5. Treylon Burks, Arkansas, 6-2, 225 (first round): He caught 66 passes for 1,104 yards (16.7 yards per catch) and 11 touchdowns over 12 starts in 2021. Big, fast receiver who has drawn comparisons to Tennessee Titan A.J. Brown. “I can play outside receiver, inside receiver and running back,” Burks said. “It doesn’t matter. That sets me apart from everybody else.”
6. Jahan Dotson, Penn State, 5-11, 178 (second round): Speed (4.43) and athletic ability (36-inch vertical leap) are key components for the former Nittany Lion, who had 91 catches for 1,182 yards and 12 touchdowns in 12 starts in 2021. The third-team 2021 AP All-American finished his Penn State career among the top five in several receiving categories.
7. George Pickens, Georgia, 6-3, 190 (second round): Sustained knee injury in March 2021 and didn’t play until late in season. Displayed explosiveness in return to lineup, including a key 52-yard reception in the CFP Championship game win over Alabama on Jan. 10. He’s the 33rd-ranked draft prospect by CBS Sports but could move into the first round.
8. Christian Watson, North Dakota State, 6-4, 208 (third round): He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.36 seconds. His father, Tazim Wajid Wajed (formerly Tim Watson), was a defensive back at Peach County High and Howard. He had a five-year NFL career (1993-97) after he was drafted by the Green Bay Packers.
9. John Metchie, Alabama, 5-10, 187 (third round): Had 96 receptions for 1,141 yards (11.9 per catch) and eight touchdowns before suffering a torn ACL in the SEC title game against Georgia in December. “My recovery’s going really well; all the doctors say it’s going really well,” Metchie said. “So, I shouldn’t have any issues there at all.”
10. Justyn Ross, Clemson, 6-4, 205 (third round): Considered one of the top receivers in the nation before missing the 2020 season after spinal fusion surgery. Solid in 2021 (46 catches) although team struggled at times with consistent QB play. “There is a lot of doubt out there,” Ross admitted. “Even with me playing the season, there is still a lot of doubt, but I feel good about it.”
Best of rest: Western Michigan’s Skyy Moore, Kentucky’s Wan’Dale Robinson, Boise State’s Khalil Shakir, Memphis’ Calvin Austin and Cincinnati’s Alec Pierce.
Teams in need: Lions, Packers, Chiefs, Commanders, Eagles and Saints.
Need area for Falcons: Yes. Calvin Ridley is serving an indefinite suspension for gambling on NFL games. Russell Gage signed with the Buccaneers in free agency. The Falcons didn’t re-sign Tajae Sharpe, who was a default starter last season.
AJC’S 2022 POSITION-BY-POSITION SERIES
WIDE RECEIVERS – Wednesday
RUNNING BACKS – Thursday
TIGHT ENDS – Friday
OFFENSIVE LINE – Saturday
QUARTERBACKS – Sunday
DEFENSIVE LINE – Monday
LINEBACKERS – Tuesday
CORNERBACKS – Wednesday, April 20
SAFETIES – Thursday, April 21
SPECIAL TEAMS – Friday, April 22
The Bow Tie Chronicles