The 2023 NFL Draft is rapidly closing in, and when it comes, the selections will impact the depth charts and starting lineups of teams throughout the league. Over the next couple of pieces, I’ll be looking at teams whose depth charts could change with selections in the draft. Today are 10 teams that might be looking for a receiver in the NFL Draft.
On the Roster: Drake London, Mack Hollins, Scotty Miller, Frank Darby, Jared Bernhardt, Josh Ali, and Ra’Shaun Henry
The Situation: The Falcons are in the midst of changing their identity. It seems the team will be giving Third-Round pick Desmond Ridder a shot at quarterback, while they found a good young running back in Tyler Allgeier and a great tight end prospect in Kyle Pitts. But what about the receivers? The Falcons struck gold with First Round pick London last year, adding a couple of role players in Hollins and Miller for this season. But there is still room for more, with the rest of the receivers on the roster serving as prospects and roster fillers.
Prediction: I don’t think Atlanta will use a third straight Top 10 pick on a receiver, but I do think the team will add more to the position group in the draft, likely in the Second, Third, or Fourth Round.
On the Roster: Rashod Bateman, Odell Beckham, Jr., Devin Duvernay, Nelson Agholor, Tylan Wallace, James Proche, Andy Isabella, Mike Thomas, and Shemar Bridges
The Situation: The Ravens made a bold move in signing Beckham to a one-year deal. Beckham gives them a potential weapon at receiver, while former First Round pick Bateman showed flashes last season before being slowed by injury for the second straight season. Duvernay has stepped up at times, and Agholor joined the Ravens to add receiving depth. On paper, the team has a lot of options at receiver and some serious potential. But is this enough to make them a competitor? The Ravens have plenty of questions, beginning at quarterback. The situation with Lamar Jackson is far from settled, but building a solid receiving corps is a good enticement for the quarterback, even if only for a Franchise Tag year.
Prediction: I like the Beckham signing, and I hope Bateman takes a step forward, still Baltimore needs more options. I don’t know that the Ravens will use their First-Round pick on a receiver, though they probably should. But I think the Ravens will take a receiver somewhere in the first three rounds.
On the Roster: Stefon Diggs, Gabriel Davis, Trent Sherfield, Deonte Hardy, Khalil Shakir, Isaiah Coulter, Keesean Johnson, and Dezmon Patmon
The Situation: The Bills entered the off-season looking to make an upgrade at the receiver position. So far, the team has added role players in Sherfield and Hardy, but nothing of substance. Diggs remains one of the best receivers in the league, but it has seemed at times that he’s grown weary of being with the Bills. That’s a potential problem. So, too, is the lack of consistency from Davis. Davis, a Fourth-Round pick, had a chance to step up in 2022. He did post a career year, seeing 93 targets and catching 48 passes for 836 yards and seven touchdowns. Is he capable of more? Perhaps, but it also makes sense for the Bills to give themselves options if they want to compete in the AFC.
Prediction: The Bills haven’t been able to land upgrades in free agency, likely meaning they’ll target upgrades in the draft. The Bills have been contenders the past few seasons, but the Super Bowl window might be closing. I think they take a swing at a receiver early in the draft.
On the Roster: D.J. Chark, Adam Thielen, Terrace Marshall, Laviska Shenault, Shi Smith, Preston Williams, Stephen Sullivan, Derek Wright, and C.J. Saunders
The Situation: The Panthers are in the midst of a rebuild with new Head Coach Frank Reich. As part of that, they flipped star receiver D.J. Moore, among other pieces, for the No. 1 overall draft pick. That No. 1 overall pick should land the Panthers a franchise quarterback, but what about his receiving corps? The Panthers had prospects in Marshall, Smith, and Shenault already on the roster. In free agency, the team added veterans in Thielen and Chark. That gives them some options, along with a solid running back addition in Miles Sanders and a solid tight end addition in Hayden Hurst. Still, this is a team that’s building for the future, which could mean a young receiver to grow with a franchise quarterback.
Prediction: The Panthers will use their top pick on a quarterback. Beyond that, the team has plenty of needs. Still, I think they’ll snag a receiver in the second or third rounds.
Green Bay Packers
On the Roster: Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs, Samori Toure, Jeff Cotton, and Bo Melton
The Situation: The Packers are about to enter a new era. Though it hasn’t been completed yet, the team expects to trade Aaron Rodgers, handing the reins to former First Round pick Jordan Love. But what kind of weapons are they leaving him? The Packers spent three draft picks on receivers in 2022, and now those players (Watson, Doubs, and Toure) compose most of the team’s receiving corps. The Packers haven’t added much in Free Agency, but with the trade for Rodgers, they should have more draft picks. Will they use them?
