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2024 NFL Draft – Three Underrated Wide Receiver Prospects

There's a clear list of the top three receivers in the 2024 NFL Draft, but who's up after that? Here are three prospects to keep an eye on.
Underrated Wide Receivers

Plenty has been said about the top wide receivers in the 2024 NFL Draft. Marvin Harrison Jr., Malik Nabers, and Rome Odunze are elite prospects who expect to make an immediate impact in the NFL. But even after those players are off the board, there’s plenty of talent available at wide receiver. According to consensus, three underrated receivers are ranked lower than they should be.

2024 NFL Draft – Three Underrated Wide Receiver Prospects

Adonai Mitchell – Texas

Although Adonai Mitchell projects to be a late first-round selection, he’s a controversial prospect with mediocre stats. He averaged just four receptions for 60 yards per game in his junior year, which pales in comparison to fellow first-round prospects. Analytics aren’t much better for Mitchell. His yards per route run and yards per team pass attempt are relatively low, which explains his poor PFF receiving grade.

Once you turn on Mitchell’s tape, it’s easy to excuse those flaws. What instantly jumps off the screen is his route-running ability, especially against man coverage. Mitchell consistently embarrassed opposing cornerbacks thanks to some tricks he has up his sleeve. Whether it’s a subtle gesture at the top of his route, a nasty release off the line of scrimmage, or disappearing into the cornerback’s blind spot, Mitchell knows how to get separation.

The only logical explanation for Mitchell’s lack of productivity is unfamiliarity with Texas’ system. This season was his first as a Longhorn after transferring from Georgia, and it’s never easy learning a new offense. Between outstanding displays of route running and a 9.99 Relative Athletic Score, Mitchell is my top receiver in the 2024 NFL Draft outside the big three. Expect him to go between picks 20 and 40, and he’ll be a bargain in that range.

Team Fits: Carolina Panthers, Baltimore Ravens, Kansas City Chiefs

Javon Baker – Central Florida

If there’s one thing coaches love, it’s consistently improving year after year, and that’s what Javon Baker did in college. After two uneventful years at Alabama, Baker brought his talents to the University of Central Florida. He immediately produced after transferring, posting 56 receptions for 796 yards and five touchdowns as a junior. Baker followed that up with 52 receptions for over 1100 yards and seven touchdowns in his senior season.

As impressive as Baker’s box score stats are, the analytics are even better. His yards per route run and yards per team pass attempt are among the best in his class. As a result, he received an 82.9 PFF grade, the 6th-best score among receivers in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Baker’s game film isn’t nearly as dazzling as Mitchell’s, but he still impressed. He’s a quarterback-friendly target with a large catch radius, demonstrating the ability to haul in jump balls and low throws. The only concern with Baker as a prospect is his (comparatively) average athleticism Besides a lack of elite speed, he’s a well-rounded prospect and will be a value on day two of the NFL Draft.

Team Fits: New Orleans Saints, Los Angeles Chargers, Jacksonville Jaguars

Jermaine Burton – Alabama

Similar to how people “separate the art from the artist,” the same thinking applies when evaluating Alabama wideout Jermaine Burton. Burton assaulted a fan on the field after losing to Tennessee in 2022, so some teams won’t even consider drafting him. However, if a team is willing to ignore potential character issues, they’ll see Burton as an impressive prospect.

None of the numbers for Burton are particularly eye-catching, whether it be box score stats or analytics. But after watching his tape, he’s an exciting prospect whose sudden movements can only be described as “twitchy” or “shifty.” Whether it be long speed used to burn defenders deep or short-area quickness to make a sharp turn or sudden stop, Burton possesses all kinds of speed.

Burton might be drafted later than he should, and that’s completely reasonable. But whoever drafts Burton is getting a fair value, assuming they’re confident in his character. He’ll be an effective deep threat early in his career, with the upside of developing into a weapon at all three levels.

Team Fits: Pittsburgh Steelers, Las Vegas Raiders, Cleveland Browns

Main Photo Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports



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