NFL Draft Odds 2023: Who’ll Be the First Wide Receiver Selected?

Jaxon Smith-Njigba Ohio State NFL Combine
Jaxon Smith-Njigba of Ohio State speaks to the media during the NFL Combine. Michael Hickey/Getty Images/AFP.

NFL Draft Top Pick: Jaxon Smith-Njigba to Be the First Wide Receiver Selected (-240) at Caesars Sportsbook

In two weeks, we will finally have clarity on the 2023 NFL Draft. Players will walk across the stage and be selected by teams, and we’ll have the clearest picture possible regarding how NFL teams will look for the upcoming season.

A group that is getting a lot of buzz is the wide receiver position. This class lacks the depth that we usually see at receiver, but there is still some talent at the top of the class. However, the group has many players with the same pros and cons. This class is filled with slot receivers, and many of the top players are undersized.

With a weak free agent class, some teams will be desperate to add talent at the position. There is no doubt that receivers will be taken, but who will go first?

Here are the contestants to be the first receiver taken along with the odds from one of our top sportsbooks.

Jaxon Smith-Njigba (-240)


• Elite route-running and separation

• Deep-play threat

• Was able to thrive in a receiver room with two first-round picks


• Injuries plagued his 2022 season

• No proof of production as a WR1

• Undersized

• Questionable as an outside receiver

Like most of the talents in the 2023 class, Jaxon Smith-Njigba is an elite slot receiver. He lacks the size that you’d like for an outside receiver, but his routes are clean and lead to separation around the middle of the field.

If you put Smith-Njigba in the right offense, he will thrive. If you try to put a square peg into a round hole, he will be seen as a bust.

Still, he is the favorite due to the top-end talent he showed in the 2021 season. Of all receivers, he seems the most likely to shine as a rookie in the NFL.

Zay Flowers (+350)


• One of the best athletes in the class

• Explosive playmaking after the catch

• Shown significant improvements during college


• 24 dropped catches in his collegiate career

• Limited size

Much like Smith-Njigba, Zay Flowers lacks the size to thrive as an outside receiver. He is only 5’9” and 182 pounds, which is incredibly underwhelming. Still, he did not let that impact his production at the college level.

Playing at Boston College, Flowers showed flashes of a WR1. Unfortunately, he also lacked reliability as a receiver. Drops were an issue, especially when you realize he was rarely pressed at the line of scrimmage.

NFL teams love to draft receivers on traits. It’s why Henry Ruggs III was drafted above Jerry Jeudy and CeeDee Lamb. If a team falls in love with the athleticism of Flowers, this could be good value.

Quentin Johnston (+650)


• NFL size

• Solid catch radius


• Minimal TD production

• Lacks ability to make contested catches despite size

Johnston is the only receiver who will go in the first round that has the size to be a true X receiver. At 6’3”, he can win on the outside if he becomes a consistent catcher of the football.

However, he doesn’t necessarily use his size to his advantage. His production diminished in the red zone, and he was bullied at the catch point against weaker defenders.

If a team is desperate for an outside receiver, he will be the pick. He brings something no other receiver can provide, but that doesn’t mean that he is the best receiver in the draft.

Best Bets

If you want to make the right pick, you should bet on Jaxon Smith-Njigba. He is the most polished receiver, and he had the best production when he was healthy in 2021. He has negative odds value for a reason.

If you want to make a value pick, the unique abilities of Johnston can’t be denied. A team like the Patriots with a slot receiver in place might want to add his size to the mix.

NFL Draft Top Pick: Jaxon Smith-Njigba to Be the First Wide Receiver Selected (-240) at Caesars Sportsbook