Our next instalment of NFL Draft Prospects sees us analyse Garrett Wilson, breaking down his draft profile and looking at potential landing spots for him in the NFL.
Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave have been making plays together at Ohio State for multiple years now. They were pivotal to the success of Justin Fields career with the Buckeyes, and this upcoming April it’ll be their turn to hit the NFL draft. It’s anybody’s guess which one of them might be taken first, but both offer a very talented pass catcher to potential franchises.
Garrett Wilson Draft Profile
- 192 pounds
- Born in Austin, Texas
- DOB: 22 July 2000 (Age 21)
- Consensus 5 star recruit
- Chose Ohio State over Texas Longhorns and Alabama
Undrafted’s 2022 NFL Draft Projection
- Mid first round talent, who could drop to the latter first round due to other more essential needs for pro teams. Could land on a play off roster in the 20s. Production is low compared to some of his peers at the position, more of a shared workload than a hyper targeted wide receiver, which does mean he’s taken a lot less hits, however in comparison to Ja’Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson, the numbers are lower. Mid first round is a good guesstimate, but I’m seeing him off the board towards the end of day one.
Stats To This Point
Here’s what I picked out from his tape.
- Immense catch radius and very safe hands. High points a football and plucks it out of the sky at full stretch. Goes up and gets it. That’s hard to play against as a DB. You’ve got to go higher than he does…
- Could be the best wide receiver at tracking a football in the draft.
- Excellent concentration. Plays where the ball is tipped, or he slips and loses footing, still maintains concentration and keeps his eyes on the football to make the catch.
- Wilson always makes a point of keeping both feet in bounds. Almost as if he’s preparing for playing on Sundays…
- Created his own style and uses a stutter step to make a man miss
- Game slows down for him. Never seems pressured or rushed.
- Understands where the soft spots are in coverage. A guy who gets himself open for his quarterback.
- Wilson is always switched on.
Ideally, he fits in a slot receiver role in a possession football offence. While he can burn a man deep, and go up high and make a catch, the majority of his receptions should come in short yardage for first downs, or in order to get the ball in his hands and create some additional yardage downfield. Wilson should be one of those guys who can lead a team in receptions from that slot role, and will develop into that. His first year or two he’ll grow as a reliable target for his quarterback. That being said, here’s my three favourite options for Garrett Wilson.
3 Potential Draft Landing Spots for Garrett Wilson in the NFL
Green Bay Packers
The Packers have so desperately longed for a guy to accompany Davante Adams in that receiving room, and while Allen Lazard and Marquez Valdes Scantling have good games from time to time, Rodgers is often forced to target Adams, even in double coverage. Adams is of course good enough to manage those expectations, and is one of the most clutch receivers of the current generation, but a secondary target, with elite hands and route running could be the difference that takes the Packers over the line.
Of course, it could be a very different conversation come the off season, as the futures of both Adams and his quarterback Aaron Rodgers hang in the balance in Green Bay. In that scenario, Wilson could be your late first round selection to take over that role as wide receiver 1. Either way, I think he’s a great fit for the Packers, who are long over due selecting a first round receiver. Amari Rodgers could develop into that slot role, I am still high on him and believe he was good value in the third round. A world where the Packers reload with Garrett Wilson and Amari Rodgers in the receiver room is very promising. Even after being spoiled with Davante Adams for so many years.
New Orleans Saints
Garrett Wilson comes out of college already drawing comparisons to Michael Thomas. Both being Buckeyes, both dominating the slot with safe hands. Similarly to Davante Adams, we don’t know what the future holds for Michael Thomas and the Saints, and they’re already in the situation that the Packers might find themselves in shortly. Long term QB no longer in town, and their primary pass catcher seemingly unsettled. Even if Thomas sticks around, they need more weapons at the position, and are trying out guys and seeing who might step up this year. But with a defence that works extremely hard to keep the team in games, the Saints need to step up offensively, and Alvin Kamara can’t keep doing it all.
If Jameis Winston is to have any chance at succeeding in New Orleans, he needs pass catchers with a high IQ who can work closely with him to get themselves open, create separation, and offer safe hands. Garrett Wilson is the perfect fit for what the Saints are looking for, and if they’re on the board in the mid teens or anywhere later than that, and he’s still on the board, I’d have my money on him being a top option for them.
New England Patriots
All three of these teams are good teams who need to rebuild their receiver room. The Patriots are no different to the first two. With Mac Jones now taking over, and some whiffs in the past (N’Keal Harry), I thought the Patriots might take a first round receiver in the 2021 draft. They didn’t address it until the 7th round (Tre Nixon), and must feel satisfied with the group they brought in through free agency. (Nelson Agholor, Kendrick Bourne). What I’m actually seeing, is that Jakobi Meyers is the best receiver they have, and that’s not a knock, he looks great, I like his development. Now go and add a top tier guy alongside him and you’re back in the conversation for having a good group of talent at WR.
The Patriots have rebuilt a sturdy running back room, added a franchise QB, and kept a decent offensive line. Now if you find the future number one target of your offence in the first round of the draft, who says this team can’t get back to the playoffs. The defence is playing well, and Garrett Wilson with a large target share in New England is an exciting option to me.