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NFL rookie WR outlook: Are Drake London, Garrett Wilson, others already their team’s No. 1 receiving option?

NFL rookie WR outlook: Are Drake London, Garrett Wilson, others already their team’s No. 1 receiving option?

NFL rookie WR outlook: Are Drake London, Garrett Wilson, others already their team’s No. 1 receiving option? The National Football League has enthusiastically embraced its evolution into a passing-oriented offense.

Numerous rookies and second-year players, including Ja’Marr Chase, Jaylen Waddle, Amon-Ra St. Brown, and others, are among the league’s top receivers.

NFL rookie WR outlook: Are Drake London, Garrett Wilson, others already their team's No. 1 receiving option?
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Before Chase, no wide receiver had won the Associated Press Offensive Rookie of the Year award since Odell Beckham Jr. in 2014.

Even though Jameson Williams of the Lions is still sidelined due to an injury he got in the College Football Playoff, the youth movement is continuing with some highly talented pass catchers through two games of the 2022 regular season.

Drake London, Falcons

To summarize Atlanta’s passing attack, I’d point to tight end Kyle Pitts and wide receiver London. Each is a behemoth in terms of size, time spent on the boundary, and output.

Last year, Pitts broke Julio Jones’ franchise rookie receiving record and became the second tight end in NFL history to gain more than 1,000 receiving yards as a rookie. He had just four receptions for 38 yards in two games. Meanwhile, Marcus Mariota can now confidently throw the ball to London, who has emerged as his preferred target as a wide receiver.

Of Mariota’s 59 pass attempts, 19 (42.2%) have been aimed at London. He’s hauled in 13 passes for 160 yards and a score. The USC graduate was the No. 12 overall prospect and the No. 3 wide receiver talent in CBS projections for the 2022 NFL Draft.

With the addition of a top-tier quarterback prospect and the return of star wideout Calvin Ridley, the Falcons have a chance to have one of the most exciting skill combinations in the NFC.

Garrett Wilson, Jets

Elijah Moore, a second-year wide receiver, came into the season with high expectations to take the next step forward and become the team’s major outlet.

Moore has had a solid start to the season statistically, but Joe Flacco, a seasoned quarterback, may have already given the nod to the youngster. 22 of Flacco’s 103 pass attempts (21.4%) have been aimed towards Wilson, who also owns the team-high in touchdown receptions (two).

His quick footwork and ability to generate space have made him difficult to contain in the penalty area. There were a few chances for Flacco to increase his statistics, but he was not on the same page.

It may be like finding a Mento in a Coke bottle when Zach Wilson is expected back in a few weeks.

Does the second-year quarterback plan to continue giving the youngster the majority of his targets, or will his friendship with Moore convince him to switch his focus? Finally, Wilson’s poise and agility will make him at least the backup for the AFC East team’s starting job. According to CBSSports, he was the top wide receiver draft prospect and the seventh best player available.

Chris Olave, Saints

Olave was a high draft pick for New Orleans, but how would he fit in with Michael Thomas and Jarvis Landry? The veterans have established themselves in the league by sitting in zones and catching slants. 

For practical reasons, Olave is almost certainly the best vertical alternative. The rookie’s 15.13 yards per catch rank 20th among all receivers, with at least four receptions to back up the presumption.

Thomas (11.09) and Landry (12.64) come in at a lower place. All three of them have a distinct part of performing, but their objectives are rather similar. Jameis Winston, the quarterback, has thrown 14-17 passes to each of them.

Most likely, Winston will mostly focus on Thomas and, to a lesser extent, Landry for the majority of the season. There will be some big plays from Olave here and there.

Jahan Dotson, Commanders

While the article’s focus so far has been on target share, the Commanders bring in the element of instinct. Twenty of Carson Wentz’s 87 pass attempts have been aimed at a healthy Curtis Samuel. Dotson is one of five other players with between 10 and 12 targets.

Dotson has caught seven passes, three of which have resulted in touchdowns. Before the 2022 NFL Draft, the Penn State alum was studied for his strong hands and wide catch radius. It’s safe to assume both have succeeded in the business world.

Treylon Burks, Titans

Because of the A.J. Brown trade, everyone had high hopes for Burks before he even started working for the organization.

The youngster had a shaky preseason, but the Titans have fed him touches like candy. He’s caught seven of the 11 passes thrown his way for 102 yards and a team high. Just 53 passes have been thrown by Ryan Tannehill this season.

Though Burks isn’t directly accountable for it, the team’s identity as a whole rests on the run game. To put it simply, he is the best receiver in Tennessee. He needs to be.

Kyle Phillips, a fellow rookie, or Robert Woods, a veteran, stands out as the most likely candidate to fill that vacancy. Dotson and Wilson are more adept at making opportunities for themselves, but Burks will also have his fair share of success.

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