The 2021 NFL Draft kicks off next week from Cleveland, Ohio.
There was no Combine this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, thus putting added importance into the college pro day circuit. It served as the only opportunity for prospects to showcase their skills and athleticism to NFL teams prior to the start of the draft.
Leading up to April 29, Giants.com will be breaking down the top prospects at each position according to NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah's top 50 draft prospect list.
Next up are the wide receivers.
Current wide receivers on Giants roster: Kenny Golladay, Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton, John Ross, Dante Pettis, Austin Mack, C.J. Board, Alex Bachman, Derrick Dillon, David Sills V
Ja'Marr Chase, LSU
Height/Weight: 6-foot-0, 201 pounds
2019 stats: 14 games, 84 receptions for 1,780 yards and 20 touchdowns (opted out of 2020 season)
Accolades: First-Team All-SEC (2019), Unanimous All-American (2019), Biletnikoff Award (2019), CFP National Champion (2019)
Daniel Jeremiah's Top 50 Ranking: No. 3
NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah: "Chase is a dominant player on tape. He lined up both outside and in the slot at LSU. He defeats press coverage with a combination of foot quickness and upper-body strength. He creates separation off the line of scrimmage and he can also find another gear when the ball is in the air. He is a clean route runner. He won't gear down in traffic and has very strong hands to pluck and play through contact. He attacks 50/50 balls and consistently wins. Chase is at his best after the catch. He routinely breaks tackles and can make defenders miss, too. He did have a couple drops when the ball was on his back hip but I have no concerns about his hands. Overall, I love Chase's attacking style of play and see him as a faster version of three-time Pro Bowl selectee Anquan Boldin."
ESPN's Todd McShay: "The 2019 Biletnikoff Award winner tallied 1,780 yards and 20 scores through the air for LSU during that season before opting out in 2020. He is explosive off the line, a smooth route runner and tough in the open field. His body control stands out, and his speed is solid."
ESPN's Mel Kiper: "We shouldn't forget how good Chase was in 2019, when he caught 84 passes and led the country with 1,780 yards and 20 touchdowns. And after opting out of the 2020 season, he still has a chance to be the top wide receiver picked in April. He's stellar after the catch, breaking tackles and running away from defenders, and he can separate on routes. As I mentioned last summer, Chase consistently beat first-round pick A.J. Terrell in the national title game, catching nine passes for 221 yards and two TDs. He's a legitimate No. 1 wideout."
Pro Football Focus’ Michael Renner: "Chase is so good that I made a point of making him the subject of my first deep this spring. It's easy to forget how special he was as a sophomore back in 2019 before opting out this season — 84 catches, 1,780 yards and 20 scores — he outproduced the most productive 2020 rookie receiver in the NFL, for crying out loud! The physicality he played with at only 19 years old is nothing short of special. It's one thing to be a contested-catch machine when you're the literal man among boys, but it's another entirely when you're the boy amongst men. Chase has a versatile enough skill set to be anything you want him to be in the NFL."
The Athletic's Dane Brugler: "A two-year starter at LSU, Chase was the X receiver in offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger's offense, lining up both inside and outside. He had an historic sophomore season with Heisman winner Joe Burrow throwing him the football, becoming the first player in LSU history to reach 2,000-plus receiving yards in his first two seasons. Chase is extremely talented after the catch and with the ball in the air, exemplifying the "my ball" attitude to consistently win the catch point (plays like a smaller Larry Fitzgerald). He is an above average athlete and appears very natural with his route movements, but needs to do a better job making every route look the same off the line of scrimmage. Overall, Chase creates separation with his gear-changing acceleration and is an elite finisher with his physical ball skills, displaying equal parts competitive toughness and playmaking skills to be an NFL No. 1 receiver. "
NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein: "We could sit here and talk about the marginal route-running issues or challenges getting off press. However, Chase is supremely talented as a ball winner and playmaker. After all, routes and release can be coached. He had some issues when Trevon Diggs and Cameron Dantzler gave hard jams to his release in 2019, so that will need to be addressed. His burst is effortless, which tends to catch coverage off guard when he really hits the vertical gas. His competitive nature and play strength simply act as multipliers for his outstanding ball skills. He hasn't played football since very early in 2020 and still has work to do, but he should be an early starter and a future Pro Bowler."
