It’s never too early to look ahead to the next NFL draft. Here are three wide receiver prospects New York Jets fans should keep their eye on throughout this year’s college football season.
Jerry Jeudy, Alabama
While the 2019 NFL draft lacked a blue-chip pass-catcher worthy of a top-five pick, the 2020 draft shouldn’t have that problem. Jeudy is the kind of complete prospect who should be worthy of top-five consideration come next April.
After taking over for first-round pick Calvin Ridley, Jeudy lit up the stat sheet in 2018, hauling in 68 passes for 1,315 yards and a whopping 14 touchdowns for the Crimson Tide.
A smooth route runner with polished technique and rare explosiveness, Jeudy creates constant separation and makes life as easy as possible for his quarterback. He’s a big-play machine who can take the top off any defense with his speed, and can do just as much damage after the catch on shorter routes.
Laviska Shenault, Colorado
A physical pass-catcher who makes opposing defenders pay for challenging him, Shenault is the complete package of size, explosiveness, and tackle-breaking.
Shenault’s versatility helped him find the end zone in multiple ways for the Buffaloes last season, splitting his 11 offensive touchdowns nearly equally between receiving (6) and rushing (5).
This 6-2, 220-pound playmaker routinely embarrasses smaller defensive backs, whether at the catch point or after the reception. His explosiveness and big-play ability is somewhat surprising considering his well-built frame, and his complete skill set should make him a first-round lock in next year’s draft.
CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma
He may not have Jeudy’s polish or Shenault’s physicality, but Lamb is a big-play threat in his own right with loads of upside heading into the 2019 season.
A favorite target of Heisman Trophy winner and No. 1 overall pick Kyler Murray, Lamb put up big numbers for the Sooners in 2019 (65 receptions, 1,158 yards, 11 touchdowns), despite playing opposite first-round pick Marquise Brown.
He’ll want to add a few pounds of quality bulk before he makes the jump to the pros, but Lamb has all the tools to be one of the best receivers in the nation, as well as the 2020 draft.