If you went back and looked at the initial 2022 NFL Draft odds, Garrett Wilson might not be in the top five at wide receiver. Since then, his film has proven that he’s one of — if not the — best wide receiver in the 2022 NFL Draft. Now, he’s considered likely to be the first wide receiver taken. Will he go first? And who’s on his heels to compete for that honor? Let’s dive into the odds.
2022 NFL Draft Odds: Who will be the first receiver drafted?
If your team needs a wide receiver in this draft, there are many options. It’s a deep group that has 18 receivers in the top 100. The cream of the crop stands above the rest, and we’ve seen plenty of volatility within these five players.
Wilson, USC’s Drake London, Alabama’s Jameson Williams, Arkansas’ Treylon Burks, and Wilson’s teammate Chris Olave have all spent time as the top receiver in the class. All five boast great skill sets that stand out above everyone else. As the draft draws near, rankings become more solidified.
Using DraftKings Sportsbook, we look at which one of them will be taken first, along with their 2022 NFL Draft odds.
Garrett Wilson, Ohio State +125
Ohio State’s Wilson announced his presence to the nation in the 2019 Fiesta Bowl. Since then, he’s made a living terrorizing defensive backs throughout the country. If you’re looking for a receiver that thrives making acrobatic catches and can be a WR1 for your team, Wilson is your guy.
There weren’t many placing Wilson atop the wide receiver rankings early on. But after reviewing the film, it seems they’re on board. In my initial mock draft with Pro Football Network, I sent Wilson to the Detroit Lions at second overall. While that’s too early for a receiver to be selected, the idea that Wilson will be the first taken remains true.
Standing out at Ohio State isn’t easy. With the talent that wide receivers coach Brian Hartline brings in, guys like Wilson are special. To do it among college football‘s best is another achievement, and now he’s considered the most complete receiver in this class. There’s plenty of competition, but Wilson is currently tied for the best NFL Draft odds to be the first receiver selected.
Drake London, USC +125
This one might surprise some people. USC’s Drake London produced a number of highlight-reel catches that caught everyone’s attention. Fans became enamored with the lone consistent bright spot in the Trojans offense, and now his play puts him in contention to be the first receiver selected.
At 6’5″, 210 pounds, it’s easy to see why NFL teams will line up for London’s services. A strong frame with the ability to “Moss” anyone on the field, London frequently towers over his competition. However, questions about separation and his quickness still must be answered. An injury kept him out of the NFL Combine, USC’s Pro Day, and pushed his own individual pro day back.
The injuries present obstacles for London and his NFL Draft odds to be WR1. Unless he blows scouts away with his testing, the injuries might be enough to push him back to a late first-round pick. However, the film still speaks for itself. Once fully healthy, London will be an excellent selection, even if he’s not the first receiver taken.
Jameson Williams, Alabama +850
Speaking of injuries, teams must determine how high to place Jameson Williams on their big boards without any testing. His torn ACL continues to heal, so teams can only use the film in 2021. Fortunately for Williams, he boasts a strong case for WR1 based on his play. It’s tough to improve his NFL Draft odds or move him up on the board without additional data points.
His speed literally jumps out on film. We saw the Crimson Tide star run away from nearly everyone this season. So any questions about his speed when fully healthy shouldn’t remain. He’s fast. As Unger said in The Longest Yard, “he’s so fast he makes fast people look not fast.” Basically, don’t overthink his speed.
Treylon Burks, Arkansas +900
At the peak of the hype, Treylon Burks dominated the WR1 conversation. Fast forward to today, and Burks might fall out of the first round. As Pro Football Network Draft Analyst Tony Pauline mentioned, “These bigger-bodied receivers who went up for the contested throws every Saturday tend to fall in the draft.”
At this point, it takes the right team to select Burks. Specifically, it will be a team looking to add size to their wide receiver group. Burks’ frame fits exactly what the Titans just lost in Julio Jones, and PFN Draft Analyst Oliver Hodgkinson sent Burks to Tennessee in his latest 4-Round NFL Mock Draft.
There’s still a chance Burks will be the first receiver selected, but it takes the right situation. He didn’t test as strong as anticipated, but there’s still plenty of intrigue in his game. WR1 appears to be slipping away for Burks in the NFL Draft, but his odds of being selected in the first round are strong.
Chris Olave, Ohio State +1400
While we’ve seen Wilson rise, it’s come at the expense of Chris Olave. Heading into the 2021 season, you couldn’t find anyone ranking Wilson over Olave. The Ohio State teammates dominated the Big Ten, but the consensus was the elder Buckeye would be the better prospect.
Make no mistake about it — Olave’s still a stellar prospect. He ran a 4.39 40-yard dash to showcase his speed, and most of his numbers rivaled Wilson’s. So the gap isn’t huge between the two. On film, Olave’s speed helped him blow past defensive backs consistently. His explosiveness frequently allowed him to create separation, and you often saw him running by himself because of it.
It all comes down to preference. The consensus is that Olave is not the top receiver in the class. However, that doesn’t mean a team won’t have him at the top of their board. He’s an impressive route runner with an elite ability to create separation, and a team looking for that skill set won’t mind picking him. His NFL Draft odds don’t favor him over others, but he’s still a great talent worth selecting in the first round.