Jaylen Waddle, Alabama
Height/Weight: 5-foot-10, 180 pounds
2020 stats: 6 games, 28 receptions for 591 yards and 4 touchdowns
Accolades: SEC Freshman of the Year (2018), First-Team All-SEC (2019), SEC Special Teams Player of the Year (2019), Second-Team All-SEC (2020), CFP National Champion (2020)
Daniel Jeremiah's Top 50 Ranking: No. 5
NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah: "Waddle is a slightly undersized receiver with extraordinary speed and playmaking ability. He has the ability to line up inside or outside. His acceleration in his release is elite. He destroys the cushions he receives from defenders in a hiccup and can find a second and third gear once the ball is in the air. He's at his best on runaway routes, but he flashes the ability to efficiently gear down and work back downhill. I thought his hands were improved this fall (see: crazy catch versus Missouri in the season opener). He's one of the most talented kickoff and punt returners (just watch the tape of his 2019 performance against Auburn) to enter the NFL over the last decade. Overall, Waddle isn't quite as strong as Tyreek Hill, but he's capable of having the same impact in the NFL."
ESPN's Todd McShay: "Waddle returned from an ankle injury for the College Football Playoff national title game and finished his junior campaign with 28 catches for 591 yards and four TDs. His 21.1 yards-per-reception average stood at eighth in the country. Waddle's game is all about elusiveness, part of the reason he also pops in the return game. Put the ball in his hands and let things happen. He tracks the deep ball well, explodes out of his breaks and shows excellent lateral agility and field vision."
ESPN's Mel Kiper: "Waddle's game is all about speed -- he's one of the fastest prospects in this class. He averaged 18.9 yards per catch over three seasons at Alabama, though he played only five games in 2020 because of an ankle injury. Waddle was overshadowed at times by Smith, Ruggs and Jeudy at Bama, but he's a great player. He's electric with the ball in his hands, as a receiver and returner. Teams will want to take a close look at his medical reports when they can, but I expect him to be a top-10 pick."
Pro Football Focus’ Michael Renner: "Waddle has "it," that know-it-when-you-see-it level of speed and quicks that doesn't come around every year. Even compared to former teammate Henry Ruggs III, who broke 4.3 in the 40 at last year's combine, Waddle is different. That's because speedsters often do their work in a straight line, whereas Waddle can explode any which way at any given moment. That's why it was Waddle who was the designated returner among that heralded group ever since his true freshman year. While it's easy to point to his volume numbers as worrisome, that's very surface-level analysis. Yes, his 45 catches for 848 yards and seven scores as a true freshman would all be career highs, but that's because he barely saw the field the next two seasons between the talent around him and a broken ankle this past season. In fact, Waddle's 3.57 yards per route run over his career is the highest of any receiver in the draft class and tops Ja'Marr Chase tops by almost a half-yard. Oh, and despite his size, he's been excellent in contested situations over his career, hauling in 10 catches from 15 opportunities. Production plus elite athleticism plus the ability to play through contact equals a special prospect."
The Athletic's Dane Brugler: "A part-time starter at Alabama, Waddle played the H receiver position (lined up inside and outside) in former offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian's offense, a passing-friendly scheme designed to get him the ball in space or create vulnerable matchups. Sharing a depth chart with Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs and DeVonta Smith most of his career, he was on pace for 80-plus catches and 1,800-plus yards as a junior before his season-ending ankle injury. With his natural speed and burst, Waddle is dangerous before and after the catch, showing the creativity, competitiveness and separation skills to stress defenses in different ways (responsible for four receptions of 75-plus yards in his career). While still a work-in-progress with several details of the position, he showed clear maturation with his route construction and ball skills in 2020. Overall, Waddle doesn't stand out for his size or seasoning, but he is a special athlete with the sudden movements and acceleration to be an NFL playmaker in the Tyreek Hill mold. He projects as scheme-versatile receiver and dynamic return man."
NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein: "Thrilling, game-breaking talent who will come into the league as one of the fastest receivers to ever play the game. His whereabouts pre-snap and post-snap must be accounted for at all times. Despite his size, he's a legitimate outside option, thanks to his ability to not only take the top off the defense, but also go up and win 50-50 throws. Waddle's adept at working all three levels, so it will be tough for defenses to predict how offenses will utilize him, as he has the potential to post a higher catch volume in the right offense. Waddle can instantly upgrade a team's scoring potential, whether it's with the deep ball, the catch-and-run or as a return man."
NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah updated his ranking of the top 50 prospects in the 2021 NFL Draft for the final time before the start of the draft.
DeVonta Smith, Alabama
Height/Weight: 6-foot-0, 170 pounds
2020 stats: 13 games, 117 receptions for 1,856 yards and 23 touchdowns
Accolades: 2x First-Team All-SEC (2019, 2020), Unanimous All-American (2020), Heisman Trophy (2020), Biletnikoff Award (2020), SEC Offensive Player of the Year (2020), AP College Football Player of the Year (2020), Maxwell Award (2020), Walter Camp Award (2020), Paul Hornung Award (2020), 2x CFP National Champion (2017, 2020)
Daniel Jeremiah's Top 50 Ranking: No. 6
NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah: "Smith is a rail-thin wideout with long arms, excellent play speed and outstanding hands. He's a silky-smooth route runner who accelerates into and out of the break point, which creates an unusual amount of separation against quality competition. He has complete faith in his hands, allowing him to run through the ball (without gathering his feet) on underneath and intermediate crossers. His leaping ability and length creates some special high-point grabs. He has a second gear after the catch and surprising toughness to break tackles. He competes as a blocker, too. People inside the Alabama program rave about his character, work ethic and professionalism. Smith should emerge as a high-volume weapon as soon as his cleats hit an NFL field."
ESPN's Todd McShay: "Smith rarely drops anything in his vicinity and displays some jump after the catch, compiling 117 catches (most in the country) for 1,856 yards (also first) and 23 touchdowns (again, first) through 13 games this season. The Heisman Trophy winner had nine games with at least 130 receiving yards and eight with multiple scores. Smith explodes off the line, is crisp in his route running and tracks the ball well vertically."
ESPN's Mel Kiper: "The Heisman Trophy winner capped an unbelievable season with three first-half touchdowns in Bama's national title win over Ohio State. He finished 2020 with 1,856 receiving yards and 25 total touchdowns (23 receiving, one rushing, one on a punt return). Smith was the Crimson Tide's best receiver in 2019, too, even over top-15 picks Jerry Jeudy or Henry Ruggs III. He's not going to wow scouts with his size, but he just produces. He's a tremendous route runner and he has great hands. He's going to be a star and top-10 pick."
Pro Football Focus’ Michael Renner: "We all witnessed what Smith was capable of en route to the Heisman Trophy. There aren't many words to describe his game quite as apt as effortless. Smith glides off the line of scrimmage and through his breaks like he was born to play receiver — it's why he amassed over 3,000 receiving yards and 37 touchdowns the past two years. He also has some of the best hands (five drops on 189 catchable the past two seasons) in the country. All these guys at the top of this receiver class possess elite traits, but Smith has easily the biggest physical question marks of the bunch. Listed at 6-foot-1, 175 pounds, the Bama pass-catcher will immediately be one of the skinniest receivers in the NFL. This millennium, only two receivers over 6-foot and under 180 pounds have been drafted: Snoop Minnis (third round in 2011) and Paul Richardson Jr. (second round in 2014). That's not a great track record! Corners get bigger, longer and faster in the NFL, meaning a lack of size to combat that gets amplified. It's not a massive deal, but it's bigger than any issue the top two on this list have, in my opinion."
