In back to back seasons the record for most receiving yards by a rookie in a season had been broken. Before 2020 Anquan Boldin held this record for 18 consecutive years dating back to 2003. In 2020 Minnesota Vikings 22nd draft pick Justin Jefferson broke the record by producing 1400 yards in 16 games. The following season Cincinnati Bengals 2021 5th overall pick Ja’Marr Chase exceeded Jefferson’s record with 1455 receiving yards.
It is difficult to predict the kind of production first year receivers will have because their are so many variables. One variable that impacts production is the Quarterback.
Here are the first 5 WR off the board in the 2022 Draft and who they will be catching passes from:
- Drake London/Marcus Mariota
- Garrett Wilson/Zach Wilson (Joe Flacco)
- Chris Olave/ Jameis Winston
- Jameson Williams/ Jared Goff (We do not know when he will play)
- Jahan Dotson/ Carson Wentz
- Treylon Burks/ Ryan Tannehill
The next variable is the receiver type. I believe that Chase and Jefferson have shown what the future star receiver prototype is. Here are the combine results from the most similar rookies as well as Jefferson and Chase:
Up to this point the measurables of quarterback talent and physical ability of these receivers in comparison to Chase and Jefferson leave doubt that their is a suitable candidate to break this record in the 2022 season.
The last variable I would like to point out is where each of these players ranks on their own teams depth chart.
Drake London is a good possession receiver and will likely compete for the most touchdowns ever in a rookie season. That simply does not convert to yardage.
Treylon Burks is supposed to be the replacement for A.J. Brown. He also has the attributes to go with that comparison. Yet, A.J. Brown was not able to accomplish the feat that both Jefferson and Chase had.
In my opinion this record will stand for another year, we will be looking to the 2023 season to see if it can be broken.