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NFL Draft 2018: Mike Mayock’s top 6 wide receivers

The Bengals drafted two receivers last season, but with that group still struggling in 2017, could the team try adding another player to the group this year?

NCAA Football: Oregon at Washington Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Mayock has updated his prospect rankings and we’re taking a look at one of the weirder positions in the 2018 NFL Draft. The wide receiver position features a lot of good prospects but is missing truly elite players. It’s pretty safe to assume no wide receiver will be picked in the top 10 this year after three went top 10 in 2017, including John Ross to the Bengals.

If the Bengals end up surprising us and taking a receiver during the draft, it’s unlikely they’d consider any of the top five guys, but let’s take a look at them nonetheless.

Here are Mike Mayock’s most updated wide receiver rankings for the 2018 NFL Draft class.

1) D.J. Moore, WR, Maryland

Moore has all the talent to become a great slot receiver. He has that elite quickness to win early underneath, but he needs to work more on his route running if he really wants to be successful in the NFL. He also needs to work more after the catch, but that seems like an easy fix of effort. He could be in play for the Ravens and Cowboys in Round 1 of the draft.

2) Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama

Ridley’s speed can not be denied. It was constantly on display at Alabama. He also showed he isn’t just a deep threat by making sure he ran a full route tree, which is becoming rarer and rarer for receivers coming to the NFL. Still Ridley’s only weakness is a big one. He needs to learn to beat press coverage in the NFL after struggling with it in college. He will have a huge learning curve ahead of him in that respect, but a smart enough offensive coordinator can help him along with that.

3) Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU

Sutton is the first big bodied target for Mayock. He is 6’4” and 215 pounds, and he uses his frame well to shield off defenders. However, his speed and ability to gain more separation from coverage leaves a lot to be desired. He is obviously capping out as a possession receiver, and if he settles in on a team with a true number one receiver then he could have a very productive career.

4) Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M

It says a lot about this receiver class that some of the best players are slot receivers. Teams may have a hard time bringing in a slow slot guy early as Kirk ran a 4.47 second 40-yard dash at the combine. He is great at beating press coverage though, and if he wins early in his route he could end up being wide open. Kirk could be a nice safety blanket for a quarterback at the next level.

T-5) James Washington, WR, Oklahoma State

The first thing you notice about Washington is he doesn’t look like a receiver. He looks a lot more like a running backs, and even his route running would lend to that comparison. Still his production speaks for itself as he averages more than 20 yards per reception. He needs to develop more as a route runner, and he is kind of a question mark against press, but if you give him a few years he could be a nice addition to an offense.

T-5) Anthony Miller, WR, Memphis

Miller’s hands are his biggest concern. He seems to have a case of the drops, but his physical attributes (especially with short area quickness) and hard working motor will find him a spot in the NFL. The drive to always beat the guy covering him will carve him a role in any offense.

Notes: Since Mayock’s last ranking, here’s what’s changed:

Risers: Moore (2), Sutton (4), Washington (NR)

Fallers: Ridley (1), Kirk (3), Sutton (3), DJ Chark, LSU (T-5)