2023 NFL free agency wide receiver market: Odell Beckham Jr. Jakobi Meyers headline best available

We’re mere weeks away from the official start of the 2023 NFL season. Teams will spend the next several months trying to upgrade their rosters so that they can potentially take down the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs next year.

Part of that process, of course, is free agency. With that in mind, we’re going to be taking a look at the players available to be signed this offseason. We’re going position by position, beginning this week on the offensive side of the ball. We’ve already covered the running backs and will continue below with the wide receiver position. Instead of ranking the players, though, we’re going to break them down into different categories, depending on what teams might be looking for on the open market.

Before we begin, we do have three players who don’t really fit into any of the categories: Jakobi Meyers, Odell Beckham Jr. and Julio Jones. Meyers is a slot guy, but he can also win on the outside. He’s not really a “second-draft” guy (which I will explain in a minute) because he wasn’t drafted and also because he was pretty damn productive in New England. He’s 26 years old, and he’s probably the best wideout available this off-season. Beckham didn’t play at all last season as he rehabbed his torn ACL. At his peak, he is one of the very best players in the position. We haven’t seen that peak in a while, though, and we don’t know how close to it he can get in the wake of his injury. Jones, meanwhile, is just Julio Freaking Jones. Or at least, he used to be. You have no idea what you’re going to get if you sign him, other than that you’re not likely to get a whole lot of it due to his persistent health issues.

Second-draft shots

Player 2022 Team Type Snaps Age
Mecole Hardman Chiefs UFA 26.4% 25
Parris Campbell Colts UFA 85.1% 26
Darius Slayton Giants UFA 61.5% 26

I’m stealing an idea from the NBA with the “second-draft” concept. What it basically means is there’s a player who plays out his rookie contract, but for whatever reason, didn’t find as much success as expected with his original team. That leads to him being available at a relative discount on the free agent market, where other teams can potentially roll the dice and try to take advantage of the skill set that made them sought-after prospects in the first place.

In the case of Hardman, he was stuck behind Tyreek Hill and/or injured for a lot of his time with the Chiefs. But he still has elite speed and can be a playmaker in the red zone on designed touches. Campbell has elite speed as well, but has been injured far too often. Slayton wasn’t an early-round pick but played his way into the lineup early in his career before being inexplicably buried behind other guys on the depth chart, only to succeed again once he got another opportunity. There’s something there.

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