Garrett Wilson was drafted by the New York Jets when they selected him 10th overall in the 2022 NFL Draft. And the Big Apple won't be too big for this young man. Wilson has been one of Ohio State's three top-shelf receivers over the past two seasons. More in the mold of Parris Campbell than Michael Thomas, Wilson has been blessed with quick feet and has maximized his potential thanks to incredibly nuanced footwork. Paired with his natural speed and shiftiness, Wilson has the chance to be a game-breaker in the NFL.
Of course, he's been a game-breaker for some time now, and not just in football. The son of Kenny Wilson, a former collegiate basketball player (Davidson) who had a cup of coffee with the Denver Nuggets in the late 1980s, the youngster thrived at football, basketball and track and field while at Lake Travis High School in Austin, Texas. He even received offers to play Division-I basketball. A five-star receiver according to 247Sports, Wilson has been mentored by former Texas wide receiver Mike Davis to help craft his game and become one of this year's top prospects at the position.
Age as of Week 1: 22 | Height: 5-11 3/4 | Weight: 183 | 40-time: 4.38
Comparable body-type: Marqise Lee
We're breaking down everything you need to know about Wilson from a Fantasy manager perspective, including his Dynasty outlook, measurables, scouting report, key stats and an NFL comparison.
Jacob Gibbs takes a deeper dive into the analytics and advanced numbers on Wilson to project his future Fantasy success at Sportsline.
The Jets already had a terrific young receiver in Elijah Moore, but Wilson's incredible skill-set -- from speed to separation to catch radius -- should make him their No. 1 receiver in short order. In 2022, Wilson probably won't have a great chance to dominate targets with Moore and Corey Davis on the roster, not to mention the twin tight ends the Jets signed in free agency. But it's not wrong to think by 2023 that Wilson will have a shot to see north of 120 targets in New York's offense. That's the easy assumption -- the bigger worry is that Zach Wilson may hamper the quality of targets that the receiver gets for the next several years. It'll take a jump in accuracy from the signal-caller this year to alleviate concerns for the future.
Wilson is among the most talented and athletic receivers in the 2022 class, but I'm worried about him contributing on the same level as guys like D.J. Moore or Terry McLaurin, much less the level of elite-tier players like A.J. Brown or DK Metcalf. His size is a legit concern -- the same concern people have had with Tyreek Hill and Tyler Lockett ... and Marquise Goodwin and Peerless Price. If he can stay on the field then he can become a regular staple in lineups for a long time. But that's part of the problem -- the other problem is his quarterback, which we discussed in the above paragraph. For now, expect Wilson to be in the top-5 range in rookie drafts with one-QB, but just past there in Superflex/two-QB formats.
- A handful off the snap and into his route. He either got into his route with lightning-quick burst or used one of several stutter-step moves -- at varying speeds -- combined with a shoulder fake or a head-bob to buy space against a defensive back.
- Seasoned route runner who mixes his speed with false steps to separate from defenders. Especially made cornerbacks pay when they played too far off of him in zone coverage and he came back to the quarterback. Most-run routes included the go, comeback/hitch and crosser, but he also ran the slant, post-corner, stop-and-go and multiple screens. Also handled jet sweeps.
- Very good speed and acceleration. Will run past the majority of NFL defensive backs.
- Extremely fluid athlete. Wilson's incredible agility is his greatest asset in helping him juke defenders to get open and make plays after the catch.
- Played beyond his 5-foot-11 frame thanks to incredible leaping ability.
- Savvy when it comes to impromptu plays. Would see his quarterback rolling out of the pocket and break from his route and come back to his passer to make himself a target.
- Good hands overall including on deep over-the-shoulder passes, but notably good at bringing in off-target throws.
- Can contribute on special teams as a punt returner; returned 34 punts over three seasons for the Buckeyes including 13 for 68 yards in 2021.
- Comes off as a mature, intelligent person and speaker. He admitted he learned how to study plays conceptually starting his freshman year. He should be able to grasp an NFL playbook quickly.
- Coaches have told CBS Sports as far back as 2018 that Wilson is a competitive athlete who doesn't profile as a diva.
- Aside from a concussion in late October 2021, Wilson has not had a documented injury.
- Lean body with very limited physicality. There's little evidence he can consistently beat press coverage, break tackles or compete for contested passes. Adding muscle might impact his speed and agility.
- Lack of concentration and/or body-catching led to occasional drops on well-thrown targets. He had six drops over 102 targets in 2021 (5.9% drop rate).
- Vision and decision-making with the ball in his hands were good, but sometimes saw on-coming defenders and cost himself some yards by cutting back in an attempt to evade tackles rather than gain as many yards as he could before contact.
|2021 v Top 25||5||42||570||13.6||7|
Advanced stats to know
(all from 2021)
- five or more receptions in 9 of 11 games in 2021
- 19 missed tackles forced (11th most)
- 3.0 yards per route run (18th)
- eight contested catches (77th)
- 5.96 YAC/reception (98th)
- drop rate: 7.9% (156th)
- became the second-ever Ohio State receiver to go over 100 yards receiving in four straight games in 2020
- finished Ohio State career with at least seven receptions and 119 receiving yards in three straight games
Wilson has a nearly identical skill-set as T.Y. Hilton had when Hilton came out of Florida International. The difference? Wilson is much more NFL-ready wide receiver than Hilton was thanks to his route-running and overall technique. Wilson also has larger hands to help him snare passes. Hilton developed into a dangerous wideout thanks to his incredible separation, but his size eventually became his downfall after too many injuries. There is a fear something similar could happen to Wilson, but it might take some time for defenders to catch up to him.