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The value of the wide receiver position in the NFL has been on the rise for years now, and recently the college game has sent an epic class to the league seemingly every draft season. We had an unprecedented run of four straight receiver selections in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft.

A new standard has been set for how long it takes for a receiver to produce. Rookie year explosions aren't out of the ordinary. 

So let's rank the top five receivers strictly based on who'll be most productive in 2023.

5. Jaxon Smith-Njiba, Seahawks

JSN was a breakout star as a 19-year-old in 2021 at Ohio State. Then poof -- he was on the sideline for the overwhelming majority of 2022 due to a injury suffered on opening weekend against Notre Dame. His agility-drill times at the combine rocketed him into the first-round conversation but, overall, didn't test like a superb athlete for the position. 

I will give it to Smith-Njigba, though; he has a keen sense of positioning in his routes and is a smooth operator with the ball in his hands despite lacking classic explosiveness or scintillating speed. Plus, he has magnets for hands down the field. He's a tick lower on this list than you'd likely expect give that he was the first receiver off the board. But, you most certainly haven't forgotten about the exquisitely complementary presence of DK Metcalf and uber-underrated Tyler Lockett. Geno Smith was surprisingly provided the keys to the offense last season -- he was not operating as a low-volume game manager. He went over 35 attempts in six of his 17 regular-season starts and attempted fewer than 30 throws only four times. Smith-Njigba will be a weapon from the slot, mostly underneath, for Smith in 2023. I just don't see how he gobbles too many targets away from Metcalf and Lockett. 

4. Zay Flowers, Ravens

We have not seen Lamar Jackson lead a truly high-powered passing offense since he entered the NFL. Yes, his 36 touchdown tosses in his spectacular MVP campaign led the NFL, his 3,127 yards through the air that season ranked 22nd in football and his 7.8 yards per attempt was 13th in the league. 

But I'm trusting that because Baltimore invested in Jackson and smartly doubled down by picking who, to me, was the most well-rounded wideout in the 2023 class in the first round, Flowers will be a focal point of the offense this season. The only downside to Flowers is his stature. He's 5-foot-9 and 180ish pounds and has a tiny catch radius. Everything else you want from a No. 1 wideout in today's NFL, Flowers does exceptionally well. And that completeness to his game will keep defenses honest and without the ability to zero in on one aspect of him or the Ravens aerial offense under new coordinator Todd Monken. Solid debut for the former Boston College star. 

3. Jordan Addison, Vikings

Addison is going to get open in Minnesota's offense. With essentially all the attention on Justin Jefferson and the remainder on T.J. Hockenson, Addison will be showered with one-on-one matchups all game. Like Smith-Njigba, despite average athleticism, Addison repeatedly found daylight as a route runner in college. He's a spark plug after the catch too because of his light feet. Why isn't he higher on the list? Kevin O'Connell -- and Kirk Cousins -- are rightfully going to feed Jefferson like he hasn't eaten in days every outing. 

Last season, Jefferson was one of eight wideouts in the NFL to hit the 28% target share mark and it paid insane dividends -- Jefferson led football in catches and receiving yards. While Addison could make some plays when coverage floods Jefferson's side of the field, Jefferson might be the best wideout in football, he won't be deployed as a decoy often, if at all. Remember too, O'Connell was part of the Rams staff that ran its 2021 offense through Cooper Kupp. Jefferson is that type of savvy route runner who wins at every level. 

2. Rashee Rice, Chiefs

Yes, I'm going a bit rogue here. It's risky. I loved Rice as a prospect and adore his fit with the Chiefs in Year 2 of the Tyreek Hill-less offense. Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes taught a masterclass in schemed production, spreading the ball around, and maximizing yards after the catch in 2022. 

However, the offense has 103 available receptions and 1,230 available receiving yards from the departures of JuJu Smith-Schuster and Mecole Hardman. Sure, there are other veterans who Mahomes will likely trust before Rice ... but Rice's physical nature, knack for rebounding the ball downfield, and powerful yards-after-the-catch skill will lead to him winning Mahomes' trust early in the 2023 season. By November, Rice will be an integral part of the 2023 iteration of the Chiefs offense that will, almost assuredly, be predicated on accentuating yards after the catch again. 

1. Quentin Johnston, Chargers

Riding with my WR1 in the 2023 class and his pairing with flamethrower Justin Herbert in Los Angeles. Keenan Allen is one of the savviest route runners in football. He's now 31 and battled through injuries a season ago. Even at his best, he's around a 10-yards-per-grab chain-mover who'll flash his ball skills in the red zone. 

Mike Williams has settled into his niche as an elite combat-catch vertical threat. He just struggles staying healthy. The Chargers needed a serious YAC weapon to turn high-percentage throws for Herbert into splash plays, which is why I believe they zeroed in on Johnston in the draft. His explosiveness and contact balance made him the most dynamic yards-after-the-catch monster in the class, and while he isn't to Williams' level high-pointing the football, he will bring down the occasional jump ball. The more I've thought about Johnston in this offense, the more I love his upside as a rookie.