This article takes a look at wide receiver rooms where depth charts and pecking orders are a little hazy this time of year. Who is going to start and who are meaningful depth guys to target in dynasty drafts. Here’s a breakdown of seven NFL wide receiver rooms from the starters to the camp cuts.
Projected Starters: Larry Fitzgerald, Christian Kirk
Depth: Andy Isabella, Hakeem Butler, Keesean Johnson, Kevin White, Chad Williams, Trent Sherfield, Michael Crabtree
How many notable wide receivers can one team have? Reports from Cardinals camp is that Larry Legend and Christian Kirk have separated from the pack of rookies as the top two wideouts. While Andy Isabella and Hakeem Butler have the draft capital, it’s been Day 3 pick KeeSean Johnson who has stood out during the preseason. Johnson should be able to get on the field in three wide receiver sets due to his size to play outside. Isabella has recently gotten healthy and took a 59-yard reception to the house with the second-string offense. Butler on the other hand was put on the IR and won’t be back until the 2020 season. Michael Crabtree got a sizeable contract last week so don’t be surprised if the Cardinals use him early in the year while the rookies get used to the NFL level of play. With Chad Williams and Trent Sherfield rounding out the depth chart, it’s likely only one makes the 53-man cut.
Projected Starters: Willie Snead, Miles Boykin
Depth: Marquise Brown, Seth Roberts, Chris Moore, Jaleel Scott, Antoine Wesley, Joe Horn Jr.
The Ravens still have what appears to be a below-average wide receiver room despite spending two of their first three picks on the position with Marquise Brown (25th overall) and Miles Boykin (93rd overall). Veterans Willie Snead, Chris Moore, and Seth Roberts all started training camp with a leg up on the youngsters, but as the preseason has progressed, Boykin has impressed and likely has worked his way into a starting role. First round pick Brown has been recovering from Lisfranc surgery for most of camp and will likely start the season in a reserve role, although he will push for a starting spot likely later in the regular season. Undrafted free agent Antoine Wesley and second year man Jaleel Scott are battling for the sixth wide receiver spot on the roster. Both have made plays throughout the preseason, but the loser of that fight will likely find themselves on another team’s roster or back on the Ravens’ practice squad.
Projected Starters: John Brown, Zay Jones, Cole Beasley
Depth: Robert Foster, Andre Roberts, Ray-Ray McCloud, Isaiah McKenzie, David Sills
Newcomers John Brown and Cole Beasley are all the rave in upstate New York. Both have seemingly synced well with quarterback Josh Allen as the Bills look to improve on what was the 31st ranked passing offense in 2018. Former second round pick Zay Jones will likely round out the starting trio as he flashed in the second half of the season alongside fellow wideout Robert Foster. Foster has appeared to fall behind Brown and Jones as the main outside threats for Buffalo, regardless, he still should be seen as the next man up in the pecking order. Andre Roberts has also been seen getting reps with the first team offense. He is slated to make an impact on special teams with his return ability. Either Isaiah McKenzie or Ray-Ray McCloud will play behind Cole Beasley in the slot; currently it’s McKenzie’s job to lose with the loser getting cut. Undrafted free agent David Sills will likely be stashed on the practice squad.
Projected Starters: Dede Westbrook, Marquise Lee
Depth: D.J. Chark, Chris Conley, Keelan Cole, Terrelle Pryor
The Blake Bortles era is gone and done with Nick Foles taking the reigns for his fourth NFL team. Dede Westbrook and Marquise Lee will likely be Week 1 starters, with Westbrook hoping to build on his impressive sophomore season and Lee finally back healthy after tearing his ACL. Former Chiefs wideout Chris Conley will likely be the next to get opportunities in the offense. Conley was held out of the Jaguars' second preseason game along with Westbrook and Lee, and it wouldn’t be surprising if he got the third-most snaps moving forward. Speedster D.J. Chark has had a really strong camp, showing consistent hands and an improved route tree. Chark - along with both Keelan Cole and Terrelle Pryor - will all compete for snaps at the end of the roster. Pryor likely gets cut if they only keep five at the position.
New England Patriots
Projected Starters: Julian Edelman, Josh Gordon, Phillip Dorsett
Depth: N’Keal Harry, Jakobi Meyers, Demaryius Thomas, Braxton Berrios, Matthew Slater, Cameron Meredith
Gordon just got activated from the Non-football injury list and is finally allowed to participate in full practices. It’s likely that he will be slated as a starter Week 1 against the Steelers alongside Julian Edelman as Edelman is recovering from a broken thumb. The Pats also get back veteran receiver Demaryius Thomas from the PUP after he has shown enough healing from an Achilles’ injury last season with the Broncos. Follow his status closely, but Thomas is in a battle with Phillip Dorsett to start on the outside for quarterback Tom Brady. Dorsett has had a great camp and Brady has raved about their connection. This leaves training camp other training camp star, Jakobi Meyers, as afterthoughts in this offense but two that are fairly safe to make the team. The team’s first round pick, N’Keal Harry, has struggled for a decent portion of training camp but also safe to earn a roster spot. The Pats might go seven deep at the position by choosing between Braxton Berrios and Matthew Slater. Slater has been a special teams specialist for the Pats for over a decade so he likely wins this final spot. Cameron Meredith remains on the PUP list and will be ineligible to play until midway through the season.
San Francisco 49ers
Projected Starters: Dante Pettis, Trent Taylor, Marquise Goodwin
Depth: Deebo Samuel, Jalen Hurd, Jordan Matthews, Kendrick Bourne, Richie James
Dante Pettis and Marquise Goodwin project to be the starting duo for Jimmy Garoppolo come Week 1. Both were starters at the end of last season and are sizing up to be two of the top targets. Trent Taylor was having a great training camp until he fractured his foot. He is expected back by Week 1 and should be the starting slot option. If Taylor struggles to make it back, rookie Jalen Hurd will battle with Jordan Matthews for slot duties. Both have made plays this preseason and should be on the roster come September. First year man Deebo Samuel has been inconsistent during camp but, due to nice draft capital in the second round, he is in the next tier of receivers alongside Matthews and Hurd. Kendrick Bourne and Richie James are both longshots to make the 53-man roster.
Projected Starters: Terry McLaurin, Trey Quinn, Paul Richardson
Depth: Josh Doctson, Cam Sims, Kelvin Harmon, Robert Davis, Darvin Kidsy
Trey Quinn has had a hell of a camp as he looks to have locked down slot duties for Washington in 2019. Paul Richardson is healthy again and is slotted as the starting X wide receiver. The big question mark surrounding ‘Skins camp is what’s going to happen with Josh Doctson. The Redskins declined to pick up Doctson’s fifth year option so anything could happen. Washington is likely listening to offers for the former first rounder, so don’t be surprised if he gets shipped out. On the other hand, he could show off his talents in a wide receiver room where he could get a decent target share and improve his stock for 2020 free agency. Regardless of what happens to Doctson, rookie Terry McLaurin has earned his way into regular snaps. Following the top four receivers would be Cam Sims. In both 2018 and now in 2019, he has showed out during the preseason and should be a lock to make the roster. Kelvin Harmon likely leads both Robert Davis and Darvin Kidsy for the last spot on the 53-man roster.