Prediction: The Packers have often resisted using high picks on skill players in recent years, but this is a true need. The Packers should use a First or Second Round pick to add a receiver.
On the Roster: Robert Woods, Nico Collins, Noah Brown, John Metchie, Amari Rodgers, Steven Sims, Jr., Jalen Camp, Alex Bachman, Drew Estrada, and Johnny Johnson
The Situation: The Texans, like the Panthers, are likely going to use a top pick to grab a franchise quarterback. Whether it’s C.J. Stroud or Bryce Young, one of them figures to end up on the roster as the No. 2 overall pick. But what about his receivers? The Texans dealt Brandin Cooks to the Cowboys this off-season. While the team returns third-year man Nico Collins, there are a lot of other questions. Woods signed after a down year in Tennessee in 2022, while Brown is a role player that rounds out the roster. The hope is Metchie can get on the field this year, but he’ll be new to playing in the NFL. The rest of the options are depth pieces at best. But the Texans have plenty of draft capital to make some changes.
Prediction: I don’t think the team will use its First-Round picks on a receiver, but I suspect the Texans will snag one in the Second or Third Round of the draft.
Kansas City Chiefs
On the Roster: Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Kadarius Toney, Skyy Moore, John Ross, Ritchie James, Ihmir Smith-Marsette, Justyn Ross, Cornell Powell, Jerrion Ealy, and Ty Fryfogle
The Situation: The Chiefs proved last year they could win with a good group of receivers rather than a single superstar. Still, they have to build that group back in 2023. Mecole Hardman is with the Jets, and Juju Smith-Schuster signed with the Patriots. The Chiefs still have the speedy MVS, Toney, who came over from the Giants, and last year’s pick Moore. The team also has a roster of veteran depth options, some of whom are still looking to beat out and make an NFL splash. Is that enough for a team with Super Bowl aspirations? The Chiefs will likely need more as Toney has struggled with injuries, and Moore didn’t play a big role on offense.
Prediction: The Chiefs have some good young weapons and some options, but they’re not in a solid position, yet. I suspect the team will use a mid-round pick to snag another receiving option.
New York Giants
On the Roster: Parris Campbell, Darius Slayton, Sterling Shepherd, Wan’Dale Robinson, Isaiah Hodgins, Collin Johnson, Jeff Smith, David Sills, Jamison Crowder, Lawrence Cager, Kalil Pimpleton, Jaydon Mickens, and Makai Polk
The Situation: There are a lot of receivers on the roster for the Giants, but is there an Alpha? No, there isn’t. Robinson is an interesting gadget, Shepherd is trying to stay healthy, Crowder is a veteran, Hodgins and Slayton have produced at times on the outside, and Campbell is the biggest free-agent addition. Then the team has a lot of depth and role players. But the Giants want to compete. The team made the playoffs last season, and returning Quarterback Daniel Jones and Running Back Saquon Barkley are a good start. Adding a star in Tight End Darren Waller helps, too. But the Giants need more bang out of their receiving group as well.
Prediction: The last time the Giants used a first-round pick on a receiver (Toney), it didn’t pan out. Does that mean they won’t do it again? Not necessarily, but I think the team will likely look more toward the Second and Third Rounds to add to the group.
On the Roster: Treylon Burks, Nick Westbrook, Racey McMath, Kyle Phillips, Reggie Roberson, and Mason Kinsey
The Situation: Have you seen a less inspiring group of receivers? Burks was a First-Round pick last year, and many thought he’d slip into A.J. Brown’s role. Instead, he struggled to stay on the field and struggled to produce when he was there. He finished with 33 receptions for 444 yards and a touchdown. And yet, he’s by far the best option among what’s on the roster in Tennessee. The team seems likely to roll forward with Ryan Tannehill and Malik Willis again in 2022 and will be a run-first team with Derrick Henry. But you still have to pass the ball to win or compete. The Titans have done little in free agency, putting even more pressure on the draft.
Prediction: Will they take a receiver in the First Round for the second year in a row? Probably not, though they certainly should. Instead, I think the team will use a Second or Third Round pick to add to the receiver room.
Matthew Fox is a die-hard NFL fan and Broncos’ homer. He’s a member of the FSWA. You can find more from him on Twitter @knighthawk7734 or as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast, a part of the Campus2Canton Network.