Mel Kiper Jr. 2022 NFL Draft Big Board: Garrett Wilson, Drake London Top WR Rankings

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVApril 6, 2022

Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Garrett Wilson (5) during an NCAA football game on Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Adam Bettcher)
AP Photo/Adam Bettcher

Ohio State's Garrett Wilson edges out USC's Drake London as the top wide receiver on the big board of ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper Jr.

Kiper dropped his 2022 big board Sunday and broke down the receiver position on Get Up on Wednesday.

Here are Kiper's five best wideouts:

  1. Garrett Wilson, Ohio State 
  2. Drake London, USC 
  3. Chris Olave, Ohio State 
  4. Jameson Williams, Alabama 
  5. Jahan Dotson, Penn State

Wilson is No. 6 on Bleacher Report's big board as London and Olave top the list. Arkansas star Treylon Burks is another point of divergence as he's sixth on Kiper's board and third at the position on B/R.

Five receivers were taken in the first round of the 2021 draft, and six were selected within the first 32 picks in 2020. By contrast, the 2018 and 2019 drafts saw only two wideouts in the first round each year.

While using a first-rounder on a wideout can be risky, the trend may not be subsiding.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Wednesday the Buffalo Bills agreed to a four-year, $104 million extension with Stefon Diggs that includes $70 million guaranteed.

That comes after Davante Adams signed a record-setting five-year, $140 million deal with the Las Vegas Raiders. The record didn't last long as Tyreek Hill inked a four-year, $120 million extension with the Miami Dolphins following his trade from the Kansas City Chiefs.

The receiver market is soaring, and that will cause a domino effect for elite pass-catchers looking to cash in.

Good Morning Football @gmfb

"I see the new Diggs deal and I look at guys like DK Metcalf, Terry McClaurin, AJ Brown, and Deebo Samuel, and have to think they're calling their agents right now, and asking, 'Sup?' " -- <a href="https://twitter.com/PSchrags?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@PSchrags</a> <a href="https://t.co/KgriYpwLDq">pic.twitter.com/KgriYpwLDq</a>

Receivers aren't as irreplaceable as quarterbacks, though. If you need immediate help at wideout, you can often find good value in the draft.

Diggs is a prime example. The Minnesota Vikings traded him to the Bills in 2020 and used one of the picks they got back on Justin Jefferson, who's already a two-time Pro Bowler.

For teams with a receiver soon to hit free agency, the 2022 draft is an opportunity to lay out a succession plan, so it's worth watching where the top players at the position land.