Rating the Receivers 2023 WR Prospects part II

By John Laub
John Laub


    Rating the Receivers


          2023 WR Prospects part II






7. Cedric TIllman, Tennessee

Prospect Resume 

In 2022, suffered a high-ankle injury that derailed season. Played in only six games and corralled 37 passes for 417 yards and three touchdowns. Recognized as the Senior Bowl Offensive Player of the Week with a nine-catch, 162-yard performance, and game-winning score, against Pittsburgh. As a redshirt junior in 2021, named Second Team All-SEC (Phil Steele). Posted career highs with 64 receptions for 1,081 yards and 12 touchdowns. First Volunteers’ receiver since Justin Hunter in 2012 to surpass 1,000 yards in a season. Notched five 100-yard outings. Scored a touchdown in a school-record seven straight games. In 2020, made two starts and played in 10 games. Late breakout playmaker during campus tenure. In high school, a three-star recruit and Top 10 prospect in Nevada. Helped team to two state titles. Father played for the Broncos and Jaguars in the Nineties.

Key Career Stats

Receptions: 109 

Yards per Reception: 14.9 

2021 Season

Catch Percentage: 71%

Team Aerial Dominator: 32% 



Film Breakdown and Skills

At 6’3” and 213-pounds, profiles as a classic X-receiver on the outside. Big-and-physical wide out, who makes game-breaking catches. Stupendous combination of size, speed and length. Master of contested-catch battles. Great ball skills on deep passes. Large catch radius with good body control. Difficulty to tackle in one-on-one situations. Looks like a power forward and blocks out defenders. Strong hands. Excellent run blocker with a nasty demeanor. Provides a toughness to the position. Big-game performer: Great games versus Alabama and Georgia. Not a quick-twitch athlete. Does not explode upfield in the blink of an eye or create a lot of separation. Benefited from a pass-friendly scheme, creating wide open space. An underestimated boundary playmaker who wins on the sideline.

Scholar’s Grade: Second Round


8. Jalin Hyatt, Tennessee

Prospect Resume 

In 2022, Biletnikoff Award Winner, consensus First Team All-American and First Team All-SEC. Corralled 67 passes for 1,267 yards, averaged 18.9 ypc. and scored 15 touchdowns. Holds Volunteers’ records for single-game touchdown receptions (5), single-game points scored (30) and single-season receiving touchdowns. In school history, first player to win the Biletnikoff. In 2021, finished third on the team with 21 receptions for 226 yards and two touchdowns—10 catches registered a first down and three 25-plus yards. During campus tenure, recorded five games with over 100 yards receiving and five times with multiple touchdown receptions. Preeminent home run hitter: 52 catches went for 10-plus yards, 30 for 20-plus yards, 21 for 30-plus yards and 12 for 40-plus yards. In high school, a four-star recruit and the country's No. 33 wide receiver by 247Sports. All-time leader in receiving yards (3,624) and receiving touchdowns (57). In 2018 and 2019, helped the team to back-to-back undefeated seasons and state championships.

Key Career Stats

Receptions: 108

Yards per Reception: 16.4 

2022 Season

Catch Percentage: 74%

Team Aerial Dominator: 30% 

Film Breakdown and Skills

At 6’0” and 185-pounds, deadly deep threat with ankle-busting speed. Nimble and twitchy athlete with elusiveness. Instant burst and rapid release off line of scrimmage. Great stop-start and stupendous run-after-catch skills. Changes defensive schemes and forces opponents to defend all levels of the defense. Eats cushions and easily stacks defenders with slick and shifty steps. Very good ball skills: With the pass in flight, tracks it well down the field. Long arms and soft hands. Precision route runner: Excels on curls, sluggo and post patterns. Employed in the slot more than 90% of plays. Limited route tree. Needs to identify holes in zone coverage. Can he transition from a unique spread offense to an NFL passing game? Slender frame and late-breakout competitor. Struggles versus press coverage. Explosiveness is always a valuable commodity in the NFL. One team likely falls head over heels for difference-making acceleration, burst and speed.

