In our first edition of "The Triple Take", the Steelers Radio Network trio of Matt Williamson, Dale Lolley and Mike Prisuta give their takes on the top prospects in this year's wide receiver class. If you want to hear the audio version of "The Triple Take", click here.
Matt's Take ...
Matt Williamson: "Simply put, this is an exceptional wide receiver class. It has star power with quite a few prospects that would go in the first round in any year. It has outstanding depth. In fact, teams that don't have a major need at this position will be taking wide receivers in the middle rounds just because they fall in the draft and are the highest graded prospect on the board. They will be too good to pass up. This wide receiver class has prospects of all shapes and sizes. It has great testers. It has great producers. Whatever you are looking for from this receiver class, it should be available. Rarely do we see such a situation. Here are my top 10 prospects at this position."
#10 - Michael Pittman, USC (6-4, 223 lbs) - The first thing that stands out about Pittman is his enormous frame and obvious physicality. Pittman has a massive catching radius and soft reliable hands. He can beat up a defense with short and intermediate routes, but also has very good build-up speed to really do damage downfield.
#9 - Tee Higgins, Clemson (6-4, 216 lbs) - The opposite of Mims, some seem to have cooled on Higgins after a very lackluster Pro Day. Higgins has a strong basketball background and that reflects in his play as a ball-plucker with great body control.
#8 - Denzel Mims, Baylor (6-3, 207 lbs) - It gives me a little pause that Mims' stock really seems to be rising after tearing it up at the Senior Bowl and Combine. That being said, his high points at Baylor is very impressive and he has an outstanding pure blend of size and downfield speed. A world class athlete, Mims goes up and plucks the ball off the rim with regularity deep downfield.
#7 - Brandon Aiyuk, Arizona State (6-0, 205 lbs) - Aiyuk has good size with a strong build with uncommonly long arms for his height. A junior college transfer that was behind N'Keal Harry last year, Aiyuk might be a little behind on his development than other receivers on this list. But he is yet another explosive player that can quickly change a game with the ball in his hands. There is just so much to work with here.
#6 - Laviska Shenault, Colorado (6-2, 227 lbs) - This is a difficult evaluation, but remember that Shenault played much of the year and ran his 40-yard dash at the Combine with a core muscle injury that later required surgery. He is big and powerful with great skills with the ball in his hands. The league is really warming up to wingback types (think Deebo Samuel) and that is an area where Shenault could shine from the beginning. He has a very high ceiling.
#5 - Justin Jefferson, LSU (6-1, 202 lbs) - We haven't seen Jefferson operate much from a traditional wide receiver position as he dominated from the slot for Joe Burrow and the outstanding LSU passing game. Jefferson catches everything near him and is a highly developed route runner. He also tested better than most expected and has downfield potential. This is the type of receiver prospect that often enters the league and produces immediately.
#4 - Jalen Reagor, TCU (5-11, 206 lbs) - Reagor's quarterback situation at TCU was borderline criminal. Not only did Reagor see a large number of double teams, but his quarterback missed him with remarkable consistency. This is an ultra-competitive tough player with great explosion with everything he does. He could have a better career in the NFL than at TCU.
#3 - Henry Ruggs III, Alabama (5-11, 188 lbs) - Speaking of top speedsters at the position, that is exactly what Ruggs brings to the table. His downfield ability is terrifying, but unlike some track guys that have entered the league of late, Ruggs is pretty well-rounded and can do much more for an offense than just go deep.
#2 - CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma (6-2, 198 lbs) - Like Jeudy, Lamb doesn't have a huge overpowering body. Still, Lamb is simply exceptional in contested catch situations. He also is superb after the catch although few would consider Lamb a top speedster for the position. He projects as a target-hog at the next level with great touchdown potential.
#1 - Jerry Jeudy, Alabama (6-1, 193 lbs) - If there is a concern or unknown with Jeudy it is his ability to consistently win contested catches. The reason? He very rarely has to because of his amazing separation ability. This is an elite route runner with rare body control that can abuse a defense at all levels.
This wide receiver class has prospects of all shapes and sizes. It has great testers. It has great producers. Whatever you are looking for from this receiver class, it should be available. Matt Williamson
Dale's Take ...
Dale Lolley: "The wide receiver group this year is easily the deepest in the draft. As many as eight could be taken in the first round. And there could be twice that many gone by the end of round 2. They also come with a lot of variety, depending on what it is teams are searching. That makes ranking this group tough, but it's a fun position at which to look."
#10 - Michael Pittman, USC (6-4, 223 lbs) - Big, burly receiver who runs routes well and plays to his size. Not a burner, but fast enough to catch 101 passes last season.
#9 - Laviska Shenault Jr., Colorado (6-1, 227 lbs) - Runs like a running back with the ball in his hands, looking for people to run over. But that leads to injury issues, as well. His deep speed is a concern, as well.
