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top rookie wide receivers 2022
NFL

Predicting Most Productive Rookie Wide Receivers

  • Ryan Fowler
  • May 11, 2022
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With an extensively deep talent pool coming out of this year’s draft, there won’t be a shortage of high-impact, rookie wide receivers to follow this fall. From Jameson Williams in Detroit to Chris Olave in New Orleans and a few more in between, who will have the most production? Here is how I see the top of the totem pole ranking in terms of rookie receiving yards. 

1. Christian Watson, Green Bay Packers

With wide receivers Davante Adams and Marques Valdes-Scantling gone, quarterback Aaron Rodgers has to find new targets, and the 6-foot-4 uber-athletic talent in Watson should immediately become the favorite of Green Bay’s newly constructed wide receivers room. One of the most fluid movers of any pass-catcher in the class, Watson has a long way to go to progress into an ‘Adams-like’ security blanket for the future Hall of Famer, but his skill set will allow him to compete from the moment Green Bay takes their first snaps this fall. A small school product out of FCS powerhouse North Dakota State, Watson is a ball of clay and if all comes to fruition… watch out. With Rodgers at the helm, there isn’t a more perfect situation for Watson, who ran 4.3-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine. He’ll be asked to wear a ton of hats in the Packers offense as they look to capture their fourth-straight NFC North crown. 

Prediction: 990 yards

2. Chris Olave, New Orleans Saints

One thing is for sure in that we know quarterback Jameis Winston is going to sling the rock around the yard, and Olave should be a direct beneficiary. Who knows the true health of wide receiver Michael Thomas and if he’s unable to suit up at any capacity this fall, Olave’s workload would increase even further, potentially challenging Watson for the top spot on my list. The purest route-runner in the class whose movements on the outside mimic art in motion, Olave is as pro-ready as they come on the outside and his ability to work over any level of the defense will allow him to become a featured target in a Saints offense that ranked 19th overall in points scored per game (21.4) last season. 

Prediction: 955 yards

3. Skyy Moore, Kansas City Chiefs

All 1,239 yards of Tyreek Hill are gone and someone is going to need to fill the void. While it could come via a group effort with new additions in JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling, I expect the second-round selection in Moore to quickly assert himself as one of quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ favorite targets. A late riser in the pre-draft process, there are few things Moore doesn’t do well. His “my ball” approach to the game complements his lighting-quick twitch on the perimeter and with the aforementioned names including Travis Kelce expected to get a hefty amount of work as well, Moore will be granted a ton of one-on-one opportunities with eyes focused elsewhere.

Prediction: 920 yards