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Mid-Year Rookie Review: Re-Ranking The 2023 Wide Receiver Class (8-14)

Jeremy takes a look at the 2023 rookie WR class 10 weeks into their NFL careers.

INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 29: Quentin Johnston #1 of the Los Angeles Chargers runs the ball in the second quarter against the Chicago Bears at SoFi Stadium on October 29, 2023 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)

I am starting a new Thursday series where I re-rank the 2023 NFL Draft class by position group through the first half of the season. For the next two weeks, I am reviewing the wide receiver position. To be honest, there are just seven rookie wide receivers who are making a major impact for their team through the first ten weeks of the season, but there are a few others that could make an impact later in the season or for Dynasty purposes in the next couple of years. So I will be doing a two-part series, starting with the players who haven’t quite broken out yet. In other words, this week I am looking at rookie WRs 8-14, while next week I will rank the top seven.

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8. Quentin Johnston

The Los Angeles Chargers selected Quentin Johnston with the 21st overall pick of the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft, and he has all the traits NFL teams are looking for in a wide receiver. At 6’3” and 208 pounds, Johnston is a big, fast, physical receiver. He reminds me a lot of Alshon Jeffery with his size and playing style. Given that he was the second WR off the board on Draft Night, landing on this half of the list is a fall in his stock. He currently ranks as the WR91 in PPR scoring through the first ten weeks of the season, despite seeing more opportunity with Mike Williams and Joshua Palmer missing time. However, I believe Johnston is still going to be a good wide receiver in the NFL, but we might have to wait until either Keenan Allen or Mike Williams retires or moves to another NFL team. He is a hold in all Dynasty leagues, as I think he will make a big leap in his development next year. Even this year, with Williams out for the season and Allen getting banged up every week, I will be shocked if he does not finish the season better than he has been so far.

9. Jayden Reed

The Green Bay Packers selected Jayden Reed with the 50th overall pick in the second round of the 2023 NFL Draft, and it looks like they found a playmaker. He is a smooth route runner with good hands and deceptive speed. At 5’11” and 187 pounds, he is not a big receiver, but he is quick and knows how to get open. He is a guy that I have stashed away in all my Dynasty leagues this year. He is going to be a solid second wide receiver in the NFL for many years if he continues to get better. He currently ranks as the WR42 in PPR scoring through the first ten weeks of the season. If he keeps playing like he is now and Jordan Love progresses more this season, he could finish the season strong.

10. Michael Wilson

The Arizona Cardinals selected Michael Wilson with the 94th overall pick in the third round of the 2023 NFL Draft, and he looks like he could develop into a solid player at the wide receiver position. He has outstanding size at 6’2” and 213 pounds, and he uses the size well to make contested catches and to get separation on his routes. The Cardinals got a steal by selecting him in the third round. He is going to be a solid player to pair with Kyler Murray for the next five or six years. He is another player I would and have stashed away in my Dynasty leagues this year. He currently ranks as the WR50 in PPR scoring through the first ten weeks of the season. With Murray back now, I believe Wilson could finish the year as WR40 or better.

11. Jonathan Mingo

The Carolina Panthers selected Jonathan Mingo with the 39th overall pick in the second round of the 2023 NFL Draft. The Panthers were looking for a dynamic playmaker at the position to complement newly signed free agent Adam Theilen. Mingo is another big-body receiver like both Johnston and Wilson, but he is not as fast or as elusive as Johnston. He comes in at 6’2” and 220 pounds, and he uses his size well to make contested catches and is still smooth with his route-running ability. I probably have him higher than most in my rankings because coming into the draft he reminded me of Anquan Boldin, and I am hoping the Panthers and Bryce Young start using Mingo more in the second half of the season. He currently ranks as the WR81 in PPR scoring on the season, but I believe he will finish the season on an upward trend if the Panthers start getting him the ball more and letting some of the younger players get more playing time down the stretch.

12. Marvin Mims

Marvin Mims was selected by the Denver Broncos with the 63rd overall pick in the second round of the 2023 NFL Draft. I was surprised when the Broncos took Mims that early in the draft, given the fact that they had Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, and Tim Patrick already set as the top three players at wide receiver for 2023. So that made me think that Head Coach Sean Payton must have seen something he really liked in Mims and that one of the veteran receivers may not be back in Denver in 2024. Mims is a smaller receiver at 5’11” and 183 pounds, but he is fast, quick out of his breaks when running routes, and has excellent hands. I believe he will be one of the starting wide receivers for the Broncos in 2024. He might also get some more opportunities down the stretch, depending on how the rest of the season goes for the Broncos. He is currently ranked as the WR93 in PPR scoring, but I would try to trade for him now in Dynasty leagues because you can get him relatively cheap, and he has the possibility of blowing up next year.

13. Jalin Hyatt

Jalin Hyatt was drafted by the New York Giants with the 73rd overall pick in the third round of the 2023 NFL Draft. Hyatt is another fast and elusive wide receiver from this 2023 draft class. He is 6’0” and 176 pounds, and he is very good at tracking the deep ball and making contested catches. He reminds me of a little bigger version of DeSean Jackson, at least coming into the draft. He was drafted into a great situation with the Giants needing help at wide receiver and Daniel Jones looking to take the step in his path to being a franchise quarterback, but injuries to Jones and bad overall team performance have left Hyatt as a player we do not know much about right now. He is currently ranked outside the top 100 WRs in PPR scoring. However, I believe he will finish as the WR80 or better this season if the Giants give him more playing time down the stretch since they will not be in playoff contention this season.

14. Demario Douglas

Demario Douglas was drafted by the New England Patriots with the 210th overall pick in the sixth round of the 2023 NFL Draft, and he is making all the other teams wish they had selected him earlier in the draft. Douglas is not a big wide receiver, coming in at 5’8” and 179 pounds, so that is probably one of the reasons he went late in the draft. But he has shown flashes of his playmaking ability throughout the first ten weeks of the season. Douglas is a good route runner, and he is very elusive after the catch. He is the one player that I debated putting higher in the rankings because he is having a nice rookie season, especially for a sixth-round pick, but the players ahead of him have more physical skills and should end up ahead of him in the future. Douglas currently ranks as the WR60 in PPR scoring so far this year and should finish strong with Kendrick Bourne out for the season.