Cleat Geeks

Top 10 WRs in the NFL Today

  1. Antonio Brown

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I was reluctant to put him ahead of AJ Green and Julio Jones, but Antonio Brown is effective week in and week out with a quarterback who has been inconsistent the last few years. Ben Roethlisberger is a first ballot hall of famer with a pair of Super Bowl rings but the Steelers have struggled on the road recently and his TD-INT ratio is now less than 2-1 over the last 4 years. Brown has eclipsed 100 receptions in a season four times with 136 in 2015, tied for second all-time with Julio for most receptions in a season. 7 games into the season, Brown already has 52 catches for 765 yards and 3 TDs as he is pacing another 100+ reception, 1,000+ yard season.

 

  1. AJ Green

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I think you can make a valid argument for any of the top three being the best in the league. AJ Green gets the nod from me over Julio Jones only because of his consistency throughout his career but also because he’s now doing it without a solid number 2 or tight end. If it weren’t for an injury last year, he would have ended the season with his sixth consecutive season over 1,000 receiving yards, which would have beat the record he tied the year prior with Randy Moss. Like Brown, he continues to put up jaw-dropping stats without the help of consistent quarterback play. He’s never eclipsed 100 receptions in a year but has put up the yardage to make up for it and he has 52 touchdowns compared to Julio’s 41 in the same number of years. He’s pacing another 1,000-yard season and has 3 touchdown catches on the year.

 

  1. Julio Jones

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Unlike the other two ahead of him, Julio doesn’t get the benefit of the doubt being surrounded by inconsistent quarterback play. Matt Ryan isn’t off to a great start this year but he had one of the best seasons in quarterback history last year and Julio is surrounded by other offensive weapons. Like Brown, he recorded 136 receptions in 2015 and found the endzone 8 times that year. Brown and Green each have 3 seasons with 10+ receiving touchdowns while Julio has just one, which came in 2012. The only area where Julio has distinct advantages over the other two is in the playoffs, where has 5 total touchdowns while Brown has 2 and Green has 1.

 

  1. Odell Beckham Jr.

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I had a hard time deciding between OBJ and Jordy Nelson for the fourth spot as their numbers are very close but OBJ has spent only 4 years in the league and has posted 10+ TD seasons in 3 of the four. You could argue that he’d be on pace for his fourth had he not suffered a broken ankle in Week 4, ending his season. He posted 1,305 receiving yards in his rookie year and he eclipsed that in his second and third years, respectively. He gets a lot of attention on the field and made one of the greatest catches in football history 2 years ago. Assuming his injury isn’t one that changes the trajectory of his career, he’s got the look of a future hall of famer.

 

  1. Jordy Nelson

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I guess I gave away number 5 explaining why I picked number 4. Jordy Nelson has been in the league a long time and has the pleasure and benefit of being thrown the ball by Aaron Rodgers, arguably the best quarterback in the game today. This season may not be what the last few have been now that Rodgers is out for the season. Nelson’s been inconsistent in his days, posting 4-1,000+ yard seasons in 8 tries, but he led the league in touchdown receptions last year and is currently leading this year. He’s posted 10+ TD catches 3 times in his career in an offense that spreads the ball around pretty evenly. Of all of the guys on this list so far, he might be the best in the redzone and that helps him land on this list.

 

  1. Larry Fitzgerald

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Fitzgerald has been playing since 2004 and is another first ballot hall of famer. Although he’s by far the oldest player on this list at age 34, he’s still managed to go over 1,000 receiving yards the last 2 years. He’s got 5 seasons of 10+ TD catches in his career and 8 seasons of 1,000+ receiving yards. Like many others on this list, he’s a first ballot hall of famer but will probably see less production with a backup quarterback throwing to him for the immediate future. There’s a strong possibility he retires after this season but he is still on pace for another 1,000-yard season.

 

  1. T.Y. Hilton

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Hilton is one of the most underrated receivers in the game today. He led the league with 1,448 yards last year and was without Andrew Luck for part of it and is the only offensive weapon on an abysmal team. Despite all of that, he’s got 4 straight years of 1,000+ yards and is on pace to have his fifth in a row. The only knock on him is that his career high in touchdowns for a season is 7. He’s done all of this as an undersized receiver and with not much else around him. He’s one of the fastest receivers in the NFL and if Luck comes back in good form, he has a good shot at landing in Canton.

 

  1. Mike Evans

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Mike Evans is still very young with this being his fourth year in the league. He’s gone over 1,000 yards in his first three seasons and had 12 TDs in his first and third years in the league. Him and Jameis Winston have a connection that few quarterbacks share with receivers and he’s a big, physical receiver that can get the 50/50 ball more often than not. He’s currently on pace to eclipse 1,000 yards and another 9+ TDs, which would put him within reach of tying and/or breaking Moss and Green’s record for consecutive seasons with 1,000+ yards to start a career. With DeSean Jackson and Cameron Brate on the field, he will get more looks now without double coverage. Evans is primed for a huge year if Tampa Bay can get their defense figured out.

 

  1. Dez Bryant

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3 years ago he would have been in the conversation in the top 3 of this list, but his numbers have fallen off. He’s dealt with some injuries in that time and a quarterback change probably didn’t help. Still so, he’s another big, physical receiver who can go up and get the jump balls. Like many of the others on this list as well, he’s almost the lone weapon on his offense and draws the attention of Josh Norman and Eli Apple twice a year. He hasn’t gone over 1,000 receiving yards since 2014 but did it three years straight prior to that but has still managed to find the endzone 15 times in just 28 games since 2015.

 

  1. DeAndre Hopkins

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Hopkins is currently tied with Jordy Nelson with 6 receiving touchdowns so far in 2017. For the first time in his short career, he’s playing with a good quarterback and he’s on pace for 1,000 yards and double-digit touchdowns again. He’s a great possession receiver and a great threat in the redzone with some of the best hands in the game today. He’s gone over 1,000 yards twice in his first four years in the league and came very close both other times. The supporting cast around him is better than previous years as well which is getting him more looks from rookie sensation DeShaun Watson. Fortunately for his stat line, the Texans defense is awful right now and they have no option but to pass the ball. Hopkins is primed for a big year.

 

 

 

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