The Athletic's Dane Brugler: "A three-year starter at Alabama, Smith played the X receiver position in former offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian's offense, leading the Tide in receiving each of the last two years including a record-breaking 2020 season. Despite sharing targets with Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs, Jaylen Waddle and others during his time in Tuscaloosa, he leaves Alabama with the most receiving yards and touchdown catches in SEC history, breaking Ja'Marr Chase's conference single-season records as well. Despite a slight build and average stopwatch speed, Smith is natural in everything he does, finding space, finishing catches and not going down easy (he is tougher and more competitive than most 225-pound receivers). The Alabama coaches used him across the formation and routinely highlighted him as having the best hands on the team, accounting for only 7 drops on 268 catchable targets in his career. Overall, Smith doesn't have an elite size/speed profile, leading to legitimate durability concerns, but his explosive athleticism, instinctive route-running and natural hands are what make him a polished playmaker in the Marvin Harrison mold. He projects as a starting Z receiver with Pro Bowl potential."
NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein: "While Atlanta Falcons WR Calvin Ridley is my NFL comparison for Smith, I feel like a better comp might be Golden State Warriors superstar Steph Curry. Like Curry, Smith is thinner than you'd like and isn't the strongest player, but he has rare quickness, speed, and change-of-direction fluidity, and he creates separation from defenders seemingly at will. He possesses an elite skill level for the position and can hit the defense from short, mid-range or deep. Smith has quietly been the most complete of the receivers at Alabama over the last two seasons and will give an NFL team the ability to mismatch him against the weak links either inside or outside in coverage. He's a detailed route runner with the athletic ability to really make them count, from a separation standpoint, and his ball skills are unquestioned. Smith has the football character, athletic gifts and upper-echelon skill level to become a long-time starter and Pro Bowl regular."
Kadarius Toney, Florida
Height/Weight: 6-foot-0, 193 pounds
2020 stats: 11 games, 70 receptions for 984 yards and 10 touchdowns
Accolades: First-Team All-SEC (2020)
Daniel Jeremiah's Top 50 Ranking: No. 23
NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah: "Toney is a versatile, explosive playmaker. He lines up in the slot and does a lot of damage on fly sweeps and seam routes. His combination of play strength, burst and wiggle makes him difficult to get on the ground once the ball is in his hands. He doesn't run a wide variety of routes, but he has the skill set to develop in that area. He's dangerous in the return game because of his athleticism and lack of fear. Overall, Toney isn't quite as big as Deebo Samuel, but I envision him playing the same role at the next level."
ESPN's Todd McShay: "Toney isn't the biggest receiver in the class, and he isn't the most polished, but he is super versatile and very explosive. He will be very effective in the NFL with the quick game, screen throws and reversals. He is the kind of receiver with whom you just want to get the ball in his hands. He made 70 catches (seventh in the country) for 984 yards (13th) and 10 touchdowns (tied for seventh) this past season. Plus, he added 161 rushing yards and returned double-digit kicks and punts for the Gators."
ESPN's Mel Kiper: "Toney had a great season, catching 70 passes for 984 yards and 10 touchdowns, and he was one of the best receivers at the Senior Bowl two weeks ago. He's so quick in and out of his breaks that defensive backs have trouble sticking with him. He's just a playmaker, and a smart offensive coordinator will get him at least 10 touches a game, in the run and pass games. He also could be one of the NFL's best punt returners as a rookie."
Pro Football Focus’ Michael Renner: "In our seven years of grading college here at PFF, we have yet to see any other receiver move the way Toney does. If you are drafting him early on, it's because of that. Can you mold that into a complete receiver? That's the million-dollar question. With someone like Percy Harvin, who had similarly rare movement skills, that answer was no. With Toney, though, we've already seen some high-level creative route-running on tape. We just haven't seen him run routes from the outside, nor have we seen him play through contact. He saw only 10 contested-catch opportunities his entire college career. Those make him a difficult eval to pin down."
The Athletic's Dane Brugler: "A one-year starter at Florida, Toney lined up across the formation in head coach Dan Mullen's offense, seeing snaps in the backfield, slot and outside. A former high school quarterback, he was listed as an "athlete" on the Gators' roster and battled injuries and transition issues his first three seasons before leading Florida in receptions and receiving yards as a senior. A loose, elastic athlete, Toney routinely makes the first man miss with special start/stop twitch, frustrating would-be tacklers and creating explosive plays. Though he is an improved route-runner, he remains a work in progress with his steps and tempo, and his freelancing will backfire at times. Overall, Toney is still more of a gadget player than polished receiver (and his off-field and durability will be debated in war rooms), but he boasts the one-step burst, body balance and underrated toughness to be a big-play ignitor. He projects as a versatile NFL weapon on offense and special teams."
NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein: "Slot talent who competes like a player bigger than his listed size. Toney has battled injuries, which helped cap his production until the 2020 season, when it finally clicked for the entire offense. His routes can look like one-on-one isolation basketball moves at times, but he has the ability to make instant cuts and break his routes off sharply. He could become a much more creative and consistent route runner in due time. He's an atypical NFL slot in some ways and is likely to do his best work in a scheme that allows him plenty of run-after-catch opportunities. He'll need more polish but should contribute right away as a receiver and punt returner."
View photos of every player projected to the Giants in mock drafts just days ahead of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Terrace Marshall Jr., LSU
Height/Weight: 6-foot-3, 205 pounds
2020 stats: 7 games, 48 receptions for 731 yards and 10 touchdowns
Accolades: CFP National Champion (2019)
Daniel Jeremiah's Top 50 Ranking: No. 37
NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah: "Marshall is a tall, long and athletic wideout. He's played in the slot and outside. He is at his best as a vertical target on seams, corners and post routes. The former Tiger has a smooth, easy stride and he builds speed down the field. He isn't a crisp route runner, but he does know how to use his body to shield off defenders. He had some drops on the tape I watched, but he makes up for them with big plays. He's very physical and competitive after the catch. He breaks a lot of tackles. Marshall hasn't put it all together yet, but all of the tools are there for him to be a solid No. 2 receiver in the NFL."
Pro Football Focus’ Michael Renner: "Marshall is a long-limbed speedster who offers a little more dynamism after the catch than your average 6-foot-3 wide receiver. After playing primarily on the outside in 2019, Marshall thrived in 2020 while taking over Justin Jefferson's role in the slot. He would have easily been one of the most productive receivers in the country on a per-target basis were it not for seven drops on 55 catchable targets. Still, he can make some spectacular catches with a massive catch radius, and drops haven't been an issue for him in the past. He still needs to add some play strength to his game, as he's a slender 200 pounds at the moment. While not quite a complete prospect yet, he could very well get there soon."
The Athletic's Dane Brugler: "A two-year starter at LSU, Marshall lined up outside as a sophomore before moving inside to the Y slot position in offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger's scheme. Prior to leading the Tigers in receiving in 2020, he put himself on the NFL radar in LSU's record-breaking offense in 2019 with 13 receiving touchdowns, which would have been the LSU single-season record if not for the remarkable production by Ja'Marr Chase (20 touchdowns) and Justin Jefferson (18) that season. Marshall has the build-up acceleration to eat cushion without breaking stride, and he looks like a basketball big man at the catch point, using body position and catch radius to reel in off-target throws. Similar in ways to Courtland Sutton as a prospect, he tends to rely on his size/speed and needs to hone his urgency and route mechanics for the next level. Overall, Marshall faces an adjustment period as he develops his separation skills vs. NFL coverage, but he is a field- stretcher who can climb the ladder and give his quarterback a large strike zone. He projects as an inside/outside NFL starter if the medicals check out."
NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein: "Big, fast and talented, Marshall has the ingredients to become a solid starter in the league but has some questions to answer. With the departure of Justin Jefferson and with Ja'Marr Chase opting out, more targets and more shaded coverage ended up coming his way until he opted out at the end of November. He looks much more comfortable outside than he does in the slot, and he's a more reliable ball-catcher when he's working the second and third levels. He's a natural ball-tracker with a second gear and the catch radius to go get it, and his size gives him an advantage on 50-50 balls. For all of his talent, Marshall seemed disinterested at times in 2020 and wasn't always committed to finishing his routes or running them with consistent intensity. There are traits and talent at his disposal, but the difference between becoming a WR2 and a WR3/4 could be determined by how hard he's willing to work at his craft."
