and ninth In the air team share.

Since TruMedia started tracking stats, Olave’s 334 second-week yards have been ranked third by number of takers, and the most since DeAndre Hopkins’ 22-goal in 2015. She was also the most by a novice during that time, passing through Odell Beckham has a Junior mark of 322 yards — although Olave secured eight fewer goals last week than the OBJ did in that game.

Simply put, James Winston throws it at this guy. This is the good news.

The problem is, well, Winston. On Sunday, Winston missed Olaf five times, who tied for the second most inaccurate passes for a given future in a game in the past two seasons.

New Orleans Wants To force Olaf to feed Olaf, but no matter how many looks a rookie gets, he doesn’t do anything with passes like these, which come on consecutive plays:

Olaf will only go as far as the midfielder leads – which is often too far in deep passes! – The early returns are not promising. Some of the accuracy issues may be due to Winston playing with multiple fractures to his spine (how? Why?), but he also didn’t look much better in 2021 than he did during his last full season as a rookie, when he threw 30 interceptions and Drove League in inaccurate passes.

Receivers with a mathematical profile of Olaf – his vertical jump and height were ranked in the 12th and 35th percentile, respectively, in MockDraftableDatabase – Ball jumping opportunities cannot be expected to be won regularly, especially with a midfielder who cannot deliver the ball on a point.

Offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael Jr. can plot fast-evolving ways to get the starter ball into space, but that might be better for Olaf’s counting stats than offense. After all, despite his pace, Olaf wasn’t the most potent player after catching up with college, and he probably serves better in extending the defense to lure safety aid away from Michael Thomas and Jarvis Landry.

With Sean Payton no longer driving offense and playing Winston painfully, the Ohio rookie may not have the immediate impact that Mickey Loomis and Co. hoped for when they moved to Heaven and Earth to get him. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if Olave continues to build air yards at an impressive rate.

No. 16 Bek Jahan Dotson, leaders of Washington

Statistics for two weeks: 10 goals, 7 receptions, 99 yards, 3 touchdowns
Full season pace: 85 goals, 60 receptions, 842 yards, 26 touchdowns (LOL!)

Very few critics saw it coming, but the early season use of Dotson is off the charts in Washington, where the former Nittany Lion is part of a trio of receiving corps with Terry McLaurin and Curtis Samuel looking like one of the best players in football. Dotson’s 93 routes over the first two weeks are the most frequently used by the rookie during their first two games dating back to 2013, and the 141 picks ranked him. Third Of all the NFL receivers this season.

Dotson was arguably the most impressive rookie receiver in the first week, with two of his five goals going for touchdowns. He spotted another touchdown in Week 2 against the Lions, making him the first rookie passer of the past decade to score three times in the first two weeks of the season.

Much like the other receivers on this list, there are important questions about a quarterback’s steering of the ship. Carson Wentz was so bad at the end of last season that Indianopolis shipped him to the Leaders for a bunch of picks just a year after his second conditional trade (which turned out to be first) for him.

So far, though, Wentz has been more than useful, ranking in the top 10 passers of the league in predicted points added per game, passing yards, and passing touchdowns.

Despite his consistent involvement in the road, Dotson wasn’t a target as big as the three receivers drafted in front of him. Perhaps this was because Washington’s receiving team was superior to the other teams and there were more plays designed for the veterans on a large scale. However, it’s curious that Dotson is in the field as often as he got and that he only got seven. His relationship with Wentz will be something to watch going forward.

No. 18 Choose Treylon Burks, Tennessee Titans

Statistics for two weeks: 11 goals, 7 receptions, 102 yards, 0 touchdowns
Full season pace: 94 goals, 60 receiving, 867 yards, no touchdown

Birx’s first day at the up-and-coming little camp was an unforgettable one. The Titans’ new receiver, whose draft rights were acquired in a trade deal with Eagles for Pro Bowler AJ Brown, had to leave the field early and was spotted using an inhaler after struggling with conditioning throughout practice.

Two weeks later, it was revealed that Birx had asthma, which, while not a debilitating condition for the 22-year-old, may have come as an unpleasant surprise to a Tennessee fan base hoping the Arkansas receiver would fill the massive void left by Brown. . Twitter and the media cycle were, as might be expected, wild.

During two weeks in the regular season, a lot of external feed was clearly unfounded. The child can play.

Among the eligible novice receivers, Burks ranks first in the PFF offensive and yards per track rating, and was as effective as Robert Woods as the running blocker, which says something Woods is one of the best running blocking receivers in football.

Burks doesn’t have the stats to count the other four players on this list, but there is a strong argument that he fits in with his offense as well as any of them. His participation is also progressing, with his target share improving from 16 percent in the first week to 27 percent in the second week.

In the summer, Titans general manager John Robinson was asked if Birx needed to “replace” Brown. his answer? “Treylon needs to open, pass and block.”

So far, so good.

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