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NFL Draft stock report: Wide receivers



Ten weeks into the college football season, many top players have seen their draft stock rise, fall or stay steady. In our latest NFL Draft series, we take a look at some of these prospects.

Today we move to the wide receiver position.

MORE FARRELL: Draft short on QB talent | Midseason top 50 players



Recruiting: A three-star out of high school, Westbrook was a junior college transfer where he earned his fourth star. Shortly after a visit to Oklahoma in November, Westbrook picked the Sooners over Texas Tech, West Virginia, Kansas State and others.

Performance: Westbrook has 64 catches for 1,166 yards and 12 touchdowns this season, 40 more catches than anybody else on his team. He’s averaging more than 18 yards per reception.

Farrell’s Take: Westbrook was a four-star coming out of Blinn, where he put up big numbers and showed he could play outside or inside. He was a perfect fit for a spread offense and with the Big 12 being so wide open defensively, it’s no surprise he had a good first year. But what he has done lately is simply ridiculous and has scouts noticing. He’s turning into one of the best wide receivers in the country very quickly and a guy who will be considered as one of the best deep threats in the draft.

JOHN ROSS, Washington

Recruiting: Ross visited Washington in December and he was serious about other programs including Oregon, Cal, Oregon State and UCLA. He picked the Huskies in January at the Semper Fi Bowl and stuck with his decision.

Performance: Ross leads the Huskies in all receiving categories with 44 catches for 742 yards and 14 touchdowns. He had six receptions for 208 yards and three scores in Washington’s 66-27 win over Cal this past weekend.

Farrell’s Take: A small but electric receiver out of high school, Ross was a high three-star and national top 70 wide receiver his senior season. We had questions about his size and catch radius. We thought he’d be a great fit with Troy Williams, who he played 7-on-7 with out of high school, but now he has hooked up well with Jake Browning and is part of one of the most potent duos in the country. Ross is hard to cover in space and his special teams play was always something to keep an eye on. He’s earning the attention of NFL scouts for his speed and ability to make people miss.



Recruiting: Weeks prior to his senior season, Williams committed to Clemson over South Carolina as those two were mainly the finalists. Alabama, Georgia, Notre Dame and Tennessee were others involved.

Performance: Williams has caught 52 passes for 754 yards with five touchdowns so far this season. He had six catches for a game-high 106 yards and a score in Clemson’s 54-0 win over Syracuse last weekend.

Farrell’s Take: Heading into this season Williams was in a similar situation to Laquon Treadwell in that he’s a super-talented receiver who had injury questions to overcome. While Treadwell landed in round one, he wasn’t the top receiver because of his 40 time. Williams is a bit longer and has better body control, and should run a little better, but he's not as physical. He was a raw, skinny wideout with amazing upside out of high school in 2013. Right now he’s the top guy in a weak wide receiver draft. His play this season has been solid but not spectacular. His size and catch radius has scouts very high on him.


Recruiting: Oregon, Notre Dame and UCLA were serious contenders in Smith’s recruitment, but there was always a sense USC would be tough to beat, especially as it got closer to National Signing Day.

Performance: After a slow start, Smith-Schuster has emerged as USC’s top receiver with 48 receptions for 641 yards and eight touchdowns. He had only two catches for 10 yards in a win over Oregon this past weekend.

Farrell’s Take: When Max Browne was the quarterback at USC, everyone was down on Smith-Schuster but with a new quarterback he has come alive. Could we be looking at Keenan Allen part two? The two don't compare physically, but both were highly rated at safety and ended up being great wide receivers in college. Unlike Allen, we felt more comfortable that Smith-Schuster could be an offensive threat and it’s no surprise to see him as a possible first-rounder in the 2017 NFL Draft. In high school, Smith-Schuster was similar to what you see today – a physical, strong receiver who could outmuscle defenders or beat them deep.



Recruiting: A three-star safety in high school, Sutton had BYU, Colorado and Fresno State as his three favorites just a few weeks before National Signing Day but a late visit to SMU switched up his recruitment.

Performance: Sutton leads the Mustangs with 45 catches for 768 yards and five touchdowns this season. He’s averaging more than 17 yards per reception. Sutton had six catches for 70 yards in a 51-7 loss to Memphis last weekend.

Farrell’s Take: We had Sutton projected as a defensive back with his tall frame and good range. He also played some linebacker as well but he has developed into a very good wide receiver at the next level. He was a big-play threat at wide receiver in high school, although not nearly as polished as he is now. Most wanted him as a defensive back, but his ball skills have transitioned well and his size, speed and hands make him one to watch for the draft. However, with guys like Westbrook and Ross emerging in a weak receiver draft, Sutton is sliding a bit despite being more productive at the same stage as last season.


Recruiting: Lightly recruited out of high school, Washington picked Oklahoma State in the summer before his senior season. His only other reported offer was from Texas State.

Performance: Washington leads the Cowboys with 974 receiving yards and eight touchdowns as he’s averaging 19.5 yards per catch. He’s second on Oklahoma State with 50 catches. Washington recorded seven catches for 117 yards and two scores in a win over Kansas State last weekend.

Farrell’s Take: Washington was a very fast, straight-line receiver from a small school who can be billed as a “diamond in the rough” recruiting find for Oklahoma State. We liked his speed enough to make him a low three-star, but he has turned into something fun to watch at the next level. Not only is he fast but he’s elusive and sneaky strong. But as an average-sized receiver with speed, he has been overshadowed by Westbrook and Ross among others.