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2018 NFL Draft positional rankings: wide receivers

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1) Calvin Ridley, Alabama

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl - Washington v Alabama Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Easily the most polished receiver in this year’s draft class, Calvin Ridley is the consensus top receiver in this draft class. Ridley is an excellent route runner, and can be used all over the field. He also has extremely reliable hands. In addition, Ridley can create after the catch. I expect him to run a strong time in the 40 yard dash at the Combine. He appears to be the safest receiver prospect, and will make an impact on day one. It should come as no surprise that he will be the player the Ravens want most in the first round of the draft.

2) Christian Kirk, Texas A&M

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Meet the biggest playmaker in this year’s draft class, Christian Kirk. Kirk is absolutely dynamic with the ball in his hands, and he’s lethal in open space. He can take the top off of a defense, and he can make defenders miss in the open field. He’s got great hands, and go up to make catches despite his size. His route-tree is somewhat limited, but he can certainly improve there. He would also bring a dangerous kick and punt return ability to whatever team selects him.

3) Courtland Sutton, SMU

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In a draft dominated by smaller receivers, Sutton brings size. The SMU product stands at 6’4”, and knows well how to use his body. He is able to make contested catches. He isn’t as dynamic as some of the other receivers on this list as he doesn’t boast much speed. Though because of his size, he is able to pick up chunk plays down the field as he wins jump balls. He didn’t produce much when going up against Power 5 teams. I am looking forward to seeing how he performs at the Combine, especially in the 40 yard dash.

4) James Washington, Oklahoma State

NCAA Football: Camping World Bowl-Oklahoma State vs Virginia Tech Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Washington is very talented wide receiver, but I’m not as high on him as some others are. I think Washington is largely a one-trick pony, who relies on a quarterback that has good deep ball accuracy. Watching his tape, Washington appears to be simply a deep threat. He’s got good speed, but he was never used to make an important short yardage catch, I don’t think his hands are good enough to make that type of a play. With the right system, he can be a star, but he does have bust potential.

5) D.J. Moore, Maryland

NCAA Football: Towson at Maryland Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

It’s easy to compare Moore to Stefon Diggs because they both went to Maryland, but in reality they are very similar players. I wrote a piece earlier this month detailing why Moore could be a good fit in Baltimore, check that out here.