Scholar’s GradeSecond Round



9. Jayden Reed, Michigan State

Prospect Resume 

In 2022, ranked second on the team in catches (55), yards (639) and touchdowns (7). Missed one game (Washington) with an injury. Named Second Team All-Big 10 at receiver. In 2021, earned First Team All-American all-purpose player (AFCA) and Third Team All-America receiver. Snatched 59 catches for 1,026 yards, averaged 17.4 yards per catch, and tallied 10 touchdowns. One of five finalists for the Paul Hornung Award. Topped team in all receiving categories with 59 receptions for 1,026 yards and 10 scores. In 2020, earned All-Big 10 as a kick returner. A special teams dynamo: In campus career, returned 42 kickoffs for 841 yards and 38 punts for 581 yards and three touchdowns. During tenure at East Lansing, MI, three-year letter winner and finished among all-time school leaders in receptions (147), touchdown receptions (18) and receiving yards (2,069). Transferred to Michigan State after the 2018 season and sat out all of 2019. In 2018, played at Western Michigan and earned Freshman All-American (FWAA). Played in 13 games, recorded 56 catches for 797 yards and scored eight times. A three-star prospect in high school (2017).

Key Career Stats

Receptions: 203

Yards per Reception: 14.1

2022 Season

Catch Percentage: 56%

Team Aerial Dominator: 31%

Film Breakdown and Skills

At 5’11” and 187-pounds, an electric playmaker, who is elusive and difficult to slow down. Redshirt senior who is versatile: Lined up as an X, Y and Z receiver in college. Jumps off the line of scrimmage. Deep-threat receiver with quick feet. Strong lower legs. Very good short-area quickness. Deadly run-after-the catch ability. Tracks the ball well down the field. Physical competitor who fights through congestion. Snatches jump balls and comfortably corrals back-shoulder throws. Potential special teams star who immediately provides an upgrade on returns. Does not use full arm length to increase catch radius. At times, defenders strip passes from hands. Drops too many passes: Needs to improve hand work to secure the ball. Struggles against press coverage. Profiles as an inside and procession receiver as a professional.

Scholar’s Grade: Third Round


2023 Gridiron Scholar's Wide Receiver Model 

(Click the link above to see the WR model and players’ statistics)


10. Xavier Hutchinson, Iowa State

Prospect Resume 

In 2022, First Team All-American, First Team All-Big-12 and Biletnikoff Award Finalist. Earned 163 targets (13.6 pg.) and six times logged over 10 receptions. Recorded 107 receptions for 1,171 yards and six touchdowns. Garnered double-digit targets in each game except the final one against TCU. In 2021, First Team All-Big 12 with 83 catches for 987 yards and five scores. Tallied four 100-yard receiving games, two double-digit reception performances and eight games with seven or more catches. In 2020, First Team All-Big-12 and Offensive Newcomer of the Year in the Conference. First player in Big-12 history to lead conference in receiving for three conservative campaigns. Enrolled at Blinn (Texas) Junior College for the 2019 season. At Blinn, he totaled 47 receptions for 652 yards and five scores. In high school, three-star prospect from Florida.

Key Career Stats

Receptions: 254

Yards per Reception: 11.5 

2022 Season

Catch Percentage: 66%

Team Aerial Dominator: 37% 

Film Breakdown and Skills

At 6’2” and 203-pounds, looks like an X-receiver, yet, likely thrives as an inside playmaker. Big frame. Polished athlete and fluid movement abilities. Excels in the intermediate level and middle of the field. Very good footwork and body positioning. Long arms and big shoulders. Quick burst and runs crisp routes. Varies release off the line of scrimmage. Sinks hips well. Very good ball skills with strong, natural and consistent mitts. Exceptional hand-eye coordination. Comfortably secures the pass outside of frame. Creates subtle separation. Radar-like ball tracker. Lacks high-end athletic skills and long speed. For a big receiver, a smaller catch radius. Does not produce a ton of YAC. Easily brought down upon contact. Lacks second gear in the open field. Will a team invest Day 2 Draft capital?

