NFL Free Agents 2023: Ranking Top 10 Wide Receivers

It’s not the best moment to be recruiting for help at wide receiver. Even if the 2018 NFL free-agent class is far from ideal, it’s still significant for the New England Patriots.

Jakobi Meyers, who is Mac Jones’ preferred target, is presumably the best wide receiver poised to become free this spring. Meyers, who was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2019, has been a dependable offensive performer for New England over the past three years.

NFL Free Agents 2023: Ranking Top 10 Wide Receivers

JuJu Smith-Schuster, Kansas City Chiefs

The fact that JuJu is the top receiver in the class this year, despite being a dependable acquisition for the Chiefs last season, demonstrates how bleak things are. Fair enough, Smith-Schuster did collaborate with Patrick Mahomes in Kansas City, but it’s critical to recognise the type of player he is.

For a club with a dearth of skill at the position, Smith-Schuster is either a very low-tier top receiver or a high-level No. 2 receiver. He cannot be the centre of an offence, as we witnessed last year when he frequently served as Travis Kelce’s backup.

He’s still young enough to get a deal at 26 years old, but probably not one that anticipates him to suddenly revert to the 1,400 danger he was in Kansas City in 2018.

Jakobi Meyers, New England Patriots

Meyers is mostly a slot receiver, but he has also found some success playing outside, giving him a bit more versatility than his initial look may suggest. He was a fantastic undrafted free agency discovery for the Patriots in 2019, and if the price is good, they’ll probably try to keep him around.

That portion is debatable because Meyers has more room to develop going ahead and is perhaps the best wide receiver in this underwhelming free agent class. He is a really solid option for a club searching for a high-level No. 2 receiver due to his decent-sized physique and desire to make receptions in traffic.

New England may certainly try to keep Meyers around, likely letting Nelson Agholor reach free agency at the least, but they’ve also made it a habit of letting players walk after their rookie contract value is gone, notably with another former undrafted free agent in cornerback J.C. Jackson last offseason.

Odell Beckham Jr, Free Agent 

Meyers, who is mostly a slot receiver, has also had some success outside the slot. When recovering from his second torn ACL in 2022, Beckham toyed with the idea of making a comeback. Nevertheless, he finally elected to sit out the year and prepare for the 2023 offseason, which may have been a prudent choice. The fact that Beckham has stated that he wants a multi-year contract so he can establish roots anywhere makes this forecast extremely challenging because it opens up such a wide variety of options.

Beckham’s postseason run with the Los Angeles Rams in 2021 was spectacular, even despite the fact he missed the second half of the Super Bowl, with his 84.7 receiving grade through the playoffs placing fourth among wide receivers.  Beckham’s four contested catches were tied for the most of any wide receiver, and his eight explosive receptions were tied for third most. When healthy, Beckham can still be one of the best separators at the position with his trademark elite skills at the catch point.

Allen Lazard, Packers

Aaron Rodgers’ lone remaining target, Lazard’s potential (or likelihood) of returning to Green Bay is unknown. Lazard, a tight end who plays receiver, is a mid-level possession receiver who can sometimes get separation and is a plus-level outside blocker, making him ideal for a team that loves to stretch the edges with YAC.

Lazard may be viewed as a value boost, particularly for a team like the Chiefs who will probably lose Smith-Schuster. This is an intriguing possibility because Lazard is capable of performing some of the same tasks as Travis Kelce in Kansas City.

Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints

The last target remaining for Aaron Rodgers, it’s questionable if Lazard could No receiver in the NFL has, in my opinion, seen a steeper decline over the past three years than Michael Thomas. In part, it may be attributed to Drew Brees’ retirement and grievances against the Saints, but at this point, signing him is essentially a leap of faith.

Since concluding the 2019 season with more than 1,700 receiving yards, Thomas has only participated in 10 games. As his injuries and discontent have increased, there have been moments on the field where he has shown signs of still being an outstanding receiver.

If Thomas can stay healthy, a club may gain significantly from him, but that’s a coin flip. He’s best suited as a depth option on an already established team, rather than going to a mid-level organization hoping he can be a top target.

D.J. Chark, Lions 

Chark signed a one-year, $10 million flyer contract last summer. He regrettably missed Weeks 4 through 11 due to injury, but he had a solid season-ending when the Lions turned around their season late.

Chark got a 72.5 receiving grade from Week 12 through the end of the season with three performances of 90-plus receiving yards or more across six games, 11 spectacular grabs (tied for 13th), and an average of 17.6 yards per catch (11th). Chark, a field-stretcher with a 6-foot-4 build and a 4.34 40-yard speed, plays by those rules. He will always be in the top half of the league in terms of yards per reception and average target depth, and there will always be a demand for his talents.



Relative Athletic Score: Know About The NFL Combine Player Evaluation Tool