WR – Ohio St.
6’0” 190 lbs
Notable College Production:
Garrett Wilson is an explosive athlete who really developed as a wide receiver over the later part of his college career. He possesses incredible body control, great footwork, and is dynamic with the ball in his hands. He has tremendous short area quickness which he uses to create separation in his routes and also to make defenders miss after the catch. He played primarily in the slot as a sophomore and then transitioned to more of an outside role in his junior season, showcasing the versatility that modern NFL offenses prize. Although he can play both inside and outside, he does not have the size or strength to consistently win against physical NFL corners and should be used in a variety of roles to maximize his ability. Wilson struggled with drops at times in college and often uses his body to help catch the ball. However, these flaws are balanced out by a number of highlight reel catches that suggest his hands are not the issue. As the second rookie WR off the board with a current Underdog ADP of 82.7 (as of 2/22) he is expected to be a high pick in the NFL draft and a fantasy contributor early in his career.
Wilson is another in a long line of great Ohio State receivers with lofty expectations entering the league. He earned playing time as a freshman and then truly emerged in his sophomore and junior seasons when he became a focal point of the offense. Wilson is a threat to turn any catch into a big play due to his elusiveness in the open field. He is excellent in the screen game and on short to intermediate routes where he can catch the ball while moving and make defenders miss in space. He is lightning quick with good top end speed and is surprisingly difficult to bring down for his size. He is also capable as a downfield receiver due to his speed and vertical jump, but that is unlikely to be the best role for him in the NFL.
Wilson showed tremendous growth as a receiver during his time in Columbus. Early on he appeared to play a bit out of control which made his routes sloppy and often resulted in him being off balance. Over the course of his college career he improved his footwork and learned to play under control which has allowed him to become a good route runner. Wilson is able to use his phenomenal quickness to create separation both at the line of scrimmage and in his routes. He also has a good understanding of how to use his feet and hips to set up defensive backs before his break. While he won’t enter the NFL as an elite route runner, he has the physical traits and strong technical foundation that could allow him to turn this into a real strength.
The biggest issue with Wilson’s game is that he struggles with physical corners. He relies on quickness to beat defenders, which does work some of the time, but he can struggle to get into his route when defenders are able to jam him. This is part of why I hope to see him used all over the formation and not pigeonholed into just being an outside receiver in the NFL. Wilson has the ability to be an impact player as a rookie but he is the top tier receiver I am most worried could suffer from being used suboptimally. If the team/coaching staff that drafts him talks about primarily using him as a downfield threat I will be moving Wilson down my board in fantasy drafts.