Scholar’s GradeThird Round


Twitterverse on Fire!

Who Ya Got in the 4th and 5th rounds of Dynasty Rookie Drafts?

Puka Nacua, BYU: 17.5%

Jayden Reed, Michigan State: 33%

Bryce Ford-Wheaton, West Virginia: 17.5%

Trey Palmer, Nebraska: 32%

“Give me Trey Palmer. He will probably be picked in the early third round and produce Week 1. And if you dig deep enough, Palmer ran a better 40-yard Dash then was released at the Combine.” @NinoBrown_T2T

“Trey Palmer for me. I think he will be an early producer too.” @aceholesrule 


11. Rashee Rice, SMU

Prospect Resume 

In 2022, Second Team All-America (AP) and First Team All-AAC. Biletnikoff Award semifinalist: 96 for 1,355 yards and 10 scores. Registered six 100-yard games. Led the FBS in receiving yards per game (112.9), third in yards and fifth in receptions per game (8.0). Posted single-game career highs with 193 yards versus Maryland and 13 receptions against Memphis. In 2021, paced the team with 64 catches and nine touchdowns and finished second with 670 yards. In 2020, recorded a team-high 48 receptions for 683 yards and five scores. As a freshman in 2019, played in 10 games, making two starts. Snatched 25 passes for 403 yards and a touchdown. Displayed high-level explosiveness at Combine: fourth in 10-yard split (1.49), second in Vertical Jump (41.00) and a solid Broad Jump (10’8”). In high school, a three-star recruit. Received offers from Washington State, Virginia, Texas Tech and Northwestern.

Key Career Stats

Receptions: 233

Yards per Reception: 13.4 

2022 Season

Catch Percentage: 61%

Team Aerial Dominator: 33% 

Film Breakdown and Skills

Deep list of SMU WR prospects: Courtland Sutton, Trey Quinn, James Proche and Danny Gray. Rice is the next Mustangs’ receiver to make the leap to the NFL. At 6’1” and 204-pounds, a playmaker with long arms and a nice frame. Good ball tracker with sticky hands. Nice catch radius. Stupendous body control and easily adjusts to the ball in air. Turns and twists body to snatch pass. Suddenness off the line of scrimmage. Victorious at all three levels of the defense. Explodes in the open field. Great YAC competitor. Precise route runner. Manipulates space and creates separation. Shifty runner who darts in-and-out of traffic down the field. Works well on the boundary. Does not create a lot of separation. Lots of contested catches on tape. Does not possess top-end speed. Will need to improve against press coverage. Looks more like a No. 2 or 3 receiver in the NFL, ie., Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati.

Scholar’s GradeThird Round


12. Jonathan Mingo, Mississippi

Prospect Resume

In 2022, Second Team All-SEC and Co-Offensive Player of the Week versus Vanderbilt (week 7). Secured 51 passes for 861 yards and recorded five touchdowns. In 2021, missed seven games due to injury. Racked up 22 catches for 346 yards and three touchdowns. In 2020, hauled in 12 receptions for 172 yards and a score. Athletic Director's Honor Roll (Fall 2019, Fall 2020 & Spring 2021) and SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll (2020 & 2021). In high school, a four-star recruit and selected to the 2019 Under Armour All-American Game. Ranked as the No. 6 prospect and No. 2 wide receiver in Mississippi.

Film Breakdown and Skills

At 6’2” and 225-pounds, prototypical size-and-speed combination for a boundary receiver. Strong hands and big frame. An excellent catch-and-run playmaker. Polished athlete. Good technique and strength. Imposes will on opponents. Tracks the ball well. Smoothly transitions from pass catcher to runner. Never overly productive in college: Did not surpass 1,000 yards in any campaign. Splendid blocker. Missed many games with broken foot as a junior. Occasionally struggles on release at line of scrimmage. Does not get a lot of separation in man coverage. Lacks quick-twitch ability. Rising up rankings throughout the draft process.

Scholar’s GradeThird Round