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Draft Coverage

2023 Combine preview: Wide receiver

There isn't a clear stud wide receiver at the top of this draft, but it's a pretty deep class with some impact players. The way the college game is played nowadays, these receivers come into the league ready to produce.

Top 5 wide receivers to watch at the Combine:

1. Jordan Addison, USC, 6-0, 180

Addison is a versatile receiver who can line up outside and in the slot. A smooth and polished route runner, Addison doesn't have elite size, but he's probably the most polished and ready to make an instant impact in the NFL of any receiver in this class.

View photos of the wide receiver prospects who were invited to the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine.

2. Jalin Hyatt, Tennessee, 6-0, 188

Hyatt is a legit deep-ball threat with terrific speed and big-play ability. Don't be surprised if he shows off in the 40-yard dash at the Combine and ends up in the conversation for a mid to late first-round selection. He averaged 18.9 yards per reception this past season.

3. Quentin Johnston, TCU, 6-4, 215

NFL teams are going to love the size, speed and playmaking combination in Johnston. Drops were an issue at times and he can refine his route running, but he's a rare athlete at the position that could provide instant impact as a down-field playmaker.

4. Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Ohio State, 6-1, 193

Smith-Njigba missed nearly all of the 2022 season due to injury, but his sophomore season of 95 receptions for 1,606 yards (16.9 average) and nine touchdowns was pretty impressive. He's a route technician with good hands and could be an early chain-mover in the league.

5. Zay Flowers, Boston College, 5-9, 182

Flowers has outstanding quickness and production as a slot-type receiver. He played 48 college games and averaged 15.3 yards per reception over his four seasons with the Eagles. He'll test really well in Indy.

Combine sleeper to watch: A.T. Perry, Wake Forest, 6-4, 200

Perry has a long frame and big catch radius. The 40-yard dash will be an important test for him. As a junior in 2021 he played in 14 games and hauled in 71 catches for 1,293 yards for an average of 18.2 yards per reception with 15 touchdowns. He backed that up with 81 catches for 1,096 yards and 11 touchdowns this past season.

Lions' need at the position: Low

The need will really depend on what the Lions decide to do in free agency, namely if they'll re-sign veteran DJ Chark, who is an unrestricted free agent. I certainly like the idea of a trio of Chark, Amon-Ra St. Brown and Jameson Williams with Josh Reynolds and Kalif Raymond also in the mix. If Chark signs elsewhere, the Lions will be in need of another outside receiver, preferably one with some length.

Either way, the Lions enter 2023 in pretty good shape at receiver with St. Brown entering super star status and excitement building about how the Lions might use Williams in offensive coordinator Ben Johnson's scheme.

Key stat: The Lions had 176 offensive possessions this season, producing points on 76 of those drives (43.2 percent). This ranked as the third best offensive scoring efficiency in the NFL this past season.

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