2024 NFL Draft: Wide Receivers In First Round

The quarterback position is generally the talk of the NFL Draft, and VSiN Managing Editor Adam Burke already dove into one of the most popular QB markets in the 2024 NFL Draft. However, the wide receivers in this class are generating a lot of buzz. Marvin Harrison Jr. has been billed as the top prospect we’ve seen at the position in quite some time, but Rome Odunze and Malik Nabers are seemingly at the top of some boards. On top of those three, there are several other prospects that seem like bonafide locks to be taken at some point in the first round. With that in mind, I’m interested in trying to figure out how many wideouts will ultimately be selected within the first 32 picks. So, keep reading as I dive into this market, breaking down groups of wide receivers based on where they might go in the draft and ultimately giving out a pick.

Total Wide Receivers Selected in 1st Round? 6.5 (Over +180 / Under -240)

(Odds current from DraftKings Sportsbook at time of publish)


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Tier 1: Sure Things (Potential Top-10 Picks)

Marvin Harrison Jr., Ohio State
Malik Nabers, LSU
Rome Odunze, Washington

Harrison is listed at -190 to be the fourth overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. The Arizona Cardinals are considered to be hot for the wideout, which isn’t surprising considering he’s 6-foot-4 and coming off a season in which he hauled in 67 catches for 1,211 yards and 14 touchdowns. He would make for a great weapon for quarterback Kyler Murray. And if a quarterback-needy team jumps up to No. 4, Harrison won’t need to wait long to hear his name called after that.

Nabers also seems to be a top-10 lock at this point. A lot of people believe he’s the best wideout in the draft, as Nabers is coming off a season in which he caught 89 passes for 1,569 yards and 14 touchdowns in LSU’s high-octane offense. Nabers doesn’t have the prototypical build of the other top wideouts in this draft, but he is fast, twitchy and has great ball-tracking ability.

Odunze is more like your standard No. 1 wideout, as he’s a smoother route runner and uses his big body to come down with any ball thrown in his direction. One theory that has come out of the pre-draft process is that Michael Penix Jr. isn’t as accurate as people think. That would speak to Odunze’s ability to come down with contested catches. And overall, the numbers back up the film, with Odunze having caught 92 passes for 1,640 yards and 13 touchdowns last year. Don’t be surprised if Odunze also ends up being a top-10 pick, and he seemingly has front office members that view him as the top guy at his position.

Tier 2: Others Likely Firsts

Brian Thomas Jr., LSU
Xavier Worthy, Texas
Adonai Mitchell, Texas

Thomas Jr. was the No. 2 in LSU’s explosive offense last year, finishing the season with 68 receptions for 1,177 yards and 17 touchdowns. Thomas is 6-foot-4 and has blazing speed, making him an enticing big-play threat. He’s also a decent route-runner, so he’s not some boom-or-bust prospect. His O/U draft position is 17.5, so it’s highly likely he’ll bring the total of wideouts taken up to four.

Worthy had 75 catches for 1,014 yards and five touchdowns last year and then went on to set the NFL Combine’s 40-yard dash record at 4.21. Considering that combination of college production and track-star speed, it’s hard to picture Worthy falling out of the first round. Talent evaluators also seem to be relatively high on his route-running ability. So, his floor is a little higher than your average upside swing.

Mitchell, Worthy’s teammate, had 55 catches for 845 yards and 11 touchdowns last year. And Adam Schefter recently said that he’s expecting Mitchell to be a first-round pick. Given his ability to make plays as a vertical threat, it isn’t hard to figure out why. And Mitchell’s O/U draft position is 27.5, so the oddsmakers clearly think he’s a fringe first-round pick. If the Texas product does end up being selected in the first round, along with the five players listed above him, that leaves one more wide receiver for the Over on the position total to hit.

Tier 3: Can’t Be Ruled Out

Xavier Legette, South Carolina
Keon Coleman, Florida State
Ladd McConkey, Georgia
Malachi Corley, Western Kentucky
Ricky Pearsall, Florida
Troy Franklin, Oregon
Roman Wilson, Michigan
Ja’Lynn Polk, Washington

I have seen a bunch of these guys appear in the first round of mock drafts. It’s unclear which one of them will end up being the first selected, but all of them seem to have fans. And overall, it’s just a highly talented group of pass-catchers. The NFL Network’s Peter Schrager, who is as plugged in as anyone, had McConkey and Polk both sneaking into the first round. And it wouldn’t surprising to see the San Francisco 49ers or Kansas City Chiefs go for wideouts. It seems likely that the 49ers are going to move Brandon Aiyuk, and the Rashee Rice situation is a mess for the Chiefs.


It feels pretty likely that one of the eight players in Tier 3 will hear his name called in the first round, so I suggest playing the Over at +180 odds. All it takes is one team to fall in love with a player. We see it happen all the time. Of course, it’s possible that the depth at the wide receiver position ends up dooming this play, as teams might feel like they can get a quality player a little further back. But some of the players in Tier 3 have serious talent, so teams might not want to risk waiting on somebody they really want.