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Rookie Wide Receivers Could Catch On Quick

2023 Wideout Class to Overachieve?

Throughout the 2023 NFL Draft process, many scouts labeled the wide receiver class as weak. However, four wideouts were selected in the first round and ended up in great spots.

Fourteen receivers were taken through three rounds, and several second and third-round rookies could be instant impacts. NFL odds still expect this year’s crop of rookie wide receivers to contribute.

Rookie Wide Receivers Could Catch On Quick
Jaxon Smith-Njigba | David eulitt/getty images/afp

Which wideouts are appearing in lines for NFL awards? Who could have the best season among first-year receivers? Here’s why 2023’s rookie wide receivers will catch on quickly.

Rookie of the Year Favorites Littered With Wideouts

Offensive Rookie of the Year odds have plenty of receivers among the favorites. In fact, eight of the top 19 favorites and 13 of the top 28 are wideouts. Some of the popular choices among NFL picks include first-rounders Jaxon Smith-Njigba (+700), Jordan Addison (+1600), Zay Flowers (+1600), and Quentin Johnson (+1800). Second-day picks Jalin Hyatt (+2800), Josh Downs (+2800), Cedric Tillman (+3300), and Rashee Rice (+3300) are sleeper options drawing hype.

Smith-Njigba is the clear favorite among wideouts for Offensive Rookie of the Year. He was the first receiver off of the board and is in an excellent spot with the Seattle Seahawks. Smith-Njigba is a perfect fit to work out of the slot and attack the middle of the field alongside DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett.

Addison and Johnston are also rookies that should benefit from lining up beside star receivers. Johnston will run routes with the Los Angeles Chargers’ Mike Williams and Keenan Allen while Addison gets the honor of playing with football’s best wideout – Justin Jefferson of the Minnesota Vikings. Flowers is another exciting online gambling option due to his versatility, which should mesh well with the Baltimore Ravens’ offense.

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It’s easy to see why many NFL predictions are backing these first-year receivers for Offensive Rookie of the Year. Even dark-horse candidates like Hyatt and Rice make sense. Both are joining teams with good quarterback play with clear needs at receiver. Daniel Jones will dish dimes to Hyatt, and Rice could shine with Patrick Mahomes slinging the rock.

The rookie wideout class could be set up for success, but who will rise above the rest?

Who Will Emerge From the Pack?

The sportsbook is offering specials for which rookie wide receiver will total the most receiving yards and touchdowns. This could be a more enticing bet for some with lower lines, which means a higher likelihood of winning.

The first-rounders, Smith-Njigba, Johnston, Flowers, and Addison, are the clear favorites to lead in receiving yards. Addison (+175), Johnston (+180), and Smith-Njigba (+190) are in a tight race to lead in yards. Addison and Smith-Njigba look like the best sports bets. Johnston struggled with consistency throughout his college career and has a limited route tree coming into the league. Meanwhile, Addison and JSN are polished route runners that get the benefit of playing alongside star receivers.

However, don’t fade Johnston in all picks. He is the favorite among NFL expert picks to lead in touchdowns (+125) thanks to his lengthy 6-foot-3 frame. Opposing defenses typically turn their attention to Los Angeles’ Williams in the red zone, which will give Johnston room to work.

The 2023 receiver class was consistently criticized by scouts. Now is their time to prove them wrong. With several players landing in great situations, don’t be surprised if first-year wideouts make headlines during the 2023 season.

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