NFL Draft

Best wide receivers in the 2024 NFL Draft: Big board, projections, team fits

Here's a breakdown of the best receivers set to join the NFL next season

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Everyone could use another playmaker.

And luckily for NFL teams, a new crop of stars are set to join the league this spring.

As passing became more prevalent in the NFL, more and more elite wide receivers began to emerge. That's no different in 2024, when over half a dozen receivers are expected to be drafted in the first round. The number could be even higher, too, once they test at the combine and work out at pro days.

Here's a look at 10 of the best wide receivers in the class, where they are projected to be picked and what team is a perfect fit (Big Board ranking and mock draft via NBC Sports' Connor Rogers):

Marvin Harrison Jr., Ohio State

Big board: No. 1

Mock draft: No. 3

Team fit: New England Patriots. Rogers has the Patriots grabbing Harrison with the third pick, and it's hard to argue with the fit. New England hasn't had a 1,000-yard wide receiver since Julian Edelman in 2019, which Harrison could quickly change. While the Patriots do need a new quarterback, finally adding an elite wideout could be equally important.

Malik Nabers, LSU

Big board: No. 4

Mock draft: No. 5

Team fit: New York Giants. If Nabers is on the board at No. 6, the Giants would be wise to snag him. They've been searching for a No. 1 receiver since trading Odell Beckham Jr. in 2019. Nabers, a fellow LSU Tiger, would immediately slot in above Wan'Dale Robinson, Darius Slayton and Jalin Hyatt on the depth chart.

Rome Odunze, Washington

Big board: No. 15

Mock draft: No. 9

Team fit: Chicago Bears. This pairing goes along with Rogers' mock draft, too. Chicago is likely to add USC quarterback Caleb Williams with the No. 1 pick, and getting him another weapon at No. 9 makes a ton of sense. Star receiver D.J. Moore (speed) and Odunze (size) compliment each other well, giving Williams (or Justin Fields) a variety of stud receivers.

Brian Thomas Jr., LSU

Big board: No. 17

Mock draft: No. 17

Team fit: Indianapolis Colts. Even if the Colts retain Michael Pittman in free agency, they could use another receiver with the No. 15 pick. Quarterback Anthony Richardson is set to return from injury after playing just four games as a rookie. Giving Richardson as many weapons as possible is the best way to maximize his development, especially while he's still on a rookie contract.

Wide receiver Brian Thomas Jr. #11 of the LSU Tigers celebrates with wide receiver Malik Nabers #8 of the LSU Tigers after scoring a touchdown during the first half of their game against the LSU Tigers against the Mississippi Rebels at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on Sept. 30, 2023 in Oxford, Miss. (Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images)

Troy Franklin, Oregon

Big board: No. 19

Mock draft: No. 26

Team fit: Houston Texans. C.J. Stroud proved that he can get it done with young receivers this season, but the Texans could still use one more guy to go with Nico Collins and Tank Dell. Franklin could be available with the No. 23 pick, which Houston owns thanks to the Deshaun Watson trade.

Devontez Walker, North Carolina

Big board: No. 27

Mock draft: No. 29

Team fit: Buffalo Bills. Sticking with Rogers' mock draft team for Walker here, which makes perfect sense. Gabe Davis has been inconsistent and he's set to be a free agent, so Buffalo could be in need of a No. 2 receiver. Walker wouldn't have the normal responsibilities of a No. 2 wideout with tight ends Dalton Kincaid and Dawson Knox playing a major role in the Bills' offense, which could help ease him into the NFL.

Emeka Egbuka, Ohio State

Big board: No. 28

Mock draft: Outside first round

Team fit: Kansas City Chiefs. It's feels all but certain that the Chiefs need to pick a receiver in April's draft. Their weapons let Patrick Mahomes down all season, and Travis Kelce isn't getting any younger. Egbuka was the No. 2 wideout behind Harrison over the last two seasons in Columbus and he could be a late-first option for Kansas City.

Keon Coleman, Florida State

Big board: No. 35

Mock draft: No. 32

Team fit: Dallas Cowboys. Coleman is widely expected to sneak into the back half of the first round, with the Cowboys looming as a possible fit. CeeDee Lamb had a career season in 2023 despite not having a consistent No. 2 receiver behind him. Coleman is a big-bodied weapon (6-foot-4) who could add a different dimension to Dallas' passing game.

Rome Odunze #1 of the Washington Huskies celebrates his touchdown with Ja'Lynn Polk #2 during the first quarter against the California Golden Bears at Husky Stadium on Sept. 23, 2023 in Seattle, Wash. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Ja’Lynn Polk, Washington

Big board: No. 37

Mock draft: Outside first round

Team fit: Carolina Panthers. Without a first-round pick, it's going to be tough for the Panthers to add elite talent for Bryce Young. But the first pick of the second round could be reserved for a wide receiver like Polk. The Washington product had a breakout 2023 season, including a 122-yard performance in the Huskies' Sugar Bowl win.

Xavier Legette, South Carolina

Big board: No. 41

Mock draft: Outside first round

Team fit: Cincinnati Bengals. Getting into the second round, the Bengals could look for a Tee Higgins replacement. Their No. 2 receiver will hit free agency in March, and it's unclear if they'll be able to retain him with so much money allocated to other stars. Grabbing an explosive rookie like Legette could keep Joe Burrow and Co. on track if they lose their 1,000-yard receiver.

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