Are NFL teams better off waiting until the second round to draft a wide receiver these days?
According to NFL Research (via Ian Rapoport), the numbers suggest that may be the case. Rapoport reports that over the past 10 years, wide receivers who were taken in the second round were more likely to make the Pro Bowl than receivers taken in the first round.
Of course, the Las Vegas Raiders hope they buck that trend with 2020 first-round pick Henry Ruggs III. He was the No. 12 overall pick and the first receiver taken in the draft.
Ultimately, I think the key for the Raiders in Ruggs’ case is not regretting waiting until the second round to take a receiver but hoping he has a better career than the two receivers taken right after he was — Jerry Jeudy of the Denver Broncos (taken at No. 15) and CeeDee Lamb taken at No. 17 by the Dallas Cowboys.
Of course, Justin Jefferson, taken at No. 22 by the Minnesota Vikings, may end up being the best of the group. But the Raiders were selecting between Ruggs, Jeudy and Lamb last year.