Cleat Geeks

Pro Bowl Preview: Wide Receivers and Tight Ends

 

ProBowlAwardThe NFL Pro Bowl held January 31st in Hawaii is coming up quickly! In my series of articles I will breakdown each position of players, rank them according to who I’d want, and give you a couple guys that were snubbed.

There were eight wide receivers and four tight ends chosen to participate in the Pro Bowl this year. I will be bringing them up from last-to-first by position in the order of who I’d want on my team. My rankings will be based on their performances from this season and not what they have accomplished in the past.

 

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Calvin Johnson:

The wide receiver I ranked the lowest is Johnson. He had another disappointing season to his standards, and definitely the worst season of the Pro Bowl receivers. He finished with 88 catches for 1,214 yards and nine touchdowns. A lot of his struggles has to do with his knees, and he was basically an expensive decoy for a few games this season.

 

A.J. Green:

Green posted another 1,000-yard season which means he has done so every year of his career. This season he finished with 86 catches for 1,297 yards and ten touchdowns. He was a little better than Calvin Johnson this season, but I still don’t like his inconsistencies throughout the game. Part of it definitely has to do with his offense, but he seems to disappear when he’s on the field. I don’t want someone who is going to blend in for three quarters, I want a star for all 60 minutes.

 

Larry Fitzgerald:

The old veteran had a fantastic bounce-back season after struggling for the previous three. He was lucky enough to play with Carson Palmer for the whole season, and that led to him catching 109 passes for 1,215 yards and nine touchdowns. That marked the most receptions he’s ever had in a season, and the fifth-most yards he’s had in a season.

 

Brandon Marshall:haden-marshall-article

The next two spots were the toughest for me to rank, but I put Marshall here. He has enjoyed a record-breaking season, like I keep on saying, by setting numerous franchise and NFL records. This easily was one of his best seasons, and he finished with 109 catches for 1,502 yards and 14 touchdowns! The 14 touchdowns were tied for the most in the league.

 

Odell Beckham Jr:

Like I previously said, the ranking of Marshall and Beckham were the two toughest I had to do in this article. OBJ played in 15 games and finished with 96 catches for 1,450 yards and 13 touchdowns. The stats between him and Marshall would be very similar if OBJ played in one more game. This basically came down to personal preference, so I wouldn’t blame you if you had Marshall over him. I just feel like OBJ offers a little bit more to the team in terms of what he can do.

 

DeAndre Hopkins:

Hopkins is easily one of the most talented receivers in the league, and he actually may be the most talented. His issue is not with himself, but with the others around him. If he had a decent quarterback (not great, just DECENT) he could have had catch and yardage numbers similar to Julio Jones. If he had Arian Foster playing the whole season then he could have had the best season among wide receivers! Even with all of the attention on him and nobodies throwing to him, he finished with 111 catches for 1,521 yards and 11 touchdowns.

 

Julio Jones:

Julio proved to everyone he can stay healthy by playing in all 16 games for the second time in his career. He started and ended the season red-hot, and ended up with 136 catches (tied for 1st) for 1,871 yards (1st) and eight touchdowns. The stats don’t lie, he was unbelievable this season, but I rank him as the runner up.

 

Antonio Brown:

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If I had to pick one of these wide receivers, Antonio Brown would be my first pick. He finished with 136 catches (tied for 1st) for 1,834 yards and ten touchdowns. Let’s remember that he had to play without Roethlisberger throwing to him for four games, and that obviously hurt his numbers. In those four games he only had 17 catches for 235 yards and one touchdown. In just the three games prior to Rothlisberger’s absence he had 29 catches for 436 yards and two touchdowns. If he had Big Ben throwing to him the whole season, Brown would have had 2,000 receiving yards. Even with his current stats I would pick Brown over any of the other guys.

 

Who was snubbed?

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Allen Robinson:

Robinson finished the season with 80 catches for 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns (tied for 1st). I think those numbers are good enough for the Pro Bowl, and if you took the names away, he would have been in over Calvin Johnson.

 

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Travis Kelce:

The tight end that I’m ranking the lowest is Kelce. He finished with 72 catches for 875 yards and five touchdowns, but honestly, I don’t think he belongs in the Pro Bowl. There are a couple other guys who were snubbed that I’ll bring up soon.

 

Tyler Eifert:

Eifert has always been talented, but health is his issue. He struggled to stay on the field at times again this year, and that caused him to miss three games. He still finished with 52 catches for 615 yards while leading the league with 13 touchdowns. Being the touchdown leader for tight ends is impressive with three less games, and that’s why he made the Pro Bowl.

 

Greg Olsen:

One of the most consistent tight ends in recent years has been Greg Olsen. He always performs well, and he is always available to play. Olsen has missed only two games in his nine-year career, and they were both in his rookie season. This year he had 77 receptions for 1,104 yards and seven touchdowns. He now has posted 5+ touchdowns in eight-straight years, and he has had back-to-back 1,000-yards seasons.

 

Rob Gronkowski:

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The top tight end in the NFL is not really up for discussion, it’s Rob Gronkowski. In his 15 games this season he accumulated 1,176 yards (1st) and 11 touchdowns on 72 catches. He has had double digit touchdowns in every single season except one, and he only played seven games that year. Gronk is an athletic freak and a match-up nightmare for defenses. He is one of the biggest difference makers in the league, and he is my top tight end choice.

 

Who was snubbed?

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Jordan Reed:

Reed is an unbelievable tight end that just struggles to stay healthy. In his 14 games this season he still had 87 catches for 952 yards and 11 touchdowns. He easily is Pro Bowl worthy.

 

Delanie Walker:

Walker is one of the most underrated tight ends in the league. Not only is he a good blocker, but he is a great receiver as well. Even though he missed a game this season, he still lead the tight ends with 94 catches. Those 94 catches went for 1,088 yards and six touchdowns.

 

Gary Barnidge:

Barnidge came out of nowhere this season to play great…when Manziel wasn’t under center. Some quarterbacks in Cleveland looked his way a little more often, but he still finished with 79 catches for 1,043 yards and nine touchdowns.

 

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