#8 - Tee Higgins, Clemson (6-4, 216 lbs) - The latest in a long line of good Clemson receivers to come to the NFL, Higgins has great size and will make contested catches. He just lacks great deep speed.
#7 - Denzel Mims, Baylor (6-3, 207 lbs) - A long, freaky athlete who can make difficult catches look easy but does have some drops on easy ones. Still, the talent is undeniable.
#6 - Brandon Aiyuk, Arizona State (6-0, 205 lbs) - Not the biggest receiver. Not the fastest. But he's a complete receiver who is still getting better after starting as a JUCO player.
#5 - Jalen Reagor, TCU (5-11, 206 lbs) - Reagor is a nice consolation prize for somebody looking for an athletic speed receiver who misses out on Ruggs. He does everything well.
#4 - Justin Jefferson, LSU (6-1, 202 lbs) - Jefferson was highly productive in LSU's offense, but some questioned his speed – until he ran a 4.43 40 at the combine.
#3 - Henry Ruggs III, Alabama (5-11, 188 lbs) - Ruggs played Robin to Jeudy's Batman at Alabama, but this Robin ran a 4.27-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine and was disappointed with that time.
#2 - CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma (6-2, 198 lbs) - Lamb and Jeudy are this year's version of Jones and A.J. Green back in 2011. Both are top prospects. Jeudy is a tick better, but that's splitting hairs.
#1 - Jerry Jeudy, Alabama (6-1, 193 lbs) - Jeudy isn't Julio Jones, but he's the most complete receiver prospect in this draft and should be a top-12 pick.
Mike's Take ...
Mike Prisuta: "There perhaps has never been a better year to need a wide receiver, no matter what type you require. This year's NFL Draft has them available in all shapes and sizes size guys, speed guys, route-running guys and guys who do great things with the ball in their hands after the catch. "I have 27 wideouts with top-three-rounds grades," NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah gushed at the NFL Scouting Combine in February. "You gonna get some of those guys in the sixth round." The pecking order may depend on what individual teams are seeking as much as anything else. Here's one way to stack them up:"_
#10 - Antonio Gandy-Golden, Liberty (6-4, 233 lbs) - NFL Network analyst Steve Smith put it this way: "This kid can flat-out play. He doesn't go to a big-time school but he makes big-time plays every week." Gandy-Golden's down-the-field ball skills translated to three consecutive seasons with at least 1,000 receiving yards and at least 10 TD receptions. Give me Liberty.
#9 - Michael Pittman, USC (6-4, 223 lbs) - Another big-bodied pass-catcher from USC, another candidate to be the next great Trojans receiver. Pittman led the Pac 12 in receptions (101) and receiving yards (1,275) and was a second-team AP All-America selection. Fight on.
#8 - K.J. Hamler, Penn State (5-9, 178 lbs) - He's been described by talent evaluators as "electric" and as a "human joystick" because of his starts, stops, pivots and burst. A take-your-breath-away player with the ball in his hands in the open field.
#7 - CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma (6-2, 198 lbs) - He could just as easily be No. 1 for his after-the-catch theatrics, and he has the swagger. Lamb changed his Wikipedia page to include "Governor of Texas" after catching three TD passes against the Longhorns. His nickname is "DVD" because you have to watch his eye-catching plays more than once.
#6 - Tee Higgins, Clemson (6-4, 216 lbs) - He scored touchdowns on 20 percent of his 135 career catches at Clemson. And his 27 career receiving TDs tied DeAndre Hopkins and Sammy Watkins for the most in Clemson history. Touch the Rock.
#5 - Brandon Aiyuk, Arizona State (6-0, 205 lbs) - He has long arms and an impressive wingspan and he's great after the catch. He's also a 1,000-yard wide receiver who returns kicks. We can assume he plays to win the game.
#4 - Laviska Shenault, Colorado (6-2, 227 lbs) - The tough-guy wide receiver, as evidenced when the Buffalos gave him the ball on a jet-sweep on fourth-and-1 against Stanford because the coaches didn't think he'd be denied. "He ran over three of our guys," Stanford head coach David Shaw told the NFL Network. Shenault plays faster than he runs (4.59 in the 40-yard dash at the Combine).
#3 - Justin Jefferson, LSU (6-1, 202 lbs) - LSU: Sometimes you don't need to over-think it. Jefferson has the size and the receptions, 111 of them in 2019. There's a reason he was presumptive first-overall pick Joe Burrow's favorite target.
#2 - Jerry Jeudy, Alabama (6-1, 193 lbs) - NFL Network analyst Deion Sanders said it best: "Jeudy's first three steps will make you cuss." He'll probably be mostly a slot receiver in the NFL, but there are plenty of plays to be made there.
#1 - Henry Ruggs III, Alabama (5-11, 188 lbs) - He missed the final four games of 2019 with a broken leg, then ran a 4.27 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine. But Ruggs is more than a speedster, having also put great hands, toughness and versatility on tape.