The 2022 NFL Combine is underway in Indianapolis. The first position groups – quarterbacks, tight ends, and wide receivers – have arrived at Lucas Oil Stadium and are set to take part in medical exams and meet with team representatives Tuesday ahead of their official workouts beginning on Thursday.
Pre-draft meetings – such as those taking place this week – play a big role in how teams set their draft boards, and can help project the market for certain players. For those hoping the Patriots will swing big at the wide receiver position, there’s already good news coming out of Indy. According to Armando Salguero of Outkick.com, the Patriots have “set up combine meetings with a handful of receivers” including Ohio State’s Chris Olave, Arkansas’ Treylon Burks, and Alabama’s Jameson Williams. All three are projected to be first-round picks.
While the consensus right now is all three will go in the first round, there’s little agreement on the order. This year’s wide receiver class is loaded in terms of potential first-round talent, but there’s not much consensus on the order of the players at the position within the first round. That means for the time being, it’s at least somewhat possible any wide receiver could be available to the Patriots with their 21st overall pick.
If the Patriots are serious about making a splash at wide receiver, all three of these names would qualify. But who’s the best fit between them? And who is most likely to be on the board at 21? Here’s a quick look at all three…
It's been a while since there was a top-tier receiver in the NFL draft that's as good of a fit for the Patriots as Olave. A master route runner with top end speed, he can line up across the formation and win at multiple levels of the field. Oh, and he plays gunner on special teams. NFLMockDraftDatebase.com currently has him as the 25th overall player on the consensus big board.
At 6-foot-3, 225 pounds, Burks is one of the biggest receivers at the top of this class, and he knows how to use his size to his advantage. At the same time, he has surprising speed for a player as big as he is - his 40-time this week could have a noticeable impact on his overall draft stock. He's currently 15th on the consensus big board.
Williams likely would have been the consensus top receiver in this class if he didn't tear his ACL in the National Championship Game in January. Now, some still project him as a top-10 pick while others see him sliding all the way to the end of the first round. His skillset is unquestionable, he may have the most raw talent and athleticism of any receiver in this class. The question is, how do teams think his injury and missing time as rookie will impact his development? He's currently 18th on the consensus big board.
Salguero added that the Patriots “will be conducting these interviews back-to-back-to-back so as to directly compare the players one against another,” which means these could be more than just ‘get to know you’ meetings. He also expects the Patriots to meet with other receivers at the Combine beyond this trio, although he didn’t offer any more names.
The Patriots have already met with two other receivers, North Dakota State’s Christian Watson and Nevada’s Romeo Doubs, as the Senior Bowl. Both are projected mid-round picks and are scheduled to work out at the Combine this week. Those are the only other Patriots pre-draft meetings made public to this point.
All of the wide receivers at the combine are set to meet with the media on Wednesday, so we should get a better idea then of which teams are talking to which players then. On-field receiver workouts are scheduled for Thursday evening.
Check below for a full list of players to watch at the Combine this year…
2022 NFL Combine: Who and when to watch for Patriots fans
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