The NFL Draft is less than a week away. As we prepare for the draft, it’s time to consider which teams could see major shifts. Over the next few pieces, I’ll be looking at QB, RB, and WR groups that figure to change thanks to the draft, highlighting three in each category. Today concludes with a look at WR Rooms.
On the Roster: Calvin Ridley, Olamide Zaccheaus, Frank Darby, Damiere Byrd, Auden Tate, KhaDarel Hodge, Chad Hansen, and Austin Trammell
About: It’s fair to believe no team in the NFL has a WR room as depleted as the Falcons. Ridley is a great talent who is still on the roster, but he’s been suspended for the entire 2022 season. That leaves the Falcons—and new quarterback Marcus Mariota—with few options. Zaccheaus figures to be WR1 right now, with a collection of other prospects that will compete for targets. It’s also possible Cordarrelle Patterson, who plays a hybrid of running back and receiver will be a primary target along with tight end Kyle Pitts. No matter what, the Falcons need more weapons on offense. But that’s just one of many needs for the Falcons.
Prediction: The team holds the No. 8 pick in the First Round. Some believe the Falcons will draft a quarterback, but I think the Falcons may focus on building the team before addressing a QB, more likely in 2023. With that top pick, it’s hard to pass on one of the top receivers. I think the Falcons will use their First-Round pick on an offensive weapon for the second year in a row, likely grabbing USC receiver Drake London. London should quickly become the top receiver for the Falcons.
New York Jets
On the Roster: Elijah Moore, Corey Davis, Braxton Berrios, Denzel Mims, Lawrence Cager, Rodney Adams, Tarik Black, Jeff Smith, and D.J. Montgomery
About: The Jets are building something. In 2021, the Jets found a franchise QB (Zach Wilson), lead running back (Michael Carter), and explosive receiver (Moore) in the draft. The team didn’t win many games, but they showed signs of building something. I love Moore’s potential. He caught 43 passes for 538 yards and five touchdowns in just 11 games. The team also has veteran Davis, who signed a contract last off-season. But the team has room for more weapons as they try to compete in a crowded AFC East and crowded AFC Conference. That means looking for more in the draft.
Prediction: The Jets have a pair of Top 10 picks in this draft. While the team is likely to add an impact player elsewhere with one of them, likely an elite piece on defense, I think the other pick will be an elite receiver. Seeing Ohio State’s Garrett Wilson land in New York would set up Zach Wilson with an incredible set of weapons to try and establish a winning culture in New York.
Green Bay Packers
On the Roster: Allen Lazard, Randall Cobb, Sammy Watkins, Amari Rodgers, Juwann Winfree, Chris Blair, Rico Gafford, and Malik Taylor
About: The excellent news for the Packers is Aaron Rodgers is back. The bad news is that Davante Adams, one of the best receivers in the game, is now a Las Vegas Raider. Marquez Valdes-Scantling also went to the Kansas City Chiefs, which leaves the Packers’ receiver room radically changed. The team brought back Lazard, still has veteran Cobb and signed veteran Watkins to a one-year deal. That’s a start, but it hardly feels like enough for a team that’s won 13 games each of the last three seasons.
Prediction: The Packers have two First-Round picks, and while the team has been loathing to use high picks on skill players in the past, this off-season feels different. The Packers need to do something at receiver, and I think at least one of the First-Round selections will be a receiver. My pick was Skyy Moore, the receiver out of Western Kentucky who has been rising up the charts in the wake of a good Combine performance. Either way, the Packers need to add to this group as they look to continue to compete with Rodgers at quarterback.
Matthew Fox is a member of the FSWA. He’s a die-hard NFL fan and Broncos’ homer. 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.