Like the free agency, the 2021 NFL draft is full of talent at the wide receiver position. The SEC dominates wide receiver prospects for the 2021 NFL draft, as two LSU wide receivers, two Alabama wide receivers and one Big Ten wide receiver round out the top five prospects.
All five wide receivers have enormous potential and could easily walk away with the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year award next season. Let's rank the top five wide receiver prospects in the 2021 NFL draft.
5) 2021 NFL Draft: Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
Rashod Bateman is one of the wide receivers that could have gone to the NFL after his sophomore season at Minnesota. Bateman recorded 60 receptions for 1,219 yards and 11 touchdowns during his sophomore season, after leading all Big Ten wide receivers in yards per reception with 20.3 in 2019.
Rashod Bateman's junior season has been cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and as a result, he has made appearances in just five games for Minnesota. During those five games, Bateman recorded 36 receptions for 472 receiving yards and two touchdowns.
Rashod Bateman checks in at number five on the top five wide receiver prospects. This is how Rashod Bateman's three years at Minnesota turned out.
Rashod Bateman's Career Stats at Minnesota:
-- Receptions: 147
-- Receiving yards: 2,395 yards
-- Touchdowns: 19
4) 2021 NFL Draft: Terrace Marshall Jr, WR, LSU
Terrace Marshall Jr. started his career at LSU with 12 receptions for only 192 receiving yards and failed to reach the end zone. Marshall's sophomore and junior seasons were the best of the three years at LSU. He was the second option for quarterback Joe Burrow during the Tigers' national championship run.
Marshall Jr. had a better junior season and played five fewer games for LSU. The only category that he went down in is touchdowns. Terrace Marshall Jr. recorded 13 touchdowns in his sophomore season and 10 touchdowns during his junior year.
Terrace Marshall Jr. checks in at number four on the top five wide receiver prospects. Take a look at how his career at LSU turned out.
Terrace Marshall Jr.'s Career Stats at LSU:
-- Receptions: 106
-- Receiving yards: 1,594 yards
-- Touchdowns: 23
3) 2021 NFL Draft: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
Jaylen Waddle had a standout freshman year at Alabama. During his freshman season, Jaylen Waddle recorded 45 receptions for 848 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. However, he has been on a slow decline in his sophomore and junior seasons.
His junior season was cut short due to an ankle injury. Jaylen Waddle showed tremendous toughness when he returned to play in the national championship. He may have been a decoy in the national championship game, but his presence on the field was enough to get the defense's attention.
Even with missing the majority of the 2020 college football season, Waddle has stayed put as the number three ranked wide receiving prospect.
Jaylen Waddle's Career Stats at Alabama:
-- Receptions: 106
-- Receiving yards: 1,999 yards
-- Touchdowns: 17
2) 2021 NFL Draft: Devonta Smith, WR, Alabama
Devonta Smith has put together two huge seasons in the four years that he played at Alabama. In his junior and senior years, Smith went over 1,000 receiving yards and had double-digit touchdowns. His best season at Alabama was his senior season.
Devonta Smith was the best college football player during the 2020 college football season,as he brought home the Heisman Trophy and a national championship. During the 2020 season, Smith recorded 117 receptions for 1,856 receiving yards and 23 touchdowns.
Come draft night, Devonta Smith will hear his name called out within the first five picks of the 2021 NFL draft. Let's take a look at how his four-year career at Alabama turned out.
Devonta Smith's Career Stats at Alabama:
-- Receptions: 235
-- Receiving yards: 3,965 yards
-- Touchdowns: 46
1) 2021 NFL Draft: Ja'Marr Chase, WR, LSU
Ja'Marr Chase was a college football athlete who opted out of the 2020 college football season. Chase has been working on the NFL draft since opting out of the season. His 2019 college football season showed a lot and put him at the top of the 2021 wide receiver prospect list.
The only knock that could be said about Ja'Marr Chase is that he only has two years of college experience. In those two seasons he had more receiving yards and more touchdowns than Jaylen Waddle. During Ja'Marr's sophomore season, he recorded 84 receptions for 1,780 receiving yards and 20 touchdowns.
Ja'Marr Chase was a key contributor to the LSU Tigers winning the national championship in 2019.
Ja'Marr Chase's Career Stats at LSU:
-- Receptions: 107
-- Receiving yards: 2,093 yards
-- Touchdowns: 23