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NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks ranks Top 5 slot receiver prospects in 2024 NFL Draft

profilephotocropby:Suzanne Halliburton03/21/24


nfl draft slot receivers
USA Today

Bucky Brooks, a draft analyst with NFL Network, is getting really specific with his current rankings. He didn’t just talk receivers, he drilled into the slot guys.

Wide receivers, as a position, are top heavy for this NFL Draft. But the first true slot receiver may not hear his name called until the second day, sometime in round two. Brooks ranked the top five and touted the value of the position.

“Savvy play-callers are increasingly utilizing slot receivers to create mismatches all over the field,” Brooks wrote. “Whether (it’s) putting the ball in their hands on bubble screens and jet sweeps or dialing up various option routes to take advantage of their superior quickness.”

1. Ladd McConkey, Georgia

Ladd McConkey Georgia
Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Unio / USA TODAY NETWORK

McConkey could slip into the first round of the NFL Draft. But more than likely he is destined for the second. He ran a 4.39 40 at the combine earlier this month, showing his speed.

Brooks wrote, “McConkey is a polished route runner with exceptional balance, body control and ball skills. As a dangerous weapon with the ball in his hands, the Georgia product is a YAC machine.”

2. Ricky Pearsall, Florida

(UAA Photo)

Like McConkey, Pearsall also seems destined for the second round. Mel Kiper, the NFL Draft guru at ESPN, believes Pearsall’s combine got him firmly into the second.

Brooks writes “Pearsall is a silky-smooth pass catcher with strong hands. He dazzles as a playmaker on the perimeter but offers a rock-solid game that should lead to immediate NFL success as a WR3.”

3. Roman Wilson, Michigan

roman wilson michigan

Wilson worked at Michigan with quarterback J.J. McCarthy, a potential top ten pick of the NFL Draft. The receiver had a nice season, then supplemented it with a good showing at both the Senior Bowl and the combine.

Brooks wrote “Wilson is a perfect blend of speed and quickness at the position. The Michigan standout displays impeccable timing as a route runner and is a reliable option as the designated chain mover.”

4. Malachi Corley, Western Kentucky

malachi corley nfl draft
Alberto Silva Fernandez/ El Paso Times / USA TODAY NETWORK

Talk about your gaudy stats. Corley played in the Western Kentucky spread offense, catching 180 passes for 2,279 yards and 22 touchdowns over the past two seasons. Scouts will ponder how that can translate to the NFL. Analysts compare him to Deebo Samuel.

“Corley might be the most natural slot receiver in the class,” Brooks wrote. “The Western Kentucky product is a problem with the ball in his hands, exhibiting terrific balance and body control running through arm tackles on bubble screens and quick routes.”

5. Malik Washington, Virginia

Malik Washington-Virginia
(Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)

Washington is the former Northwestern wideout who transferred to Virginia for a season with the Cavaliers. And what a season it was. Washington broke single-season school records with 110 catches for 1,426 yards. He also scored nine touchdowns.

“Washington is a certified baller with a dynamic game that is ideally suited for his role as a slot receiver,” Brooks said. “He utilizes his outstanding stop-start quickness to twist defenders in knots while showcasing sticky hands and excellent ball skills, making tough grabs in traffic.”

Brooks lists one final slot receiver as one to watch. So keep an eye on Jacob Cowing of Arizona. Remember, the NFL Draft is from April 25 through the 27th. Most of these receivers mentioned, if not all of them, are destined for the second day of the draft. To check out all of the Brooks analysis, click it here.