A total of five pass-catchers were selected throughout the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft. History was made when four receivers—Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Quentin Johnston, Zay Flowers, and Jordan Addison—were selected in successive fashion from No. 20 to 23 overall. The Buffalo Bills then selected former Utah tight end Dalton Kincaid just two picks later.
Those five playmakers are some never-too-early candidates to lead all rookies in receiving yards through the 2023 campaign. We’re eagerly anticipating the opportunity to witness how these receiving weapons acclimate to their professional surroundings. Rookie receivers have taken the NFL by storm lately, and the impending season should welcome more of the same.
Taking landing spots into consideration, the NFL futures prop betting landscape for the “2023 Rookie Receiving Yards Leader” is officially taking shape. FanDuel recently updated the exciting odds. The top 10 shakes out as follows:
- Jordan Addison (+250)
- Jaxon Smith-Njigba (+280)
- Quentin Johnston (+550)
- Zay Flowers (+1000)
- Jonathan Mingo (+1200)
- Rashee Rice (+1800)
- Dalton Kincaid (+1800)
- Jayden Reed (+2200)
- Jalin Hyatt (+2500)
- Sam LaPorta (+2500)
THE FAVORITE & MY PICK: JORDAN ADDISON
Jordan Addison landed in a dream spot opposite the league’s best-performing receiver in Justin Jefferson. Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell is an offensive-minded leader that’s excited to implement Addison’s skill set into his game plan. The attention Jefferson receives from opposing secondaries will help Addison draw advantageous one-versus-one matchups.
Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah released the aging Adam Thielen earlier this offseason. Thielen recorded 70 receptions on 107 targets for 716 receiving yards and six touchdowns last season. There are a ton of newly-available targets in Minnesota’s passing offense. Addison qualifies as a like-for-like replacement that will immediately step into Thielen’s role.
THE NO. 1 CONTENDER: JAXON SMITH-NJIGBA
Jaxon Smith-Njigba isn’t the favorite despite being the first receiver drafted. It’s understandable. Smith-Njigba is joining a loaded room that already includes D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. Metcalf (141) and Lockett (117) combined to see 258 targets last season. By comparison, the third option (Noah Fant) saw just 63 targets. It would likely take an injury for Smith-Njigba to see a large portion of the target share.
The Seahawks fielded a 13th-ranked passing offense in 2022 (231.4/game). A run-pass balanced offense, the Seahawks attempted a 15th-ranked 573 passes. That number could regress with Ken Walker III and Zach Charbonnet forming a new-look duo in the backfield. Smith-Njigba was a terrific addition for the Seahawks, but he isn’t a great bet to lead all rookies in receiving yards.
A WORTHY UNDERDOG: RASHEE RICE
The Kansas City Chiefs were the lone passing offense to throw for 5,000-plus yards last season. The presence of quarterback Patrick Mahomes ensures they’ll be a top-three passing offense for the foreseeable future. The offseason departure of Juju Smith-Schuster has left the Chiefs without a clear-cut No. 1 receiver.
While Travis Kelce is Kansas City’s true No. 1 receiver, who is going to lead the Chiefs in snaps at boundary receiver? Rashee Rice is among the realistic options, alongside Kadarius Toney and Skyy Moore. The landing spot makes Rice a tempting value play at +1800.
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