Elijah Moore, Mississippi
Height/Weight: 5-foot-10, 178 pounds
2020 stats: 8 games, 86 receptions for 1,193 yards and 8 touchdowns
Accolades: First-Team All-SEC (2020), Consensus All-American (2020)
Daniel Jeremiah's Top 50 Ranking: No. 38
NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah: "Moore is an undersized wideout with outstanding versatility, quickness and toughness. He has experience lining up outside, in the slot and in the backfield. He has excellent quickness in his release and is clean/crisp at the top of routes. He gets a lot of quick hitters and he's very elusive after the catch. He also makes some huge plays over the top, tracking the ball naturally and showing reliable hands. He is effective when used as a runner out of the backfield, too. He hits the hole full-go and can make defenders miss. Overall, Moore lacks size, but he'll be a stud in the slot and can also help in the return game."
Pro Football Focus’ Michael Renner: "The other Moore is already much more of a polished product heading into the 2021 season — he can man the slot from Day 1 for any offense in the league. He's not only got an ideal slot skill set physically, but he also has the mentality to take hits over the middle of the field. You won't find tougher catches on a 2021 slot receiver's tape. Moore may not give you the super high end, but there are truly not many weaknesses to his game. He's going to get open, he's going to break tackles (31 on 153 catches the past two seasons) and he's going to make tough catches (22-of-39 on contested targets in his career)."
The Athletic's Dane Brugler: "A three-year starter at Ole Miss, Moore was a high-volume slot/backfield target in head coach Lane Kiffin's up-tempo spread scheme. He thrived with quick, underneath throws (jet sweeps, screens, slants, etc.) and took advantage of being force-fed the football, leading the SEC in catches (10.8) and receiving yards (149.1) per game in 2020. Moore plays fast, decisive and dependable and can be used as a matchup receiver in space, tracking the ball and making defenders miss. He was more of a specialty receiver in college and has plenty to prove as a downfield target. Overall, Moore doesn't have the tape of a well-rounded receiver, but he is an athletic and controlled route runner with strong hands. He projects as a flexible chess piece who can be as productive as his volume."
NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein: "Ultra-competitive slot target with the talent and mindset to handle a heavy amount of targets and shine in the process. He's not very big, but he's stronger than his measurables might suggest and he's shown a fearlessness to make the catch despite impending punishment. Moore has the short-area quickness to snap off crisp routes underneath for separation and the play speed to challenge over the top as well as work the deep middle. He has soft, sure hands and above-average ball skills with a great feel for spatial awareness to hit the sweet spots when working against zone. While longer, more physical cornerbacks could slow him a little bit in the NFL, his athletic profile and playing demeanor should lead evaluators to believe he will be a very good pro early in his career."
View photos of the New York Giants' active 53-man roster as it currently stands.
Rashod Bateman, Minnesota
Height/Weight: 6-foot-0, 190 pounds
2020 stats: 5 games, 36 receptions for 472 yards and 2 touchdowns
Accolades: First-Team All-Big Ten (2019), AP Third-Team All-American (2019), Richter-Howard Receiver of the Year (2019), Third-Team All-Big Ten (2020)
Daniel Jeremiah's Top 50 Ranking: No. 48
NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah: "Bateman has excellent size, burst and route polish. He has spent time outside and in the slot. He's a better fit on the perimeter at the next level, though. He is sudden in his release and gains ground quickly versus off coverage. He has had some issues freeing himself versus press coverage, but those are correctable. He is very sharp and crisp at the top of routes. He doesn't drift and does a nice job working back to the quarterback when necessary. He can adjust on the deep ball and won several 50/50 balls in 2019. However, he did have some concentration drops in 2020. He relies more on his strength than wiggle after the catch. Overall, Bateman has some room to develop, but he has all of the tools to emerge as a quality starter at the next level."
Pro Football Focus’ Michael Renner: "In a class full of jitterbugs, Bateman has a decidedly different skill set. His speed and quicks won't be his calling card, but he gets open just the same. His ability to get off the line of scrimmage and play through contact at 6-foot-2, 210 pounds is as good as it gets in the draft class after Ja'Marr Chase. It's why he led the country in yards per route run as a sophomore in 2019 from a wide alignment. He kicked inside to the slot this past season and remained productive, although many of those vertical targets evaporated. His shake doesn't only translate along his routes, as he's broken 36 tackles on 147 receptions in his career. It's worth noting that focus drops have been a bit of an issue. Even though I've got no problems with how he tracks the ball, Bateman has dropped 19 of his 166 catchable targets in his career."
