2022 NFL Draft: 3 wide receivers to watch as college football season kicks off

08/27/2021
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While we’ve got just under a month left of summer, it still feels like it’s hotter now than ever before. That’s not because there’s pressure on talented quarterbacks such as Matt Corral or Sam Howell to compete at a high level despite losing offensive weapons.

No, it’s just because it’s hot and humid outside.

That being said, I’ve got 40 players scouted this summer and I feel confident with that number. Of course, things can and will change with a prospect or two or all of them. Only time will tell.

As the days have gone by and the film rolls through the projector, here are three wide receivers that have caught my eye over the last week or so that I think you should keep tabs on for this season and the 2022 NFL Draft!

Calvin Austin, WR, Memphis

One of the biggest surprises that I’ve come across at the wide receiver position has been from the Memphis standout receiver. Calvin Austin is an absolute speedster that can do just about anything once the ball is in his hands.

Being a member of the Memphis track and field team, it’s clear that Austin can fly. There could be some concerns with his size, being listed at 5-foot-9 and 162 pounds, but as someone who can play in a variety of roles for an offense, Austin is a play-maker. So much so that he took a huge step forward last season for the Tigers.

He finished the 2020 season with 63 receptions for 1053 yards and 11 touchdowns. Keep in mind, he also returned 20 punts for 188 yards and a score last season. While he might not be listed as the top wide receiver for the 2022 NFL Draft, Austin has the potential to make an explosive impact whenever he touches the field.

Tahj Washington, WR, USC

Staying with the trend of Memphis wide receivers, we go to another one that really caught my eye. That is Tahj Washington from USC. The 5-foot-11, 175-pound receiver transferred from Memphis to USC this past offseason and it could pay big dividends.

Washington had 43 receptions for 743 yards and six touchdowns in 2020 for Memphis. Now turning his talents over to USC, he’s got an opportunity to become a true number one wide receiver for the Trojans. With a fluid lower body and the speed needed to break away from defenders, he looks the part of a receiver that can run the whole route tree consistently and fluidly.

This season, he’ll be paired with Drake London at wide receiver and there’s a chance that they could be the most underrated group of wide receivers in college football. Having Kedon Slovis throwing them the football will be a huge benefit but most certainly keep tabs on Washington to be a potential breakout receiver this season.

Romeo Doubs, WR, Nevada

While watching some tape on Nevada QB Carson Strong, there was a constant presence on the field that kept sticking out. That was from wide receiver Romeo Doubs. Listed at 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds, the senior play-maker has gotten better every single season for the Wolfpack.

Over three seasons, he’s recorded 145 receptions for 2213 yards and 15 touchdowns. Beyond that, he’s also returned 25 punts in his career so far. Having a role on special teams will certainly add value to his game.

Doubs has shown that he can win in all three areas of the field but one of my biggest takeaways is how twitchy he is for his size. There are times when he shows off his explosiveness and then there are other times where his contact balance is superb. While built like a receiver, he has the mindset of a running back. He can certainly improve on some drop issues but overall, his skill-set is super intriguing.

All three of these receivers have a chance to break out in their own way. It’s just a matter of time or if they can do it. Regardless, keep tabs on all three players for this season of college football and the 2022 NFL Draft!

 

National Scout for Cover 1. Host of Cover 1 | The NFL Draft Podcast. NFL Draft Enthusiast. X's and O's. Heard on ESPN Radio, FOX Sports Radio and CBS Sports Radio.

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