When we headed into the 2022 college football season, most NFL draft evaluators and scouts saw a 2023 wide receiver class loaded with talent that could once again dominate the first round. Then the season began.
Ohio State's Jaxon Smith-Njigba was coming off a record-setting performance in last year's Rose Bowl but caught just five passes this season while battling a hamstring injury. LSU's Kayshon Boutte was viewed as perhaps the most explosive receiver in the country but wasn't healthy to start the year (ankle surgery in the spring) and posted just two 100-yard games all season. The top-ranked receivers from the summer were sidelined and slowed, leaving us with a much different 2023 class than what we saw in August.
"This is a strong middle-tier draft class, but it's not strong at the top," said one NFL general manager. "I don't see anyone in this class who is a surefire WR1 out of the gate."
Scouts widely agree that there are talented receivers -- including some who may emerge or develop into WR1 playmakers -- but few have a true first-round grade at this point. So with the regular season over and just one bowl game left to be played, we asked NFL scouts, general managers and coaches to help us restack this complicated wide receiver board, adding their insight on a difficult class to evaluate. Who is the consensus No. 1 now? And what are league evaluators saying about the top 10 pass-catchers? Let's dig in.