The Athletic's Dane Brugler: "A three-year starter at Minnesota, Bateman lined up across the formation in offensive coordinator Mike Sanford's RPO-based offense, playing the X, Y and Z positions over his college career. After passing on SEC offers (including his home-state Georgia) to stick with Minnesota out of high school, he was an immediate contributor for the Gophers and set the school's single-season records for receptions and receiving yards as a sophomore. Bateman is a natural hands-catcher with length and excellent route savvy, relying on tempo and pacing to create separation. Though he is deliberate with his footwork, he lacks explosive burst off the line or out of his breaks with average acceleration by NFL standards. Overall, Bateman isn't a sudden athlete and needs to improve his finishing skills in contested windows, but he is a good-sized target with the detailed route-running to leverage coverage. He will compete for NFL starting snaps as a rookie."
NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein: "Intriguing outside target with combination of size and build-up speed. His flashes of eye-opening production were counterbalanced by inconsistency against stronger, more talented opponents. Has clever press release, but needs to eliminate some wasted motion and play quicker to make up for his average explosiveness off the line. Bateman plays with pro-ready hands and the upper-body agility needed to adjust in air and bring the ball in. He needs to play with grit in contested catch battles and do a better job of defending catch space. There are pro traits to mold but much more work is needed before he can be safely projected as a good NFL starter."
Rondale Moore, Purdue
Height/Weight: 5-foot-7, 181 pounds
2020 stats: 3 games, 35 receptions for 270 yards, six rush attempts for 32 yards (5.3 avg.) and one touchdown
Accolades: Paul Hornung Award (2018), First-Team All-Big Ten (2018), Consensus All-American (2018), Thompson-Randle El Freshman of the Year (2018), Richter-Howard Receiver of the Year (2018)
Daniel Jeremiah's Top 50 Ranking: Unranked
Pro Football Focus’ Michael Renner: "Moore is a rare athlete not only from a movement skills perspective but also from a strength perspective. Before he even stepped foot on Purdue's campus, the then 174-pound receiver could already squat 600 pounds... The biggest question at this point is his route tree, or rather the lack of it. Pop passes, wide screens and slants — all from the slot — make up the vast majority of his utilization at Purdue. Just because we haven't seen a guy do it doesn't mean he can't. But in the cases where he did have to make contested catches or get vertical, it was a clear step behind a similarly elite athlete like Jaylen Waddle. He may have to start as a gadget player, but there is considerable room for development with Moore."
The Athletic's Dane Brugler: "A three-year starter at Purdue, Moore lined up across the formation in head coach Jeff Brohm's spread scheme, feasting on jets, hand-offs and quick- game targets (screens, shallow crossers/digs/slants, etc.). He put together a remarkable freshman season with an FBS-best 114 catches and school-record 2,215 all- purpose yards, but missed 11 of 18 games the past two seasons due to injury. While short, Moore plays stout with the fluid ease of movement and instant accelerator to force missed tackles. He was extremely productive on quick-hitting runway routes that were designed for YAC opportunities (71.2% of his receiving yard in college came after the catch), but he isn't a proven commodity on intermediate and downfield routes (finding targets 10-plus yards downfield on his tape was a challenge). Overall, Moore is unpolished in areas and needs to stay on the field, but his explosive lower body, play strength and competitive edge are playmaking ingredients. He projects as a starting NFL slot receiver who can be as impactful as his workload."
NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein: "Slightly undersized slot receiver who makes up for it with above-average strength and competitive fire that shows up throughout the tape. He can beat one-on-one coverage with speed but lacks the size and length to legitimately challenge NFL cornerbacks outside. He's difficult to press, elusive out of route breaks underneath and his ability after the catch could make him a priority target when it's time to move the sticks on third down. He lacks desired game experience on paper, but he's the same player week in and week out and teams know exactly what they will get with him. His football character and acumen are big pluses to go with his talent. Moore should become a good starting slot target with punt return potential."