Big Board Showdown WR Draft Strategy

Welcome to the Big Board Showdown! Seven Rounds. One Champion. We’re going to opening up leagues to everyone soon, but in the meantime we need to get prepped for the 2021 NFL Draft!

This year is going to look a little different than last year. The 2021 version of Big Board Showdown will feature a salary cap. You will have 259 💰 to spend on creating your roster of 12 players - 2 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE, 1 OL and 4 DEF.

This season, unlike last year, you can pick ANY player you would like …… so long as you fit all 12 players into your budget.

If you’re not familiar with some of the the 2021 wide receiver prospects, don’t worry because we’re here to help.

The 2020 group of receivers was billed as one of the best classes in modern NFL history. Ultimately 13 receivers went in the first two rounds of the 2020 draft, which was a record. There were absolutely some studs and the class as a whole was very, very good. Justin Jefferson, CeeDee Lamb, Tee Higgins and Chase Claypool had elite rookie seasons, while players like Jerry Jeudy, Michael Pittman and Laviska Shenault also had very solid first years.

The 2021 class is again full of elite receivers and could be an even deeper class than the 2020 class. Given that there’s a ton of receiver talent that is likely to get drafted within the first three rounds, a good strategy may be to take one “elite” receiver and one “mid level” prospect to fill our your team. Getting two studs could be too pricey, while waiting around for two third rounders may not bring you enough value in Big Board Showdown.

So who should you be looking to select with your two WR spots? We’ve got you covered:

The Can’t Miss Prospect

Ja’Marr Chase — LSU — Projected R1, P5

Chase is about as elite as it gets when it comes to wide receiver prospects. He had an absolutely out of this world sophomore season at LSU where he outproduced Justin Jefferson and 2021 prospect Terrace Marshall. He sat out the 2021 campaign due to COVID concerns, but still finds himself far and away the best receiver in this draft.

How good is Chase? Well, in terms of athleticism and production his equivalents would be players like Julio Jones, Amari Cooper, Sammy Watkins and Mike Evans. Yeah, he’s that good.

Chase is likely to be drafted within the top six picks in the 2021 draft and could be united with his former QB in Cincinnati, Joe Burrow.

Player Comparison: Smaller Julio Jones

First Round Talents?

Jaylen Waddle — Alabama — Projected R1, P11

Waddle may be thought of by the public as the second best Alabama receiver in the draft, but it would not be a shock at all if he went ahead of DeVonta Smith.

Waddle is an electric athlete, perhaps one of the fastest players in college football. And unlike his former teammate Henry Ruggs, Waddle has more than straight line speed. In fact, he outgained Smith in the games that the two played in together this past year.

Player Comparison: Tyreek Hill

DeVonta Smith — Alabama — Projected R1, P12

Smith enters the draft as the reigning Heisman Trophy winner and is coming off perhaps one of the top receiving seasons in college football history. However, he is not without flaws and NFL teams are pushing down his stock a bit.

Smith is very slight, weighing in at 170 pounds, which is a concern in the NFL. He is still an elite receiver in space and will undoubtably be a very good to great receiver as a pro.

His upside is comparable to former Alabama receiver Calvin Ridley and he is likely to be a top 15 pick, but probably won’t get into the top 10.

Player Comparison: Lighter Calvin Ridley

Terrace Marshall Jr. — LSU — Projected R1, P27

Marshall Jr. was in the same receiving group at LSU as Chase and Jefferson and held his own in that prolific 2019 LSU offense. He is a big bodied, fast receiver with good hands who dominated when he was on the field in 2020. He is quickly rising up draft boards and is considered a likely first round pick.

Player Comparison: Michael Thomas light

Rashod Bateman — Minnesota — Projected R1, P29

Bateman comes in as an elite outside receiver who has experience playing the slot. He dominated during his sophomore season at Minnesota in 2019 playing along side Buccaneers WR Tyler Johnson. He has good size, though he saw his weight decrease 15 pounds due to COVID. He will need to bulk up during the offseason but still should have a chance to be an elite rookie pending where he is drafted.

Player Comparison: Devante Adams light

Second Round Stars

The elite receiving group in the 2021 draft does not end after the first round. In fact, there are quite a few players who could see their names called on night one.

Here are some names to watch:

Elijah Moore — Ole Miss — Projected R2, P7

Moore is a small but electric prospect who could end up as a first round pick. He had elite numbers in the SEC and figures to have a similar career to Emmanuel Sanders.

Player Comparison: Emmanuel Sanders

Kadarius Toney — Florida — Projected R2, P14

Toney didn’t really have a breakout campaign until his senior year at Florida, which is a concern. However, he had a monster season in 2020 and is flying up NFL Draft boards. He is on the smaller side at 5’11 but can fly and big time playmaking abilities.

Player Comparison: Curtis Samuel

Rondale Moore — Purdue — Projected R2, P16

Rondale Moore had one of the most electric freshman campaigns in Big Ten history and absolutely lit the college football world on fire. He is very small at 5’7 but catches everything in sight and tested off the charts in his pro day. He could end up being more of a gadget player than a full time slot receiver, but in the right offense he could be Wes Welker on steroids.

Player Comparison: Randall Cobb with more volume

Dyami Brown — North Carolina — Projected R2, P19

Brown put up two excellent seasons at North Carolina and is a big play machine, averaging almost 20 yards per reception. He dones’t have the best hands but is a big time home run hitter.

Player Comparison: Nelson Agholor

Anthony Schwartz — Auburn — Projected R2, P21

Schwartz is the fastest player in the draft and figures to be a gadget player and big play threat at the next level. He has good hands and played well in the slot for Auburn.

Player Comparison: Mecole Hardman

Amari Rodgers — Clemson — Projected R2, P22

Rodgers had a nice career at Clemson but never really was as electric in that offense as he should have been. He has great speed and good hands. Could be a player that is better suited for the NFL than college.

Player Comparison: Percy Harvin

Tylan Wallace — Oklahoma State — Projected R2, P31

Wallace is a prototype outside wide receiver in the NFL and dominated Big 12 competition. He is a great run blocked and is great at coming down with tough catches. He should also be a legitimate red zone threat in the pros.

Player Comparison: Tyler Boyd

Best of the Rest

This WR is so loaded that there are legitimately good prospects still available in the third round and beyond that could be fantasy relevant in 2021 depending on where they’re drafted. They may not earn you a ton of points in Big Board Showdown, but it only takes one team to love them and take them in Round 2.

  • Amon-Ra St. Brown — USC — Projected Round 3
  • D’Wayne Eskridge — Western Michigan — Projected Round 3
  • Simi Fehoko — Stanford — Projected Round 3
  • Tutu Atwell — Louisville — Projected Round 3
  • Seth Williams — Auburn — Projected Round 3
  • Nico Collins — Michigan — Projected Round 4
  • Tamorrion Terry — Florida State — Projected Round 4
  • Dazz Newsome — North Carolina — Projected Round 4
  • Cade Johnson — South Dakota State — Projected Round 4
  • Shi Smith — South Carolina — Projected Round 5
  • Cornell Powell — Clemson — Projected Round 5
  • Josh Palmer — Tennessee — Projected Round 5
  • Frank Darby — Arizona State — Projected Round 5